Having your own website is like having an extension of yourself or your business. Much like people will have their first impressions upon meeting you, your potential customers will also base their impressions regarding you and/or your business based on your website. This is the reason why when you decide to create one, you should aim to impress your customers with your website. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to hire the services of the most expensive website designers out there for this purpose; you just need to make sure that the content of the website and the design itself are more than enough to entice your customers to spend time to know more about you or your company. Unfortunately, many people commit the mistake of overlooking their website’s domain name in favour of great content and great design.
While it may seem to be a minute detail, an effective domain name actually does wonders for one’s website. You can choose your domain name before or after you build your website, although some say that it is easier to do so after. If you haven’t a clue what domain name to use, here are some tips and suggestions in choosing one for your website:
Simplicity is key. Most businesses simply use their company name as their domain names. This is actually highly recommended, as it has a higher recall for those who visit your website. Not only will they remember your business’s name but it will also allow them to visit your website quickly without searching for it on Google. But if you just have a small business under your name, you can also use your own name for your website.
The shorter, the better. You do not have to use a very lengthy domain name, as people tend to forget it. An ideal domain name contains around 10 characters, excluding the www and .com part. If the name of your business is quite long, you can also make use of just the initials.
Make it unique. If your name or that of your business is pretty common, chances are the domain name you want that is based on those names are already unavailable. When this happens, you’ve no choice but to think of another. If you are promoting creativity for your business, you can also use that for your domain name. You can name your website after words to describe your products or you can also use your domain name to tell a story about your business using just a few letters.
It should sound as professional as possible. After all, it is your business that you are promoting. Instead of you wearing your suit and tie or dress to a potential client meeting, it is your website who will be meeting these clients so you need to give off a good impression to them. An exception this is those businesses dealing with the arts and crafts, who can choose to make their domain names as creative and quirky as possible since their chosen domain names will show how creative they can be.
Prepare some backup domain names. This is in case your chosen domain name is unavailable. You would need several options once you get around to registering for one.
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Basically, you would want a domain name that your customers will easily remember without having to Google it up. Once you are able to choose one, the next step is to register it. For this step, you would have to pay for your domain name to be registered. You do not have to worry as doing so is actually inexpensive; it is nearly just the same amount that you would have to shell out for several days’ worth of your afternoon tea with some scones and pastries involved, or several pints of your favourite beer; it would definitely not put too much a dent on your wallet or purse.
To do so, you would need to look for a domain registrar where you can register and manage your chosen domain name. There are plenty to choose from on the internet, all with competitive prices and unique features, so you should take your time in choosing one. For a business website, it is recommended that you choose the more established ones so that you would be assured of their services. It is a pain to register for the cheaper ones only to find out that your website cannot be easily reached by you or your clients. Among the notable domain registrars are NameCheap, GoDaddy, 1&1 Internet, and DreamHost. If you want a UK domain, you can check out: Names.co.uk, Pipe Ten and Poundhost among others. You can also enquire with your website host if they offer domain registry so that your website and domain name are under the same provider, which can save you some money and a lot less hassle in the long run.
Once you have chosen your domain registrar, you would need to choose how long you want them to host your domain name. Typically, the minimum length of time is a year, although there are some who offer to host domain names for as short as just several months. One thing to remember is the shorter the time period for the domain registry, the more expensive it is. But if you are just starting out, the one-year period is enough for you. When your contract ends, then you can renew it and choose a longer period if you are happy with their services or transfer your domain name to another company.
Choosing and registering your website’s domain name is actually not as hard as it seems. Anyone can do it, even you. Following the tips mentioned above, you would be able to have a fully functioning website with your chosen domain name very soon.
Over to you. Have you done the proper homework on your preferred domain name? Share us some tips.
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