Wondering how to buy a domain name? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. By this point in our series, hopefully you have decided that you need to have a WordPress website that has a blog to help you get your marketing message out.
Before we can get into the actual nitty-gritty of building the website, there are three things that have to happen:
In this post we will talk about how to buy a domain name, and then in the next two, we’ll cover how to purchase hosting and how to install WordPress.
Choosing a Domain Name
Millions of new domain names are purchased every year – it’s a wonder that there are any left that actually make sense!
The first step in the process of finding a domain name is to pray. God has called you to coach – certainly He can provide just the right domain name for you.
Now, armed with the certainty that inspiration will flow, begin making a list of words related to your business. Start with your business name, your tag line, and your mission/vision statements. Add in words that describe your ideal client and the problem that you solve. As you think of combinations that would be good, write them down.
Now you need to check to see if your great ideas are available as domain names. Companies that sell domains are called Domain Registrars. I purchase my domains through GoDaddy.com, and while I’m not happy with all their marketing strategies, I have found them reliable and helpful. I have a client who use InMotionHosting.com, and have heard good things about NameCheap.com, too. There are many options available.
Once you are on the Registrar’s site, you should see a box where you can enter your desired domain name. Once you hit enter, you will be presented with results – you will see right away if the .com (dot-com) domain is available, and all the other options as well (like .org, .net, .info, .biz, etc.).
If your choice is available, you can purchase it. Congratulations!
More often than not, though, it won’t be available. You’ll need to keep trying combinations until you find one that works. Many times, the website will provide you with options that are similar. Be sure to at least glance over them – you might find a real gem. Or at least get an idea.
If I were looking for a domain, I might try TECHCOACH.com. It is taken (no surprise there). So I might try some of these variations: MYTECHCOACH.com, or TECHCOACHSUSAN.com. Another option you can try is using dashes, or hyphens. Like TECH-COACH.com.
Here are some things to watch for as you hunt for a good name:
- Length – remember that you will probably want an email address with your domain name. Long domain names aren’t always a bad thing, but be mindful of whether it will really fit on the front of your business card!
- Catchy – Think twice about using numbers or single letters for whole words – you will find yourself saying something like, “That’s the number 2 and the letter B” if your domain is Free2B.com.
- Hyphens – Domain names are often easier to read if they have hyphens, but again, think about how you will be saying the domain name. Another thing to think about is that you are probably going for the hyphenated version because the non-hyphenated version is taken. Make sure you won’t be giving them your business!
- Uh Oh – Look very carefully at your domain name before you purchase it. Make sure there aren’t words hidden that will embarrass you down the line. And while you are looking carefully at it, make sure that you have spelled it correctly, too.
- Legalities – Be aware that currently existing companies will hunt you down like a dog if they feel you have infringed on the goodwill of their name. Make sure you check with an attorney before you purchase a domain that builds on an existing name by using “my” or “plus” or “online” or other words like that.
Let’s Buy It!
Okay, you have found the perfect domain name. All you have to do is add it to the cart and check out.
But wait – there’s more! Every company will try to sell you all sorts of things to go with your new domain. Just say NO to all of it. (with one exception – hosting – and we’ll cover that next time). You don’t need private registration. You don’t need to purchase a deluxe email package (most domains come with email addresses by default). You don’t need the .net, .org, .info, .us, or .mobi. And whatever else they try to sell you, unless you really know you need it, don’t buy it.
Once you get to the actual page where you check out, you will probably find an option to enter a promo code. If you don’t have one, take a minute and do a search. If you are buying through GoDaddy, search for “GoDaddy promo code” and you may be rewarded with 10%-30% off your purchase. Sometimes they don’t work, but often they do, and that’s always exciting.
Once your purchase is completed, you will be receiving some emails. Make sure you keep them and can find them. You’ll need the information when you are ready to get your hosting.
Congratulations! Let me know the name of your new domain in the comments section, and if you have any questions.
As always, Susan, you make marketing tasks sound like fun! I love your humor! Your post makes me almost wish I didn’t already have my domain name…So…since I do already have one, you can see how engaging your blog post is, because I read it clear to the end anyway! Thanks Susan, for your servant’s heart! BTW, since you asked, my domain name is L O N G … loavesandfishescoaching.com
Hi Pam ~ And I love YOUR sense of humor! Thanks for the encouragement. I’m glad you are finding my posts interesting enough to plow through. And… you could always get another domain name and play along 🙂