Every online project starts with a great idea. In order to turn this idea into reality, we need to consider three main things - our domain name, our web hosting provider, and our site building software. Each of the three is crucial as they are factors that can easily make or break a business.
Let's first start with the domain name.
In technical terms, when someone types our domain, they are basically telling their browser the location where it needs to look for our site files.
Sounds simple, but there is so much more to it!
How to Choose a Great Domain Name?
In 2021, over 360 million domain names are already registered by some individual or business entity. This means that finding the right domain might be hard, even harder if you want to get something within 6-7 characters.
Still, some domain registration guidelines can give you a better idea of what to look for and how to best do this.
- Keep it short and memorable - one of the most essential principles when choosing a new domain. You want your site name to pop and easily stick into the mind of whoever hears it. The longer your domain name - the more it will lose its memorability factor.
- Register a .COM whenever possible - with all the recent influxes of new domain extensions, we can now choose a variation of our name in hundreds of different suffixes - .club, .london, .xyz, etc. As cool and relevant as these may sound, .com is still a total dominator when it comes to domain names. Especially when it comes to users from older generations when .com was one of just a few alternatives.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens - even though numbers and hyphens can spice up our domain, they make it harder to convey verbally. This is called a radio test. The idea is that you should be able to easily tell someone your domain without extra clarification (there is a hyphen in between, etc.).
- Aim for uniqueness - in the early days of the internet, domain names were all about keywords and getting the most lucrative words and phrases for your niche. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, plus such domains are long off the market. Your key here is uniqueness and figuring out a name that will best represent you without stepping on someone else's territory.
- Check for trademarks - this is a step that businesses often skip, leading them to unexpected and costly problems down the road. Make sure the perfect domain name you found is not a registered trademark or subject of someone else's brand. If not, you should consider filing for a trademark yourself to make sure you preserve your rights over the name for the future.
Of course, there are many more tips and tricks that may aid your domain registration, but even with the five above, you should be able to secure the right name. Let's see what you need to do afterward.
Registering a Domain Name
A domain registrar is a company that is licensed to handle the registration and management of domain names. Some hosting providers are certified name registrars as well, acting as a one-stop shop for their clients. But even hosts that are not can actually register a domain for you. This is possible with the help of third-party registrars.
Keeping your domain and hosting in one place holds some apparent benefits. In terms of management, it's always easier to operate all related services from one account. Plus, whenever you have any questions or issues - you know exactly who to contact.
Still, some people believe in diversity. Keeping your online assets in different accounts will help you avoid being hostage to one host alone, especially if you're not yet convinced of their reliability.
Whichever approach you decide to take, registering your domain name doesn't take more than few clicks through the setup wizard.
Transferring a Domain Name
We have covered the cases when we need to get a new domain name, but what if we already have one? Once they find the perfect host, people often want to bring their domains over as well. Here is how the procedure goes:
- Keep in mind domain names cannot be transferred some days after their initial registration or if they are very close to expiration.
- If all prerequisites for a domain transfer are met, go to your current domain registrar and disable the Registrar Lock.
- Obtain the EPP code (or Authorization Code) for your domain.
- Contact your new registrar and request a domain transfer with them, providing the EPP code as well.
- You will later receive an email that requires you to verify the transfer.
Now, all is in the hands of your old and new domain registrars. If all goes through correctly - your name should be transferred within a few days. Note that this domain is locked from further transfers for another 60 days after the transfer is completed.
Now you're able to join the online game more adequately. With the help of your trusted domain name, you can give your brand a stable ground to stand upon and concentrate on the next step of your journey- building a great-looking website.