Let’s say you have a great idea for a website, and now you need to buy a domain name. Just how do you go about doing that? Let’s take a look at what you need to know when you want to buy a domain name.
Where to buy domain names:
Domain names are sold by companies called domain registrars. These are companies that are licensed by ICANN, the governing body that regulates each top-level domain (TLD). You may have seen advertising for domain registrar companies such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions and Name.com, just to list a few.
What are you actually buying:
You are buying the right to use the domain name in question for however many years you pay for it. Say, you pay for one year on the “whateveryabought.com” domain. For one year, that domain is exclusively yours to use. At the end of the year, you have the right to renew that domain in your name for up to 45 days after it expires. If you don’t renew it, another person or company will have the opportunity to buy the domain name, either once it expires or at an auction.
More than just .com
There are more domain names available than just the .com version of a domain. Among the major generic top-level domains around, the .com domains have been the most thoroughly bought. This means that hand registering a domain name in your exact keyword niche in .com form is fairly unlikely. Buying a domain name in the aftermarket aside, you have other options.
One alternative that many people choose is .net. Many people also like the .org version of a domain name, however it has become an informal view among web users that .org domains are used by organizations rather than commercial enterprises. Generally, if your business is for-profit, it is advised that you don’t use the .org domain names for commercial enterprizes. Other options are .biz or .info domains.
Another option worth considering is a country-code top-level domain (ccTLD). These ccTLDs are specific to certain countries. For example, co.uk is specific to the United Kingdom, .au is specific to Australia and .ca is specific to Canada. In addition, many people use ccTLDs as “domain hacks.” For example, there are a number of companies using .CO, .ME, and .TV domain names despite not being international in nature.
For SEO, ccTLDs tend to give your site a boost for users in the nation specific to your ccTLD. However, your site with that ccTLD takes a hit in search results elsewhere. So, if you buy the “whateveryabought.co.uk” domain, it will likely outperform for English language searches for the U.K., but it will probably underperform for searches from elsewhere.
Registering a domain is easy. It is also relatively cheap. Shop around for the best price and check reviews for registrars. You’ll have your new domain on the web in no time.