How to Register a Domain Name
What is A Internet Domain Name?
If you are reading this then you probably do not have a website. You want to start a site and you are looking for information. One of the first things you need to think about is a domain name.
The domain name is text followed by an extension (.com, .net, .info etc) that people use to find your website. The domain name is a human friendly name representing the address of your website. The domain name of this website is 'howthiswebsitemakesmoney.com' which is a lot easier for humans to remember then the IP address (a number like 128.365.25.36) which computers use on the internet to locate this website.
You do not need a domain name to have a live website. You could simply use the IP address of the server which hosts your website. So for example, if somebody wanted to visit your site you would give them the address: 22.214.171.124:2566. Of course this is not a good idea. It looks ugly and is extremely hard for people to remember.
So you want a domain name. And since it cost only about $10 a year there really is no reason for you to not get one.
Domain Register Is Easy
Registering a domain name can be done either before you start your website or after most of your website is complete and ready to go online.
Registering a domain name costs money. So if you are the type of person with a million ideas but never any action then it would be better for you register a domain name after you create most of the website. No point in paying for a domain name and then not creating the website.
Otherwise, if you are certain that you will create your website then go ahead and register your domain name now. The advantage is that you will know your domain name and be able to incorporate it into your website design.
Fortunately to register a domain name is not complicated. If you have ordered books online before then you will not have any problem ordering a domain name. It is a simple process that involves:
- Going to a registrar's website. There are many domain name registrars available. It does not really matter which one you choose. The market is very competitive and the prices tend to be the same. But by far the most popular registrar, and the one I used for this website, is WorldForWebsites.
- Choose a domain name.
- Pay for the domain name. You can not pay to own the domain name forever. You buy the right to use the name for a period of time – usually 1, 2, 3 years. The more years you reserve it for the cheaper it is per year.
- Depending on how long you registered the domain name for you will not need to do anything else until it is time to re-register. So if you registered the name for 1 year then the name is yours for 1 year. Then a month or two before the domain name expires you will receive an email asking if you want to re-register. If you do then the domain name remains yours. If you don't then the domain name goes back to the registrar and can be bought by somebody else.
That is basically it. The steps are easy and self explanatory. The only step that needs to be expanded on is Step 2 – Choose a Domain Name. Sounds simple, and it could be. But there are many things you need to consider when deciding on a domain name.
How to Choose a Domain Name
Picking a domain name is more an art then a science. You can easily spend a whole day on the Internet reading tips on what makes the best domain name. Everybody has their own opinion, which usually means that there is no right or wrong answer. For every tip on what makes the best name you will find countless counter examples of successful website that go against the tip.
Even though there is no right or wrong you should not take this step lightly. The domain name you choose is one you will have to live with for a long time. Of course, you can change it later but that is not recommended. Changing your domain name is something you want to avoid. The headaches you will face changing your domain name are the same ones McDonald's would face if they changed theirs.
Since you are on this site I will assume that you want to have a website similar to this one - a website that makes money online. You will have content, advertisements, be an affiliate or sell a product. It does not matter what your website is about but if your goals are the same as this website then these tips apply to you. To help you decide on a domain I will explain exactly why I chose to name this website 'howthiswebsitemakesmoney.com'.
Keywords Are In The Domain Name
Search engines like Google love keywords. Keywords are what people type into the search engine when they are looking for information. When somebody types in 'How to Make Money With a Website' I want Google to find my page and display it for the user. Because the words, 'how, make, money, website' are in my domain name then that is a good indication for Google that my website is what the person is searching for.
Having your keywords in the domain name is a big plus. It gives you a substantial advantage over similar sites that do not have keywords in the domain name. It is one of the simplest things you can do to increase your search engine traffic and SEO.
The Extension is .com.
There are many different extensions that you can choose from: .net, .org, .us, .info etc. But by far the most common is .com which stands for commercial. This website is a business and therefore the most appropriate is .com.
The .com extension is also the most familiar. Everybody knows what a .com extension is and therefore it is easy for people to remember. Having a .me extension might be cheaper and more unique but it will confuse your visitors. The natural instinct for people when they hear a domain name is to assume that the extension is .com. Having a different extension will cost you visitors. Pay the extra 5 dollars a year and get a .com domain name.
Domain names with dashes are hard to remember and difficult to type into the address bar - for every dash in your domain name a person has to hit the shift key.
Also, for some reason website names with dashes just look unprofessional. It looks like you weren't able to get the domain name you wanted so you added some dashes. What looks better: makemoneyonline.com or make-money-online.com. Personal opinion – avoid dashes in your domain name.
Easy To Remember
'howthiswebsitemakesmoney.com' is a long domain name. But it could have been longer. The maximum size allowed is 64 characters. Of course it is not recommended to have an extremely long domain name. Not only do they get harder to remember the longer they are but people do not want to type a long domain name into the address bar. The longer the name the more visitors you lose.
I chose this somewhat long domain name (24 characters) mostly because of the keywords. But I also justified the long name by making it a sentence. It is not just a bunch of keywords strung together – it is an easy to remember sentence that explains exactly what the website is about. Simply by seeing the domain name people instantly understand what the website is about, unlike for example romanswebsite.com which reveals nothing about the contents of the website.
For more help choosing a domain name please see Are Long Domain Names Cool?
Go Get A Web Domain Name
So you have decided on a domain name and you are ready to register it. The next step is to go to a site like WorldForWebsites and purchase the domain name.
Unfortunately I have some bad news for you. Like most ocean front property there is a very good chance that your domain name is taken by somebody else. If your domain name just popped into your head then it most likely popped into somebody else before you.
When you go to WorldForWebsites you will be able to check if your domain name is already taken. If it is then you will need to come up with a new one. All that is needed is a slight variation. Some people choose to change the extension (from .com to .net) or they add some dashes. But I recommend against that. Stick with .com and leave out dashes. Try to find something close. For example, I wanted 'howwebsitesmakemoney.com' but it was taken. After a couple of tries of similar phrasing I found my domain name. It is not my original choice but it is close enough and it does what it needs to do.
Good luck and have fun picking a domain name – that you will have to live with forever and ever :)
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