Perfecting A Domain Name
What To Do When Your Domain Name Is Taken
If your ideal domain is taken, you have two options. The first, and easiest, is to choose an entirely different domain name, especially if the domain is in active use.
If youre really set on a specific domain name, then the second option is to attempt to contact the owner and buy it from them directly. There are four steps to this process:
Registering A Domain Name
You register your domain name with ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, through a domain name registrar. You’ll pay an annual fee to the registrar , and decide whether to renew it prior to the anniversary date.
Some commercial web hosting companies are willing to pay for your domain name and the registration fees. Sounds generous, but just make sure that they actually register it and list you as the owner. Otherwise, register the name directly with a domain name registrar and have you or your business listed as the administrative contact, technical contact, as well as the owner.
Direct ownership prevents the web host from charging you a crazy fee for the domain name in later years and taking away your ownership rights. The other contacts are less important, but may still be useful, depending on your registrar. For example, for some registrars, the administrative contact’s approval is required before a domain name transfer is executed. If he/she cannot be contacted, the technical contact is used.
Overall the key here is to make sure that you are actually the owner of the domain name. In past years most companies either sold domains or offered web hosting, but seldom did both. Today most companies will offer multiple services including buying domain names, offering web hosting etc.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to register your domain name with the same company you host your website with.
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Why Do You Need To Register Your Domain
With billions of people using the Internet each day, its important that everything is handled in an organized way. The concept of domain name registration has been around for many years, and its what determines who owns the rights to which domains. Without this process, it would be impossible for the Internet to function properly.
When a domain name is registered, its filed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers . This is the organization that has been tracking who owns which domains since 1998. While registered domain names are filed away with this organization, you pay a third-party provider to handle the actual registration process.
Once you register your domain, you are listed as the owner of it for a set amount of time. In most cases, you can purchase domain names for a period of at least one year. After the year has expired, you need to renew your ownership. Some domain name registration companies allow you to pay for multiple years at a time if youre sure that you want to maintain ownership for a long period of time.
Keep in mind that if you fail to renew your domain, you lose your ownership of it. This means someone else could purchase the domain name and be able to replace your website with something different.
Find A Custom Domain For Your Site
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Learn more about how to get a free domain name from Mailchimp and how our offer compares to the competition.
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Run A Domain Name Search
Now that you have found a registrar through which to register your domain, the next step is to perform a domain name search.
When choosing a domain name, make sure to pick the right domain extension as well its the suffix at the end of a web address. Domain name extensions are also referred to as top-level domains .
There are different types of domain extensions available, such as:
- Country Code Top-Level Domain . This kind of TLD represents a specific country, letting both users and search engines know that a site is designed for visitors from a particular region. An example of this is the .us domain, which is the ccTLD for the United States.
- Sponsored Top-Level Domain . Its a type of TLD restricted to certain types of groups and organizations. Some of sTLD examples include .mil, .gov, and .edu.
- Generic Top-Level Domain . Its the most common type of TLD it doesnt rely on a country code and can be used for general purposes. A few examples of gTLDs include .com, .org, and .net.
When deciding on the extension that is suitable for your domain, look for a TLD that represents the purpose of your website. Choosing the wrong suffix can confuse visitors and make your brand name prone to being misinterpreted.
For example, a .com or .biz extensionmight be best for an eCommerce business. On the other hand, if you plan to create a blog to keep an online journal, an extension like .me can be an excellent solution.
How To Register A Domain With A Domain Registrar
You can typically register a domain with a domain registrar in just a few steps:
In most cases, this is all you need to do! Some extensions, such as .ca, may have additional steps, such as verifying that you live and/or do business in the country of the extension youre using.
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Registering A Domain Name With Godaddy
GoDaddy is one of the oldest and best known domain providers, so its very easy to find information on integrating your domain with all kinds of third-party services. If youre looking to register your domain with GoDaddy, here are the steps youll need to take:
Can I Transfer My Domain Name To Hostinger
Yes, its possible to transfer a domain name from another registrar to Hostinger.
However, there are a few requirements before transferring a domain to your web hosting account:
- More than 60 days must have passed from the registration or last transfer date.
- You must have the domains auth-code from your current registrar.
- The domains WHOIS privacy protection has to be disabled.
- You have to point your domain name to Hostinger.
- The domains status cannot be Pending Delete or Redemption.
To transfer a domain to Hostinger, go to the Hostinger Transfer Domain page and enter your domain name. Then click Transfer.
After finishing the order and entering the domain EPP code, the transfer process will begin and youll receive an email regarding the domain transfer that you will have to confirm.
The domain registration will also be renewed for a year after the transfer, except for ccTLDs like .es, .co.uk, or .com.br.
Keep in mind that your website might be unavailable during the DNS changes, which can take up to 24 hours to propagate fully.
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Remember This Domain Name Checklist
There are a few universal rules when it comes to choosing the right domain name. Not only do you want it to support your brand, but the perfect domain name will also be:
- Relevant to the information provided on the website
You may not be able to find a domain name that fits all of these criteria, but you can use the list above as a checklist to help identify the best domain name, once you have brainstormed a list of possibilities.
How To Register A Domain Name For Your Small Business
When you start a business, part of the process should include doing a search for a domain name. While every business may not need a website, most businesses can usually benefit from having one. Plus, even if you don’t intend to use your domain, registering it is an important step in protecting your brand.
If you are thinking about registering a domain name or having difficulty deciding on one, follow these steps to find and register the best domain name for your business.
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How To Choose A Good Domain Name
Generally speaking, you would want to start off with the name of your company, project or even your own name as a domain name in the popular TLDs, if they are available. You may also want to add domains and TLDs that are descriptive to help explain what you do to potential customers. Finally, a good tip is to register a domain name that is easy to remember and spell, so if anyone tries to type in the address, they should be able to find you on their first try.
If you’re not sure which TLD to choose, it is often best to go with a popular TLD. You can’t go wrong with a .com or .co.uk domain. The downside of these TLDs is that it is more likely that your preferred domain is already taken. These days it is therefore more common to register a more modern TLD, such as .online or .shop.
Make It Brandable Not Generic
Creative, memorable domain names are always better than generic ones. After all, your domain name is how people will find, remember, and spread the word about your business on the internet. Its much better to have something that aligns with your brand instead of a domain name thats made up of a bunch of general keywords.
For example, can you tell the difference between cheapcarinsurance.com and affordableautoinsurance.com? Which one would you trust when it comes to buying insurance? Probably neither. Both sound a little spammy, and theyre terribly generic.
On the other hand, youll probably know where the domain names progressive.com or geico.com are going to point you to. Those companies have invested in their brands, and theyve used them in their domain names. You can trust that these sites are legitimate.
Even if you havent built up trust and loyalty yet, you can start by choosing a strong domain name that fits your brand.
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Renewing A Domain Lease
While you cannot buy a domain name, you can maintain your lease as long as your registrar exists. The first step is, of course, making the initial payment to lease your chosen domain name. Registration typically lasts for a year, so you’ll need to keep the date of your initial registration in mind. Before the year ends, find the option on your registrar’s website to renew the lease and pay a new charge.
You can preempt the expiration of your domain lease in this manner. There are other options to make it easier, however. For instance, most registrars offer an auto-renewal option, but vigilance is still necessary even when you rely on auto-renewal. Many registrants change their credit cards and forget to update the payment information associated with their lease, at which point they lose the domain.
Another option is taking out the maximum lease that ICANN allows. ICANN is the international body that governs domains and related considerations, and they typically allow registration from one to 10 years. A term of 10 years may be more cost-effective and reduce any worries of losing the lease. While it’s not a lifetime lease, it is more enduring than a standard one-year lease. However, that raises questions about the registrars that offer leases beyond 10 years.
What’s The Best Option?