Do you have your own business? Would you like to increase your online presence? The first step is to register your own domain name. If you are serious about your business site, personal blog, or portfolio, it’s important to have a personalized domain name that people will associate with your brand. In the first part of the article, you will learn why it is important to register your own domain name.

In the second half of this article, we will walk you through the following process of Registering a Domain Name (steps below).

 

Why Should I Register My Own Domain Name?

Do you have the domain name for your own name? If not, now’s a good time to check if it’s available, and purchase it. Having a domain name with your personal name has many advantages, and many people are even purchasing domains for their children as soon as they’re born! If you’ve got a business, plan on starting a business in the future, or work as a freelancer, it is crucial to have your own domain to represent you online. Even if you already have a company domain name, as your online business grows, you will want to be in control of the way you are personally represented online.

 

Here are some reasons you shouldn’t wait any longer to register your domain name:

 

It’s Super Easy

If you think that registering a domain is a complicated and technical process, you’re wrong. It’s just as simple and easy as making any other purchase online in a regular shop. First, you simply visit a hosting and registrar site like eHost, BlueHost, or GoDaddy, and search for the domain you’re interested in. If it’s not available, the hosting site will usually offer suggestions for similar domain names, or your name with a different extension, (instead of .com) such as .co, .net, or a local domain such as .fr, .it, and .ca. Once you find the domain you’re interested in purchasing, it’s like any other online shopping experience – simply add it to your cart, continue to checkout, and you have your very first domain.

 

It’s Not Expensive

For the most part, available domain names aren’t expensive and can cost, on average, around $15 a year for a regular .com domain. Prices can be a bit higher for local domain extensions, but if your domain name is available, it won’t be expensive at all. The only times domain get really expensive is when they already belong to someone and you have to buy it from them, either in an auction or as a premium domain from the host. In this case, it can be anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands. But again, this is not the case for the majority of available domain names.

 

Control Your Online Presence

Your online presence isn’t only managed on social networks; you need a domain name in order to add content, information about yourself, manage a blog, etc. So, when someone looks up your name in search engines, you can control the results that they see, and in general, enjoy better control over your online presence and how you are portrayed to the rest of the world.

 

Don’t Wait for a Business Idea

Just because you don’t have a business idea or plan on starting a business, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get that domain. Many people buy a domain and leave it empty or just design a simple business card page similar to a LinkedIn profile. This ensures that no one else purchases and uses your domain, and it means that you have it for the future when you need it.

 

Registering Your Domain Name

Buying your own domain is a great idea, and it’s pretty easy. Here are the steps to registering your domain name, and getting your website off the ground.

  1. Pick a great domain name
  2. Find a web host
  3. Find a domain registrar & purchase domain name
  4. Set up your website

1. Pick a Great Domain Name

This may sound easy, but you should make sure that your domain name serves the purpose of your website, and represents it properly. You should also make sure that the name is actually available. Many people simply go for a domain that is their actual name, like “yourname.com”. If you are searching for a common name, it could be taken already.

In the case your name is already taken, don’t simply compromise and purchase a variation like “your-name.com”. Give your domain name a little bit of thought so that it represents you, and doesn’t confuse your visitors who are trying to visit the “other guy”. For example, if your name is John and you’re a writer, you can try “johnstories.com”, “johnwrites.com”, “johnswords.com”, etc. Or if you website is for your photography business, it could help to add a geographic location to the domain name, i.e. “photosfromboston.com”. Make sure you are comfortable with your final choice and don’t feel like you’re settling. Also, in some cases, if your domain name is taken and when you visit it, there’s nothing on the sire, you can try to make an offer to the domain’s owner to purchase it. This article offers more insight on the importance of a great domain name.

 

2. Find a Website Hosting Service

There are many great web hosting companies to choose from. Each has its pros and cons, and in order to choose the best one for your site, you will need to understand your site’s needs. There are a number of different types of hosting, including the following: shared hosting, dedicated server hosting, virtual private server hosting, and cloud hosting. To learn more about the different types hosting, check out this article. If you already have one, you need to find their primary and secondary nameservers. If you don’t have one, the registrar will most likely provide you with a temporary one.

 

3. Find a Domain Registrar and Purchase Domain Name

There are hundreds of different registrars and hosting sites online that sell domain names and even site builders. To decide which one is the best domain registration option for you means you have to understand what you plan on doing with the site, as well as the priority you place on price, customer support, and the company’s reliability. For example, if you want a WordPress site with a regular blog, BlueHost or HostGator could be a great option, but if you just want to own your domain and leave it empty for future use, a simple registrar could be more cost effective. Do your research into the different domain and hosting sites available, as well as those that sell local domain extensions, before making a decision. Remember that if you plan on building a website or blog, you want a domain host that can support your site building needs. All that’s left is to purchase your chosen domain name, and enjoy!

 

4. Setting Up Your Website

If you purchased your domain name through a company that provides website building services as well, then you’re all set! The site should have a guide to assist you in creating your website, or you can hire an expert to design the site for you. If you need to choose a website builder for your site, this article can help you decide which website builder is best for your needs.

Remember that domain registration is set for a certain period of time, with a minimum of one year. Most domain hosts let you buy for one year, two years, and five years. After that, you’ll need to renew your registration. Make sure that you either set the auto-renew option in your registrar and have updated payment information, or you always have your updated email there so that you are notified before your domain expires. You don’t want your domain to expire, and lose your domain name!

Karen Hayoun
Karen is a copywriter and social media strategist with extensive experience working with small businesses and corporations, both B2B and B2C. With her expertise in online marketing and knowledge of website creation, there’s no better person to turn to if you want to craft an incredible website that gets noticed.
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