Choosing a domain name, e.g www.example.com, is one the most important decisions you will make in building your website. Finding just the right name — one that reflects your purpose, brand or personality — can be a frustrating process.
Keep the following in mind when your select and buy your domain name:
- Choose a ‘.com’ domain if possible. More than 50% of all websites use .com domains. It is the one people gravitate towards if they don’t recall the complete address of a website. The next most commonly used are ‘.net’ domains, comprising just 5% of all domains.
- Keep your domain short and sweet.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers.
- Use keywords.
- All the good names taken? Consider using your name.
- Consider the availability potential social media profiles using your domain name.
- Avoid long word strings.
- Avoid obscure terms.
- Make it easy to say and spell.
- Make it memorable.
Remember, don’t over think the process. Don't allow ‘analysis paralysis' to set in. Selecting the ‘right’ domain name is a process of compromises and trade-offs.
How to Buy Your Domain Name
If you use my recommended web hosting service, you will get a free domain as part of your hosting package. However, I still highly recommend you separate the purchase of a domain name and your hosting service. There are several advantages to this approach, the biggest being the flexibility it provides if you decide to change hosting services. I've done this a fews time over the past several years. Having my domains with a provider that specializes in domain registration makes changing hosting services effortless. Quite often if you decide to change hosting services, you want to cut all ties to them. With a separate service you need only point your domain to the new hosting service and you're done. The change is nearly instant.
My Preferred and Recommended Domain Registrar
My preferred registrar is Hover. Why?
- Their dashboard is very clean, easy to use.
- There are no upsells, though they do provide an email option. Other services will often run you through an endless series of upsells.
- Their domain cost includes WHOIS privacy, which most services charge $12/yr or more. This keeps your overall costs lower and keeps your personal data private (although, by law, privacy protection can't be purchased on .us domains).
Hover is the service I use for all of my domains and recommend to clients.
Purchase Your Domain Name
Step 1: Navigate to Hover.com to purchase your domain name. Enter your desired name or keyword in the Search field. Do not enter .com, .net or other domain suffix. This allows Hover to list all possible domains available for keyword.
Step 2: Select your desired domain. Note: Hover results generally include a long list of possible domains, including international domains.
Step 3: Make your purchase. You don't need to select any of the email options as your hosting service will provide you with an email service as part of your hosting plan.
Read more articles in the How to Build Your Bulletproof Blog series:
- How to Build Your Bulletproof Blog – Introduction
- How to Select and Buy Your Domain Name
- How to Buy Web Hosting for Your New Blog
- How to Point Your Hover Domain to Your Bluehost Account
- How to Install WordPress
- How to Set Up WordPress User Names
- Configuring WordPress Permalinks
- Configuring WordPress General Settings
- How to Choose a WordPress Theme
- How to Install a WordPress Theme
- How to Install WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Security and Backup
- How to Publish Your First WordPress Post
- How to Create Your First WordPress Page