Domain Name Registration
The domain name (or URL) is the address that all websites have. It’s what makes them unique. You can buy a domain name from hundreds of sellers. I have always used domainmonster.com because they are efficient, have great prices and have a very simple control panel to allow you to use your domain name effectively. Domain monster are also great with customer service. If you have any problems at all, or are unsure of what to do, then you can ring them up and you will get through to a UK based call centre within a few rings. Their staff are charming and helpful. When I have to ring up about an issue I had I really could not fault the service. Domainmonster rock!
Many host servers offer a free domain name when you buy server space with them. If you want to you can do this rather buy one separately. I personally like to have full control over my domain name so I leave it sat with domain monster and just point it at my server – easy to do and flexible for me if I want to change servers too.
Choosing a domain – There are a few things you need to think of when choosing a domain. If the possibility of selling your blog at some point in the future is there, you don’t want to use your actual name or brand in the domain name (i.e. johndoe.com) Instead, think of a good keyword phrase to target and use that in your domain name for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes.
If you are out to brand your name however, you may want to think about using your name in your URL. This is all dependent on your goal with the blog. Just keep in mind, if you use your name in your domain name, it will most likely be extremely hard to sell the blog if there ever comes a time in which you decide to do so.
The option I chose was to register my domain name and simply 301 redirect it to my blog. This way I won’t lose the traffic from direct visitors of my name domain and I can still sell my blog in the future if I decide to do so. I can even market my name domain if I choose and since I’m using a 301 redirect all of that “link juice” aka authority will go to the actual blog. I’m still building my “brand” as the header image has my picture and the title includes my name. When a new visitor lands on the site, he or she immediately knows that the blog belongs to me.
Here are some other tips that you need to consider when choosing your domain name:
1. Go for the regional address of your country if that’s your target market. For example, if you are selling in the USA you need to be chasing a .com domain name. If you want to sell spanners to people in the UK then you want a .co.uk address. This is because search engines prefer regional addresses when they search, so someone searching for spanners in the UK will have the .co.uk results returned before the .com results. If you can, avoid non-specific addresses like .net or .info because Google will not know instantly where the website is targeted for and give it less prominence in the rankings.
2. Do your best to get the purpose of your business in your name. So if you sell spanners in Britain you need to be aiming for “qualityspanners.co.uk” or some such. You then have keywords that people will search for in your web address, moving you up the rankings.
3. Avoid underscores, hyphens or any other not letters in your name. These make it harder to type and harder for potential customers to remember.
4. Keep the name sensible in length. If it’s really long then people are going to forget it or type it wrongly and not find you as easily.
5. Make it easy to remember and avoid words that are difficult to spell. People will forget it or type it into the address bar wrong you’ve just lost a customer! Take it from me, the owner of http://manchesterpsychotherapy.net , that this is good advice. I had to teach myself how to spell psychotherapy, and I can see the myriad of variations of the spellings of the word that show up on my search information that lots of people haven’t got a clue either. Manchestercounselling.com would have been a much better bet, but it had already gone
Have a think about what names you would like to have and type them into the search web address part of domain monster. You can quickly find out whether the address is available in the format you want. If you want .co.uk and .com is available then think of another name and get it right! My policy is to find a name that I really like and then buy .com and .co.uk of that name. I then redirect the .com address to my .co.uk address so if someone makes a mistake when typing in the address in makes no difference – they still end up finding my site.
Your turn to get stuck in!
- If you want to use domain monster to buy your domain name then I would ask you to click on the link on my website to take you to it. I’ve made this guide free so I guess I’m asking for a favour from you. If you go to the site via my link I’ll make a small profit and you will pay the same amount. To do this simply click on the flashing monster in this article – see, even saves you typing!
You don’t, of course, have to buy your domain name through domain monster. I recommend them because they have excellent prices and they make it very easy to manage your domain name. The rest of this guide will be presuming you are using domain monster, but it should be easy to do the same with whatever seller you have registered your name to.
- Think of a good name for your business that fits with the criteria mentioned above.
- Buy that name.
Tomo’s insider tip!! If you can afford it (and, let’s face it, it’s not all that expensive!) buy the name for at least 2 years. This is because Google likes names registered for longer than a year. It shows commitment to your site and proves you are not a spam website that will do evil things and then disappear never to be seen again.
Well done! You are now a proud owner of your very own domain name!