Purchase a Domain Name

When you start up your online business one of the first things you'll need to do is purchase a domain name and register it. The purpose of domain names is to provide easily recognizable and memorable names to Internet resources that would otherwise have to be numerically addressed. So a domain name is a more memorable way of addressing (labelling) your website, and also allows your website to be easily moved to (hosted at) a different physical location.

Registering your domain name marks ownership of the resource/label, and there are several good reasons for registering your own domain name, especially if you are promoting affiliate products:

  • If you are promoting affiliate products, your own domain name looks more professional than an affiliate link
  • When your customer is typing the domain name into their browser, they are less likely to make mistakes with a meaningful domain name than with a complicated affiliate link
  • Some people may even omit your affiliate ID, either intentionally or unintentionally, depriving you of your affiliate commission
  • Many free advertising resources – for instance ezine articles – won't let you use a direct affiliate link
  • A well chosen domain name may help you to be found in the search engines. This was once a “given” but with recent Google updates this is not so certain now.

You really can't run an online business without at least one domain name. This is NOT an expensive step, because for just a few pounds or dollars a year you get the benefits listed above.

As the online world turns more in favour of branding yourself, the first domain you should try to register is your own name. My personal site – as you will see – is JoyHealey.com. If you're not quick enough to grab your own name, you can add a variation – perhaps your initials, or a suffix such as Online, etc.

Your next step is to choose the company at which you will register your domain name. There are many companies where you can register a domain, and as your online “empire” expands you will probably have several domains. You will typically register them for one or two years, but your personal domain you'll probably want to register for as long as possible to take advantage of any discounts for a longer registration period.

When you acquire second and subsequent domains, I I suggest keeping them all  registered with the same company for simplicity. When I first acquired more than one name I managed to spread across various companies and ended up totally confused when I needed to change any details, renew etc. An Excel spreadsheet sorted me out in the end, and as I progress in my career I'm moving them to one company.

Some will say you shouldn't have all your eggs in one basket, but I've chosen a large company that's likely to be “here” longer than I am!

Although I've heard some people don't like their politics, I use GoDaddy, because:

  • It was the one that I was first recommended to use by someone whose opinion I valued and who had had good service from them
  • Their customer service is great, including understanding that not everyone is expert on domains, hosting etc!
  • The pricing is very reasonable
  • They remind you of your domain renewals in plenty of time
  • They offer regular and generous discount coupons
  • Many popular training programs base their instructional videos and manuals round the GoDaddy service

You will need to register an account with them, then use the search box in your chosen company to check if your chosen domain name is free then register it.

Registering a Domain Name 2One slight downside is that they get VERY tempting in their “add-on” offers once you have bought your basic domain. Unless you know exactly what you’re buying and how you plan to use it, I advise you to resist these to start with. You can add them later.

I got carried away when I first started registering domains and spent far more than I had intended to. Yes, it can be good to have both the .com and the .info domain suffix, but you may prefer to wait until the profits are coming in!

So those are the basics to consider when you decide to purchase a domain name. I hope you found that helpful.

Please add any tips you'd like to share for any-one registering a domain name.