How to Buy a Domain Name Tips

If you are planning to make a income on the internet through your own internet marketing website or you just want to put up a website or blog about your favorite subject, there are certain steps that you have to complete first before you will be able to view your website online. One of the first and most important of these steps is buying a domain name. When you are new to this process it may all seem to be a little challenging, knowing just how to get started or what you have to do. If you find yourself in this position this article will definitely aid you when you are ready to buy your first domain name.

What is a domain name?

Simply explained a domain name is your one of a kind address on the internet. It allows Internet browsers (individuals searching the internet) to locate your particular website. Your domain name may be made up of your name, your business name, or variation of a set of relevant words associated with your website, company product, theme or subject. A good domain name will pretty much let people know what your website is about before they actually see or visit it.

Things to do before buying your domain name?

Because people and businesses have been buying up domain names for years now, it has been said that all of the good domain names have been taken already. Maybe this is true to some extent, however with a little research and imagination there should be no reason that you cannot create or find a domain name that you will be suited to you and or your website subject or niche. A good idea is to try to think of names or combinations of words and names that not only will tell the web surfer what your website is about but also be a name that is easy to remember, easy to spell, hard to forget. A domain name can be up to 67 characters in length, so it can also include names made up of a small phrase. such as “BestInTownPhoto.com” or “TheBarkingDogsKennels.com”. These kind of domain names not only focus directly on what your website is about they are easier to remember than abstract or random characters or letters thrown together. You must also be aware that there are different types of domains which all have their certain type of extensions or ending:

-.com – Stands for company/commercial, but it can pretty much be used for any web site.

-.net – Stands for network and is usually used for a network of sites.

.org – Stands for organization and is supposed to be for non-profit entities.

.us, .nu, .co.uk, – Are country specific domain extensions that may require the register to be a citizen of the given country.

.biz, .info – These and other like them are domain types that have been added because there are barely any short and intelligible domain addresses left to register.

When you are determining the type of domain name that is right for you simply stick to these guidelines: In the United States try to get a.com or.net. In other countries, if you cannot get the.com, then using your country’s domain extension is a workable remedy

Write down the different names you come up with that appeal to you, make sure to put down as many as you can think of so that when you begin your search for available names to buy, if your first choice is already taken, as it very well may be, you will have a number of alternate or backup names that you can try. Many times finding the exact domain name you want can be “HIT or MISS” it is good to be prepared. You may also be able to keep the domain name of your choice by simply changing one letter, character or hyphenation within the name.

If you are determined to have a particular domain name and find out that is already in use by someone else there may be the option of purchasing that name directly from the owner by using the “Whois System” to help you identify the current owner of that particular domain name so that you may contact and make a offer to purchase that particular domain name. However because this is your first time buying a domain name and that method can involve much more, I will save the how to about that issue for a later time or article.

Register Your Domain Name

Once you have your list of preferred domain names you can now locate a service online that will not only show you the availability of the names but also register your chosen domain name as well. There are many of these companies and services to choose from. some of the better known and reliable services are:

“GoDaddy.com”,”Domain Name Registry.com” and “Register.com”, you can also do a Google Search for “Domain name registries” to find other places to register your domain name.

Be prepared to pay between $8-$15 for your right to own your name for a one year period. This payment must be made annually to keep your ownership of your Domain name active. That is a good reason to choose a name that you will want to keep for a long time period. so that people will know exactly what your name is and where to find it over the years.

The last thing you will need to do is to take the IP address information provided to you from your webhost and in put input it at your domain name register before your domain name will function properly. It will allow the “DNS” (Domain Name System) to locate your domain name and website when your domain name is typed into a internet browser, this is called pointing you r domain name to your web host servers. A majority of domain registrars will probably require your IP and DNS server names in the course of registration, although some will call for you to go in and enter the information manually enter after your domain name registry fees have been paid.

Once you begin to follow the steps mentioned here in this article to buy your domain name you will see for yourself that they are not complicated at all, in fact buying a domain name is quite a simple process, so don’t let the idea of doing this very important task yourself stop you from getting your first domain name online.

Domain Names What, Why, Who, and How

WHAT, exactly, is a domain name?

The Domain Name System was originally developed to help us navigate through the internet. Every computer connected to the internet has it’s own IP address, a string of numbers that identify it to other computers. Domain names are a way of pointing to a specific IP address to make things easier to remember – so now you shop at Amazon.com, instead of at 207.171.166.102!

The domain name is made of two parts, the name and the extension.The name is whatever you choose, it can be your personal name, your business name, a term or a saying. When choosing a domain, be careful to select something that is easy to remember and is representative of you or your business. There are numerous resources to help in choosing a great name, search Google.com for the term “choosing a domain name”.

The extension is the part that comes after the name, the most familiar extension is ‘.com’. There are many extensions, some available only to educational institutions (.edu) or to citizens of specific countries. The most common domain extensions registered now are .com, .net, .org, .info, and .biz. It is often recommended that when you choose a domain name, you register as many of the popular extensions as you can, to protect your brand.

WHY would I want a domain name?

The main reason that people register domain names is because they are building a website, but there are other reasons, too. The registration of domain names has become relatively inexpensive, and the variety of uses for them has expanded. Some people register domain names for email only, so they can have a personalized email address. John Doe can now get email at john@johndoe.com, for example. Websites themselves have evolved in such a way that anyone can set up and maintain their own personal spot on the web – it isn’t just for businesses anymore. Blogging and forums (bulletin boards) have become very popular ways for people to communicate with friends and family, post pictures, and share other information; and having your own domain name makes finding your blog easy. Web hosting companies offer personal accounts that allow you to have email, create a blog, and even build your own personal website at very low prices.

Even if you don’t plan on having a website now, registering your domain name is a good idea – you never know what you may wish to do in the future, from starting a home business to wanting to post pictures of your grandchildren. As more domains are registered, it becomes more challenging to find the exact name you want. You can register a domain for from one to ten years, and registering now ensures it will be there for you when you’re ready!

WHO should I buy my domain name from?

Domain name registrars are plentiful on the internet, but make sure you register with an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Accredited Registrar, and register in your own name and email address. There are people who may act on your behalf to register a name for you (such as a webmaster), but be sure they register it in your name, not theirs. Even if you want to distance yourself from the everyday operations of your website and domain, you will still want to be the real owner of that name. Domain registration is very easy on the internet, using the registrar’s website interface to choose your name and place your order, even the least techno-savvy can get through it. Don’t be afraid!

Domain registrars offer a tool to check to see if the name you want is available, or if it is already owned by someone else. If a domain is available, you will be asked to purchase or register it. You may see the option to transfer a domain listed instead. If you register a domain name with one registrar, and later decide you’d like to move, or transfer, that domain to another registrar to receive different services, you have that option. But you must actually own that domain name in order to be able to transfer it. Many people have made the mistake of thinking that if they choose transfer, the domain will be taken away from it’s current owner and given to them – this is simply not possible, nor would you want it to happen to your own domain!

So then, Who owns the domain name I want? And how can I get it? are becoming questions that are heard more often. There is a tool called a WHOIS Lookup that can tell you who currently owns a domain name, and WHOIS tools can be found on the web – search for them on Google.com, and you’ll see. Buying a domain that is currently owned by someone else is no longer out of the question, either. Many domain owners are willing to sell their domains, and often list the domains for sale with various domain sale and auction services. There are also services that will accept a backorder for a domain. These services allow you to list your desired domain with them, and if that domain expires and becomes available, the service will try to register it for you. These systems work like a lottery – or more precisely, like a concert ticket system. When the tickets go on sale, everyone is trying to get the front row center seat, but only one can get it. Drop or backorder services do the same thing, all competing for the same domain name. If you choose to try for an expiring domain, research several of these services and register with as many as you can. Remember there is sometimes a fee above and beyond the registration price when you use one of these services.

HOW to keep your domain name in good health (or the care and feeding of a domain name).

First and foremost, now that you’ve got your domain name, be sure not to lose it! The most common way for people to lose a domain name is by not renewing it before it expires. When you register the domain name, you will be asked to provide an administrative email contact. All future correspondence relating to your domain name will be sent to that address, including expiration notices. If you change email addresses and do not update your address with your domain registrar, notices will never reach you. Likewise, you should always update any change of physical address or phone number with your domain registrar, just in case. Put your registrar on your list of places you would inform if you were to move, and you will avoid this common trap.

Another common way to run into trouble is by falling victim to a competing registrar’s advertising. Sometimes unscrupulous companies will send out email or physical letters informing you that your domain will expire soon, and asking you to renew it by transferring it into their domain system. These letters can be very persuasive, convincing domain owners that they must follow the instructions in the letter or they will lose the domain name. Often these cheaters charge a higher fee than your real registrar, and don’t offer a refund once you’ve paid them for a transfer, even if you don’t use it. The best way to avoid this scam is simply to know who your registrar is, and only respond to requests made by them. Keep a copy of your first registration letter in your files, so you can refer to it later if you have any doubts.

The Domain Name System has truly evolved since its inception, and now having a domain name has become a standard for individuals as well as businesses. Your domain name is your personality, your identity, your calling card in the internet world. Choose it wisely and take care of it, and you’ll spend many happy years together!

Top Domain Name Selection Criteria

When it comes to picking a domain name for a business website, there are a number of criteria that can be used to measure candidates. Picking an appropriate domain name is important as the domain name is central to a company’s online identity. A deliberate and well thought out domain name can have lasting benefits for a business such as building a positive brand and generating repeat traffic. Once a domain name is registered, a business is immediately invested in that domain name since it will exist in web links that drive search engine rankings, directories that drive web traffic, included on business cards, signage and other promotional materials. This article provides the top five criteria to be applied when selecting and registering a strategic domain name for a business website.

The first criteria, which can also be viewed as a prerequisite, is to find a domain name that is available. Since domain names unambiguously identify a business online much like a phone number does offline, domain names must be unique. Many of the shorter, more desirable domain names are already in use and have a great deal of worth. These include Insurance.com, Business.com, Cooking.com and Diet.com There are lots of free tools provided by domain name registrants and web hosting companies to determine if the desired domain name is available and to suggest variations when the desired domain is already taken. It is also good practice for companies to search the online US trademark database to ensure that a potential domain name is not a registered trademark for some other business. Believe it or not, there are known instances where businesses had to surrender domain names they registered which were later discovered to violate trademarks of other companies, even though the trademark owners had not previously registered the domain name.

The second domain name selection criteria is to find a name that is related to the business name, the brand or industry. If the business has an established brand identity, then the choice of domain name should be the brand name, if available. Some of the largest ecommerce sites fall into this category, namely Amazon.com, ebay.com and craigslist.org. Their domain names are their brand names which were established over the years. However, if a business is new and does not yet have an established, widely-recognized brand identity, the domain name selected can benefit if related to the business focus. Examples of this kind of domain name include PRWeb.com, EzineArticles.com and emarketer.com, though it is unclear to the author whether these currently well-established brands were built before or after their domain names were registered. Either way, a prospective visitor can look at these domain names and get an idea of the business focus of the registered owner. Having a domain name aligned with business focus can also assist with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and increase visitors referred to the business website from search engines.

The third domain name selection criteria is based on the old adage, “less is more.” In other words, it is best to select a domain name that is as short as possible while taking into account the other selection criteria. Many suggest that ten characters or less is ideal. This can be quite a challenge with so many domain names already registered and in use over the last decade and a half. To make matters worse, many investors registered domain names for the sole purpose of markuping them and reselling them prior to their use. This practice, known as domain name parking, is based on speculation of high demand and motivated buyers for certain domain names. That said, there are still plenty of available domain names that are ten characters or less for those willing to be creative. Having a short domain name benefits the website address by reducing the number of misspellings, making it easier to remember and able to fit on business cards, stationery and signage.

The fourth domain name selection criteria is to register.com suffixes whenever possible. Most Internet users assume that commercial entities will have domain names that end in.com as opposed to.net,.biz,.tv,.us,.info, etc. Many looking for the website of a well-known company or brand will add “www.” to the company or brand name, then append “.com” to the end in attempts to navigate directly to the website of interest. Some businesses will select a popular brand or company name as their domain name “root” but register it with one a non-.com suffix since the.com domain name is already registered by the brand owner. While this approach may yield “free” traffic, conversion rates of visitors to customers will be very low as these visitors will usually abandon the website feeling misled. The same principle applies to selecting a domain name using a misspelled brand or company name.

The fifth and final domain name selection criteria is what I call “The 3Rs” – easy to Recite, Recognize and Recall. Random strings of numbers and letters make good system passwords, but horrible domain names. They are difficult to remember and nearly impossible to guess. This applies to acronyms that represent unknown brands. This is especially relevant when providing a website address to radio audiences or presentation listeners. A good domain name will enable advertisers and presenters to recite a website address to potential clients and customers who will hear and recognize the website address, then recall that address next time they are online. Domain names with word components that can be spelled in multiple ways such as “ad”, “add”, “two”, “to”, “too” should be avoided as listeners will be prone to misspell the website address when attempting to reach the business online.

Carefully selecting and registering a strategic domain name is an important step in launching an online business identity. Businesses will benefit from selecting wisely as domain names, once registered, will quickly find their way into countless materials, partner links and search engine indices that become expensive to update if changes are required. Applying these top five domain name selection criteria will enhance online identity, increase website traffic and make it easier for customers and prospects to connect with your business.

Rick Noel is an experienced Internet consultant with over a decade of Internet, marketing and sales experience with General Electric, Bellcore, Telcordia and Burst Media.