What Could Go Wrong Aka Security And Quality
Last, but certainly not least, we have the topic of what could go wrong with your domain name and hosting setup.
And it basically comes down to this:
When we talk about the pair of your website domain name and your web hosting setup, the domain name is the element youre a lot less likely to be dissatisfied with.
First of all, domain names are a regulated market. Theres an organization called Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers that monitors the market overall and regulates domain registrars to some extent.
Also, considering what domain names actually are web addresses that point to and identify websites its very uncommon for a domain name to ever stop working all of a sudden. As long as you pay your annual domain registration bills, your domain is going to work just fine 99% of the time.
However, the story with web hosting can be different. First off, hosting isnt a regulated market in any way, so your mileage with some hosts may vary. And, if you ever do want to move to another host, doing so is much easier if youve originally bought your domain name and hosting from separate companies. All you do is just edit the domains nameserver settings and youre done .
Register A Domain Name Long
Anyone is allowed to register a domain name for the long-term, up to 10 years at a time. While you cant register a domain name for longer, the good news is that there is no 10 year total limit.
This means that after every year that passes, a registrant can add any number of years that it takes until the domain is reserved back up to 10 years out.
A decade is a long period of time and if things are going well with that business or domain, just add more years to continue to extend it back out.
Long-term registration also minimizes the chance that something goes wrong after a year like forgetting to have auto-renew on or having a payment form declined.
Registering A Domain Name With Shopify
If youre building an online store, the quickest and easiest way to add and register a domain is by purchasing it directly through Shopify. Setup is automatic, and having a Shopify domain allows you to edit your domain settings, set up subdomains, and create forwarding email addresses all in the same place you manage your ecommerce store.
To register a domain with Shopify, start by logging into your Shopify store and proceeding with these steps:
Also Check: Can You Connect A Domain To Wix For Free
How Can A Company Offer A Lifetime Domain Registration
There are some registrars who make the offer of lifetime domain registration. If the maximum amount of time ICANN allows is 10 years then how is this possible? The short answer is questionable ethics on the deal .
The only way this works is when the registrar purchases the domain on your behalf and leases it to you. Meaning while they give you the access and use of the domain as if you had ordered it through another registrar, they technically own it.
They take care of the renewals every ten years. If the company is good to their word and stays in business, then everything runs smoothly.
However, since youre not the one who has officially registered the domain, if the company went bankrupt, was hit with regulations or fines, or even was bought out, you could lose your domain.
You would not have the protections that come from having registered it yourself. Since the company is acting like a middleman on your behalf, if they have problems you lose the domain and whatever was paid for those extra years.
This Forbes article talks a bit about the practice, its not one that most registrars offer and although some attempt to do this honestly, its a red flag situation for sure.
Can I Register More Than One Domain Name With Godaddy
Yes, you can register as many domain names as you want to with GoDaddy. There is no limit to the number of names you can register. In fact, it may even be a good idea to register several names that all point to your website. This can help in instances where a customer might accidentally type in a similar in a web browser when trying to reach your website.
Also Check: How Much Does A Shopify Domain Cost
Dont Sell Yourself Cheap
Another true story: An entrepreneur went looking for the .com version of a business domain and it was already taken, but for sale on the domain aftermarket for $2,500 a price he considered too high to shell out for the ideal domain name. He decided to go with the .net version because it was available at a normal price.
Within a few years, the business exploded their product was everywhere. This happy entrepreneur then decided to invest in the .com version of the businesss domain name.
Heres the catch: A lot of people had been typing .com instead of .net when searching for the businesss website. The impressive number of hits to the parked web page attached to the premium .com domain had spiked its price to $15,000.
So, if you know you want a domain for your business and its available as a premium domain, save up and invest in the perfect domain at the beginning. You can save yourself money in the long run.
If Its Not A Parked Domain Find The Owners Contact Information
If you find that the domain has a fully built-out site, then its not a parked domain. The domain is being used by a real business. Luckily, you still have recourse if you want to buy the domain.
First, determine how likely it is for the owner to sell the domain to you. Does the website look like its been recently updated? Is it under construction? How many snapshots does it have on the Wayback Machine? If the website looks outdated or has just a few Wayback Machien snapshots, its more likely youll successfully start a conversation with the owner.
For example, the domain mellowbee.com looks like a good candidate because its had only a few Wayback Machine snapshots over the years and the current website is made up of one page.
The owners email is at the bottom, so its easy to reach out.
If you cant find the owners contact information on the site, try searching for the owner through ICANN. Keep in mind that a good portion of domain name owners hide their contact information for privacy reasons.
Recommended Reading: What Domain Suffix Should I Use
How To Choose A Domain Name You Won’t Regret Later
Before you go and buy a website domain, do some brainstorming in order to come up with something:
Its pretty common that many first-time bloggers go and buy a domain name which they quickly abandon.
Usually, the name wasnt good enough, bloggers got some bad feedback or the author didnt like it after all.
Keep in mind that your blogs address will be the online business card and identity.
Many people dont follow these simple principles and that may become an obstacle in the future.
Can You Get A Domain Name For Free
So far, weve covered two ways to buy a domain name. But can you get one for free? The answer is yes. There are three ways to get a free domain:
While you can get a good domain name for free, you should consider how professional your domain makes your website look. Your TLD conveys legitimacy, authority, and trustworthiness to visitors.
People trust familiar TLDs the most, and over 37% of domains currently have the TLD .com. So, while you might be able to get a .ml or .tumblr domain for free, investing in the .com domain may pay off better long term.
Read Also: Can You Change Your WordPress Domain
Secure Your Social Media Accounts
Before you get too involved with one particular social media network it makes sense to secure all the relevant social media accounts for your website/business.
In the short term you may only plan to use Twitter or Facebook, but whos to say later down the line you might not look to use other platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram as you expand your social media footprint?
For branding purposes its wise to ensure your social media accounts all have the same username/handle. Theres nothing more frustrating than going to sign up to a social network only to find someone else has beaten you to the punch.
When you find out all the best usernames are taken
For instance, at LCN.com we use the handle lcndotcom for all our social networks
- you get the idea
While this sounds like a terribly laborious task, its actually pretty easy to check the availability of your preferred name without signing up to each network individually.
Check out a tool called namechk , then just pop in your desired username/handle and hit enter. All of the social networks that are available will show in green.
This kind of preparation at the beginning of a website and/or business launch is vital for your long-term branding prospects. Get it right from the get-go.
Two Methods For Buying A Domain Name
Fortunately, it doesnt really matter where you buy your domain. At the end of the day, a domain is a domain, and you wont find any variations in quality based on where you buy one.
The biggest difference from one domain registrar to the next is the pricesome offer domains for just a few dollars a year and others can go as high as $20 per year or more. There are two ways to get a domain name, one of which is free for the first year and the other is not.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does It Cost To Keep A Domain Name
Register Your Domain And Verify Your Ownership
Next, youll need to register your domain. Your registrar will do most of the heavy work for you behind the scenes, and the process may take several days.
Youll need to confirm your details to ensure your registration is complete. Depending on your registrar, you may need to verify your email address or phone number.
Additionally, you may need to provide extra verification to purchase TLDs like .edu. If this is the case, youll need to follow the registrars instructions to verify your identity.
Whats A Domain Name Anyway
Watch the video belowand keep readingto get the website domain basics.
A domain name is the name by which Internet users locate your website, which is included in your URL. For example, the address in the bar at the top of this page starts with www.webfx.com and that is our domain name.
The domain name, purchased from a domain registrar, is an important part of your online branding. It may reflect the name of your company, the products or services you sell, or even your location. When someone looks at your domain name, they should be able to tell what it is you do or have to offer.
Before you can do anything with your website, you will need to have a URL associated with it. No one can reach your website without one! Fortunately, domain names are usually very inexpensive, costing only a few dollars a year. More unique URLs ending in special extensions may cost a little more.
Recommended Reading: How To Add User To Domain Windows 10
Find Your Domain Name On Your Chosen Domain Registrar Website
Weve already covered choosing your domain registrar. Once you do, look up your chosen domain name to see if its already taken. If it is, the domain registrar will present alternatives either for the domain itself or for the TLD.
It may offer choices such as .net, .org, and .info. Generally, we recommend sticking with a .com TLD because its highly recognizable.
Verify Your Site With Google Search Console / Webmaster Tools
Google, as you may know, isnt actually the internet, nor does Google actually search the entire World Wide Web.
What Google actually does is search their index of the internet. This index is created by relentlessly scanning the web for new sites, pages and content. This is how Google can provide search results so quickly.
This makes Search Console an absolute necessity for any website looking to get found online via search.
Not only does it help Google find your site in the first place , but it also helps them keep track of changes and updates to your site, such as new pages and content.
Since Search Console spots any errors Googlebot may find with your web pages, you can easily identify and fix common problems including
- Penalty notices
You dont need to use Search Console in order to be included in Google search results, but you get a heck of a lot more control over how Google processes and views your site and its content so why wouldnt you use it?
Setting up Search Console is pretty straight-forward, and it wont take you long to get to grips with the basics either.
Read Also: How To Make A Custom Domain Website For Free
Register Your Domain Name To Give Your Website The Uniqueness It Deserves
While registering your domain name may be a short-term task, its a long-term commitment. Whatever youre building a website for, your domain will act as the anchor of your online presence and stick with you for years to come.
It can help your SEO, act as a pathway for users to learn more about your brand, and make it easier for customers to spread the word about your products.
Search For Your Domain Name’s Availability
Once you have found the right domain registrar for you, you’ll need to search for your domain name using the registrar’s search bar. There are millions of domain names out there, with thousands more added daily.
If you have your heart set on a domain name before doing a search, you might be disappointed to find it is already taken. Keep an open mind and incorporate important keywords into your domain when appropriate.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Place To Register A Domain Name
Choose The Right Domain Extension
When picking the extension or TLD for your domain name, .com is still the best choice unless you have a reason to choose something else.
While Google confirms that your choice of TLD will not impact rankings, it does affect consumer perception. Many people view other TLDs as less trustworthy.
That said, .net or .org extensions are not uncommon, so they can be good secondary options if you find the perfect name and the coveted .com isnt available.
But if you do decide to go with an extension other than a .com, make sure you take a look at what type of website is currently on the .com extension. Someone is bound to go there accidentally while looking for your brand. If the site holds fishy or offensive content, you might want to steer clear of that name altogether.
Build Your Business By Registering Your Domain
After weighing the benefits and drawbacks of free or paid domains, you should get started on your search for the perfect domain name. Domain names can go quickly and there’s a little more competition than Symbolics had in 1985 so it is important to register the one you want before it is too late.
Registering a domain name is quick and easy, but it does take some time to brainstorm the right name, select the optimal suffix, and find the right domain registrar for you. As such, there’s no better time than now to get started on registering your domain name.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Read Also: Should I Register My Name As A Domain
Why You Cant Buy A Domain For Life
While the idea of being able to buy a domain for life is certainly appealing, and convenient, there are several practical reasons why this isnt possible. It doesnt matter if the domain name is a trademark or your name, there are time limits to how long a person can have a domain locked up for.
The limits actually vary depending on what the TLD is, but many follow similar rules to the .com which has an upper limit of 10 years.
The international body that regulates domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers , sets the limit for leasing at 10 years. In theory, a person can continue to renew indefinitely or add another year to push it back up to 10 every single year.
Why these limits?
There are several reasons. One of the goals of ICANN is the democratization of names. They dont want someone to be able to buy up thousands of names and then those names can never be released again.
What if a person who protects their privacy passes away? Those names could be simply lost forever.
A person could also put an unrealistic price on a premium domain name and then keep it for life without it ever coming back into the market for others to possibly build a site out of it.
Theres also an important technicality to understand here:
You dont technically buy a domain name you lease it.