If you’re looking to start a new online venture, read this first!
This will show you how to find a great domain for your business or personal blog.
Before you can create a website it needs a domain name.
www.google.com is a domain. www.gofindyourself.net is a domain.
Even though it seems like putting the horse before the cart, what it does is get you thinking about what you’re about and how you want to be remembered (hopefully!) online.
If possible a domain name should have at least one if not all of these qualities:
- To be memorable
- Makes it clear what it is you do
- Easy to spell and write down
- Describes the benefit you provide
- Contains keywords relevant to your audience (this has an SEO benefit)
- Talks directly to the people that will be interested in what you have to offer.
SEO Keywords vs Branding
There are 2 basic directions you can take when choosing a name for your new website address:
1. The search term or terms is contained within the URL. This can help visibility for that term in Google.
2. The domain name is a business/personal or creative term that either represents you or what the site is about. This has more of a long term SEO benefit as your name becomes better known.
Things to avoid
- Hyphens, as they can be an indication of spam.
- Uncommon domain extensions such as .info, .cc and .biz. .com, .net and .org are all more universal domains and tend to show up better in search.
- Names longer than 15 characters. Shorter domains are easier to remember, more shareable and people are less likely to misspell them.
How to get a domain name
First you want to be able to find what domains are available right?
The Fastest Domain Search
A creative domain search tool
Once we have settled on a domain we need to find a good domain provider.
GoDaddy Domains is just one provider but a well known one and has been reliable for us (despite their pretty mad website!)
Most domains cost around $9 to $15 dollars per year.
- Use the one Gmail account for all your domains and web hosting accounts. Make it separate from your everyday email but be sure to check it often.
- Save your account names, passwords and links in Firefox or in a text document for convenient, quick access.
- Keep your contact information up to date on the Registrar site, especially the contact email address. This ensures that you are contacted when the domain needs renewing.
- Every domain has a control panel. Make a note of where the DNS (Domain Name Servers) settings are so that when you get hosting you can update them and get started!
The Domain Name Servers simply tell the domain where the actual website for that name is hosted so that when people type in your address it opens the correct site.
NOTE: Having the one account for all your domains makes it easier to administer but you can transfer from another to consolidate your domains.
Confused by all the terms used with domains? Have a look at the Domains Glossary.
Where Do I Find my DNS settings you ask?
Well if you don’t have hosting yet there won’t be any.
If you do have hosting the DNS settings will probably be in your welcome email or on your Cpanel. For example the Hostgator welcome email looks like this (with fake information of course):
Once you have found the settings, enter them into your new domains control panel. It will probably look something like this:
Having completed this we are ready to either organize our hosting, or prepare the space on our current hosting to accomodate our new website.
But for the moment, rejoice for your site has a name!
Questions? Not clear on something here? ~ Let us know in the comments below. 🙂