Registering a domain can be done separately through a domain name regsitrar or a web host can do that for you. So you decided to start your own website and now want to register your domain, but how do you register a domain and where to register it ?
In this topic I will share my experience of registering a domain as well as some basic things about Domain.
When you type anything in the Browser location bar you are typing the domain name. So if you type www.google.com or www.jahajee.com then "google.com" or the "jahajee.com" is the domain. Remember that the domain name is not just the name it also has the extension which follows after that e.g. ".com" or ".org" etc.
Domain name is important because users remember your website by that. While there are few websites who name their website different from their domain name, the number of such websites are very less, and such habit is to be avoided. So it is going to be the name for your website, and you should choose your domain name wisely. In our next topic we will discuss about few tips about choosing a domain name.
Choosing a domain is not as tough as some experts make it to be ! I collected few tips which experts suggest in choosing domain name for your website, which are :
1) Choose domain name with key words
Expert website developers and SEO guys highly recommend you to have the key words in your domain name so if your website is about selling pizza you should have the pizza in the domain name, think about dominoes having website domain name pizzaonline.dominos.co.in . This might be good for some e-commerce website, whose website is intended to sell some product, thus the product is added in the domain name of their website, but what about those which are not concentrated to single product. My suggestion is to add basic theme in the domain name, if you are running after SEO, else it does not matter. Think about it does facebook have any keyword (social networking) in the domain name or does google have bestsearchengine in the domain name !
2) Keep domain name short
I too suggest that, but chances are that the short domains are already sold out. While, I too advocate highly for short domain names but what if you can not find one. I suggest to go for a little longer domain name. This does not mean that you include everything in domain name, just words which would convey the theme of your website. For me the website was about mariners which initially meant only for indians, and I registered my domain jahajee.com meaning a navigator.
3) Choose unique domain name
Try to mis-spell google.com and see which websites opens. While these websites may draw few traffic because of the confusion but thinking that the Internet surfers are fool is a big mistake! Do not intentionally choose some mis-spelled popular website domain name. If your domain name is unique from the beginning, it will create its own name and marketability as the website gets popular.
4) Choose .com domain names
Why does everyone advocate about this ! This was answered by my father. It was simple, he did not know about sites with other extension. Think about a large group of occasional internet surfers who still think that every domain name ends with .com . Not only that, most browsers have shortcut for .com domain name, just type jahajee and (Ctrl Enter) and .com is added. These things are pro ".com" . Sure if you are targeting a particular nation or local area then .in, .uk and others might suit you but if you are uncertain then follow the KISS(Keep it simple silly) phenomenon and register a domain with ".com" .
5) Choose domain names easy to remember and type
As said earlier choosing short domain names are easy to remember and type but what is wrong with two words domain name ? Some experts strictly say not to use hyphens - some say you may to distinguish two distinct words for SEO. While I never found any problems with hyphenated domain names but using that domain name for #tagging may become an issue with twitter and now on Facebook. Also hyphenated domain names may be a bit difficult to type, or is it !!
Think about it if you like a website or occasionally visit back some website do you care to type or bookmark it. For your site think of the genre you are targeting, if they are old, too young or not tech-savvy users, you may avoid the "-" as well as long typing domain names.
I found lots of suggestion on other websites about singular or plural, marketing, branding, & SEO(Search Engine Optimization) etc for the domain name selection. I wonder did google think about so much when they started "Google.com", was "thefacebook" less popular when it had "the" before it. I do not think so! Most of the popular websites are known so much not because of its name but for its services. Google has concentrated to be best search engine and give other services unmatched by others. Its later services are just branding the G before it. Same goes for facebook, Mr Zuckerburg chose domain name similar to facemash and not Social Networking.
Some experts advocate to keep registering domain names which are similar to you in any sense, their reasoning, if you will be popular others will use those names for their benefit and create confusion. I think, if I have used google and keep using their service, I might go to some other mis-spelled website due to typo error but sure I would know that it is not the website I used before. For the first timer who does not know its spelling, trust me they will sooner know about it ! Stop thinking web surfers as ignorant users.
I do understand that domain name is very important but if that is already taken, then its not the end of your website. Just register with any other simple name which could tell your user what the website is about and remain committed to it. If the user will be interested, he will find out more and for that you need to work on your website content and not only on the domain name ! Steve Jobs truly said "Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets", this simply means that you make a website which is a great product and visitors will keep coming back to it and avoid wasting days on thinking about what should its domain name be !
Registering your domain is the next step once you have chosen a domain name. As told before you can register using Domain registrar or through a web host.
Web host are organizations which provide you with web space on their server, but most web hosts will first register your domain and then provide web space for your website on the server managed by them. While the procedure may sound similar to the previous one of registering the domain, it is not. When registering a domain through registrar you are directly contacting the registrar while through a webhost its the host which contacts the registrar.
In olden days there were cases where the web host booked the domain name in their own name rather than yours and hence experts advised to go through the first method. Personally I registered the domain through web host because :
1. Registering through reputed web hosts will prevent fraud in registration (you can always check it by whois).
2. Web hosts will register the domain and also do the entire configuration for your website (read less hassles).
3. Your domain name and web space will expire the same day, hence only one day to remember and renewing will be easier.
So now you are ready to register your domain with your chosen domain name. In our next topic we will be discussing about web hosts and what to look for when registering your domain through a web host.