How to Buy a Domain
What is a Domain?
Before you put your site online, you need to purchase a domain. A domain is the url for your website. The domain of this site is http://rileyhaasmarketing.com and I own it (though “rent” is probably a better word for my relationship to the domain name). It’s the thing you type in to get to your website. It’s the name of your site online, in many ways. Your domain name is ideally yourbusinessname.com (or .ca for Canada).
Purchasing Your Domain Name
But you shouldn’t get depressed if you cannot get your brand as an exact URL. If your business is Canadian ABC, you should not be upset if someone else already owns canadianabc.com, canadian-abc.com, canadianabc.ca and canadian-abc.ca. That’s because “exact domain match,” (when your business name and your domain are the same) is less important than it used to be. It’s good to be as close as possible, but it’s also not the end of the world. If you do a good job of marketing your business online, your domain name will be insignificant.
In order to purchase your domain, you must do the following:
- Pick the name of your url, and be sure to list variations:
- canadian-abc.ca, canadianabc.ca, canadian-abc.com, canadian-abc.ca, canadianabc.business, etc. (There are now hundreds of different top level domains and you can get clever and try something like canadian.business.)
- Go to a trusted Registrar to see if your desired domain is available. There are tons of registrars and many of them are equal while others are not great. I would recommend Go Daddy (yes, seriously) as a good place to start for beginners as they make everything very simple and offer very competitive prices. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Your domain is available through the Registrar (.ca domains are not available through American-only registrars, for example)
- They will not charge you more than USD$15 per year for your domain
- They let you purchase your domain with out purchasing additional services (such as hosting)
- They let you upgrade to additional services (such are privacy protection) for a nominal fee (i.e. they do not rip you off for additional services)
- This may take some time and price comparisons.
- If they are reasonable, create an account and purchase your domain. You should purchase your domain for as long as possible.
That’s it! Now that you have a domain, it’s time to purchase hosting.