The first thing you want to do AFTER deciding what your website is going to be about is a DOMAIN name.
This is where you live, your address…where it all happens.
Assuming you’ve already found your topic for your website, you need to find a domain name seller where you can buy your stellar domain name.
To simplify things, let’s assume you’re going for a .com. You can go for anything really, but a .com will tell folks you mean it. Going for a .info or .biz won’t do you any favours and besides, and a .com is only pennies more to buy.
A domain from your own country is fine, in my case, a .co.uk. I have plenty of websites with a .co.uk address and they do just fine.
I use 3 companies to buy my domain names from, for this example. I’ll use GoDaddy. They’re the biggest and best and are pretty user-friendly.
Now, I won’t make this difficult to explain, in fact, I’ll keep it as simple as I can…because it is.
Head over to GoDaddy.com. The front page will already be asking you to find your domain name from the search bar.
Just go ahead and type in your preferred choice.
Just a quickie here about domain names. You should go for a relatively short one that can be read easily. These days it’s getting tough to get the one you really want, well, tough is an understatement…let’s say impossible. They’ve all been taken!
But stick with it, don’t get bored looking – you will find one that sums up your niche/topic, albeit not the perfect name.
For example, let’s say you’re into hiking. You’re making a website that reviews hiking gear and will post topics around the hiking niche.
Now, of course, hiking.com is taken along with most terms revolving around the hiking niche. Try it. Most terms you input into the search box of GoDaddy will be taken.
It’s time to get inventive.
Look into the mind of a hiker. Look for terms associated with being a hiker. Use their terminology.
A quick poke around Thesaurus.com with the term hiking entered brings up a ton of related terms.
You can see there are some good terms here and I can bet you they’re all taken. So now we need to add a short word at the end of one of those words.
They’ll all be taken, but you get the idea, whereas…
…are all available. The point here is that anyone who visits your website will know exactly what they are about to get information about.
Don’t take these examples as brilliant though, with a bit more thought you can come up with a cracking domain name. This was in literally 3 minutes of looking.
So, you have your name, next you buy it. If there’s an offer, the first year is usually around $0.01, but that’s only when you buy it for the 2-year term. So, it will cost you around $10 to $15 in all.
I won’t insult your intelligence by going through the registering of a new account with GoDaddy or the buying process, it’s very easy. Just don’t click on any of the upsells they offer you. You don’t really need them and if ever you do, you can go back and buy them at any time.
When you’ve done that, go to the email you signed up with GoDaddy and put it in a folder inside your email client…simply label it as GoDaddy. This is for future reference. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost important info just because I couldn’t be arsed to save it somewhere!
It only takes a minute…look after your purchase details!
OK, you’ve bought your domain and it will appear in your Domain manager inside of your GoDaddy account.
It will sit here until you get hosting. I don’t recommend GoDaddy as the host for your website. There are far better ones out there which I’ll get to in another post.
Clicking on the little drop-down arrow will reveal a list. All you will want to be concerned with here is the Set Nameservers link.
Basically, this is where your domain points to your host so it can become ‘live’ on the web. You will need to change this once you have a hosting account.
Don’t worry it’s easy. So now that you have your shiny new Domain Name, we can move on to finding a home for it.
In the next post, we will go over and get some hosting for your new domain…and soon-to-be website.