You have a website in mind that you want to build. Great! What do you call it? The domain you pick is very important to your website. “What is a domain?” you ask? A domain is the address that a person types into a web browser to access a website. This means it becomes the identity of the page!
First, let’s look at how you acquire a domain name. You need to find a provider that sells them. There are many places that you can visit to purchase them. When you purchase a domain, the name becomes registered to you. That is why these places are called registrars. On this section of DIY Website Builder, I plan on reviewing these registrars and help you decides which you want to go with.
Picking a Domain Name
Alright, you found where you are going to buy them name. Does this mean you should buy the first thing that comes to mind? If this is where your thought process is, there are some things that you need to consider. Remember, this IS your website’s identity.
What is your website designed around? Start thinking of keywords for your website. Your domain needs to be related, or how are people going to relate it to the content? There are many ways to be creative with keywords, and these will be discussed here.
You have now brainstormed keywords to put into your website’s name. You even think you have found the name you want to go with! I’m happy for you! Please don’t get excited too quickly though. Is the name available? There are a few different ways to find this out.
The most obvious way of looking up a domain is to try to navigate it in your browser’s address bar. If a website shows up, it is not available. If a website doesn’t show up, you have a better shot, but that does not mean that it is something that you can purchase. Some people buy domains, but they have not put a website up yet.
Another way of finding availability is to use a domain whois. What is a whois? It is a service that tells you about the history of a domain. You type it into their search, and they let you know if it is registered to anyone. If they do not have it set as a private domain, you can even see details about when it was registered, who registered it, and even the expiration date.
No information on the whois? Awesome! You are even closer to knowing that you have a domain. What do you do now? It’s time to go to your registrar and search there! This will be the true place to find out if it is available. Why would you not search here in the first place? This is something that I didn’t know until I did quite a bit of research. It also happened to me!
There is quite a bit of speculation on the net about people who run queries on these registrars to see what domains are being looked up. It is suspected that these people will try to buy these domains before the person who truly wants it does. Why? They want to sell it to you at higher prices! With this in mind, I recommend only searching the registrar once you know for sure you want to buy that domain!
Yes, you can buy domains from other people. There are plenty of secondary markets to buy, sell, and trade domains. This means, if your domain shows to be unavailable, you may still be able to get it! Of course, there will be a premium on it, and you will not have the advantage of getting it cheap through your registrar. After you purchase it through a secondary market, the seller will then transfer it to the registrar of your choice (may have fees involved).
I know I just squeezed a lot of information into a small article here, but don’t let that intimidate you! I will be going into more detail in separate postings. All of those postings will be linked in this section. If I haven’t gone into more length over something that you want more information on, send me an email, and I will write as much as I can for it!