OK, so you’ve decided to build a website…yay!
If you don’t already have a domain name you’ll need to purchase one.
Makes sense right? 🙂
This seems like a pretty big decision, but don’t let it freak you out too much.
These are my general recommendations:
- .COM is the only extension that you want to use.
- Make sure your domain name is easy to spell and remember.
- No hyphens or dashes.
- Be creative if you want, but take into consideration that most people won’t “get it” if you try to be too clever or personal.
- 2-3 words is ideal, but don’t go any more than 4 words.
- If you’re really not sure what your long term goals are for your website/business or are just being too indecisive (hello analysis paralysis!), register your real name. It’s good to own this anyway and you can always use it for something else later if you change your mind.
- If you have your heart set on a domain name consider adding short words like MY or THE to the beginning and if the .com is available snatch it up!
When it comes to domain names I’m a fan of Namecheap. Their interface is clean and simple to use. This is just a personal preference but I like to keep my domain names separate from my web hosting account. I find it easier to manage things that way, plus I think it’s better to go with companies who specialize in one or the other and you can typically save some money by doing it that way. Also, if you use a web host that specializes in a certain platform, like WordPress, you will need to register your domain name somewhere else anyway.
I’ve created a video that demonstrates how to register your domain name with Namecheap.
NOTE: if you go to NameCheapCoupons.com you can find the current coupon code for a tiny discount on a one-year registration for your new .COM domain.
Once you settle on a domain name you’ll want to add it to the shopping cart and then create your account.
After that, just follow through the steps and leave everything on the default settings as you go. Later on, after you sign-up for web hosting we will need to change the DNS (domain name server) information but you don’t have to worry about that right now. While I really like using Namecheap for registering my domain names, web hosting isn’t their forte so I would rather use a different service for that (like Flywheel).
BTW, if you already registered your domain name with another company it’s not a show stopper. You will just need to figure out how to change the DNS settings to point to your web hosting account.