Sometimes when you do something long enough you start to think it's common knowledge.
Take purchasing a domain for example. Over the years I've purchased hundreds of domains, many of which were terrible choices, but it became a bit of a hobby for me and it's fun finding new and unque domain names. It reminds me of when I collected comic books and baseball cards as a kid. I really enjoy purchasing a new domain name and imagining the business I could build around it, knowing full well I will most likely never actually do it. That may sound dorky to you but it's the truth!
Today I'm going to show you how easy it is to purchase a domain. I'm not going to get into how to choose a domain name, though I will leave some resources for you at the end of this article.
I personally use Godaddy.com for all of my domain purchases, regardless of where I host my websites. Though I personally find Go Daddy to be a poor choice for web hosting, they do offer great deals on domain purchases and their user panel (Domain Name Server, or DNS) for managing your domains is relatively easy to use, even for a novice. The other reason that I like using Go Daddy is that I can centralize all of my domain names in a single location and it doesn't get messy if I need to change hosting providers for my website.
If you don't end up using Go Daddy, no fear. The registration process is pretty much the same with all of the major domain name providers.
*If you plan on only purchasing one domain in the foreseeable future, you may want to consider just purchasing your domain name from the web hosting provider that you eventually use. It will make things a little easier for you to have everything with a single provider.
Just follow the steps below and you will have your very own domain name in about 5 minutes.
Sign up for an account at Godaddy.com
Signing up for an account is straight foward and only takes about a minute. Below the sign up form are a whole bunch of tick boxes asking you how you would like to be contacted and if you would like to subscribe to a few newsletters. Read it carefully as you don't want to be bombarded with emails from them.
Choose a Domain Name
The next step is to choose a domain name. Once you enter the domain name you are looking for, you can hit the big orange “Go” button and Go Daddy will search to see if it is available.
Choose from the available domain names
As you can see from the image above, garyshouldis.com is taken (I own it already). Go Daddy will show you the results for that domain name and let you know if it is available in several other popular domain extentions like .net, .org and.biz. If you look on the right, it will also show different varients of the domain name you entered, like “bestgaryshouldis.com”, which is a bit corny….but who doesn't like seeing the word “best” in from of their name!
If I am purchasing a domain to use as a business, I almost always opt for the .com extention as it is by far the most popular. The only acception I will make is if the business will be doing business solely in be a particular country, in which I may opt to use the country domain extention. An example of this is Canada, where the country specific domain extention is .ca and is very popular. In contrary, .us is not at all popular in the U.S., even though it is technically the country domain extention.
If you are purchasing a domain for personal use, such as your name or a personal blog, you may opt for a different domian extention like .me or .org.
Once you have settled on a domain name, you are ready to checkout.
Purchase your new domain name
I have decided to purchase the domain “garyshouldis.org” to add to my personal collection of “Gary Shouldis” domain names. As you click through to the registration process, you need to be aware of a few things with Go Daddy.
They are the Kings of the upsell and are a bit sneaky in the checkout process. Be sure to read everything clearly and only choose the options that you want and nothing more. An example above is the default for my domain registration is for 5 years. If you are not sure you will still be using this domain name in a few years, I would opt for only a year or two, then renew it again once you have an actual website in place and you know you will need it for the next several years. The other reason I don't like to register for too long a time (with the exception of this website, which is registered for several years) is that Go Daddy will be constantly sending you coupon offers for new domain names as well as renewing existing domain names, so you will always have opportunities to save after you purchase your domain.
Privacy and Doain Protection Options
Your domain comes with standard registration, which includes a public listing in the WHOIS database directory. The WHOIS directory is public for anyone to find the name and contact information for any domain name. If you do not want to have your contact information listed in the WHOIS directory, then you can opt for a private registration, which is an additional charge. Most of my domains are not private and I haven't had any spam problems, but it's a personal choice.
Activate Your Domain
The next section in the registration process is a bunch of upsells, where Go Daddy asks you if you want to add email and hosting to go along with your website. I do not use either service with Go Daddy and advise you to look at other options for email and web hosting that are much better choices and at a better price. A great and free email service is Google Apps. Check out the resources at the end of the article for a few web hosting options.
If you choose not to purchase email or web hosting from Go Daddy, make sure none of the tick boxes are checked and you're not paying for anything you don't want to.
*Go Daddy gives you a bunch of free starter services, including an email address when you purchase a domain with them.
Finally Ready to Checkout
You're in the home stretch. Here you should make sure you are only paying for what you want, in this case a domain name with a 1 year registration. If you look in the “Order Summary” box on the right, you will see a option to enter a promo code. If you don't have one, do a Google search for “Go Daddy Promo Codes” and you will see tons of results with coupon codes. Almost all of the time you will be able to find one to get an additional discount off of your order.
When you have reviewed you order, just hit the “Continue to Checkout” button to go to your payment page and you are done. You have just purchased a domain! Give yourself a pat on the back as millions of people around the world still have no idea on how to accomplish this feat.
Congratulations on your domain purchase
As you can see, purchasing your own domain is relatively easy. There are lots of places to purchase domains, host your websites and find cool domain names. I have listed a few options at the end of this article. I personally use all of them and find them to be a good starting point for beginners. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about domain names, web hosting and pretty much anything else related to internet marketing. Cheers, Gary
Online Resources for domains, web hosting and domain name research
Domain Name Research
Purchase Domain Names and Web Hosting
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