- 0.1 Have you read my previous post, “Why You Should Start a Blog Today“? If not, I recommend reading that first before this post!
- 1 How to Choose the Right Domain Name
- 2 Step-By-Step Process on Choosing and Purchasing a Domain Name
Have you read my previous post, “Why You Should Start a Blog Today“? If not, I recommend reading that first before this post!
Congratulations on deciding to start a blog! The first (and most difficult) step to setting up your website is choosing a domain name. Once you start your blog, you never want to feel regret. Changing your site’s name after months/years of work is like starting over again. Don’t waste your time. Make the right choice the first time!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Allow me to start off by defining ‘domain name.’
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control within the Internet. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes.– Wikipedia
Huh? That didn’t really help, did it? I’ll translate that for you. Do you know how your cell phone has a phone number? Well, websites do, too. Google’s looks something like this: 188.8.131.52. Don’t believe me? Open a web browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.), and in the address bar, type those numbers exactly as they appear.
Now imagine how much of a pain it’d be if we had to remember every website’s IP address. That’d be insane. Instead, we use domain names. These names use letters (and numbers/special characters) to make a website easier to find. Think about it. It’s easier to remember google.com than 184.108.40.206, isn’t it? Name servers are magical boxes on the internet that map or associate a site name to an IP address. It’s as easy as that.
Hopefully by now you understand what a domain name is. Now let me tell you how to choose the right one for you.
How to Choose the Right Domain Name
Your domain name should match the niche of your website. It should include a keyword that clearly identifies the purpose of your blog. On my other website, iheartscifi.com, it’s pretty clear that I love science fiction. That’s what the site is all about.
Unfortunately, about 10 years ago, clever folks went online and bought nearly every domain name with easy-to-remember words and phrases (ending in .com). It’s quite difficult to find a one-word domain name. You’ll likely have to get creative to find a domain name that works for your site.
The most common top-level-domain (TLD) is .com. A TLD is the ending after a domain name. Other TLD include .net, .org, .gov, .us, .io, .co.uk, .ca, and so many more. I recommend sticking to a .com TLD, as it’s still the most easily recognized.
Step-By-Step Process on Choosing and Purchasing a Domain Name
In the domain search box, type in the domain you wish to purchase.
If you’re lucky, you’ll see a green checkmark under the .com block. If you instead see a grey ‘no’ symbol, unfortunately, someone already owns that domain name.
Another bad thing that can happen is the .com domain name is available, but it’s a common term and the cost is thousands of dollars. I don’t recommend spending that much money on your first domain name.
Find something close to what you want and spend the $12 on it instead.
It may take you a while to find the perfect domain name that’s available, and that’s OK. You want to get this right the first time. Stick with .com domains, as they’re the most common.
Once you find the perfect domain name, click on the .com option, which should add a blue line on the bottom of the box.
A block should now appear below the .com block you just clicked on. In the top right corner of that block, you should see a shopping cart icon with a ‘+’ sign in it. Click on this icon to add the domain to your cart.
You should now see a blue checkmark where the shopping icon was. Also, a small dark grey pop-up should appear at the bottom of your screen. Click on ‘Go to cart’ to check out.
On the checkout page, under Registration, Privacy protection on and Auto-renew on is activated by default. I recommend leaving both of these enabled. Click ‘Check out’.
Fill out the contact information and payment method and complete the purchase.