Choosing and registering a domain name and web-hosting for your business is fairly straightforward.
But there are a few things you need to watch out for.
How To Register a Domain Name For Your Business
Think about some domain names which would be suitable for your business.
Domains that aren’t yet registered are usually very cheap.
You can register a new .com domain for around $10 per year. There can also be discounts on offer if you register the domain for a longer period in advance.
If your preferred domain name is already taken, try for the next one on your list.
It’s best to choose a .com if you can. But the name may be available as a .co, .net .org or .info.
If your business is focused on a UK audience you could register a co.uk. Or if you’re in eg Australia you may wish to use a .com.au top level domain.
Don’t choose a domain name with a hyphen in the title. These are difficult for people to memorize. For example, “topblogger.com” will be better than “top-blogger.com”.
Ask yourself the question: is my domain name easy for people to pronounce and write down?
But don’t fret about the top-level domain. Domainers (people who trade in domain names) will try to tell you how important they think it is to have a .com.
The fact is the most important thing is the name of your site itself – ie the name you choose before the top level domain ending, and not the top level domain.
It’s getting harder to find good quality domain names for the .com and .co top-level domains which are snappy, and easy to pronounce and to remember.
Sometimes it’s worth devising a completely new or unusual type of name. For example, a name comprised of two different words put together as a combination name. Or even an entirely made up word.
These are often referred to as brandables. These kind of domain names can become worth a great deal of money in the future.
Note that you don’t actually own your own domain outright. Strictly speaking it is “registered” in your name for a specific period of time.
In other words it’s kind of licensed or leased to you by the domain registration authority. As long as you continue to pay the annual registration fee, you are free to use the domain.
What is Domaining?
So how come people known as domainers talk about buying and selling domains?
When a domain is registered in your name, you are free to sell the domain registration title to someone else during that period of registration. In other words. you are transferring the registration to someone else in return for a private payment.
Domaining refers to trading in the registration of the domain. The domain still ultimately belongs to the registry service.
When you buy or sell a domain privately, you are transferring the name of the person for whom the domain is registered.
The buyer still has to pay the annual registration fee to the domain registry service.
If you don’t renew the registration on your domain, then the domain simply expires and is returned to the domain registry. Regardless of how much or little you may have privately paid to acquire the registration rights to the domain via a private transaction.
By the way, domain trading can be a profitable business to be in. But it can also be highly risky and it’s easy to lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Obtaining a domain name by purchasing it privately from another person is another way to obtain the domain name that you want, rather than obtaining it directly from the domain registrar.
Anyway, domaining is a whole topic and business niche area in itself which we don’t have time to go into right now.
And if you’re a complete newcomer to ebusiness, then I don’t recommend that you go and pay big bucks or even not so big bucks to purchase a domain name privately. Your money can probably be better spent at that stage in other areas of your business.
Just stick to the domain name registry and select your domain name from there.
Register Your Domain Name Separately From Your Web-Hosting
To register your domain you have to pay a small fee to a domain registry service.
In many cases you can now register your domain and order your web-hosting from the one and the same web-hosting provider, rather than going through the domain registry.
This can reduce the admin work involved, but I don’t advise this method in practice.
Purchasing your web-hosting and your domain name registration as an all-in-one package from a web-hosting provider will most likely save you a few dollars.
However, I think it’s better in the long run to keep these two functions organized and purchased completely separately from different providers.
Here’s why: If you later wish to move your site from one web-hosting provider to another one, then if the domain registration is handled by the same company that provides your web-hosting, then you can sometimes encounter deliberate obstruction from them or delays in transferring the domain to the new web-hosting provider.
Whereas if you keep domain name registration and web-hosting provision completely separate, you avoid this problem.
You then in effect have separate keys to your domain and to your web-hosting. And that avoids you being “held to ransom” by the one or the other.
I register my domains with Namecheap. I’ve tried many different domain-name registry services in the past and in my opinion Namecheap are about the best domain name registry service out there.
Namecheap are efficient, fast, and low-priced. Namecheap are at www.namecheap.com
Arrange The Web Hosting For Your Site
The next thing is to set up the web-hosting for your site.
A web hosting company provides the physical servers where your web site is actually located. They also provide the connectivity to the Internet for your site.
Different host providers offer various service package combinations.
When you’re starting out, all you need is one of the basic web-hosting tariffs. Roughly speaking, basic web-hosting costs between around %50 and $100 per year. Bear in mind that the longer the period you sign up for, the better pricing deal you’ll be able to get.
The web hosting provider of choice that I recommend for beginners is Hostgator.
Hostgator are based in the US and they’re a reputable company with a good service reputation and high reliability. Hostgator are also the web hosting service I use for my websites.
Hostgator aren’t the cheapest, but neither are they expensive. In the past I’ve tried a couple of other cheapo web-hosting services and in all cases they turned out to be a nightmare.
Don’t forget web-hosting is a relatively small cost item compared to the costs incurred by an offline business and so it’s worth paying just a little more for peace of mind, good customer service and reliability.
Hostgator are at www.hostgator.com
Don’t Use Free Blogging Services For Your Business!
You might ask: why not just use a free blogging service rather than paying to host a website?
The reason for this is that free blog hosting is intended for non-commercial and hobby blog sites.
The other issue to consider is that you need to be able to operate your site using your own domain name. Sites hosted with free blogging hosting services require you to use their hosting domain name rather than yours.
Putting your site on a free blogging service will make your business look amateur and will not do you your image any favours.
Also, freebie blogging providers can and do close down blogs whenever they like. In particular, they tend to prohibit commercial sites, or sites which generate large amounts of traffic.
To build a proper online business, you need to have full control over your site right from the start.
So make sure you register your own domain name and purchase your own professional web hosting space for your business right from day one.
Your site will be a business asset and it’s vital for it to have a solid foundation with a proper commercial web hosting provider.
Here are those addresses again:
Domain name registration: www.namecheap.com