How does one register a domain name?

How to register a domain name

The domain name. Your business address on the web

That’s really good that you’re looking how to register a domain name, but there are a couple of things that are really important to understand before you do it.

First, you need a domain like your business needs a place.

Oh wait, if you’re an online business, your domain is your place (Remember marketing? Product Price, Place, Promotion?).

Just like in brick-and-mortar businesses, location matters.

Think about it, but not too much

Think carefully about you domain name. There are many factors that help make a domain name an extension of your brand. Whether it’s a Top Level Domain (.com, .net, etc.), a real word (or words), spelling, it all has consequences.

The flip side of that is don’t overthink it. When we do, that’s when we get too crafty or creative with domain name spelling and end up with something like “srs.ly” – Don’t do this. Instead, stick to the practical. The rule of thumb is: if you have to explain the spelling, that’s not a good choice.

Instead of “srs.ly”, go for “seriously.com”. Not available? Try “seriously.cc” . No luck? Some creativity may be required after all. How about  “getserious.net”?

Even less extreme examples may be troublesome. For instance, AllyOne’s initial domain was allydigital.co. The problem? Invariably, someone would ask “allydigital.com?”. You can see how this would be a problem.

While you’re at it, use something like namechk.com to further inform your choice. Don’t want to get too attached to a name that is already taken all over the place.

Stay away from free domains

You don’t want your business to be presented tot he web like yourbusinessname.someoneelses.com. In short, it doesn’t look professional. When a business relies on a free domain like this (technically, a sub-domain) it does not convey permanence.

You probably want to convey permanence if you want to compel anyone to fork over their money, right?

If you can get a free top-level domain name (something like youridealname.com) from your host, read the fine print. Some agreements consider the transaction a form of lease, whereby you would have to buy the domain at a premium if you ever want to take it with you to a different host.

For the cost (about $7 to $15 per year), a domain name is one of the most inexpensive investments one can make in a business.

“Free” or leased works for many people, but if you suspect success is around the corner, or you’re in it for the long run, that domain name could become a very valuable asset (if to no one else, at least to you). Buy it, you’ll be glad you did.

Your domain name is a business asset

This brings up the point that a domain name is an important business asset, and should be treated as such. Your business domain name should be to your or your business entity’s name. Do not have a developer or agency buy it for you. You absolutely want to do this in order to properly and fully own the domain (well, at least for as long as you’re paying registration).

But wait, there’s more

Alright, so you need a domain, you know that. Let me share a little secret: you can probably use more than one domain name.

Here’s how it works, get the one with your company name, sure, but do this too: get an awesome one. Or two, or three, and have them redirect to your “main” domain.

Think of it this way: you have a physical street address to your place, “742 Evergreen Terrace”. But, what if you could have a “nickname” that would work just the same? Imagine if in addition to your physical address you could also tell people to just come to “party central”, or “the house of our dreams”, or “The Simpson’s”, and they would actually be able to find you. They would put this in their GPS, and it would work just fine.

You can do that on the internet. Why? Branding, that’s why.

You are not just the “hempsoapco.com”, maybe you’re also “hancraftedsoaps.com”, or “theartofhancraftedsoaps.com”.

Is your company name “Star Custom Bikes”? Well get one for the “Rising Star” model, risingstarbikes.com, as well.

There is more to your brand than your company’s name, no matter how cool and unique your company name is. Got a tag line? Get the domain for it. Go find that memorable domain and use the hell out of it.

Branded Domain Names

There is more to your brand than your company’s name, no matter how cool and unique your company name is. Got a tag line? Get the domain for it. Go find that memorable domain and use the hell out of it.

What if someone is looking for the generic version of whatever it is you sell or do? They don’t know you, or your company name, but if they’re looking for “hand-made skateboards in Portland”, your skateordie.com url isn’t going to help you much (unless the rest of your SEO is that good).

Are prospects going to find a domain name with the keywords they’re using? Yes. It better be yours. But watch out exact match domains are now what they used to be.

So, how do I get a Domain?

We buy our domains from Google Domains, mostly because it works seamlessly with our G Suite (previously Google Apps for Work) (affiliate).

For AllyOne clients, the recommend GoDaddy(affiliate). GoDaddy has come along way from the days of bad PR and poor customer service to be one of the top providers on the web. Also, AllyOne is a a GoDaddy Pro vendor, which means we get enhanced tools for us to easily manage your domain on your behalf.

Whomever you go with, make sure they’re on ICAAN’s list of accredited registrars. (ICANN is the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers, the authority on the matter).

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Cheers,

Nando

 

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Nando Journeyman

Hi, I’m Nando Cabán-Méndez, the “Commerce Whisperer”, an entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in business and design, and more than 10 years in digital marketing and eCommerce. At AllyOne, I use my skills and experience to help online business owners grow their business with best-of-breed eCommerce solutions. In this blog, I share experiences from my career and one or two opinions. Subscribe to stay in touch.