The first step in getting a good domain name, is deciding on the right one. Make it fit for the purpose you have planned. Should your website appear to be edgy and fresh, or mature and respectable? Should it advertise your service? Next, check it is not already in use and register it, with a registrar like GoDaddy.com or register.com. The cost of registering will vary according to the company and its services. Most will only accept either PayPal or credit cards as payment. When the process is complete you can start building your website and attracting visitors.
A domain name, is part of the system that web servers use to assign addresses to web pages. Your domain name is like your phone number, a direct line to your website. It’s also a user friendly way of breaking down strings of complex data, allowing us to use terms we recognise in our web searches.
Domain names have three sections, they begin with ‘www.’ meaning World Wide Web. The middle part is, ‘yourdomainname’ this is the part you choose and then pay to register. The final section is the server address, ‘.co.uk’ or ‘.gov’ and so on. Every section is divided by a full stop.
Domain names have a hierarchy, starting with top level domains or TLD for short. These generally refer to countries, as in ‘.uk’, or governments, ‘.gov’ or the more generic, ‘.com’ or ‘.org’. Below these top level domains are two more levels, used by individuals or groups wishing to obtain a specific a domain name.
According to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, there are plans to make many new top level domains available. Applying for these will incur far higher costs than for a lower level domain, and you would need to assess whether or not the process would pay off in the long run. Marketing materials would need to be changed and there would be various other costs involved. However, you’d have the opportunity to get an exact domain name, rather than a compromise. If a preferred name is taken on another domain, you could buy it on a top level domain, assuming you get there quick enough.
Shop around on the internet for pricing structures, and for how long your domain will remain registered. Often you get a better deal in the long run if you pay to register for a number of years in a lump sum. So in effect, you decide how long your domain name is valid for, by keeping up the payments.
A domain name needs to be unique in order for it to identify your website, from the multitude available. It’s like your home address, visitors use it to find you. The reason you have to register and pay for a domain name, is to point potential visitors to your site in the right direction. The internet uses web servers to provide this function and when you buy a domain name, you are in effect, paying for that service.