Buying a domain name is easy and it certainly does not need to be expensive. Most online businesses own at least one domain.
By the way, when I say own, that’s not really the case. Nobody ever actually owns a domain name, we all rent them from the relevant Government agency who administer domains in each country.
A domain gives your business a professional identity and a home. It will also allow you to have your own business email like [email protected]
That’s so much better than having a crappy free email account like Gmail or worse Hotmail. It immediately identifies and brands your business name.
Cool, so let’s dive in
Top Level Domains
The thing with domains there are a huge range of TLD (top level domains) now.
A top-level domain (TLD) is the last segment of the domain name. The TLD is the letters immediately following the final dot in an Internet address
TLD’s are any domains that are mybusiness.com, mybusiness.net, mybusiness.org etc. Those examples are US domains.
Every country has its own top level domains such as the UK would have mybusiness.co.uk
Australia would have mybusiness.com.au
Having a domain in your own country can be helpful for ranking in the search engines. It’s not a requirement though, anybody can buy US domains if that is what you prefer.
Other countries can be a hassle. Australia , for example, requires you have an ABN (Australian Business Number) in order for you to register a domain.
If you do wish to register an Australian domain the service I use is Crazy Domains
My personal preference has always been DotCom as they are instinctively what people type in and they are the most sellable if you ever want to get rid of the domain.
So for the sake of ease, let’s focus on DotCom for this lesson.
What are Domain Names?
A domain name registrar is a service that lets you register and purchase domain names. Domain name registrars have been accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which is a non-profit who has been delegated the responsibility to manage the Domain Name System.
Without the domain name system what we would have is confusing and hard-to-remember IP addresses, instead of the easy to use and remember domain names we all use today.
You are probably very used to seeing web address like this example:
https://www.DonReid.com We all call that a link right? In fact, it’s correct name is URL (Universal Resource Locator)
I just threw that in to show off my amazing wealth of knowledge. Nah…just put it in in case you wondered.
The only way you can buy a brand new domain name that you made up, is via, a domain registrar. There’s no shortage of domain registrars at all.
However, some are much better than others.
The absolute worst domain registrar is GoDaddy. They never stop with the upsells, it would drive you mad. They have terrible customer support, a difficult platform full of tricks to sell you garbage you do not need. Be warned.
Don’t be concerned, we will get to the best ones to use. I’ve been buying and selling domains since 1995, I’ve got a fair idea on which ones to use for ease of use and price.
When I first started buying domains back in 1995, they cost $150 per year! Thankfully ICANN opened up the competition and prices plummeted to around $10 per year now.
Another domain registrar I was with for many years is Enom. They have been around for a very long time and 15 years ago they were quite cutting edge. Now though, when you go to their site it’s like staying in a dated shabby hotel. It was once nice and useful. Now, it’s very dated. Slow, cumbersome and annoying. Also quite expensive. So I’d forget them.
In fact, I’ve just moved the last few domains I had with them to NameCheap
Up until about a year ago I was using a domain registrar called NameBright. I quite liked them as their platform is very good. They do charge more but I liked the platform.
However they began making errors with payments and there were some problems within their platform. This presented an opportunity for me to interact with their customer service quite a bit. It was not pleasant.
So I searched around and found NameCheap.
A very solid company, with excellent customer support.
Best of all they also provide Privacy Protection for free! You may not understand why that’s a big deal.
Allow me to explain.
There is a function called WHOIS (who is) which allows anybody to search the ownership of any domain and other information you may prefer to keep private.
Spammers can easily get this information and spam the hell out of your email address. No one wants that.
A few years ago ICANN allowed domain registrars to provide privacy and security cloaking of the public information. Usually it’s an extra cost of $3-$5 per domain. That’s no big deal if you own one domain.
I own a few hundred, so it adds up.
It is a big deal.
Apart from all that they really do have great service and very competitive pricing. Get on their email list because they often have excellent promotions.
NameCheap always have offers going, so you’re going to get a domain at the best price and excellent service.
How To Select a Domain Name
When you’re trying to come up with a cool, catchy domain name, there are a few things to keep in mind.
There are hundreds of millions of domain names registered. So, don’t be surprised if you find it difficult to find one that is not registered already
An example of a dictionary name is Amazon.com As you can imagine, there will not be any words left in the English dictionary that are still available.
That does not necessarily mean you cannot buy them, you can. There is a huge aftermarket for domain names. If, you think of a domain name you would like simply type it into your browser.
If the domain is already registered and has a site you will go to the site as you normally would expect. But, it can also be registered and for sale.
If it for sale, the site you go to will announce that and maybe even the price. There will be contact information for you to express interest and maybe negotiate a price.
Here is an example of a dictionary domain I have for sale: Spruiker.com
Short Domain Names
Once again it will be difficult for you to find a short domain name that is not already taken.
An example of a short domain name is my company name Xsited.com I think I registered that in about 1998
Short names are attractive and often valuable because they are easy to remember.
Your Name as a Domain
One thing I have recommended to many people over the years is to register their own name as a domain.
Yes, it’s a vanity thing, but remember once someone else with the same name registers it, it’s gone.
I registered my son’s name for him KrisReid.com
Do Not Use Trademarks
Don’t be tempted to use trademarks or names of famous people in your domain name.
For example, let’s say you want to promote a product that teaches tips and tricks on how to rank on Google. Don’t be tempted to register a domain like “GoogleRanker.com”
You don’t want Google or any other corporation hunting you down.
Mind you, you can win if you make it better for the corporation to pay you rather than take legal action against you.
Once upon a time I owned DietPepsi.net I purchased it in an auction when I didn’t really know much about domains.
One day, a domain agent contacted me and asked me how much to sell the domain. I told him $1,500
He laughed and said that’s way too much.
I answered by saying I was going to turn it into a gay porn site.
They paid the $1,500 that day.
It doesn’t always work out that way.
One day I saw EricBanner.com was going to be auctioned in a couple of days. It would be a blind auction. Eric Banner is an Australian movie star of debatable talent.
I contacted his agent in Melbourne and told her. She was beside herself with worry. Eric had paid $2,000 a year earlier to acquire the domain name and would probably fire her.
She had forgotten to renew it and now it was being auctioned.
She asked me to buy it for her. I said I had no idea how much it would cost. She assured me whatever it cost she would reimburse me. I felt confident about shelling out a few hundred on it as I would own it until she repaid me.
Long story short, I bought it for $500 and told her the good news.
Next thing I get an email from Eric’s lawyers accusing me of extortion and to hand over the domain immediately.
It took them two years of legal bullshit to get the domain from me. It didn’t cost me any money other than the $500, it would have cost Eric thousands of dollars…why he never just reimbursed me instead is beyond my comprehension.
But as the saying goes: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Using Hyphens in Domain Names
Hyphens look sucky to me. Example which looks better and is more memorable: don-reid.com or donreid.com
If you want to use them, you surely can.
Long Domain Names
If you’re looking to rank for a particular keyword it definitely can help to make a domain for it.
People might remember it or even type it into their browser. Google will definitely know what your site is about and give it a bit of a ranking advantage.
Plus, it’s certainly a keyword people would search for.
If you’re going to be in business online, you’re going to need domain names.
By reading to hear, you now know much more about domains than most people.
You’ve learnt the best place to buy them, which in my opinion is NameCheap.com One thing you can count on with me, is if I recommend a product or service to you, I use it myself.
You’ve learnt about the different criteria you can think about when choosing a domain.
You also learnt some stories of my adventures with domain names.
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Don Reid, an experienced MLM builder and Entrepreneur, he founded Apache Leads in 2003. Born in Australia, Don currently lives in Cambodia, when he is not traveling on his many adventures around the world