What is a domain name?
Before we dive in to explaining how to register and set-up your own domain name, let’s take a moment to explain Domain Names. These are the URLs we’re used to seeing all over the internet, such as http://www.exampledomainname.com. If you’ve registered a blog with WordPress, Blogger or Squarespace you might have a domain name such as http://myblog.wordpress.com with your own personal name before the domain name, this is called a sub-domain. You do not own the domain name.
So you’ve identified a name for your blog, it’s now time to purchase your own domain name and set-up but is your preferred name actually available on the net?
Purchase your domain name
A great site for checking out your options is Domainr. This checks all kinds of domain name options, including some of the great new gTLDs (the .com or .org or .london).
Just type in your selected name (don’t add the .com, just the name) and it will let you know if it is available. Domainr list the alternative options for things you might not have previously thought of.
Don’t get hung up over .com
Most people want a simple gTLD such as .com, as it is hugely popular many of these have been taken. Don’t get too hung up on a .com as your visitors will most likely Google search for your blog, or click a link you post on social media. Very few people will type it in directly. Be creative and look for a great domain name!
Of course .com is by far the most popular extension, however there are hundreds of new gTLDs being released every day. Here are a few of the other top-level domains and how they are commonly used. Use an extension that is relevant to you and what you are doing.
- .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
- .info : informational sites.
- .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites
- .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
- .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
- .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
You can register more than one domain name so if you want to make sure your readers get straight to you whatever they type in just purchase the options you would like and forward these additional domains to your primary extension.