Look at you, you own or own business.
And you need a website.
Time to purchase your own business domain.
The first step to getting anything online for your business is to buy a domain. A domain is basically a quick reference digital address where your customers can find your business information. While buying a domain isn’t the hardest thing to do, we want to share some things that have tied others up fighting for their own name.
Find a domain that is available for your business.
Starting with your name is always the best road because your domain should be relatable to your business or something that you. Make sure this domain is something somewhat easy to remember and not incredibly long.
For example, Diamond Professional Window Cleaning needed a domain and at first purchased diamondprofessionalwindowcleaning.com for their company website. It didn’t take long to realize that they struggled to print business cards with their domain name. It always was a mouthful to share by word of mouth and try typing that that into your browswer. Shortly after launching their site, they decided to shorten their URL to dpwindow.com. And we leave it up to you to decide what domain is easier.
Choosing a domain name can be tough. Many names and variations of business names are already taken. One tool that we find invaluable is Panabee.com. Panabee makes it simple for you to type in your business name and/or service to find what domain names are available. Their ideas are pretty spot on as well.
Purchase the domain from a domain name registrar.
There are thousands of domain name registrar’s out there that do nearly identical services: sell domain names. The most important part of this step is that you, the business owner, actually purchase the domain under your name, email, and address. Never let an agency, vendor, friend, or 3rd party purchase your domain name.
One of the biggest headaches that companies face is a battle for their own domain name. Companies can spend years building up domain authority, content, and a digital presence only to have that work hijacked because they don’t own their domain name. Sometimes relationships go south, companies go out of business, or 3rd parties are no longer vested in replying to your request to manage their domain name.
Domain names carry the power to display a website, run an application, and run email accounts. These are 3 things your business cannot afford to forfeit.
We will say it again: purchase your own domain name.
Purchasing your domain name from somewhere that you found trustworthy and easy to use. Your domain should not cost more than $15 per year. Here are our favorite domain name registrars:
While purchasing your domain, you will be prompted to WHOIS privacy. WHOIS privacy usually costs $10-15 per year and basically hides your personal information from 3rd parties. This can be extremely helpful in avoiding emails, snail mail, and phone calls soliciting web services, business loans, legal help, etc. This is up to you, but we find it is usually worth the $10-15. Read why hover recommends WHOIS privacy.
All in all, you should be spending between $10-30 depending on where you purchase from and if you elect for WHOIS privacy.
Build your Digital Brand.
You now own your domain and you need to keep it that way. Don’t let the domain name lapse as others might be standing by to swoop in and purchase your domain and hold it ransom for higher costs. It is easiest to select automatic renewal.
If you are using an agency to help you set up a website, application, or email services, they will likely need to access the domain. This is standard, but follow these tips:
- See if your domain registrar allows for shared managed access (share access to the agency email that you can override or remove).
- Change the password and let your agency access the account and change the password once they are finished setting up the domain.
- Learn how to manage the domain yourself. This can be tricky, but feel free to request info from those seeking permission as they surely should know what to do.