Looking to buy a domain online and start a website? Some people get very overwhelmed thinking about their lack of ability in making a website. It doesn’t have to be hard and it will be quick and easy if you break the steps down into bite-sized tasks. You’re going to start by choosing a good domain name. Before you buy a domain, you should look into what you need to know about naming a business or brand.
***Check out the video tutorial at the bottom of the blog post***
What domain extensions should I buy?
When choosing a domain you’re going to need to think of a name and find an available extension. An extension is the last part of the domain, such as .com, org, or .net. There are many options, some cheaper than others, but you’re not going to want to go with just anything.
The name can go two ways. You can follow the safe route and choose a keyword-laden domain name, or go with something catchy that you hope takes off in a viral manner all across the web (think Yahoo, Google, or Twitter).
Most people prefer to go with a keyword domain. You want your website to rank well for your chosen niche, and keywords are the prime way you’ll achieve that goal. You can use a free or paid keyword tool to make a list of the top keywords in your niche.
You can choose one with a high search volume (if it’s available to buy as a domain), or go with a lower search volume that you’ll rank high for more quickly. These keywords are called long-tail keyword phrases and they have more words strung together, so the search volume is less, but so is the competition.
Let’s look at a couple of examples from the dog training niche. A prime keyword domain would be something like dogtraining.com. It’s probably not available because the phrase has 1.5 million searches per month. But another phrase like protectiondogtraining.com might be available because it has fewer searches (over 12k).
When you buy your domain, you’ll be typing in the URL you hope to land, such as dogtrainingtips.com. If it’s not available, the system will usually show you some alternatives that are available, such as dogtrainingtips.net.
Most online marketers usually only want to go to a dot com, dot org or dot net. A few will go with a dot info domain. But in my opinion, you should use a (.com) domain. There are a few minor exceptions like if you are making a URL shortener.
As you start the checkout process to buy your domain online, HostYak will upsell you “Privacy Registration” and this is for a good reason. For those of us old enough to remember the “White Pages”, they use to charge a fee to keep your information private and not listed in the phone book.
HostYak describes “Privacy Registration”
“When you register a domain, your name, address, email address and phone number are automatically published for the world to see. Protect yourself from spam and scams with HostYak Privacy Protection, which replaces your personal information with ours.”HostYak.com
There’s a bit of discussion about whether you should pay for a domain for one year or more. Some people argue that Google prefers domains that have a longer commitment but it is always best to save money and register for at least 2 years. More on that saving money part in a little bit…
When it comes to local businesses if you can’t find your “business name” available in the dot-com then trying to add a state modifier. This will not only help you get your name but will also help with the ranking of your website on google. (www.yourbusinessTN.com, www.yourbusinessNY.com)
How to find good domain names…
The best way to find a good domain to register is to follow a few simple rules…
- KISS – Keep It Short & Simple! You need to make sure it is easy to spell & say. I’d also try to get a name the rolls off of the tongue. It may sound a little weird but say it out loud to yourself 5-10 times in different sentences. This will give you a gut feeling if you should keep the name or use another one. (examples: You can get more information at Shmooga.com. Follow my journey at Shmooga.com)
- No abbreviations, numbers or dashes – If you use abbreviations like “Mr.” you then have to always say “M.R.” when you tell people your domain. So try to stay away from those. When you use numbers you have the same problem because if you use “3” then you have to tell people that, instead of “three”. The last thing you need to be sure of is to not use any dashes. (www.best-website.com) it is always confusing and forgotten by almost everyone.
- Be Branded – If you are building a blog for yourself, then you need to get “www.yourname.com” try initials and different variations if your name is taken. (www.johnjdoe.com, www.jjackdoe.com, www.jjdoe.com, www.johnjd.com)
- Use .com! – Regardless of what type of site you are building I always say it is better to have a .com. You have to “Think like your dumbest customer/reader” (a quote by Mickey Trivett … we were talking about marketing and that stuck with me) Most people are used to using .com as the primary extension. So, don’t confuse them.
- No TLD Extensions – This, I am telling you based on personal experience. When I started the Small Biz Academy (an older website I ran SmallBiz.Academy) I loved the name. It was catchy and I thought it would be better. But, even with the domain being an “Exact Match” (This is an SEO Search Term.) it took me almost 6 months to get indexed for “Small Biz Academy”. So I’d recommend you stay with .com. (If you do decide to grab www.myawesome.website you can use that and redirect it to your website for your business cards or for specific “landing pages”.)
- Avoid Trademarks! – If you are still in the early stages and haven’t already checked for trademarks … DO IT NOW!! Doing a trademark availability check is not complicated. You can do a basic trademark search for free with some easy tools online. Read More Here.
Now that we have covered that, go buy your domain! For domains, hosting and SSL Certificates, I’d personally recommend HostYak (it is my reseller with GoDaddy. I will receive a commission but, let’s be honest, for a domain I make under $1 when you register a new domain, but I wanted to let you know.)
How Much Does A Domain Name Cost?
This could be a tricky question. The different extensions (.com, .net, .org, etc) all have different costs but since we’re talking “dot com” domains we’ll go with that for the price to register the domain.
With HostYak, you can buy a domain online for the cost of a few coffees. The domain (.com) itself will cost $9.99 to register for the first year. After the first year, it will go up to $10.99 to renew the domain.
The privacy registration for your domain will cost $1.95 when you register your domain. This is a special price for new domain registration. This is where you can save some money if you know this is the domain you are set on. When you renew your domain the privacy cost will go up to $7.95/year so registering for multiple years will get your privacy cost discounted 75% upfront.
Also, if you are having a problem coming up with a name, you can use business name generators. I’ve used some of them for years and I swear by them. Get more info on Business Name Generators Here!
When it comes to registering your domains there are a few options I’d recommend. The first option is HostYak.com which is what I use for about 90% of my domains. The cost with them (at the time of me writing this) is $9.99/year for a new (.com) so it isn’t going to break the bank.
If you choose to use HostYak for your domain you will need to purchase your domain before you continue with your hosting.
When you land on HostYak.com you will see a domain search box that says “Find your perfect domain name”. Simply type in the name you decided on and click on search.
Once you search for your domain and see it’s available then just click “Add to Cart”
The next page you land on is going to be privacy protection. What this does is keep your personal information private from a “Who Is” search. I HIGHLY recommend that you use privacy protection. It’s only $1.95/domain per year to get started!
Click Continue to Cart.
Before we can check out we need to either Sign in (if you have a HostYak account) or Create Account.
If you need to create an account, simply fill in the blanks and create your account. Then move forward to check out.
If you have an account, sign in and move forward to check out.
Now all you need to do is add a payment option and Complete Purchase.
Sometimes the default setting will set your registration period for the domain to 2 years if you wish you can change the registration period to any of the following duration periods (1 Year, 2 Years, 3 Years, 5 Years or 10 Years) as you change the registration duration the privacy length will increase or decrease accordingly.
You now have your domain purchased. Moving forward you will need to get your hosting & once you have your hosting we’ll move forward with building the website but before we do, you need to go verify your email address for your domain.
Go to the email address you used to create your HostYak account and open this email. Click on “Verify your email address” and NOW, you are done with your domain.
If you haven’t yet Click Here to get your new domain.