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How to Get Your Own Domain Name

The first step to setting up a website is to get your own domain name.  This means selecting and registering a domain name that is available (not already taken).  This is a relatively simple process, but an important one; your domain name is like your company name, something that identifies you to the rest of the cyber world. Follow these simple steps to purchase a domain name:

Brain Storm Domain Name Ideas

Try variations on your company or organization name, catchy phrases or names associated with your industry, or variations on your name if you are an independent artist or service provider. Try to imagine what a potential client would search for, and write out a list of possible names.

Domain Brainstorming Resource

A great resource for helping you come up with a domain name, as well as for registering is Nameboy.com.  It allows you to:

  • Enter one or two keywords
  • Then generate a list of possible domain names based on those keywords
  • Gives an rhyming option so it can generate more ideas

After entering your “seed” information, it generates a list of possible domains.

Nameboy will tell you if your desired names are open or taken, and if they are available for .com, .net, .org, .biz, etc.  It will show you variations on the words and phrases you entered into the search field, so you will get a chance to consider other similar domain names.

You can register one right there if you’d like by simply following the steps to register.

Know Your Desired Domain Name?  Now Check for Availability

If you’ve either brainstormed and come up with some potential domain names, or had a few already in mind, you need to find out if they are available.  Visit a site that does domain name registration. I use normally use NameCheap.com, which is a great  site that I found after reading lots of reviews, but there are several others out there as well.  I have also used 1&1 Internet which also has some very good prices and deals.

Start down your list, typing in possible domain names and seeing which options come up as still available.  There are a lot of various opinions about whether to register a .com,  .org, .net, .info, .biz or other top-level domain (TLD), but there is no one size fits all answer and is largely dependent on your own personal goals and plans for the site.

Make the Purchase

Once you’ve decided upon a domain name, you will simply make your choice and pay for the name. You’ll need to pay for the domain name every year in order to keep it active, but most sites are set up for automatic renewal, meaning you won’t have to think about it. Many advise to purchase your domain name in .com, .net, and .org, so that viewers who type in the wrong suffix will still find your site; however, it is not a hard and fast rule and other TLDs are becoming more common.

Create Your Site

Once you’ve purchased your domain name, you can move on to selecting a web host and to creating your website.

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