Registering a domain name for your online business or organization shows you are a professional willing to spend money to build and host a website. Many people try to start their business online with a free domain and free hosting. This is a mistake as they have no control over their domain. If the company goes bust you lose all your content and your reputation.
Reasons to register a domain name
People are more likely to do business with you if you have a real domain name rather than some obscure website address.
Professional email address
Sending email from an email address that contains your domain name gives your business greater credibility than using gmail, aol, or hot mail address that often are used by spammers.
Permanent home for your website
Even if you change hosting companies your domain name will remain the same. You can take it with you wherever you go.
Your permanent website address is associated with your business, therefore it will steadily build your brand on the Net.
How to register a domain name
Create a list of possible domain names you wish to use as many of them may already be taken. Try stringing several words together, use numbers or hyphens between the words.
2. Check availability
Visit Godaddy.com (or your favorite domain name registrar) and enter your suggested domain name in the “start your domain search here” box. It will immediately tell you if it’s already taken and suggest some alternatives.
3. Purchase your domain name
Depending on the suffix of the domain name you will pay approximately $10.00. Some registrars may charge up to $25.00. If registering with Godaddy they will try to add additional services during the registration process such as privacy, email, hosting, web design, etc. I suggest opting out of these extra services. You can always add them later when you’re ready to make an informed decision.
4. Change the name servers
You need to point your domain name to the server hosting your website. Ask your web host for the name servers to use.
To change them in Godaddy log in to your account. Go to the domain manager to view all your domains. Check the box next to your domain, then click on name servers (top navigation bar). Delete the current name servers then enter the new name servers and click OK. It will take 24-72 hours for the changes to take affect.
5. Domain name parking
While you are waiting for your website to be built your domain name registrar will often provide a temporary web page (only if you are using their name servers). If you hired a web designer ask them to upload a temporary web page to the server that tells visitors your web site will be coming soon or is under construction.
5. Web design and hosting
Some domain registrars (such as Godaddy) offer web hosting and/or web design services as well. I recommend only registering your domain name with them as I’ve received many complaints from clients about their extra services. Find a reputable web design and hosting company so you’ll be a happy online business owner.
Don’t delay registering a domain name. It may get registered by someone else if you wait too long.