Buying your first domain name thing can be an incredibly exciting, but overwhelming thing! From the hundreds of websites to buy and host your domain name, to all of the different options you’re presented with when buying your domain name.
A good start for this article would be to dive into what exactly a domain name is.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is defined as a human-readable and memorable address for a website or any other Internet resource. It serves as an identification label for Internet Protocol (IP) resources, and is used to locate and access websites and web-based services.
For example, “www.google.com” is a domain name, while “22.214.171.124” is its IP address. A domain name typically consists of two or more parts, separated by dots, and it must be unique globally.
People use domain names to easily access websites and other online resources, instead of having to remember long strings of numbers (IP addresses). Domain names are registered through domain registrars and can be purchased for a fee.
Tips when buying your first domain name
- Keep it short and simple: A shorter and simpler domain name is easier to remember and type, and it will be less likely to be misspelled by potential visitors.
- Make it relevant: Choose a domain name that is relevant to your business or personal brand.
- Use keywords: If possible, try to include keywords that describe your business or personal brand in your domain name.
- Choose a popular TLD (Top-Level Domain): .com, .net, and .org are the most popular TLDs and are generally considered to be the most credible.
- Consider purchasing additional TLDs: Once you have your main TLD, you may want to consider purchasing additional TLDs that are similar to your main domain name. This will prevent others from using similar domain names and potentially confusing your customers.
- Protect your personal information: When registering your domain, you will be prompted to provide your personal information such as your name, address, and phone number. You can opt to use a privacy protection service offered by some registrars, which will keep your personal information private and protect you from spam and unwanted solicitations.
- Compare prices: Compare prices from different registrars to ensure you are getting the best deal. Some registrars offer discounts or promotions, so be sure to check for those before making a purchase.
- Consider the long term: Buying a domain name is a long-term commitment, so make sure you choose a domain name that you can see yourself using for the foreseeable future.
On the flip side let’s dive into some of the most common mistakes I see when people are buying a domain name.
Common mistakes when buying a domain name
- Choosing the wrong domain extension: There are various domain extensions like .com, .org, .net, etc. People often pick the wrong extension, which may not be suitable for their business or brand.
- Picking a complicated or hard to spell domain name: A domain name should be simple, memorable, and easy to spell. If it is hard to remember or spell, people may have trouble finding your website.
- Infringing on trademark or copyright laws: People often make the mistake of choosing a domain name that is too similar to an existing brand name or trademark. This can result in legal trouble.
- Not considering future growth: People often choose a domain name that is only relevant for the current stage of their business or brand. It is important to choose a domain name that will be relevant and scalable as the business grows.
- Not checking the availability of social media handles: People often forget to check if the domain name they choose is available on popular social media platforms. It is important to have a consistent brand name across all online platforms.
- Not researching domain history: Some domain names have a history of spam or malicious activity, which can impact the reputation of a website. Before buying a domain name, it is important to research its history.
- Not considering the cost of renewal: Domain names must be renewed every year. People often forget to factor in the cost of renewal when purchasing a domain name, leading to unexpected expenses.
Long story short, do your research when buying your first domain! Spend a few hours to figure out what you’re going to be buying and then make sure you document as much of that information! You would believe how hard it is sometimes for me to try and help clients find where their domain name is even hosted!