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How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7

Pratikshya asked me “How do I get a website name?” in an email. Website name? The question could mean many things. She might be looking for a brandable word to name her website, or, she was looking for exact domain name for her website.

Domain Name ExtensionsAfter a couple of emails to and fro, I could get her question properly. She could have asked “How do I get domain name?” and it would allow me to fire the answer quicker.

This is nothing new incident. We often get too generic questions and need to throw several questions back to understand the real problem. Obviously, it is the most important to understand the problem correctly before you could suggest any solution.

There are many funny incidents when you hurry to offer suggestions without getting the question properly. When nothing works, both of us realize that one could not explain the problem and the other offered solution without knowing the it. Whatever, this is not the topic of today’s discussion. We’ll be looking at different factors to make you able to buy a new domain name for your blog.

Why should you have your own domain name?

What Domain Name?As we already learned, we can run websites with the free subdomains offered by free hosting. However having your own domain name is very important and I believe, it is the most essential to start any blog. There are a number of good reasons for having a domain name:

Domain name is always with you

During the lifespan of a website, you may change the hosting many times. When you change the web host, the IP Address that points to your blog changes. It is the domain name that always remains unchanged.

Your regular visitors or customers who knew your site name as bivori.com  (for example) would not have to be informed about a change of host. They can simply type your domain name and arrive to your new site.

Domain Name Gives Credibility

For any business or blogs, a domain name gives you credibility. You can’t expect anybody willing to do business through a website that does not have its own domain name.

If you get a domain name that describes your product or name, people can remember it easily and can return to your site without having to consult the documents. You will get direct traffic wihtout heavy advertising. If your product is popular, enjoy the goodwill of your product to convert the website traffic. There can be many people who were trying their luck by typing “www.productName.com” in their browser.

Get Sponsors and Advertisers

This is also something similar to the above point – credibility. When you are running your website or blog in subdomain such as myAwesomeBlog.blogspot.com or TheBestTipsForYourLife.wordpress.com, you won’t get any sponsors or advertisers for your blog. For good sponsors, a domain name is usually thought essential.

How Do I Get A Domain Name?

Getting a domain name involves the steps such as:

  • Find a name that is unique, short and meaningful for your blog
  • Make sure the name you choose is not already registered by others and still available.
  • Choose a reliable domain name registrar and register your name to ICANN through them.

To register a domain name you need to pay an annual fee to the domain registrar. It generally costs around US$ 10 to US$ 35 per year and you should renew it every year. Usually the renewal fee is same as that of first year but many registrars offer some discount for the first year of registration.

Some web hosts offer you one domain name for free when you buy hosting from them.  Some other hosts will register domain name for you but you’ll have to foot the registrar fees.

Whether your host offers free domain name or bought one on your behalf, pay attention if you are the real owner of that domain name. I always preferred to buy domain name directly from registrar (I mostly use GoDaddy) rather than through my hosts. I can’t compromise the quality for my comfort. There are many instances where the hosts registered the domain name under their own name. That’s completely a bull shit! You pay off the annual fees and you are not the rightful owner of that name!

You can’t change the host when you need because your domain name is tied with them! When you move away, you have nothing with you?

It is often with ‘less-than-reputable’ web hosts. That’s why I always recommend clients to use good hosts like HostGator. You should make sure that you are the registered owner, the administrative and technical contacts.

The administrative contact is also important because his/her approval is required before a domain name is transferred to other registrar. If he/she cannot be contacted, the technical contact is used.

The Common Domain Name Mistakes

Before I talk about how to buy domain names online, I think I should beware you of a few points so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes. As I said, ‘life is too short to commit all the mistakes to learn lessonsOpen-mouthed smile

Mistake #1. Long domain names

A good domain name should be as short as is practically possible. However, many newbies make mistake trying to use the full business name or trying to inject all the important keyword in domain names.

Domain name is for human and long one is always harder for them to remember. So, it is better to come up with a short domain name even if it means shortening your business name or abbreviating it.

Mistake #2. Using hyphens in domains

Hyphens have no negative impact on SEO and this fact attracted many SEO veterans to use it when they don’t get the exact domain name available. However, very few people might actually remember to type the hyphen in the address bar.

The consequence can be that your traffic are landing to a different blog because they forgot to type some hyphens.

Mistake #3. Ambiguity in domains

It is important to make sure you choose a domain name that has no ambiguity at all, otherwise, you might just send a wrong signal. I have a very funny experience. I was creating a website for Public Service Examination and thus registered a domain name psExam.com. After a long time I discovered that it is being blocked by many firewalls because it contained the word SEX – pSEXam.com.

Thus look at the domain name combining different characters and make sure it does not produce other meanings.

Mistake #4. Including numbers in domains

As long as it is absolutely necessary, I suggest you to avoid using numbers in domain names. Reason is similar to that of hyphens. Numbers make it difficult for human users to remember. Who invented that mathematics?

As an example, if your blog is 7days.com, it is very possible that people will enter sevendays.com if you told about your website over phone. To avoid such situations, try to use words instead of numbers for domain names.

Mistake #5. Wrong domain extensions

There are several domain extensions to choose from like .com, .au, .com, .org, .info, .net, etc. All these extensions have their own uses and meanings.

As I told you in my previous post that .com is used to mean commercial websites while .org is set aside for charities and non profit organizations.

Using the wrong domain extension can confuse visitors whereas the correct one will be intuitive to them. If you are setting up an e-commerce store, you would be better of using a .com extension. Visitors can guess what type of website it is before the page finishes loading just by seeing the domain extension.

Step By Step Instructions to Register Domain Names

If you want to buy a domain name, here’s the step by step instruction to follow. Please read it carefully before you act.

Step #1 » Think of a good name

Think of a few good domain names that you’d like to use. Often, only one name won’t work – it might already be taken (it probably is!).

You should check if the domain you choose is still available to register. Getting a good domain name available is often much harder than expected. You can use following tools to help you search and get idea of a new domain name. They will not only verify if they are available or not but also can suggest for better alternatives.

Best tools to search domain names:

  1. Advanced Domain Search Tool by GoDaddy: This is domain search tool by the #1 domain registrar. Enter your chosen name and click Search.
  2. Instant Domain Search: Check availability by start typing a name
  3. 123.reg.co: Check availability and click on Domain Suggestions if your chosen name is already taken
  4. NameBoy: A great tool if you are looking for keyword rich domain names. Enter your primary and secondary keyword and click Search.
  5. NameCheck: Check all at once – the availability of domain name for your name or product and at the same time the usernames in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. After all, you’ll need the same names on those networks after you have the domain name, why not to check the availability when you are buying a new domain name?
  6.  Bust A Name: has both options. You can type some keywords and the tool will search the best available domain name combining those keywords or you can enter your domain name so that it can check if it is available and offer suggestions if it is already taken.
  7. Verio Domain Search: Enter upto 10 domain names, choose extensions and click search. You have options to include synonyms and hyphens.
  8. Domainr: A domain name search engine. A great user experience and very fast search.
  9. JustDropped: As the name tells it, you can search for the expired domain names and recycle them. Please read my previous post (Domain Names – The unique name of your blog) to realize the importance of recycled domain names.
  10. Yahoo Domain Names: Another great tool from the well reputed Yahoo!

Step #2 »  Think about payment processor

If you want to buy domain name online and get it instantly, you should have some online payment method. You will need either a credit card or a PayPal account to pay for the domain.

If you don’t have any online payment options (as is the case mostly in my country – Nepal), you’ll have to rely on your local domain registrars.

Step #3 » Get NameServers from your host

Though you’ll buy hosting after you get the domain name, but if you already have a web host, obtain from them the names of their primary and secondary nameservers.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand what the name servers are, we’ve not discussed them yet. I’ll explain about name servers while discussing the hosting.

The information about Name Servers can usually be obtained from their FAQs or Control Panel screen. You can email them or contact the online support if you can’t find nameserver by yourself. This information is used to point your domain name to your website after you buy the domain. Don’t worry if you don’t have a web host yet. Just read on.

If you do not have a web host, you can park the domain name at a temporary website. Almost all of the domain registrars provide you domain parking. This way you can quickly secure your domain name before it’s too late. I know it will take some time for you to set up your blog. As far as I know, almost all registrars have automatic parking the domain by default.

If your registrar is good one like GoDaddy, they also provide you with a free email address at your own domain name. That’s how I have contact@bivori.com! It is important especially because you can provide your own contact email address when your website is not yet live.

Step #4 » Visit the registrar and fill up the form

Buying a domain name is not much different than creating your new email account in Gmail or Yahoo. Once you got the available name, you can create an account and add domain names by simply filling up the form, specify your payment method and submit.

That’s all for today’s post. I’ll be talking a bit about GoDaddy domain name and try to convince you why you must choose Godaddy as your domain registrar Winking smile

Do you want to add more tools to search best domain names? What is your preferred domain registrar and why? Please share your views in comment, I’m waiting!

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by Suresh Khanal

Hi, it’s me behind this blog - Bivori.com. Interested to blogging, different monetization options, WordPress Themes, Plugins and various blogging tools. I love setting up new blogs, customize and optimizing them. Want me to write for you? Add in your Google+ circle and lets get connected.

31 comments… add one

  1. Dear Suresh,

    This is really informative post for those who doesn’t still have domain name and thinking to buy new domain name but I would like to remind you that you forget to mention about “Discounts” & “Coupon Code” which will give discounts on new purchase.

    Without knowledge of this tools to search domain names you mentioned in this post I faced problem at the time of purchase domain name for me but I was lucky I found you next to me to help.

    As I already got my own domain name so I hope your next post will be important for me. Waiting for your next post on this series.

    Thanks,
    Ganesh Maharjan recently posted…Online Quiz on Microsoft Access – Set 4My Profile

    Reply
    1. Thank you Ganesh for your continual support.

      I guess I’d talked about the discount is available for the first year. I’ll be elaborating on this topic in coming post.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
  2. Very comprehensive guide to domain names. Choosing a domain name is extremely hard. I am amazed at the fact that you had the forbidden word in the psexam domain name. Interesting stuff. So did you change the domain name of the site or did you continue using it?
    Shalu Sharma recently posted…Seasons and climate of IndiaMy Profile

    Reply
    1. It was already too late when I realized that I’d made a mistake. So I started another website with name icttrends. I’ve left psexam with very little update. Though the name contains forbidden word, the content is good. So Google has not stood against me though there are some firewalls. Organic traffic is good so, I’ve left the site and sometime update it.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
  3. Hi Suresh,
    This is a great post! Absolutely right. I admit, I do have some longer names and names with numbers because the shorter ones are often taken and the math behind using the numbers makes sense. So far it’s been OK, but I can see you’re points there.
    D. Dixon recently posted…3 Easy Ways To Protect Your WordPress BlogMy Profile

    Reply
    1. That’s true Dixon, almost all of the names that you can think instantly are already taken and has to think differently to get meaningful name. Glad to know you’re doing good with current domain name.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
  4. a very great and clear post , all the point you mentioned have a great knowldge.

    Reply
    1. Thank you Mohammad.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
  5. That’s awesome posted, whenever any new blogger comes to start their new blog the most difficult TOS is that the “Domain Choosing” well you just solved this problem…
    Abdul Rehman recently posted…4 New premium like Blogger Templates for 2013 from templateismMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Thank you Abdul. :)
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
  6. HI Suresh

    This is so very detailed and informative. I have been using the domain names with numbers because names of my choice were not available.

    Thanks for sharing this, looking forward to your next post.

    Sapna

    Reply
    1. Sapna, Google is reducing the value of exact match on domain name and to the extreme penalizing some websites. In this context, I believe brandable domain names will prove better for future.

      Thanks for the comment and glad you like the post.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
  7. What a lengthy post. This post is great, but i will like to add something to it. Keyword research is very important when trying to register a domain name. It will serve as a guide and with keyword research you will be able to choose a better domain.
    Iteire Apollos recently posted…7 Reasons Why You Should Start Guest Blogging NowMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Thank you Iteire for the input. Keyword research is very important in almost every aspect of SEO, I agree. Regarding domain names, I started to prefer brandable ones ;-)
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
      1. I agree with you Suresh. Brandable domain name is good for business because you will be known for your brand. That means authority.
        Iteire Apollos recently posted…How To Make Bloggers To Accept Your Guest PostMy Profile

        Reply
  8. Wow Suresh,
    I have not read a post like this on domain names in a long time. You covered every step that’s needed to get a good domain name.

    Thanks for the resources listed and may you have a splendid weekend
    Enstine Muki recently posted…3 Rock Solid Ways To Make Money Online!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Thank you Muki for the comment. I still need to talk about coupon codes and pointing the domain name to hosting servers before I end up talking about Domain Names. Hope they’ll be helpful to every new bloggers :)
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…How Do I Get Domain Name? How to Blog Series Post #7My Profile

      Reply
  9. What i think is that choosing a domain name is very difficult thing for a new Blogger :D

    Reply
    1. Hi Preet,

      It might be because they are quite confused in the beginning. Once settled on whether to choose brandable domain name or keyword domain name, they can start the process very easily. If looking for keyword domain name, there are some tools as I’ve listed above. It will help them to find an available name that includes the keywords they target. If going for brandable name, its better to think about something unique and easier to remember.

      Thank you for commenting.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…Web Hosting and Types of Web Hosts « How to Blog Series: Post #9My Profile

      Reply
  10. Excellent article! I have bought a domain from DomainKa and I am satisfied with their service and assistance. Keep it up!

    Reply
    1. Thank you Dom for the comment and adding another domain registrar.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…Sapna And Her Blog H4Hitech : The Top Commenter, February 2013My Profile

      Reply
  11. Amazed with this post ! Very informative post (lengthy too). I haven’t read such a lengthy post on Domains. I appreciate your work :)

    Reply
    1. Thank you Parigyan. I’m glad if it is useful.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…Emmanuel Kabenlah Cudjoe And His Blog mycudjoe.com : Top Commenter, March 2013My Profile

      Reply
      1. Bookmarked your blog btw :) :)
        Parigyan recently posted…How to Increase Alexa Ranking ?My Profile

        Reply
  12. Awesome post regarding to how to choose a good domain name. I strongly believe using hyphens between domain names it is going to negative seo, but your post helps me learn more about it.

    Reply
    1. Thank you Andrew.
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…5 Babajide Tips that Would Drive You to Blogging SuccessMy Profile

      Reply
  13. The article provided in this blog is nice to read, it is too fine. I like this blog and this blog is full of information about domain name choosing.

    Reply
  14. Good post and information about the importance of domain name . I am using blogger and I am using a domain with it and I know the benefits of a register domain thanks

    Reply
  15. This is really a complete post….especially I liked the mistakes part the most…..I have done them in past, I was lucky enough to be able to sell those domain names in reasonable prices though…
    Aditya Dey recently posted…Huawei Likely to Develop 5G Technology by 2020My Profile

    Reply
  16. It is the most important thing, which can make a website live on internet. There were many suggestions pouring in of different manner, some were funny, some were professional, some even suggested to make my name as domain.
    Navneet recently posted…All time domain name lookupMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Hi Navneet,

      They are not bad suggestions ;) I also have a domain name with my name sureshkhanal.com :)
      Suresh Khanal recently posted…OptimizePress 2 Review: The new platform for internet marketingMy Profile

      Reply

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