Buying And Registering A Domain Name For Your New Website Or Blog

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Now for something a little different from my normal ramblings. I’ve owned several websites since first building one in 1999 solely using html coding – it’s much easier now! I’ve become quite blasé about website building and can go from buying a domain and hosting to launching a site and getting some visitors very quickly. That comes from experience, but I realise that most people don’t know where to start, so I’ve decided to write a series of articles designed to help newcomers to building their own website. The following article offers information about how to buy your first domain name.

how to buy a domain name

What Is A Domain?

A domain is a website address like britster.co.uk or even google.com. It’s what distinguishes your website from others just as your home address does from your next door neighbour’s, but you get to choose it. Your domain can reflect what your website or blog is about, be a vanity domain as mine is, be the name of your company, or a brand that you are building like Google or Yahoo.

Choosing Your Domain

If you are niche marketing then it is better for search engine optimisation if your domain reflects what your website is about, for instance like my toptoysite.co.uk blog.  A large amount of the search terms used by visitors to find the blog are ‘top toys’.

By picking the domain toptoysite.co.uk and using ‘top toys’ in the title I helped to make it easier for the blog to be found in the search engines. I could have done the same by using a different domain and adding ‘top toys’ as a category or an article but it wouldn’t have been so easy to get the site ranking for those particular search terms.

Trademarked Domains

A trademark is a company or product name that has been trademarked, for instance Sony or Xbox. I would never use a domain with a trademark in it because there is a good chance that I would be found out by the company that owns the trademark and not only could I lose the domain, the work that I’ve put into it and any income that I made from it I could also be sued for the costs of a court case.

You will get some smart Alecs telling you that it won’t ever happen, but it does. You will also get some people telling you that it’s ok as long as you are an affiliate of that company and selling their products – it isn’t ok unless you get permission from the company or individual. If for instance you used best-dyson.com you could be taking part of Dyson’s traffic and potentially their top level sales, of course they won’t like it. However, there is nothing to stop you from using a domain like vacuumcleaners.com and making Dyson a category, or different models of Dyson’s as posts.

Namecheap.comSometimes you will find a trademarked domain that also has a common use. For instance Amazon which is a place, a river, a rainforest or a description of an amazing lady (that started me wondering if Amazon came from the word amazing – anybody know?), Amazon is also the name of the largest ecommerce site.

If you intend to promote Amazon products with Amazon in your domain you could at the least lose your affiliate account. If for instance you wanted to build a site about amazing women or the place then that’s different.

Is .com The Best TLD To Use?

Years ago when the Internet was much smaller it was more important to get a .com as a top level domain. That was because most people would find your website by typing the domain into their browser and .com is the most common TLD that most people would remember and type in. As the Internet grew and search engines were added the TLD became less important because more people find your website through different search terms or by clicking on links on other websites.

There are still some who say that a .com is a must but it is very difficult to get a decent .com nowadays because of the vast amount already taken. If you want to target one area of the world then most places have their own top level domains now. I have quite a lot of .co.uk domains which I use for UK targeted sites. Apart from it being a trusted TLD, the search engines pick up on it and send you mainly UK traffic.

If you want worldwide traffic then you are better off sticking to .com, .org, .net or .info TLDs. Some Internet marketers are a bit snobbish about .info because there have been a lot of really cheap offers about for them and spammers and scammers tend to go for the cheap. But, I’ve got several .info domains and they do well. I’m targeting people in the real world who when they see mydomain.info think that I’m offering information so I don’t care what IM snobs think.

Can I Get A Free Domain?

It is possible to get free domains when you get a hosting account, but unless you transfer it to a cheaper registrar the price is often higher to renew the next year.

That is the normal TLDs, a few years ago there were thousands of free .co.cc sub domains given out with free hosting and Google de-indexed all of them because there were a lot of spammy sites. A Google de-index is generally a serious loss of traffic. You can get free sub domains on sites like Hubpages, WordPress and Blogger but I would still buy a top level domain for business pages and redirect.

Where Do I buy Domains?

If you do a search you will find plenty of domain registrars with different offers at any given time, but before you choose do another search for reviews – those on forums are generally the most honest because often marketers will call overviews of companies or products that they haven’t used reviews to gain affiliate commission.

The main 2 registrars that I use are 123.reg.co.uk and Namecheap.com. I’ve used 123-reg the UK’s leading domain registrar ever since they started out in 2000 and find their interface easier to understand than some other registrars that I’ve used. I also like the Namecheap.com set up and have had some bargains there during the last 9 years. Whenever I’m looking for a new domain I check both before buying because depending upon the TLD one is always cheaper than the other.

Domain Renewal

Usually you buy a domain for a period of 1 or 2 years though you can pay for a longer length of time. When your domain is due for renewal you will start getting reminders by email from the company that you bought from. If you ever get letters or emails saying that your domain is due for renewal bin them unless you are absolutely certain that they are from the company that you bought with. These letters or emails are very probably scams and if you don’t lose your domain through them you could end up paying many times more than the price with your regular company for renewal. It’s always a good idea to keep records of your purchases and who you bought from.

If you have any questions or anything to add please leave a comment.

P.S. My affiliate links where I will earn commission for domain name sales are 123-reg and namecheap.com Feel free to type the names into the browser so that I don’t get commission.

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