Having your own domain name for your site is very important, especially if your site isn’t hosted on your own server. This will allow your site to be named whatever you want it to be, and also take greater control over what people see when they search for you.
The words in your domain name will also help you show up in search engines when people search for something that is related to your domain name (for example if they search for your name and your domain name has your name in it, chances that your site will show up on the first page are very high).
Where’s the Best Place to Get One?
There are many different places you can register your domain name, but we usually work with GoDaddy, being that they are well-known, have reliable tech support, and when you change your domain name settings, the settings often take effect right away.
How Do I Pick a Good Domain Name?
Check out our previous tech tip here on picking an effective domain name.
Searching For an Available Domain
You can try typing your desired domain name in the address bar to see if it actually pulls up a site, or sometimes a more reliable method is just by searching for your domain name right on the homepage of godaddy.com. Once you do and your domain is available, you will be shown price options as well as similar domain names with different extension options.
We suggest purchasing a domain ending in .com if it’s available, as .com is the standard, and nonstandard domain extensions can sometimes cause confusion for people when trying to type the correct domain name in.
If your domain name is not available, you will be given suggestions similar to what you have searched for. Keep searching using different word combinations until you find an available domain that is right for you!
Purchasing Your Domain
Once you have found a domain to purchase, “select” it and proceed to your cart. You will be given a list of additional options to add such as Personal Information Protection, website building and/or hosting, and email address integration.
The next page will show the details of your purchase and ask you once again if you would like similar domains they have listed as well as the options previously mentioned. On this page you can also select how many years you would like to register the domain for (1 to 10 years). Once you enter your billing & payment information, you are now the owner of your new domain name!
Setting Up Your Domain
Before your domain name will be associated with your website, you have to set it up accordingly. There is a myriad of options as far as domain settings go and we won’t be covering them in this tech tip, but if you need help, just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.