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The 411 on Website Domain Registration - How to Choose and Purchase Your Identity Online
Website domain registration is your first step to making your website. Your domain will be your existence online and choosing the best domain name for your website will take some brainstorming. I recommend getting together with some friends or colleagues and discussing the right website domain name for your website. Don't stop at 1 or 10, keep going until you absolutely run out of ideas. I say this because of the ever increasing competition around registering website domains.
Website domain registration is performed every day by an increasing number of people and there is no guarantee that your numero uno choice will be available when you go to register it. While brainstorming potential website domains, keep in mind that the shorter and easier to remember your website domain name is, the more likely it is to stick in people's minds.
As much as you can, try to incorporate your website's subject into your website domain name. For example, if you have a site selling books, you may want to try books.com (although I know it's already taken and it is usually not that easy these days). Also, you want to get a domain name with a .com ending. If you can't find absolutely anything with a .com ending, try .net. These are the two most popular website domain extensions today.
I won't get your hopes up by promising that you will get the name you want. In fact, chances are good that someone out there might already own the domain name you are looking for. This does not necessarily mean that there is a website hosted on that domain. Many people purchase all kinds of common website domain names speculating that someone out there would pay them a good amount to buy it from them.
Domain reselling has become a big businessJust for a brief tangent, I actually have a friend that went on and bought the .in domain extensions of a few fortune 500 companies. He determined that since big companies are expanding overseas to countries like China and India, it might be smart to get the local domains recognized in those countries. And sure enough, one company offered him $3,500 to purchase the domain name that he paid $9.99 for.
GoDaddy has a good domain reselling program. You can also backorder domains (purchase currently registered domains that eventually expire and are not renewed in time by their existing owners).
Find out what your domain is worth here if you have one already.
Website name search - researching & registering domain namesGetting back on track, you can your website name search by using a WHOIS database (Google it up). A WHOIS database allows you to input the domain name you are searching for and provides you with its current status. If unavailable, it will tell you who owns it, when it was bought, last renewed and when it expires. Sometimes it won?t show you who owns it. That is because the domain is masked. Masking a domain will protect your privacy by not displaying your name as the owner of the domain.
There are several websites such as GoDaddy that allow you to check domain availability and register on the spot. Domain names will usually cost you between $7-15 per year (with an additional fee if you choose to remain anonymous by masking your domain). You may also choose to prepay for your domain for a few years in advance.
There are many advantages to doing this. The biggest advantage is that you will earn more credibility with search engines earning as they will view you as a long term player on the Internet. Of course, it's also great that you won't have to worry about renewing your domain every year.
Try using a Domain Analyzer if you are tired of the trial and error process of finding the name you want since everyone seems to be taken. A Domain Analyzer is a tool that allows you to input the key words and phrases pertaining to your website. The program will study what you feed it and generate a few domain names that are available for you to consider.
Length mattersTry to avoid long domain names as much as possible. This is difficult to do as the Internet is getting busier by the day. Anytime you contemplate a domain name, think about yourself as the potential visitor of your own website. Will you be able to remember and easily type the domain name the next time you want to visit your own website? The same goes for your website visitors. Try to make life as easy as possible for them.
There is also a lot of potential for typing error, which will lead your visitor to someone else's website. There are people that specifically buy misspelled domain names and forward them to their websites hoping to land visitors that often misspells words. I understand that it is tough to get what you want these days, but try to avoid this if you can. Fortunately, content is king on websites and hopefully people enjoy your content and bookmark your website to make the length of your domain name less relevant in the long haul.
Domain name optimizationOptimize your domain name for search engines by including your website's main concept keyword in it. For example, this website is about helping you make easy money for free on the Internet. The main concept revolves around "money" and therefore the domain name reads www.easyextramoneyonline.com.
Try to limit your domain name to 2-3 words if possible. Yes I know I am not practicing what I am preaching here but there was no other option given this website's main concept. Instead, the content on this website more than compensates for the lengthy domain name.
If your domain name contains two words, register it as a run-on sentence. For example, www.yourdomain.com. If your domain name has more than two words, register it with dashes between each word. For example, www.your-own-domain.com. Don't make a lengthy domain name a run-on sentence. Try reading www.iwanttomakeyourich.com. How awful is that?
Now try this www.i-want-to-make-you-rich.com. Much better? You bet. Make your domain aesthetically pleasing while creating separation if you can't avoid using a long one. I wished I had known this when I registered this domain. But I quickly learned my lesson. Check out my Dubai Website. Notice how it breaks it up into www.dubai-information-site.com?
Search engines treat dashes as spaces and it is easier for the spiders to read your lengthy domain name in this format. This does not matter as much with domain names with only two words. More importantly, it is easier for your human visitors to read and remember your lengthy domain name if you separate each word with dashes. You want to please both search engines and humans, not just one or the other.
Purchase a few other domain names that relate to your website. If you have a website selling shoes, try purchasing www.shoe.com, www.shoes.com, www.buyshoe.com , www.buyshoes.com. I think you get where I am going? What you can do is forward all domain names to one main domain address. So if your main website is www.shoe.com, anyone that types in the rest of your domain names will land on your main page as long as you set the other domains to forward to your main one. This is a very easy process and all domain name sellers provide this function for you.
To wear or not to wear the mask?You have the option of masking your domain name at any time. Masking your website domain name will keep your identity confidential as your personal identity will not be visible to the searchers of the WHOIS database.
There are advantages to masking your domain name. Many successful website owners are concerned about privacy and legal protection. They want to ensure that no one comes after their hard earned reputation or money by finding out their identity. I recommend that you do the same.
By not masking your domain name, you become a moving target in the volatile world of privacy breach and lawsuits we have today. That having said, this is more of a concern for you if you have more of a sensitive online concept (i.e. personal tax advice, medical advice).
Another advantage is prevention of spam from hitting your email inbox. Many spammers and their created programs crawl the Internet looking for addresses they can include in their spamming databases. If your information is masked, your email information will not be disclosed and therefore not detected by these savvy spamming programs. This is not a 100% solution to avoiding spam. Spammers have many other ways to find you and bombard you with their messages. Masking simply limits the possibilities.
There is one disadvantage I can think of in masking your domain name. If your exit strategy for your website is to grow it and make it a target for an acquisition, then it would behoove you to make your identity public.
In simple English, if you want a bigger Internet business to come along and buy your website out by paying you a lot of money, then it makes sense to provide all interested buyers a way to contact you. One can argue that interested parties can contact you through your website via the ?contact us? section. I just think that the more visible your personal information is, the easier it will be for buyers to come find you.
Overall however I would still recommend masking your domain name. I do it myself.
Stay away from Free in this case?It is simple, don't do this. A domain only costs $7-15 per year to have under your name.
Websites that offer a free domain name along with your own personal website are not reliable. You don't really get your own domain name. What you get is an extension of the site?s domain name. For example, let?s take a hypothetical website www.your-own-free-website.com. If you were to create your own free website through them your domain name would read something like www.your-own-free-website/yoursite.com. See how it is really not YOUR website?
If you are serious about your success online and plan on being on the Internet for a while you should definitely register your own website domain name. Think about it as an investment. Not so much monetary (as they are cheap) but rather of all the time and effort you will be putting in to establish it and create a place for it on the Internet.
Have you ever seen a "contact us link" on these free provider sites? Have you ever seen a 'FAQ' section or a 'Help' section? Just understand - these guys do not care. The more people that use them, the more their own domain name gains credibility and traffic through search engines.
Read more about why you should avoid creating a free website.
Different types of domain name extensionsDomain names come in various extensions. I am sure you have seen domain names ending in .com, .org, .net, .info, .us, .in, .cn, .biz more. The most common of all these is the dot com (.com) domain extension, which usually represents a business website. .org usually represents charitable or non profit and .net is usually related to a technical site or simply just an alternative to the .com name.
Extensions like .cn (China) and .in (India) are specific for countries where online usage is gaining more popularity. Regardless of what the extension is, they all function in the same way. They are your identity and address online.
If your concept takes off tomorrow, you don?t want others to take advantage of all the hard work you did do you? Well not without paying you at least. As you hit significant progress milestones, you should go out and buy all the other extensions of your domain name. If you own www.yoursite.com, then as your website significantly expands consider registering www.yoursite.net and www.yoursite.biz for example. Have all URLs forwarded to your main website www.yoursite.com. This will ensure you maintain your identity and restrict others from copying your online identity.
Website domain registrationMany starters think of website domain registration as an expensive and a difficult process. With just a little research, one can realize how easy and cost friendly the process is. There are high end companies that charge up to $50 per year for a domain name, but the same domain can be purchased through sellers like GoDaddy for much cheaper, sometimes as low as $4.99.
The service you get is usually no different from either place you buy your website domain name from. Many times however, going with a bigger seller like GoDaddy can be advantageous in many ways. You can be assured that other online tools like hosting services, SSL certificates, email accounts etc. will all come at a low cost.
Sometimes you will also end up getting some free items or a heavy discount with every domain registration. This entire process is fairly painless and does not take much time at all. Just try it, keep this webpage open and visit GoDaddy. Refer to this webpage as you go through registering your website domain.
There is NO reason NOT to tryYou will have access to customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. And you can either call them or send them an email. Calls are picked up immediately and emails are responded to within half a day. You might never even have to contact customer support as the instructions on GoDaddy are detailed and easy to follow. But whenever stuck or in doubt about something, contact customer support immediately and they are guaranteed to help you immediately.
GoDaddy Additional Benefits
A Quick RecapTo be the best name you can be, try to incorporate key words that relate to your website's topic during your website domain registration process. If you sell kitchen supplies on your site, try to include words like kitchen, cooking, pots, pans, oven, etc. Chances are some researcher out there is searching for kitchen supplies using any one of those words.
It is important to keep in mind that people search by the common words that come to their mind and not by the name of your business. So while you might want to name your website www.yourcompany-llc.com, it might be a better alternative to name it www.yourproducts.com. And as far as your domain is concerned, stick to what you think people are looking for out there. By including keywords in your domain name, you will have optimized your site to gain more credibility with the search engines.
All that being said your domain isn't the only component of your website that a search engine will consider in ranking you on their list. There is much more to a website?s credibility in the eyes of search engines than just the domain name. In fact you can have the most irrelevant domain name but if you are strong in the other components of search engine optimization ('SEO') and search engine marketing ('SEM'), your website is guaranteed to do well on the Internet.
Good quality content is most important - more than anything else. I just want to emphasize that don?t loose sleep if you cannot get the name you want during your website domain registration process. Just be the best that you can be in every other aspect and you will be just fine.
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