Congratulations for making it this far in starting your blog. Now you you know which topics to write about and have decided to use a self-hosted blogging platform, you need to choose a domain name. Your domain will be with your site forever and it is a very important factor in the success of your blog. These tips should help you find the perfect domain name for your new blog.
How to choose a good domain name
Your domain is your website’s calling card – it will be one of the first things people recognize and it will be with you for the life of your blog. The difference between a good domain and a poor domain can mean many more repeat visitors. That is why it is so important to get it right the first time!
Qualities of a good domain
A good domain is something that will be relatively short, easy to remember, and more importantly, easy to type. Branding is another factor to consider – popular sites such as Google and Twitter are made up words. If you do this well, you might be on to something. If not, you might find your domain in the next section – poor domain names.
Qualities of a poor domain.
A poor domain may be hard to remember, have complicated words or spellings, be confusing, and may use excessive numbers or dashes in the name. Be careful when using a made up word; while Google and Twitter were mentioned as good examples of made up words that succeeded as brands, there have been thousands of made up words that died a slow, lonely death from lack of visitors.
.Com, .net, .org… What’s the difference?
In the hierarchy of the web, .com extensions are the most common and most favored, followed by .org, .net, other country codes (.co.uk, .ca, etc.) then other extensions. Always try for the .com first, then if it is not available, try for the .org, or .net. Try to avoid the .info extension, as many of these are used by spammy websites and infomarketers.
Where and how to purchase a domain
Search for domain names here:
GoDaddy and Register.com also offer hosting packages, which you will need to get your site up and running. Another option for registering domains is through your webshost, but many people prefer to keep their domains separate from their host. If you don’t mind having your domain and host in the same place, stand by for the next installment, in which I will discuss LunarPages, which offers a free domain with the purchase of a 1 year hosting package – that might save you a few bucks!
Use GoDaddy coupon codes. I always use GoDaddy coupon codes when I purchase domains. I have saved hundreds of dollars over the last two years just by adding a GoDaddy promo code before I submit my purchase.
Brainstorm and try different options. When you visit GoDaddy you will see a box to input your desired domain name. Enter it and click the submit button and GoDaddy will check your desired name against all registered domains. You may find your first choice is taken – if so, keep trying variations or other domains until you find what you are looking for. When you find your desired domain name, go to the checkout, and don’t forget to use your GoDaddy promo code before you purchase it!
Next up – Hosting!
Now that you have your blog topic and domain, we will need to discuss hosting options. For most people a shared hosting package will be the best option. Stay tuned!