Domain Names 101.1: What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is simply another name for your website url, or website address. For example: “http://www.domainname101.ca”. Domain Names 101.2: How To Buy A Domain Name?
There are many companies out there that offer great domain name registry services for a great price. If your paying somewhere between $20, to $30, to $40 per domain, you’re getting ripped off. The average price you should be paying for registering a domain name is around $10-$15 per year, per domain.
Step 1) You must search for an available name to buy:
Here are a couple of companies I would recommend to anyone.
- www.godaddy.com – Always have great deals.
- www.domainsatcost.com / or .ca – Great support & reasonable prices.
- www.afternic.com – Buy & sell “used” domains.
- www.netfirms.ca – Well established registar company.
Once you visit these websites you will need to look for their “search function” in order to search to see if the domain name you want is available for purchase. Within some industries like the real estate industry, you might have to search for hours before you find a suitable domain name for your business. Try mixing up the name in different variations, for example:
In this example I will use “Domain Names” for my search
As you can see, I’ve tried to mix up the words “Domain Names” as much as possible. In fact, there are many companies world wide that are deciding the name for their business by the availability of domain names. Sounds funny doesn’t it? Just try searching for a domain name for “Web Design”. You might be there for hours. It may take you a few weeks to find the right domain name for your business. Once you find it, buy it!
In the past, I used to recommend to my clients that they hold off on registering their business name before searching for a domain name. Domain names are valuable net-real-estate and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Things To Avoid When Searching For A Domain Name:
- 1) Avoid a lengthy domain: There’s nothing worst when you see someone with a domain that is way too long like; [http://www.this-is-my-domain-name-for-sale.com] . Try asking your clients to type that one in!!! The smaller your domain is, the easier it is to remember, and the less of a chance you have of someone miss typing your domain when trying to visit your website.
- 2) Avoid dashes if possible: Dashes are fairly new to the domain world. Most people don’t think about using dashes when typing a domain name for example; http://www.domain-name.com. If you do use a dash, make sure to keep it to 2 words only, no more.
- 3) Avoid domains where .com .ca .net and .biz are already taken: I made this mistake when I started out. I desperately wanted Smartads.info because smartads.com was taken. Over the years, I’ve had numerous people tell me that they couldn’t find my company, or they didn’t think I was in California. Many clients of mine were never able to remember that my domain was smartads.INFO. On top of that, I’m sure my efforts over the years have brought smartads.com a huge amount of traffic to their website from people searching online thinking it was my business they where visiting.
Domain Names 101.3: How Long Should I Buy My Domain For?
Most people register domain names for only 1 year. This is a big mistake for a couple of reasons:
1) The internet is full of scammers online who register a domain name for 1 year in order to spam, and scam as much as possible until moving onto another domain. At the same time, most companies rise and fall within 1 year. Because of this, Google and other top search engines look at this and weigh a domain name higher if the owner registers a domain name for more than 1 year. In fact, I recommend that you max out your domain name to a 10 year ownership if possible. This will tell search engines who are looking into it that you mean business, and that you’re here to stay.
2) People all over the internet register their domains for 1 year and sometimes forget to renew their domain when the renewal is due. There are companies out there that have lost their domains from a service called “domain back-ordering” were an individual can order a back-order on a specific domain claiming ownership for that domain if it goes up for sale. This is a serious matter, I’ve lost 2 important domains because of this. Trust me, this is one mistake I will never make again. If you go on vacation, or don’t pay attention, and you happen to miss the domain renewal date, someone might snatch your domain right from under your nose.
If your budget permits it, always try to max out the number of years you can buy your domain for. This way you’ll ensure that you have that domain for a very long time.
Domain Names 101.4: What is A Domain Name Extension?
An extension is the 2, or 3 digits after your name for example; http://www.domainname.COM. For a long time .COM was the only extension a person, or business could use. Nowadays, there are many extensions meaning different things, let’s take a look at the available extensions, and see what they stand for:
- .Com – Universal (Commercial)
- .Net – Network
- .Biz – Business
- .Org – Non-Profit
- .Info – Information
- .Tv – Television
- .Ws – Web Site
- .Coop – Business Cooperatives
- .Name – Personal Use
- .Pro – Professionals
- .museum – Museum (Sources of information)
- .travel – Travel Industry
- .Us – United States
- .Ca – Canada
- .Uk – United Kingdom
To view all the domain extensions for each COUNTRTY, go here for the master list: