How to choose and buy a good domain name. If you plan to create a blog or website, then you’ll need an online address that will direct netizens to your site. Domain names, if properly chosen, also give your site a a good branding that is immediately recognizable and easy to remember.
What is a Domain Name
A Domain Name is the collection of characters that represents your website. This post, for example, has a URL of http://ronangelo.com/choose-buy-good-domain-name/, the domain name is ronangelo.com. This string comprises of 2 parts, ronangelo and the .com.
If you want to get technical, the .com is actually called a Top Level Domain(TLD) and the ronangelo is just a subdomain of the .com. Joined together, they form what is colloquially known as a domain name. If there is another string before the ronangelo, for example, blog.ronangelo.com, then that blog becomes the subdomain of ronangelo.
Blogging platforms that offer free hosting services like blogger.com, wordpress.com and tumblr.com only gives the user a free subdomain. So you might get something like: ronangelo.blogspot.com, ronangelo.wordpress.com, ronangelo.tumblr.com.
Choosing a Good Domain Name
What’s in a Name
First thing to consider is what your site is all about. In my case, this site is really just a blog where I post anything I want, so I made it personal by using my online alias “ronangelo”. Making up names is actually not that bad an idea. It’s how you market that brand name that will determine how successful it could be.
A very good example of this is GOOGLE. The name google.com has a more lasting impact than searchengine.com. Before September 1997, no one probably knew what google was, but due to the awesome service they provide, it is now a name that is worth billions. Other seemingly nonsensical domain names that are successful include: Twitter, Plurk, BoingBoing and so on. It wouldn’t hurt to think of a catchy name.
Another approach to coming up with a good domain name is to use descriptive words. For example, the name cutecatvideos.com gives you an inkling of what the content may be about. I have read many tips from so called “SEO Gurus” that this approach is the best because it incorporates keywords. That may be true but I can’t really think of a successful site with a descriptive name. Can you? A good domain name is cute, catchy and easy to remember.
What is the Best Top Level Domain
In the past, choosing which Top Level Domain (TLD) to use means following a set of guidelines. For example .Coms are supposed to be for websites that are for commercial purposes and .Orgs are for non-profit organizations.
Most of these rules don’t apply anymore and one can choose whichever TLD one wants except for the likes of .EDU and .GOV which are only given to school and government websites.
There are lots of debates on which TLD is the best. But in my opinion it really doesn’t matter that much. What really matters is your site’s content and purpose. Just go for the .COM if you can, simply because it is the most popular and is most likely to be remembered by visitors.
Buying a Good Domain Name
How Much is a Domain?
The price of a good domain name depends on what TLD you choose and on which Domain Registrar you buy from.
Typical Domain Cost: .COM | .NET | .ORG | .BIZ = $8 – $11 per year
There are two cheap and reliable domain registrars that I have personally tried.
NameCheap.com – As its name describes, NameCheap offers domain names for prices that are cheaper than most. NameCheap is a big name on the world of Domain Registrars, much like GoDaddy. It is very reliable and comes with good tech support. Every month, NameCheap gives away free coupons that gives discount on every purchase. So watch out for those coupons here: NameCheapCoupons.
Internetbs.net – On first glance, the registrar’s site seems shady but it offers domains at a very low price so I gave it a try. I purchased one domain name, so far so good. Internetbs offers a lot of TLDs to choose from. They don’t give away coupons but their rates are already low. So this is a good choice if you are low on cash.
Both Namecheap and Internetbs accepts payments from Unverified Paypal, which is great for those who are just starting out and don’t have a verified paypal account.
Once you acquire a good domain name, don’t let it go. It may someday be worth billions too… or not.
Update: Internetbs no longer accepts PayPal. Waaaaaarrrgh