How to Buy a Domain for Your Website
So, you've decided to finally create that website you've been talking about for years. You want to dive right in and get started on designing your site and adding cool features that will help your website stand out from the rest. But first, you'll need to buy a domain name. Here are some tips for buying your website's domain name:
Decide on a Name
Before diving right in, take some time to come up with the right domain name for your website. To do this, write down a list of things you want your website to accomplish. Do you want to sell products? What industry are you in? Who and where is your target audience? Once you figure out your target audience and know what your "call to action" will be on your website, you will have a clearer picture of what your domain name should be. Other rules you should consider:
Your domain name should describe your business.
Your domain name should be as short as possible.
Your domain name should not include words that are commonly misspelled.
Your domain name should be easy to remember.
Tip: You'll want to think of a few variations of your domain name, just in case your first one is already taken.
Choose a Domain Registrar
After you've picked a few good domain names, it's time to pick a Domain Name Registrar. A domain name registrar is where you go to officially purchase and register a domain name. The registrar will be accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). A list of accredited registrars can be found on ICANN's website.
The keys to finding a good registrar include a few simple things that will take some brief research on your part:
Pricing. You will need to compare the price of each registrar to see how much they charge per year, and how many years they require you to register the domain name for.
Add-ons. Some registrars will off useful add-ons such as privacy protection, WordPress hosting, email hosting, or website building services. Keep in mind that they may charge extra for these things, so take that into account before choosing a registrar.
Ease of use. If you're reading this post, then you likely don't have too much experience in dealing with the technical side of websites. Therefore, you'll want to keep in mind how easy it is to navigate a registrar's website and features. The easier, the better.
Search & Buy Your Domain Name
Once you've found the right Domain Name registrar, then all you need to do is search for your domain on the registrar's website. If you're lucky enough to find an available domain name on your first try, then go ahead and purchase it and complete the checkout process.
If your domain name is not available and you are willing to pay a little extra, then consider contacting the owner of that domain name by doing one or more of the following:
Go to the domain website and see if there is any contact information for the owner and then contact them directly.
Some registrars (such as GoDaddy) offer services where you pay them a fee and they will try to contact the domain owner on your behalf.
Lookup the owner of the domain yourself, and make contact.
If the domain owner is willing to sell the domain, then proceed with negotiations until you either make a deal, or you move on to the next one. Just keep in mind that a domain name is critical to any business, so don't short change your company on the front-end or else you will end up paying on the back-end.