Check What The Domain Is Currently Being Used For
Your first step should be to visit the domain you want to buy. Is there a real website there? Has it been updated in the past few years? If the answers to both questions are yes, the owner of the domain is probably not interested in selling it. If theres a real website but it hasnt been updated in several years, youre more likely to get the domain, but theres still a strong chance the owner will refuse to sell it.
On the other hand, if the website you see is simply a placeholder, you can approach the domain owner with confidence. If the domain owner buys and re-sells domains on a regular basis, they might even have a page up linking to the domain buying service they prefer to work with.
Heres an example of what a parked domain usually looks like owners of such domains are usually just waiting for the right offer to come their way:
Picking A Top Level Domain
Top-Level Domains are the extensions at the end of every domain name. The most popular TLD option is .com, because its the one that people most often associate with websites.
However, there are hundreds of TLDs you can choose from. Some of them tend to go for cheaper than dot-coms, while others are much more expensive.
In our experience, sticking with .com is a safe choice. These TLDs usually cost around $10 per year, which is a bargain. Other safe TLD choices include .net, .org, and even .io if youre in the tech business.
Of course, youre free to pick any TLD you want. However, some TLDs can look a bit gimmicky or be hard to remember. So we recommend mulling over your options before making a purchase.
How To Buy A Domain Name
This article was co-authored by Stan Kats. Stan Kats is a Professional Technologist and the COO and Chief Technologist for The STG IT Consulting Group in West Hollywood, California. Stan provides comprehensive technology solutions to businesses through managed IT services, and for individuals through his consumer service business, Stan’s Tech Garage. Stan holds a BA in International Relations from The University of Southern California. He began his career working in the Fortune 500 IT world. Stan founded his companies to offer an enterprise-level of expertise for small businesses and individuals. This article has been viewed 92,606 times.
This wikiHow teaches you how to buy a domain name for a website.
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Check If Your Desired Domain Name Is Available
There are 1.74 billion websites, according to Website Hosting Rating, so there is a good chance your preferred URL is already taken. After you’ve identified the URL you would like to use, you should run it through a domain vacancy checkers, such as Instant Domain Search and WHOis.net. Be sure to check that the extension you want is available. Always check if .com is available first before moving on to other extensions.
If your .com URL is available, you may want to consider buying the URL in adjacent extensions, like .net, .info and .org. Failing to do so can lead to problems down the road, according to Bede Fahey, co-founder of Kiwi Marketing Group.
“Purchasing the .net and .org versions of a domain is also important, as it protects you from squatters and, more importantly, confusion among clients,” Fahey told business.com.
How To Buy A Domain Name In 5 Steps
Before we go any further, its worth noting that its only possible to register an existing domain name with a valid domain extension that other people or businesses dont already own.
Were going to dive deeper into the steps to register a domain name from finding a trusted registrar through which to buy a websites address to finally getting into the registration process.
Here are the five steps to buy a domain:
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The Best Places To Buy A Domain Name
Anthony Heddings is the resident cloud engineer for LifeSavvy Media, a technical writer, programmer, and an expert at Amazon’s AWS platform. He’s written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and CloudSavvy IT that have been read millions of times. Read more…
Unless youve got a connection at ICANN, the organization responsible for managing the creation of domain names, youll be buying your domain name from a Domain Name Registrar, a company accredited by ICANN to sell domain names.
You can buy your domain name from any one of these registrars, and it will work the same. The only thing separating these companies from each other is their services ease of use and the other features they include with the domain, such as email service, WhoIs protection, as well as the quality of their nameservers.
Choose A Cms To Build With
A Content Management System is the platform you use to build a website. There are a ton to choose from, but this is actually the easiest choice you will have to make because WordPress is the best CMS to build with.
Its highly flexible, requires no coding knowledge, and its one of the easiest platforms to build with. This is all thanks to plugins and themes.
A plugin is a small software package that adds a specific feature or set of features to your website. For instance, you can install a security plugin to add a firewall or DDoS protection to your website.
Whereas a theme determines the appearance of your website. They are highly customizable and even come with special features that separate them from one another. With both of them, you can build any type of website imaginable.
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If You’re Buying A Domain There Are A Lot Of Options And Pitfalls To Avoid This Is The Right Way To Go About It
To my last count I own over 42 domain names, including ezpr.com, which I had to pay using an obtuse series of services and an escrow. Every service seems to look identical, regardless of the fact that many actually have different prices, far less reliable customer service or have a slight likelihood your site may just not work one day.
Domain name registrars, in case you didn’t know, are the companies that manage all the website domain names you’ll see – the fingerprint of your business, which may also include the hosting and privacy measures. For example, by default many companies will actually over-price the simple process of keeping your registration information private .
I’ve dug into it a little, and found the few that I actually respect and would trust with what money you and I have.
How To Register Your Website’s Domain Name
The first domain name in history was Symbolics.com, which was registered on March 15, 1985. Today, there are more than 300 million domain names, with millions more added each year. A domain name is essentially the address that visitors will type into their browser address bar to arrive at your website.
Domain names allow users to easily connect to other computer IP addresses by typing in an address like “Google.com” instead of Google’s numerical IP address of “220.127.116.11.” In other words, domain names make our lives a lot easier.
Your domain name is an important part of establishing your brand. No two domain names can be exactly alike, although they can be similar. Ideally, your domain name will be unique and distinctive, so users don’t confuse it with other domain names or different businesses.
You might be wondering isn’t a domain name, then, simply a website? Although they are similar, domain names and websites have important differences. Your domain name is the address for your website it is what people use to find your website, which consists of pages, images, and other files.
Choosing and registering a domain name is often the first step when building a website. Read on to learn how to register a domain name.
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What Are Website Hosting Services
Web hosts are companies that own online servers where websites can be viewed. Its like renting your little corner of the world wide web. In addition to the square footage, web hosts offer technologies and services to ensure optimal site functioning. There are several different kinds of hosting services that cater to diverse needs. Learn more about which type of hosting service is best for your business
Choose The Best Domain Name Option
When youre checking for available domain names, youll often find that your first, second, and tenth choices are already taken. Some of the different approaches you can take when this happens are:
- Keep searching. Let your creative juices flow, and continue to search until you find something you love or at least like.
- Choose another extension. If the .com isnt available and youre set on a certain name, consider the .net or .org if you think it will work.
- Reach out to the owner. Maybe the domain is already owned, but its not being put to much use. You could reach out to the owner with an offer.
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Verdict On Who The Best Domain Registrar Is
Naturally, theres no single best domain registrar across the board. Some companies are always going to be better than the other ones, depending on your individual needs and requirements.
Still, here are a couple of quick recommendations from the WebsiteSetup team based on the companies reviewed above:
Is Domain Name Privacy Protection Worth It
To put it simply: yes, yes, and yes.
To put it a little less simply: When your domain is registered, you’re required to maintain a publicly viewable WHOIS database that displays all your contact details â including home address and phone number. This puts you at risk of spam and identity theft .
Luckily, you can keep your info hidden from the public eye by opting to use HostGator’s Domain Privacy Protection. Interested parties will still be able to contact you if they so please, but your identity will remain anonymous â aka super top secret. Learn more about Domain Name Privacy.
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Through A Domain Registrar
If youre buying more than one domain name or want to manage your domain and hosting services separately, you can use a domain registrar like domain.com or NameCheap.
This route makes sense if youre launching a business website and want to buy all the possible variations of your business name to prevent others from doing so. Many domain registrars offer bulk discounts but you wont be able to get your domain for free.
Check out our top domain registrar recommendations, here.
Trusted The World Over
Namecheap has been a trusted partner for our critical domain names. As we continue to grow, we know we can always count on them.
Dylan Field, Co-founder and CEO, Figma
We’ve been using Namecheap for all our domains for years, and have always been able to count on them. Their technology just works, and their support is phenomenal. Highly recommended!
Alan Schaaf, founder and CEO, Imgur
With a high value domain name like Privacy.com, it’s important to use a registrar that you trust. We can sleep at night knowing that Namecheap is keeping our asset secure.
Bo Jiang, CEO, Privacy.com
Namecheap has quickly become our default registrar for the various domain names we use as part of our Buffer offering. A clear and intuitive dashboard combined with wide support across a number of top-level domains and a responsive team add up to an unbeatable experience.
Colin Ross, Engineering Manager, Buffer
Frequently asked questions
Above all else, we strive to deliver outstanding customer experiences. When you buy a domain name from Namecheap, we guarantee it will be handed over to you with superior standards of service and support. Our primary goal is to build a customer-focused atmosphere filled with the happiest customers in the galaxy. The Namecheap guarantee is our mark of excellence.
Products might be the same, but every customer is different. Thats why we tailor our deals to suit as many people as possible. So you get exactly what you need, for less.
Still have questions?
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Consider Your Domain Extension
How your web address ends is just as important as the portion that comes after “www.” Though there are scores of TLDs currently in use, just over 22% of all registered domains use “.com,” making it the most widespread and understood extension on the web.
“The .com is always the way to go,” said Samantha Phillips-Varneke, search and social specialist at Kiwi Marketing Group. “It’s the ‘default’ that people tend to type into their browsers.”
Your domain extension also may depend on your type of organization. For example, certain TLDs, like .edu and .gov , have certain requirements. If your small business is a nonprofit organization, for example, you may be able to register an .org URL.
Determine What Youre Willing To Pay
Now that you know the domain is available, and before you contact the owner, decide what youre willing to pay for it. This can be tricky since theres no agreed-upon value of a domain, but you can get an idea of what prices are by searching through a domain marketplace like Flippas.
Here are some factors to pay attention to when figuring out how to buy a domain that is taken:
- Keywords Domains with popular keywords in them are worth more because of their ability to rank high on Google and other search engines.
- Generic value A domain that can be used by almost any business within a given industry has generic value.
- Brandability When a domain lacks generic value or a strong keyword, its main value lies in its brandability. Short, memorable names that are easy to spell are easy to build a brand around.
- Age Older domains are generally considered more valuable.
- Length Or rather shortness. The shorter the domain, the more valuable. Usually, landing your hands on a three-letter .com will cost you a lot.
Before you approach the current owner of the domain you want, choose both the base amount youre willing to offer and the maximum amount youre willing to pay they can even be the same number if you want for the domain before you approach the owner.
Look for domains of similar length, similar keyword value, generic value, and similar age, this should help you estimate the price to a degree, and also decide if you can actually afford that domain in the first place.
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