Buying a domain name is the first and foremost thing you do before building a website. You usually buy a domain name from one of the domain registrars who have been accredited by ICANN.
ICANN maintains a list of domain registrars. You may also buy your domain name from a re-seller of an accredited registrar. If you do, make sure you know which registrar they represent.
If you want to choose from the very best of domain registrars, you can choose go with any of the following domain registrars:
- Name.com (My personal favorite)
How to Conceive the Perfect Domain Name
Conceiving the perfect domain name for your website is the most challenging task. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind.
Keep it short: The domain name should be short and easy to recall. Finding a short domain name can be extremely difficult but it’s well worth the effort. A short domain name is brand-able and adds credibility to your business. According to Gaebler, the top 100,000 websites, on average, have nine characters in their domain names.
Keyword vs Branding: Should you buy a domain that matches with a popular keyword within your niche? Well, the best answer is it depends.
Buying a keyword-rich domain name does give you two primary advantages:
- Ranking Factor: In SEO, domain name itself is a ranking factor. However, if it’s a low-quality website, it might be vulnerable to Google’s EMD update.
- Anchor Text: If your website is a domain name is a popular keyword, then people may use it as anchor text while linking. Since keywords in anchor text is an SEO factor, your website may get natural SEO benefits.
However, while deciding on a domain name, you should pay more attention to its brand-ability.
Spelling: If you’re looking for domain name that’s easy to spell, chances are that it’s already taken. That doesn’t mean you use any dashes, numbers or extra characters to get a domain name close to your desired domain name.
To start with, using a hyphen or number within your domain name makes it looks spammy and difficult to trust. Secondly, it’s hard to recall and even spell.
Therefore, it’s not favorable to branding in the long run. After all, nobody wants to go with a domain name that reads your-favorite-website-developer.com.
Domain Extension: Choosing the right Domain Extensions or Top-Level Domains (TLDs) for your domain is important. Some of the popular TLDs are .com, .net, and .org.
It is always advisable that you should go with a .com domain extension because it’s usually the most trusted domain extension. In fact, 75% of all websites have a .com domain extension.
However, if it’s not available, choose from the other alternative domain extensions. Never go for low quality TLDs .biz, .info, and .name because they are usually chosen by spammers.
Recommended Reading: How Your Domain Name Will Impact SEO & Social Media Marketing
Should You Hide Your Identity?
While buying a domain, you need to mention your details such as name, address, phone number and email address which will be publicly available.
Anyone can access these details via http://whois.domaintools.com/
However, every domain registrar offers you Domain Privacy (aka WHOIS Protection) as an additional service in order to protect your information.
Paying for domain privacy or WHOIS protection is a good idea if you really want to protect your information from public view. Unprotected, the information is likely to be misused by spammers and con artists.
While some domain registers charge a small fee for the domain privacy, others offer it as a standard service.
In some cases, domain registers offer free coupons that you can use (during checkout) to get domain privacy service for free. The offer is usually valid for the first year only. From the second year onward, you will need to pay for the privacy.
Recommended Reading: 10 things you MUST know before you register domain with anyone.