We are not born knowing everything. The bulk of our knowledge come from learning and doing for ourselves. However, it doesn’t hurt to come across a resource that brings everything to one place and breaks it down.
Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is Artiatesia and I am your personal geek squad. LOL. I’m starting a new series here called DIY For Webpreneurs.
In this collections of posts, I will be breaking down the basics of variety topics for the busy entrepreneur in the making who love learning how to do things on their own (or because of budget concerns). First up is Domain Name.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is your physical address on the World Wide Web. It’s how people will find your site or blog. Domains are also commonly refereed to as to as “domain url” or just “url“.
There are many extensions or endings but the most popular are “.com” followed by “.net“. In recent years, some new and more custom extensions have come available such as “.co“, “.nyc” “.store“, and more.
When you go to purchase your domain name try and get the “.com” first because that is what everyone is used to seeing. And in the event your site become very popular, do get the other extensions to protect your brand.
Why should I buy one?
If you are starting a blog as a hobby or just to test the waters, by all means go with a service that will allow you to have one for free. You do not want to waste any money.
If you were starting a business, I would highly recommend you purchase a domain name because it will give you a professional online presence. Should you wait to purchase your domain? No.
If you have an idea on a name you want to use, go purchase it. The longer you wait the likelihood of someone else purchasing it will increase. With that being said, only start researching if a name is available when you are ready to purchase. I’ve been told that there are bots out there watching domain searches.
It’s also okay to purchase a domain name for a year without hosting, meaning you are parking the domain until you are ready to use it. Plus it gives your 365 days to really thinking and plan out what you are going to do.
And if you never end up using it, you are only out about $10 or so. If you get close to your renewal date and you are not going to use it, think about selling it and maybe you can make some of your money back.
Where can I buy my domain name?
You can purchase your domain through a domain registrar. This is a company that provides the service of allowing you to take ownership of a particular name for a period of time, typically a year or more.
They may offer additional services such as web hosting, emails, etc. I personally subscribe to the school of purchasing my domain names separate from my hosting account.
For one, if I am not ready to work on a particular project just yet, I can park it without paying for hosting that I do not need. And it makes it a little easier to switch hosting companies if I ever choose to do so in the future.
GoDaddy is probably the most popular domain registrar because of discounted prices. Some people make not realize that the domain does not renew at the sale price, it goes to the regular price.
My preferred domain registrar is NameCheap.com (affiliate link). By switching to NameCheap last year, I’ve been able to save money on both names I already purchase (via transferring them over) and new ones.
You should also be aware that some web hosting providers (companies that will host your website files) may offer you’re a free domain name for a year with the purchase of a web hosting package.
How much does a domain name cost?
Domains are pretty affordable, typically running between $10-$15 a year. As I mention before there are some ways you can get one for free or dirt cheap. Before purchase your web hosting, check to see if they offer a free domain.
Typically this is limited to the first name. Also I know we hate getting tons of email but if you sign up for a particular provider, they tend to let their loyal subscribers get first dibs on sale and coupon codes.
Black Friday and end of the year are great times to catch discounts on domain names and hosting packages. There are some cases where a domain will cost in you in the hundreds of dollars or even more.
If you are trying to go after a domain name that is already taken the owner may be in the market to sale. In that case, it will cost you a pretty penny if the domain is very popular.
Other things you need to know…
When you purchase your domain, you will be offered tons of extras to add on to your purchase. You can get away with not adding any of those but there is one that I highly recommending you add and that is private protection (or Whoisguard).
When you purchase a domain, you add your information (name, address, email, number, etc.). Someone can look up (doing a Whois search) that information and can use it to contact you for a variety of reasons.
For example, to purchase your domain from you or to send you junk mail. Private protection will hide your personal information. When someone looks it up they see the domain registrar information and not yours. It’s only a few extra dollars but it well worth the investment.