Ready, Set, Go! Purchasing your domain name is your first step in making a website.
Purchasing a domain name is one of the most important and lowest-cost tasks on your to do list in making a website. All you do is go to a website registrar, like Hover.com, and start to type in domain names to see what is available. If your first choice isn’t available, Hover.com and all of the domain registrars will give you some alternatives.
Let’s pretend that you plan to sell axolotls. You need a website domain.
What is an axolotl, you ask? Well its a small Mexican salamander with a natural smile. Who wouldn’t want one!
So, you go to hover.com to look for a website domain so you can sell axolotls. The obvious name for your website is axolotls.com. However, that name is not available! Virtually every one word domain name has been taken, including axolotls.com. So you are going to have to pick out the next best thing. Hover.com can help you with that. Here is a screen shot of your effort to purchase axolotl.com:
As you can see, Hover.com will give you many other suggested names. Most domain name registrars do this, but Hover.com does an exceptional job and has a lot of top level domains (TLDs), like .info, or .store.
Here are your options when your first choice isn’t available:
- Add more words, like AxolotlForSale.com or BuyAxolotls.com
- Try adding a dash between words
- Choose another domain extension (TLD or top level domain), like .us or .net.
Of those three options, I prefer adding more words.
As you can see, the prices of most domains are very reasonable, punctuated by some that are extraordinarily expensive. If you want something that is already purchased, then you must negotiate to buy it from whoever owns it. Expect to pay over $800 for it. When you choose a TLD, note the first year cost and the cost the following years. Because you are likely to own the domain for many years, the first years’ cost is less important than the ongoing cost.
Once you purchase the domain, then you will need to modify the Domain Name Service (DNS) of the domain, so that it can find where your website is hosted. Your domain registrar will help you with that.
I recommend purchasing domain names from Hover.com. Hover has a good price and great user experience. My second choice for purchasing domain names is Domains.Google.com. Their price is even lower than Hover.com, but the user experience isn’t as good. They push Blue Host hosting services, which at the present time isn’t a strong choice for hosting provider.
The primary owner of the product should own the domain name. The owner of the domain name has the final control of it. It is ok to use the hosting of your web developer, but you absolutely want to purchase it as a standalone item. Avoid getting a “free” domain with a hosting purchase. You need complete control of it.
Do not purchase a domain name as part of a hosting package. Make the domain name a separate purchase. This is important so you can change website hosts. Over the decade that I have been hosting websites, the best website hosts have changed dramatically. What happens is that a good website host gets purchased by other entities, and then their service can deteriorate. So it is necessary to move your website hosting from time to time.
Purchase your domain name from a place that provides FREE privacy services. GoDaddy offers sales on domain names, but they charge an additional $20 per year per domain for privacy. I recommend Hover.com and Domains.Google.com, because they have good prices and free privacy services.
The domain name price should be under $15 or you are paying too much. Avoid a first-year low-price deal, because that often means you will be paying more than you should after the first year.
Would you like our help in purchasing a domain name? We would love to help you in this exciting decision. What we would do is set up a Zoom or Skype meeting, go online with you at Hover.com, and assist you in making your purchase. We discount our Website Coaching Services because we love to help you do it yourself.