This is the definitive guide on how to buy a domain name for your website.
So if you want to know:
How to choose a good domain name?
Where is the best place to buy a domain name?
How to buy from a domain registrar?
Then, this guide is definitely made for you.
Let’s get started.
1. What Is a Domain Name?
Domain name, aka the name of your website, represents the digital identity of your personal brand or business, such as “yourdomain.com,” where internet users can find your brand on the internet.
Domain names are typically made up of combinations of letters, topped off with extensions like .com, .io, .org, and many more.
When shopping for your domain name, keep originality in mind, as a unique web address will ensure you stand out among the rest.
2. What Is a Registrar?
Registrars are the brokers of domain names on the internet. In other words, they are service providers that allow users to buy and register their domain names on the web.
Every reputable registrar has been accredited the responsibility of registering domain names by the ICANN to manage the Domain Name System (DNS).
In short, the DNS tells web browsers which IP address matches your website’s domain name, and ensures that users end up in the right place.
Furthermore, as every computer and server connected to the internet has its own unique IP address, the DNS indicates the location of your server to a user’s computer, which is what allows them to connect to your domain seamlessly.
3. How to Choose a Good Domain Name?
It may come to a hard decision situation when choosing for your domain name because the domain name is similar to your brand identity
You don’t want to make a mistake.
Hence, by following the guides below, you will never make a
3.1. Use Brand Name or Keyword or Personal Name
Use brand name
If you are choosing a domain name for your business, you may choose your company name (if your company name is unique and brandable).
If your business name is too general or has been used by others, you can add a keyword for the domain name.
For example, ABC is your company name and is doing Writing service, you can make it something like ABCWriting.com
If you don’t have a brandable company name, you can use a descriptive keyword to form a domain name.
One good example is backlinko.com (Informational site about backlink SEO) which consists of backlink keyword.
From the given keyword, it is helpful for SEO because it tells search engine (eg. Google) what is your website about.
Use personal name
This is common when building for a personal website. Remember that your name is also your brand in this era nowadays.
One of the good examples is neilpatel.com
3.2. Use Appropriate Domain Extension (.com)
Use only .com extension for your domain name especially if you are making a business website. It is the most common and popular domain extension. It makes your website more trustworthy and professional.
However, for a personal website which just wants to show about their portfolios, some people would prefer to use a .me extension. It makes the impression of a personal portfolio in people’s mind.
I would recommend always prioritize for the .com extension no matter for your business or personal website because it is the safest extension and can last for the long term.
3.3. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
It is confusing and hard to tell people correctly, people won’t know about if you’re using a numeral (1) or it’s spelled out (one).
Besides, there is a high chance people will tend to forget or don’t know about the hyphen because it is not common. Hyphens in domain names are usually related to scam domains.
3.4. Make It Easy Pronounce and Spell
It must be able to pronounce clearly and spell easily in both writing and speaking, you don’t want your audience to keep on confirming with you.
3.5. Make It Short and Memorable
If your domain name is long, you risk your visitors in mistyping the domain. And it is hard to remember a long domain name as well.
I would recommend domain name within 15 characters.
3.6. Get Ideas from Search Engine and Domain Name Generator
You can get some ideas of your domain name by searching for your core keyword from a search engine, you can know how others domain name looks like in your field.
You can also get ideas from domain name generator. I recommend this generator.
3.7. Check Domain Name Availability
When you have a good domain name in your mind, you can check the domain name availability for buying. If it is not available, you have to rethink another good name.
4. Where Is the Best Place to Buy a Domain Name? I Suggest Namecheap
While GoDaddy and 1on1 are a couple of the more popular registrar services out there, the best one that I have found to date is Namecheap.
Personally, I have had outstanding experiences with Namecheap and would strongly recommend them to anyone looking to register their own domain.
If my experience says anything, then you won’t regret it.
You can see the recent domain registration voting in 2019 from the image below, Namecheap registrar is what most people prefer to use.
Namecheap has numerous great benefits which they offer to users, including a great price, strong privacy protection, and ease of use.
4.1. Namecheap Is Well Known and Affordable
Founded back in 2000, Namecheap is the leading domain registrar out there today and has provided over 10 million domain names to satisfy customers all over the world.
It has the cheapest domains available at just $0.88 for the first year (not for .com extension). Better yet, popular “.com” domains are priced at $10.88 typically and can be found for even less at $8.88 during special promotions.
Overall, Namecheap has reasonably priced registration and renewal fees, which is typically not the case, as most registrars will offer a great introductory offer only to raise fees in subsequent years rapidly.
Some of them also make it difficult to transfer your domain to another registrar even if you don’t like the price. If you are looking to build a website for the long haul, then your best bet is grabbing a domain name through Namecheap today.
4.2. Namecheap Utilizes Strong Privacy Protection
When you purchase your domain through Namecheap, you get a free year of WhoisGuard privacy protection, which helps to ensure the data associated with your domain is kept secure.
Best of all, when you register an eligible new domain name or transfer an existing domain name to Namecheap, you’ll receive WhoisGuard protection absolutely free for as long as you manage your domain through Namecheap. While this might not seem like a huge benefit, it indeed is, as other registrar services like GoDaddy typically charge $9.99 per year for similar protection.
Namecheap also provides great SSL encryption for a very affordable $1.99 on top of the price of a domain purchase. Once again, this highlights the affordability and customer-centered nature of Namecheap, as other registrars charge far more for access to SSL certificates – which are quickly becoming a necessary standard for any professionally-minded website.
For context, SSL certificates essentially serve as a way to let a user’s web browser know that your blog, e-commerce store, or digital portfolio site is considered safe by a third-party Certificate Authority such as PositiveSSL or Let’s Encrypt.
4.3. Namecheap Has High Credibility
The checkout process in Namecheap is very transparent and easy compared to other registrars. One thing that I don’t like GoDaddy is because its checkout process is not honest, there are a lot of upsells enabled by default.
Unlike GoDaddy, Namecheap provides honest products, there will be no hidden fees and no upsells but with transparent pricing.
Besides, the user dashboard of Namecheap is very straightforward. Even if you’re a first time user, you will feel very easy to configure everything from the dashboard.
5. How to Buy a Domain Name from Namecheap?
1.Search availability of your domain name. To get started, just visit Namecheap’s website. From here, you’ll want to search to see if the preferred domain for your website is currently available.
2. Choose domain extensions. Once you find the perfect domain name, it’s time to choose the extension that you’d like to purchase by clicking the “add to cart” button. (I recommend getting a domain name with .com extension)
3. Choose Add-Ons. Next, choose the extra services you’d like to invest in, such as SSL protection or VPN functionalities.
Web Hosting -Web hosting service provided by Namecheap, I don’t recommend to buy web hosting from domain registrar company.
PositiveSSL – Higher protection and security,
Private Email – Is a new email client provided by Namecheap. Free
Easy WP – New cloud hosting service. Same as above, not recommended to buy hosting from domain registrar company.
Private VPN – For VPN purpose. I didn’t use it before.
4. Review order. Final checking your order with the extra services you’ve added….
5. Create account. After this step, it’s time to create your account…
6. Checkout. And pay for your domain order at the checkout screen.
Now It Is Your Turn!
Just like that, you should know exactly how to buy a domain name for your website.
Now you should spend a little bit of time to brainstorm your domain name.
Buying the right domain name through a trusted registrar such as Namecheap is just the first step towards making the perfect website.
So, buy it before the domain name becomes unavailable.
In my next post, we will discuss how to set up your web hosting and assign the nameserver addresses in your domain registrar (Namecheap).