Domain names is a great topic for those of you just starting your business as it is one of the early tasks you have. First, decide on a unique name for your business, then choose a unique URL (website address) that matches the name. Don’t design the logo first. Finding a unique URL can be tricky so be sure you have one that works before you invest in a logo. Why is it tricky? So many desirable URLs are already taken. That means you may need to be extra creative with the one you choose for your company.
Domain Name Basics
There are so many ways to secure your domain these days. You can go straight to a domain name provider like a Network Solutions or a GoDaddy, or you may even get domain names through your web hosting company. Domain Name prices are typically fairly low for available domain names, so unless you plan on buying a premium name which will cost you more than $20, you can really buy your domain name though the source that is easiest for you. For example, if you are buying a package through a web host and they provide 1 free domain name and your domain name is available and reasonably priced, then go for it. There is something to be said fir bundling your purchase for simplicity. Plus, when you do that, the web hosting company handles the details behind the scenes as far as where to “point” your domain for your website.
Name vs URL
Once you have a name chosen for your company that is suitable for your target audience, the next step is to find a URL (website address) before you do anything else. With so many online businesses, you may find that the URL that you want is taken. Fear not, there is always a way to find a URL that is perfect for you! Consider putting words like “get” or “go” in front of your URL (e.g. getbusinessname.com) as a solution. Try not to use dashes in your URL if you can avoid it as consumers will always forget to type them in when they are trying to find your business. Unless you are in the academic environment, choose a “.com” URL vs .net, etc. A .com URL will provide extra credibility to your company.
Buying Your URL
If your desired URL is available, lucky you! Chances are it will cost $11-15 to purchase. If it is not available, but is owned by another entity, they may be willing to sell it to you. Be cautious as there are many people who have purchased URLs just waiting for someone like you to come along and make them an offer. In fact, this “URL flipping” is a business in itself! Have in mind the amount you are willing to spend before negotiating as it is easy to spend too much in the energy of the moment. The vast majority of people will be able to find a URL available to purchase for less than $20. Many times a URL is free for the 1st year with web hosting packages so make sure before you buy it separately.
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