Go anywhere. Look special.
With your own Domain, you don't share. You are not limited. You decide.
With your own domain, you determine the outcome of everything. Where you want to publish, how you want to publish and what you want to publish.
I won't even mention your professional image!
Ok let's dive in, the steps you need to take, and what you need to watch out for.
Please note this is not an exhaustive document but merely a quick guide. Helping you to get yourself online in the best possible way.
How do you do this?
1 Choosing a name
2 buying the domain
3 selecting a hosting company
4 decide on your next move, email address or a website
"Domain names and websites are Internet real estate".
1 Choosing a name
When deciding on a name remember, it will last you well into the future. Spend the time to do the best you can.
The key here is to make it as easy as possible for visitors. You want them to remember and relate. Making it easier to type you will get fewer mistakes.
People have a low tolerance for things that waste their time.
A well-chosen domain can also help with search engines results.
What do we mean by this? Well, there are many things.
Is the name easy to spell?
Don't assume the people all spell well! Make it easy for them.
Avoid problems with phonetics. Many examples of these exist on the web today. An obvious one is the letter “F” which can often be mistaken for “ph”.
Consider how a name is written in the real world. (Which makes perfect sense written in a sentence). This can take on an entirely new meaning when used in a domain name. (WhereThereAreNoGapsInTheTitle)
The classic example is an Australian holiday Island.
The island is called; Pen Island.
Is it easy to write and remember?
Avoid underscores, hyphens and numerals/ numbers.
An example of this; PrintingForYou vs Printing4you
Make it easy to type. Too many vowels together (when joining words) is very confusing to your potential visitor.
Avoid slang & pop culture....
Shorter is better.
Is it unambiguous?
CoatingWorks is good,
CoatingWorx? Not so good.
On this topic, sometimes it may be useful to buy additional domains if common errors do occur with your name.
An example; - snowsafaris / snowsafari
- tratoria - trattoria.
Tactics when choosing Domain Names
Using the example above with Snowsafaris, we decided to buy both domains.
This meant that in the initial stages (2-3 years) no traffic was lost.
In time the search engines learn the correct name.
Having the “wrong” name registered will ensure you still get traffic from errors.
This practice only needs to stay in place for a couple of years at which point you can ditch the extra domain.
On this point, if you have a name you want to secure worldwide you could buy related domains.
As a form of protection to secure multiple territories. [.com / .co.uk / .co.za / .co / .org etc.]
You can’t do everything but covering the main ones will give added protection.
You avoid opposition and opportunist treading on your turf.
Does your domain describe your intentions or the business?
Use the name of your product or service if possible.
It helps in your website search efforts later on.
This is not a game-breaker. If you can’t do this don't worry.
Picking a domain name that’s brandable, simple, has a good ring to it, is easy to memorize can be hard.
The fact of the matter is that coming up with a truly good name is difficult.
Try running your options through a Thesaurus.
Use Name Generators for inspiration.
It's also a good idea to let your ideas gestate for a day or two.
When you decide you don’t ever want to change later.
Last word on buying a domain. Make sure it is registered in your name.
Not the web designer,
not the registrar
Once you have bought your domain, other things to consider are;
Secure the name with all social media. Even if you don’t use Twitter actively, get the name registered anyway.
In the long game, you may one day sell your business and all of these assets add to the value.
Purchase the domain for a period of 2 years.
From an SEO perspective. Two years is more of standard among real businesses.
I recommend at least a 2-year registration for companies.
It could be that one factor out of 200 that helps bring your website a better ranking.
Buying the Domain
If your choice of domain has already been bought, you have some options.
You can approach the owner (providing the website is not live) and offer to buy it.
You will pay more than getting it through a registrar but if it is valuable to you, this is an option.
You may need to check the website's history.
You can never be entirely sure what that history is.
On the bright side, the domain’s history may give you a boost in Google since you’re not starting from scratch. Google already knows the domain.
On the flip side, if the domain has featured dodgy stuff (porn, gambling, spam content, email spam distribution), this is a problem.
Don't go there. You would want to avoid that at all costs.
Social Media and your Domain
If Social media is key these days — whether we like it or not.
The average person online spends one hour on Facebook every day.
In total, Facebook gets 2 billion visits a month. That’s BILLION.
The point is: People are much more likely to check what’s going on with your brand on Facebook first.
This is just one of the reasons why you must have your professional profiles set up on the most relevant social media sites.
Whenever possible, get the same handles as your domain name. If these are taken, be creative and use some suffixes or prefixes.
Getting started with your Domain
The registrars we always recommend are:
For .com and overseas domains, Blue Host- an excellent option
Locally, good hosting company is WebPro and Easy Websites
that provide domain names.
If you need any help to get your Domain, hit us up by bashing the button below....
Set Your Domain to Auto-Renew
Generally, when you register your new domain name, you get to choose the registration period.
This is the time span during which the registrar keeps the domain active on your behalf. Mostly it will be 12 months or 24.
Options for longer terms do exist.
After that initial period, your domain name needs to be renewed (for another X months).
If not, it becomes inactive. And then, after a short while, if you miss your renewal, the domain goes back to the pool.
Which means anyone will be able to register it.
Typically, when this happens the domain gets snatched by a domain broker or someone similar. You could be held hostage until you pay a fee.
Basically, aged domains are valuable. Also, there’s a higher chance that the person who originally failed to renew the domain will want to buy it back.
In the end, stay safe by opting to renew your domain name automatically whenever the time comes.
Nearly all domain registrars give you this option.
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“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
American Internet entrepreneur