You’re right! The first step to owning your own website is learning how to get a domain name. And you won’t be alone, because there are 330 million registered domains today.
I am going to show you exactly how to get a domain name in this post. But you’ll need to know a little about what to expect before you wind up on a domain registrars website.
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How To Get A Domain Name
First of all you should know that you’ll never own a domain name, but it will be registered in your name for periods of 1-10 years at the time.
You’ll decide how long you would like to register it for at the time of purchase. So, it may be wise to think about that before you start. (Typically the cost to register a domain name cost from $10 to $14 a year.)
However, if you’re just starting out with an affiliate website you could just register your domain name for 1 year.
When it comes to affiliate websites and beginners, it’s easy to pick a niche, get a few months into it, and decide you would like to change domain names?
That’s why I always recommend beginners start out with one year registrations.
The registrar you purchase your domain name from is required to let you know by email before it expires.
You’ll need to know what characters you can include in your domain name.
The next thing you’ll need to know is about the allowable characters in a domain name.
All domain name characters consist of the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-1, and hyphens. The letters of the alphabet and the numbers can be any order whatsoever.
The hyphens can be within the domain name, like this for example: the-10-best-domain-names.com.
But hyphens can never be at the beginning or the end of the string of characters.
The best domain names are:
- Include Hyphens only as a last resort
Plan on your domain name being a minimum of 3 characters and no more than 63 characters long.
When it comes to using domain names for a website designed to make money online, there are two basic way to approach them:
- Some people like a niche keyword in the name
- A lot of online business websites are branded with a name that may have nothing in common with their business
(If you would like to download a list of 23 places to find keywords click here or in the image below)
Domain extensions are the letters that come after the (.) which comes after the name of the domain.
There are hundreds of domain extensions available to purchase as you can see from this list at Wikipedia.
What domain extension should I choose?
The main thing you should know is that your first choice should be a .com extension.
.Com extensions are the most recognized domain extensions around the globe, and comes to peoples mind first when they are about to type a domain URL into a browser.
If you can’t possibly find what you need in a .com then use these:
In that order.
Where to Buy Domain Names
There are thousands of places to sell you a domain name, but some are much better alternatives than others.
I look for these attributes in domain registrars and resellers:
- Simple to use
Simple is important to changing DNS settings, and renewing domains.
If you buy domain names from companies separate from where you host your website, you’ll need to change the DNS settings within the sellers website.
Changing DNS settings in itself is as simple as finding the address of your hosting company, and pasting this in the appropriate place at the domain registrars website.
Most places make this notoriously difficult for some reason. I think that’s especially true when you buy from hosting providers.
I believe they go out of their way to make their websites difficult to navigate so that it will be difficult for you to move your account somewhere else.
That’s why I want the site to be simple to use, and reliable support in case I can’t figure out where to change the settings.
Two Good Domain Name sellers:
- Internetbs.net is inexpensive and very simple to use.
- Namecheap.com could be the most popular place to buy domain names, and one of the most confusing websites to use.
When you arrive on a website that sells domain names you should immediately see a search bar to type in your first idea for a domain name.
At Internetbs.net it looks like this:
(Click to enlarge, click to exit)
Like most domain registrars and resellers, if your first choice is not available, they will give you a list of hundreds of other top level domains and variations of the words you first typed.
(Click to enlarge, click to exit)
That is really annoying to me, because I am only interested in the three primary domain extensions.
It’s important to remember that domain names and hosting aren’t the same thing. A domain name identifies and names your website on the internet.
Hosting providers provide the servers to get your website onto the internet.
Where to Get a Free Domain Name
Here’s 3 places to host your website that provide free domain name registration when you sign up:
Each of these are great places to host a website and will give you your first years registration for a domain name.
After the first year it’s up to to you to pay the renewal fees.
It’s easy to get hung up on finding the perfect domain name and waste a lot of time. But the fact is that there is no perfect domain name.
Don’t put off starting your own internet marketing business!
If you get hung up, use free domain generators to help you come up with ideas.
Getting your own domain name is one of the first steps to your own blog or online business, and it’s easy to learn how.
So get your own domain name today and start building an online presence for yourself. You’ll never regret it!