When you think about taking your brand or your business online, you’re basically talking about giving your business an address in the online world- think of it as an address to your business’s physical location in the real world. But how can you give your website an online address? For this, you need a domain name. In the simplest terms, a domain name is a name given to a complicated IP address of a computer connected to the internet.
All this might sound like technical jargon, and this is why this blog breaks down everything from what a domain name is to how to buy a domain name for your business. Let’s get started, shall we?
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name represents a numeric IP address. It lets your customers visit your website using client software. For example, when a customer wants to access Facebook, they can just type in Facebook's domain name ‘facebook.com’ and visit the website.
A website's true address is a complicated numerical IP address (e.g. 22.214.171.124), but due to DNS, users may type in human-friendly domain names and be directed to the websites they want.
In simpler terms, the Domain Name System (DNS) transforms IP addresses into simpler names.
Types of Domain Name You Can Purchase
Let us now take a look at the basic structure of a domain. It is comprised of two major components:
- A second-level domain (SLD)
- A top-level domain (TLD)
Second-Level Domains (SLDs)
The SLD is the initial point of interaction with your website for internet users. A second-level domain is a word that appears immediately to the right of the domain extension, such as.com or.net.
The SLD in the domain name ‘google.com’, for example, is ‘google’.
How to Choose the SLD when you Purchase a Domain Name?
When most individuals consider a website's name, the name they usually think of is the SLD. Because it's the portion that people will recall the most, it's the distinctive name you select to reflect your company.
Top-Level Domains (TLDs)
A top-level domain (TLD) is the first stop after the root zone in the DNS hierarchy and is also referred to as domain extension. A TLD is anything that comes after the last dot (to the right of your SLD) in a domain name.
The TLD in the domain name ‘google.com’, for example, is ‘.com’.
Among the most popular are:
- TLDs with country codes such as ‘.uk’ (United Kingdom), ‘.in’ (India), ‘.au’ (Australia), and ‘.jp’ (Japan).
- Sponsored TLDs, such as ‘.app,’ are a Google-sponsored TLD aimed towards the developer community. Similarly, the General Services Administration sponsors ‘.gov,’ which is designed for use by the United States government.
- Reserved TLDs include ‘.localhost,’ which is used only in local computer settings, and ‘.example,’ which is used only in example demonstrations.
How to Choose the TLD when you Purchase a Domain Name?
Various TLDs have more impact than others. This is why it is crucial to decide on your domain’s TLD with utmost importance.
Go for a TLD that symbolizes the objective of your website when choosing an appropriate extension for your domain. Using the incorrect suffix might cause visitors to get confused and your brand name to be mistaken.
For an eCommerce firm, a ‘.com’ or ‘.biz’ extension could be the ideal option. On the other hand, if you want to start a blog to keep a personal journal online, a ‘.me’ extension might be a great option.
Checklist for When you Purchase a Domain Name
A good domain name is crucial because it may boost a website's reputation, increase brand recognition, and guarantee that visitors can discover you on the internet. As a result, it's critical to invest some time in analysis before deciding on a domain name for your website.
Before settling on a domain name, consider the following 15 suggestions:
- Examine your area of expertise. Knowing the most keyword phrases and search queries in a niche will aid you in selecting a domain name that is appropriate for your business.
- Aim for a domain that is both brief (six to fourteen characters) and memorable. A short, memorable name is simpler to remember and type than a long one. It will also make it easier for visitors to recall the website's name. As a result, strive for a name with.
- Use ‘.com’ because it is now the most common top-level domain. So naturally, it's a good place to start as most online users will recognize it.
- Make sure there isn't any trademark violation. To prevent any legal difficulties, avoid claiming a domain name that is too close to well-known companies.
- Numbers and hyphens make URLs more difficult to remember and type. Instead, use a domain that is comprised of a single word or a phrase.
- If you already have a domain name in mind, consider purchasing the popular misspellings to guarantee that you get all of the possible traffic.
- Explore several social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. To stop other people from using your project's name, set aside a page for it.
- Domains are an investment that pays off in the long run. So, before claiming a domain name, think about where your company or brand could be in five or 10 years.
- Avoid using multiple letters in the domain since this might cause visitors to misspell the name, resulting in lost traffic.
- Simply type in a word or phrase that characterizes your brand, and it will provide you with a selection of ideas. Use additional resources, such as a thesaurus, to avoid using a term whose meaning you could have misunderstood.
- Premium domains are valuable names that have the potential to become well-known web addresses with considerable branding potential. Consider acquiring a premium domain to improve your search engine rankings and increase organic visitors quickly.
- Look into the history of the domain to ensure the domain wasn't linked to a fraudulent website. It will assist you in obtaining information about a domain's history and determining who its former owners were.
- Consider utilizing TLDs that are specific to your area. Localization can help a site gain more visitors by using a ccTLD.
- Make a decision on a new domain extension. Consider a new gTLD, such as ‘.xyz’, which is also used by Google's parent firm, Alphabet Inc. It's one of the most widely used new extensions, and it can be used for practically any project, from online stores to event sites. This TLD is also less expensive than the ‘.com’ TLD.
- If coming up with a good name for your website seems difficult, consider pitching your ideas to friends, family, or coworkers. They might be able to provide you with the information you want.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Buy a Domain Name
Now that we know the anatomy of a domain name, it's important to note that you can only register an existing domain name with a legitimate domain extension that isn't currently in use by other persons or corporations. We'll go over the stages for registering a domain name in greater detail, from where to acquire a domain name to actually registering a website.
The following are the five stages to purchasing a domain name:
- Select a Trustworthy Domain Registrar
- Conduct a Domain Availability Check
- Choose the Most Relevant Domain Name
- Purchase and Register a Domain Name
- Verify the Ownership of the Domain Name
Let us now take a closer look at each of these steps on how to buy a domain name for your business or brand.
1. Select a Trustworthy Domain Registrar
A domain name registrar is a company that sells domain names to the common people. It's a company that manages domain name reservations as well as IP address assignments for certain domain names. Selecting a reputable domain registrar is critical since it may have a long-term influence on your brand or organization. If you choose the incorrect one, you risk incurring hidden fees or possibly being conned.
For example, there have been reports of domain registrars pressuring consumers to buy domain names that are identical to those they already own under false pretenses.
Choosing a Domain Registrar when you Purchase a Domain Name
Pricing :- Be cautious to read the registrar's terms and conditions and check for any undisclosed domain prices before purchasing a website domain. Also, stay away from registrars that charge minimal upfront prices for the first year of registration but much higher renewal fees.
Domain Expiry :- To prohibit other customers from registering a domain name before it expires, you must renew it before it expires. As a result, look for a registrar that offers auto-renewal and reminder services.
Additional Services :- Look for domain registrars that offer additional services like domain privacy or domain parking.
Domain Transfers :- Moving domain names from one registrar to another is simple. However, some registrars may make the process complicated or impose additional costs. Before purchasing a domain, take the time to read the registrar's domain transfer policy.
2. Conduct a Domain Availability Check
The next stage in your quest is to perform a domain availability check. This will notify you if the domain of your choice is free.
You can use a domain checker by Hostinger or MailChimp to find your ideal domain name after you decide what domain and extension to use.
- Enter the name into the search bar.
- The domain name checker will show you a shortlist of domains that are accessible.
- It will also present additional extension and title possibilities, allowing you to choose from a variety of domain names.
3. Choose the Most Relevant Domain Name
When looking for unclaimed domain names, you'll usually notice that a lot of your selections have already been taken. When a situation like this arises, you can adopt a variety of tactics, including:
- Keep looking…
… until you see something you find relevant.
- Choose a different extension
Look for alternatives such as .net or.org.
- Contact with the proprietor
Offer to the proprietor to see if the domain name is well in use.
4. Purchase and Register a Domain Name
It's time to purchase and register a domain name once you've made a decision!
To register the domain, you'll need to submit your name, address, and contact details, as well as an email address, while checking out. WHOIS, the official domain ownership database, will be used to hold this information.
The domain registration would be handled when you enter your information. The domain ownership data can be changed using the domain management component of the control panel. You must confirm the changes through email after they have been made.
5. Verify the Ownership of the Domain Name
The final phase is to utilize the email address you supplied when registering the name to verify ownership. You must now additionally prove your ownership. This step allows you to send email using the domain (for instance, email@example.com) while also preventing others from using it without your permission.
How much Does it Cost to Buy a Domain Name?
A fresh domain will typically cost between $10 and $20 per year, while a preregistered name may cost more. The cost of a domain name varies depending on the registrar you choose and the type of domain you purchase. Different registrars offer different options, so look around to pick the one that's right for you.
All in all, if you are serious about establishing an online presence or launching a new business, obtaining a domain name should be one of the top tasks on your to-do list. It will aid in the protection of a brand's identity as well as future business concepts.