Determine If The Domain Seems Attainable
If a domain is unavailable from a registrar, try going directly to that website and see what you find. If theres an active website or business using that domain, it might be tougher to acquire.
But if you dont see an active site, theres a good chance that domain will be for sale.
Heres an example for management.com:
Clearly, not much is happening on this site. So if you wanted this premium domain, there is a pretty good indication here that its for sale.
In some cases, youll even see text like buy this domain or information that says this domain might be for sale. All of these are good signs that the domain is attainable.
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How To Buy A Domain Name For Your Site
Follow these 7 steps to get a domain name you love:
Have a few domain names in mind before you get started.
Pick a domain registrar and web hosting service.
Search to see if your name is available.
Select a domain extension.
Choose if you want private or public domain registration.
Buy your domain.
Connect it to your website.
Read Also: How To Buy A Domain Name That Is Taken
Check Social Media Handles
Before registering your great idea, take a few minutes to see its already in use as a handle on social media platforms. Its ideal to have a clients domain and social media handles match in order to create a stronger brand. Visitors will feel more confident finding your client online, and theyll have more credibility when you share all the cool stuff youre doing.
Web Hosts And Domain Names
You needn’t go to a dedicated registration service to buy a domain name, though. The best web hosting services, such as DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds routinely offer a registration mechanism as part of the sign-up process. Hosting services typically offer a free domain name when you sign up for a web hosting package.
Keep in mind, however, that free domain names are usually free only for one or two years, after which the registrar will bill you for the annual or biennial fee. In other words, the provider of the free domain name pays only for the first billing from the registrar. Also take note of whether or not the provider charges a fee for setting up a domain name. Most services offer to transfer an existing domain name to their servers at no cost, but sometimes you’ll find a setup fee over and above the registrar’s fee.
Please note that not all web hosts give you the option to register a domain name. Cloudways, for example, is a solid web host that requires you to purchase a domain name from elsewhere.
Registrars offer a wide variety of registration durationsone year, three, five, and even ten. Be careful about registering for more than a year, though. First, there might be restrictions on your ability to transfer the domain name should the registrar give poor service. Second, the registrar could go out of business, leaving your domain name without a host. Check the policies closely.
Recommended Reading: How To Figure Out Who Owns A Domain
How To Buy A Domain
Follow these instructions to purchase a domain:
Buying A Domain From A Standalone Domain Registrar
In most cases, going directly to a domain registrar like Namecheap will be your best option. As the name implies, these platforms specialize in domain registration.
Buying domains directly from a standalone registrar will be faster than alternative methods. Thats because youre not bundling other services, so the process is more direct.
Domain registrars also make it easier to buy domains in bulk. So if youre in the market for more than a single domain, definitely go with a registrar.
If you want alternative extensions, domain registrars will offer significantly more options. While I typically dont recommend anything other than a .com domain, some of you might want to browse through hundreds of alternative extensions.
Transferring domain names with a registrar is also easier than using a service that doesnt specialize in domain registration. So if you want to transfer your domain or think you might want to transfer it in the future, use a domain registrar.
Its usually cheaper to buy domains directly from a registrar. For starters, the domain itself will likely be less expensive. But the best registrars, like Namecheap, include WhoisGuard protection for free with the purchase of a domain. You probably wont get that from a hosting company.
The downside of getting your domain from a registrar is that theres an extra step in the process. Youll still have to get web hosting elsewhere.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Forward A Domain To Another Website
Hyphens Are A Close Call
If a domain name uses two words, it might be tempting to add a hyphen for readability. The problem is people might not remember the hyphen and wind up at someone elses site.
It used to be a common belief that hyphenated domains were easier for search engines to parse, so they had better SEO value. However, today its understood that search engines actually associate hyphenated domains with spammy behaviour and could penalize them.
Dont Hesitate To Register Your Perfect Domain
If you already used Media Temples domain name search tool to find a web address your client will love, make sure you register it without delay. Each day thousands of domains are registered taking them off the market. Once you find an available domain that resonates with a brand, register it and any variants, and then help your client get started making their way online.
About the Author
Don’t Miss: How To Obtain A Org Domain
Check For Trademark Infringement
Both major and minor brands alike take issue with others using their trademarked names. Even if youve just made an innocent mistake, the legal hassle involved in a lawsuit and having to rearrange your web presence could be costly.
You can avoid these situations by using a trademark lookup tool before you finalize your choice.
Can I Use My Custom Domain Name For My Email
Absolutely. In order to convey an air of professionalism with your online business, or even just make a good first impression, it is important to use an email address that matches your domain name. MyDomain makes this very easy to set up once you complete your domain name registration.
- More Domain Resources:
Read Also: How Important Is A Domain Name
What Is Whois Domain Privacy
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is the organization that governs the rules and regulations for domain name registrations. ICANN requires, for various reasons including to determine ownership of a domain should a dispute transpire, that a publicly accessible database be maintained that contains the contact information of all domain registrants. In layman’s terms this means your domain name will be searchable by anyone and those search results will include your full name, physical address and other contact information. In order to protect your privacy in this regard, MyDomain offers WHOIS Domain Privacy which then masks your information using our own and implements a procedure for you to control who is able to then gain access to your contact information via a WHOIS search. Whenever you buy a domain name, no matter what domain name registration service you use, you are subject to the same ICANN rules, for this reason it is important to use a reputable service who cares about your privacy. MyDomain always recommends enabling WHOIS Domain Privacy.
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?
Also Check: How To Change Your Domain On Shopify
Google Domains: Simple Domains Easy Integrations
is a simple, no hassle registrar. It rocks Googles sleek design, combined with great DNS tools and industry-leading security. Most people looking for a domain also want email to go alongside it, and Google Domains will integrate well with your existing G Suite subscription. Note that this does require you to pay for Googles premium email service it wont work with a standard Gmail account.
Their search function is pretty basic but doesnt get in your way. If you know what youre looking for, it might be right for you.
Their pricing is pretty average, but if youre looking to get your website up quickly without any mess, Google is probably your best bet.
The Companies Featured And Why They Were Chosen
This shortlist of domain registrars has been compiled based on a few crucial factors, including how easy it is to register a domain name with the company, pricing, market popularity, track record, and any perks that come with the domain name.
Based on the above, the companies featured in this guide are:
GoDaddy are currently leading the domain market, with a market share of ~16% and more than 54 million domain names registered. When it comes to domains, GoDaddy are the main players.
Namecheap are a lot smaller, with only a fraction of the market share, but theyre proving to be an excellent choice. This is down to affordable pricing out of the gate, cheap domain renewals , good perks and nice web hosting offers.
SiteGround are one of the leading companies in the WordPress hosting market. While theyre not the first that comes to mind when thinking domain names, theyre actually a very efficient, hassle-free solution especially if you want to take your new domain name and launch a WordPress website on top of it .
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Evaluate Long Term Costs
In addition to the upfront costs of getting a domain name, consider costs like taxes and renewal fees. Some registrars charge increased renewal fees when your domain registration expires, and depending on where you live, your domain name may be subject to state and local taxes.
Remember to budget for your domain name alongside other potential startup costs, like website hosting or creating a logo for your business.
Narrow Down The List According To Viability
Narrow your list down quickly by typing in the .com for each name that you like. Type it into your browser and see what is there.
- If there is an established website built on the domain name, cross it off your list. It is very unlikely to be a viable option.
- If nothing comes up at all, then keep it on your list. That could mean that the domain name isnt registered yet, which is great!
- If a landing page with ads comes up, the domain name is parked. It is owned by someone already, but might be an acquisition target. Keep this on your list.
- If the domain name is for sale, thats the best case scenario. Its exactly what we are looking for. Keep this option on your list, and take note of the listed price if there is a listed price.
The best domains are typically the ones for sale unfortunately. But if you have the budget for it, its well worth the investment.
Once you have the narrowed down list, the next step is to dig even deeper to determine what your final options will be.
Recommended Reading: What Is Buying And Selling Domains
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