Consider Enabling Domain Id Protection
In simple terms, domain ID protection masks your personal contact information from anyone performing a whois lookup on your domain name.
Let me say this again, by default, all of this is visible to anyone who puts your domain name through a tool such as the aforementioned who.is.
This is not perfect. First, anyone can see this info, which means your personal details are exposed. Youre basically sacrificing part of your privacy for nothing in exchange.
So, the way to solve this is to set domain ID protection with your domain registrar . This is usually a paid feature, though. The price tag can be around $1 a month. Heres how to do this with Namecheap:
Once under domain ID protection, the whois details of your domain get replaced with your registrars information.
Avoid Numbers And Hyphens
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood people who hear your website address dont know if youre using a numeral or its spelled out or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
Purchasing An Available Domain Name
Once youve determined whether your domain is available, you will want to purchase it from a domain registrar or web hosting company. Some web hosts will register a domain name for you for free when you buy a web hosting services from them, while others will do it for you, but youll have to cover the registrar fees .
Its a personal preference whether to register the name directly, with a domain name registrar, or with the web host. In any case, you want to make sure you are assigned as the owner, the administrative, and technical contacts for the domain name you purchased. If you are buying multiple domains, it might be easier to use one good registrar. But, if you are buying a domain name and planning to make a website or use it for custom email purposes, it will be easier to go with the hosting company and keep everything under one roof.
One things for sure. You have to find a reliable company to register your domain with. There are hundreds of companies available and we will recommend you the best ones from our experience, both registrars, and hosts.
If you decide to pick a company on your own, here are some things to consider when choosing one.
Don’t Miss: How To Transfer Squarespace Domain To Godaddy
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. Roughly 43% of all domains have a .com extension, making it what people expect to see the most.
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.
Finally, avoid those niche domain name extensions like .space, .club, .pizza, unless you really think theyll enhance your brand.
Communicate With Your Clients
Its vital to prepare your clients for the change. Whether you choose to change your domain name after purchase, or months later, assess every point of contact email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and be sure to regularly communicate before the big switch.
Tell them why youre changing, engage with them. This will help to calm your loyal customers and keep them trusting you as a brand.
Recommended Reading: How To Transfer Squarespace Domain To Shopify
Can You Just Buy A Domain Without Hosting
Yes you can absolutely buy a domain without buying hosting. In fact, there are a few good reasons to buy a domain without hosting.
There are of course plenty of other good reasons, but that is up to you. The point is that you can buy a domain without hosting. Youll just need to pay the $10 to $20 per year to keep it registered.
Do Your Domain Name Research
Once youve narrowed your search down to a few candidates, you can use a research tool to determine if its available.
However, just because the domain name is available doesnt mean someone else doesnt have a valid claim to it. To be safe, youll want to perform a trademark search before making your choice.
Its also best to make sure you can secure appropriate social media handles. If you cant get an exact match, try finding something that makes sense with your domain name.
Read Also: How Much Is A Domain Name Per Year
How To Register A Domain Name: 4 Options
To get a domain name, youll need to call dibs with ICANN. ICANN is a global non-profit authority that maintains records on which domain and IP address belongs to whom and manages access to them.
But ICANN doesnt provide registration services, it only maintains records. Thats where domain name registrars come into play.
The primary role of a register is to:
- Coordinate claims on different domain names.
- Match specific domain names with Domain Name System nameservers.
- Ensure that there are no duplicate domain names.
Technically speaking, you are not buying a domain name from a registrar company, but reserve its usage for a specified time. You can pay to reserve a domain for 1-10 years at a time, depending on the registrar. After your initial subscription expires, youll need to renew it and pay a fee again. You can re-purchase your domain name over and over again.
When registering a domain name, you sign a long-term lease of your domain . You can read more about the domain costs here.
In practice, all of the above is much simpler than you think as we will show below.
How Do Domains Work
Domain names work by acting as a shortcut to the server that hosts your website.
Without a domain name, anyone who wanted to visit your website would have to enter the full IP address. But the problem is that an IP address is difficult for people to memorize or to include on advertising materials.
In our case, Hostinger.com is the domain name. Lets say it points to the IP address 100.90.80.70. The IP address points to a server, but it doesnt resolve the website if visitors try to use it. Thats because for an IP address to resolve a website, the remote server needs to be using port 80 with a default page stored in its web-apps directory.
As you can see, messing around with server defaults and IP addresses can be both confusing and time-consuming. Thats why the vast majority of website owners opt to utilize a service like Hostinger which offers bundled domain names with annual web hosting packages.
Domains can also use redirects, which essentially allow you to specify that if people visit your domain, theyre automatically forwarded to another. This can be useful for campaigns and microsites or for forwarding people to dedicated landing pages on your main site. They can also come in useful for avoiding confusion around spellings. For example, if you visit www.fb.com, youll be forwarded to www.facebook.com.
You May Like: How To Transfer Squarespace Domain To Godaddy
Here Are Some Tips To Remember When Choosing A Domain Name:
- Choose a domain name with less than 10 characters, if possible. You want a simple, memorable name that doesnt require too much typing .
- Catchy, yet descriptive. Make sure your domain name makes sense with what you do as a business. If you make it memorable, there will be less confusion about your competitors. Try combining different words together, like YouTube, that are relevant for what your business does.
- Go for the dotcom. Although many sites use .biz and .net and now .us to show national pride, .com is still the preferred extension and where search engines will first lead searching consumers.
- Dont get fancy with the spelling of your domain name. Again, that is just asking for confusion and mistyping. Also, stay clear of hyphenated words when you can. If you need the hyphen, make sure you register your name both ways.
- Location, Location. Do you own the neighborhood pizza parlor or flower shop? Think about adding your city, neighborhood or street name to your business/domain name. Going local and supporting local businesses is a hot trend in marketing.
Still stuck? Try one of the free domain name generators like Dot-o-mator and see what they suggest.
Make Your Address Mobile
Mobile devices drive 51.89% of internet traffic as of the second quarter of 2018.
Mobile website traffic
Interestingly, that number has declined from its height in Q3 2017, but the fact remains:
At least half of the people using your domain address are going to be using a mobile device to get there.
Which means you need to think about all the autocorrect-victims of the world and make your domain as memorable and concise as you can for them.
Examples of easy, mobile-friendly domain names that come to mind are and Bing, respectively. Theyre short, simple, and everyone knows how to spell them.
Far less mobile-friendly examples include and the infamous Comic-Cons homepage.
Although both of these domain names hit the mark for memorable, they lose points for being an easy typo, and in Comic-Cons case, requiring users to switch between their digital keyboards to type.
Hyphen mobile domain name
So, when youre picking your domain name, try it out on your mobile phone first. How easy is it to type? If youre an expert-level phone typer, have someone a little less savvy try it out on your phone.
Now, lets change gears a little bit and talk SEO.
You May Like: Connecting Godaddy Domain To Squarespace
How To Buy Your New Domain
Now that you know how to decide on a new domain name, youre less likely to change a purchased domain name later on down the line. So, lets move on to registering your domain!
Get started and search for your domain name right here at Namecheap. And, if youre looking to purchase website hosting and domain together, we offer an all-in-one package deal where you can save money.
Discover our dedicated page on the price of domain names, where you can take a look at our best prices for up to ten years.
Once you have your sparkly new domain name, its time to make sure that youre ready to prepare all the content youd like to take from your old website to your new one.
Ensure Your Domain Is Unique
Outside of just being punchy and memorable, your blog domain should be unique. Make sure it represents your brand and content while also standing out from competitors.
For example, HubSpot is certainly unique and comes to mind quickly. It’s easy to type, spell, and pronounce. It might not have succeeded with a more generic name like marketinghub.com, marketingonline.com, or marketinginformation.com. In fact, if you search “marketing,” HubSpot is one of the top options but more generic domain names are nowhere to be found.
Don’t Miss: How To See Who Owns A Domain Name
Help Yourself To Some Domain Name Generators
This is another kind of helper that you can use if youre finding it hard to come up with a cool domain name, and thus, by extension, your business name as well.
These tools are very simple to use, but also surprisingly helpful. All they need is one keyword from you a seed keyword and, in return, they give you tens or even hundreds of suggestions, full of valid and available domain names that you can register right away.
The best such tools include:
- LeanDomainSearch, created by the guys at Automattic . For example, this is what you get when looking up coffee:
- Business name generator by Shopify works similarly to the above, and also helps you build a Shopify store with the domain name of your choice.
- Nameboy is a bit more old-school especially in its design but its still useful. This one needs more specific input, and does a better job once you have a general direction you want to follow with your name.
Choose The Easiest To Remember Combination
Domain names came to be because humans have limits on their memory. While you can skip digging into the neuroscience, you should keep these limits in mind when choosing your domain name.
Specifically, the more stress you put on working memory, the more humans struggle to complete tasks. Theres a buffer limitation on the information the working-memory can retain.
And while this seems like a pretty common sense limit, its not as clear-cut as it sounds. How items fall in human memory depends on the items themselves and whether they associate with any other memory systems.
Which means that, although a website address like www.catsdogs.com is significantly longer than www.animalia.com, its probably going to be easier to remember for most people.
Why? Because cats and dogs make up two items, while animalia will require most people to remember three distinct items:
- The word animal.
- The letter i.
- The letter a.
Obviously, this example falls apart if someone has a background in biology, but it illustrates the point I mean to make.
Whats easy to remember isnt always about concision, as recognition can trump concision. The more recognizable the elements of your domain name are, the easier and therefore more usable your address becomes.
As a rule of thumb, try to keep the elements involved limited to no more than seven.
Especially for our next strategy.
You May Like: Io Domain Registrar
It’s Okay To Append Or Modify It
If your domain name is not available, it’s okay to go out and add a suffix or a prefix. It is okay to use an alternate TLD extension, like we talked about previously, and it’s okay to be a little bit creative with your online brand.
For example, let’s say my brand name is Pastaterra. Maybe I’ve already got a shop somewhere maybe in the Seattle area and I have been selling pasta at my shop and now I’m going online with it. Well, it is okay for me to do something like ThePastaterra.com, or PastaterraShop.com, or even Pastaterra.net.
With these rules in mind, I would love to hear from all of you about your domain choices, domain name biases, and what you think is working in 2016. Hopefully, we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.
Video transcription by Speechpad.com