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You need a web domain for your website. There is no way around this. Purchasing a domain name is relatively easy, but there are a few steps you need to take before you jump into any purchase.
You’ll likely take some time in researching or thinking about a domain name. This is important to get a good name, but your purchasing isn’t done yet.
There are still many more decisions to make. The first time I purchased one, I was completely lost. The good news is that it will only get easier. Over time I’ve developed these tips for purchasing a domain name. These are the things you want to look for.
Shop around for your domain name
I may be with BigScoots ($) for my hosting, but not all my domain names are through them. In fact, more often than not, I will buy my domain names from somewhere else. There are a few options, including GoDaddy and Namecheap. One of my favorite places to buy domain names from is Domain.com ($).
Why opt for elsewhere for your domain? Well, it all comes down to the price really. I can usually find the same domain for a lot less elsewhere.
However, I also have the benefit of having my domain name separate from my hosting. Should something happen to my hosting, I don’t have to mess around with the domain name at the same time. Therefore, it’s good to hire a managed IT solutions provider who can provide professional managed services. Sometimes keeping elements of your business separate can be worthwhile.
Lock your domain name in for a few years
Some domain names I will buy for two or three years at a time. Others I will only purchase for a year. It really depends on how confident I am about a domain and the prices concerned.
More often than not, you’ll find getting a domain for a few years in bulk will cost you less in the long term. This is great for domain names that are extremely popular, targeted well for your audience, and you know you’ll keep them the whole time.
If you’re not sure about whether you really want to continue with this venture of your business, a year is usually good.
What you should look for is the option to renew for more than one year afterward. Once you’re happy with a domain name, you want to avoid the hassle of constantly renewing it.
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Consider getting the other extensions too
You want the .com domain name as much as possible. If someone else already has it, you’ll want to consider looking for other domain name ideas. Purchasing a domain name with a different extension will lead to confusion for people. Most are likely to type .com at the end.
The only time I suggest a local domain is if your target audience is primarily local. I have a couple of .co.uk domain names because they market towards local individuals more than the world. I also snapped up the .com versions when they became available and redirected them to the .co.uk versions.
You can snap up the other extensions if you’d like. This is useful if you’re worried of people trying to compete with them. Just be aware that this is an extra business outgoing you’ll need to budget for. If you don’t have the money now, considering purchasing these domain names later.
Think about private registration
For an extra dollar or two a month, you can get private registration. I’ll tell you from experience that this can be worth the costs.
Private registration means that telemarketers can’t look up your address or phone number to get in touch regarding your domain name. They will try to sell you all sorts, including hosting, marketing, and website creation. The calls and emails tend to last for a week or so after buying your domain name from experience.
It’s not too hard to figure out when to ignore the phone calls, but why should you? Just get the private registration and you don’t have to deal with them at all!
Purchasing a domain name before the website hosting
There’s nothing wrong with getting the domain name before you set up your website hosting or even before you really want a website. You don’t want to waste the money, but you also don’t want to lose your perfect domain name. Trust me when I say that if you start researching names and don’t grab those available domains right away, some companies will snap them up and force you to pay over the odds for them. You want to get the domain name when you can.
Getting the domain name will help to prevent others from buying it. You can set up your business through social media and not worry about someone catching onto what you’re doing. There’s no need to worry about losing out and then having to change your branding at a later date.
Who you purchase your domain name through is usually based on price. Don’t just look for the price right now, but the renewal rates afterwards. That way you always have the most cost-effective domain name and a great looking website.
Where are you at within your business? What do you need help with when it comes to purchasing a domain name? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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