Just like an office needs a street address, your website needs a web address. That’s where your website will “live”. It’s the place from where your emails will be sent and to which you will receive email. It’s what you will tell people to visit when you talk to them or hand them your business card.
A web address is called a “domain.” You’ve probably heard of the term “domain name.” That’s the “.com” web address or URL that IS your website.
You should consider your domain name to be part of your brand. It should be in line with the name of you company you devised earlier on in this process. Sometimes, you’ll find that you can get an exact match for your domain as a “.com.” However, that’s not always the case.
There are many different extensions you can use at the end of your domain. The most popular and, frankly, the best possible domain extension for business is “.com.” However, you’ll often see “.net”, “.online”, or a host of other extensions for public and private businesses. Non-profit organizations tend to use “.org” domains. “.gov” domains are reserved only for US government branches and agencies. “.edu” domains are for educational institutions.
In this video, I take you step-by-step on how I registered a domain. In this case, my domain registrar was Bluehost, my hosting company of choice. However, you can choose from a wide variety of other domain registrars including:
- Google Domains
- And just about any other hosting service (more on those in our next video)
Luckily, I was able to register the domain www.buildmydigitalbusiness.com with Bluehost for a reasonable price, about $18 per year or so. If your domain isn’t available, sometimes you can negotiate with the registrar to purchase the domain as a profit for the owner of that domain. But, alternatively, you can find another extension if the “.net” has already been taken.
To avoid a lot of SPAM in your email, I highly recommend that you apply domain privacy to your newly acquired domain name. This removes your contact information from the public WHOIS records which are searchable by anyone.
I also recommend placing your domain on auto-renew, and that you take the domain name registration for at least 2 years, but up to 10 years. That not only assures that someone else could take your idea… it also looks good to the search engines that you plan on being around for a long time and that you aren’t just a temporary site that may not add to the overall body of knowledge on the Internet.
Once you’ve checked out, your domain should now show up in your domain registrar’s customer portal. In our next chapter, we’ll talk about hosting and what you can and should do with your domain name as it pertains to your website.
Until then, take care and stay profitable!