Choosing and registering a domain names for your website.
Before you choose and register new domain names there are a few things you should
What determines a good domain name?
There are a number of opinions about what makes good domain
names. Some think it should be short and memorable. That would
make it easier for visitors to remember the name so they can easily return
at another time.
Most experts believe (as do I) that it is good to have some of your
primary key words in your domain name, but not necessary. It makes sense. The
search engines probably give some weight, even if small, to having the key
words appear in the domain name. So take advantage of every little edge
you can get if it doesn't interfere with other considerations.
Think about it, if a search engine
is looking for the key words "fly fishing", and it comes across
a site with the domain name "Freds-Fly-Fishing-Guide.com", it
will obviously give more weight to Fred's site than one with domain names
If your site is going to be selling something that people will need to
purchase again, like ink cartridges, then you might want to have a catchy
name that visitors will remember easily, so when they need another ink
cartridge they return to your site to make the purchase. But if you
are selling a product that won't result in repeat sales, it's less
important for domain names to be catchy or memorable.
Sometimes you can do both. The domain name for my cruise line
has the important keyword "cruises" in it and it's easy to remember.
If I had known it at the time I would have used cruises-r-fun.com.
Search engines view the first version as one word and the second as
three words. Live and learn as they say.
Searching for your domain name
After you've given some thought to your potential new domain name, go
to one of the domain name registration sites and use the search tools they
all have to find a name that is available. I use DirectNick.com,
but there are a lot of domain name registrars out there. DirectNick charges $15.00 per year to
register a name. There are cheaper registrars out there, but I have
had good luck with DirectNick with things like transferring
domains...which can be a real pain. When you search for a name most
registrars include a wide variety of alternative suggestions as well.
Make sure you list yourself as the owner and provide a good long-term
email address. Never let anyone else handle your domain name. If
it expires and no one notices, you could have a very difficult time
getting it back. The domain registrar is also where you go to list
your name servers. If you change hosting services for any reason
you will have to go into your account and change the name servers.
Be sure to keep all of your domain name registration and usernames and
passwords somewhere safe where you can find them when you need them.
Whois is lookup.
While your at the registrars site you can do a whois lookup.
Think of it as "Who is?". It provides you with the ownership and contact
information for the owner of a particular domain name. It's there for all the
world to see. There are ways to hide your identity if you are shy,
probably for an extra fee.
For the next step I would recommend finding a hosting service.
Hosting services for your website