For many of us the first thing we think about when wanting to start our own website is what the name of it will be. In fact just thinking about can be very exciting! Since it is asked so often, I thought I would take some time to address the question- How To Get My Own Domain Name?
What is a Domain Name
Just want to cover the basics in case some of you out there are really new to the internet and its vocabulary. You probably have no doubt heard the term domain before, but if not it is simply the address of your website.
For instance, this website is howtostartmyownwebsite.com. That is the domain name.
Choosing a Domain Name
If you already have a business you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want your domain name to be. Ideally, most people would want it to be the name of their business. For instance, if you own a bakery named Cupcakes Galore you would probably want it to be cupcakesgalore.com or maybe cupcakesgalorebakery.com.
If you don’t have an existing business then you have a lot more options based on what your website is going to be about. If it is a blog about travel and your name is Susan you might want susanstravels.com or something totally crazy like hitchhikingaroundtheworld.com.
The possibilities are really endless. It is totally up to you what kind of a name you want to represent the information you are giving to the world.
Some Domain Names Are Taken
After dreaming of your perfect possible domain name, many of us come crashing back down to reality when we realize that name has already been taken. Don’t freak out…yes it was the best name ever, but believe me, there are others that are just as good. You just have to be creative.
When you are trying to choose your domain it is very helpful to use an online tool that lets you know if it is available or not. You can use sites such as name.com, godaddy.com, wordpress.com. These are examples of sites that also will sell you the the domain name for various prices. The going rate for most dot com domain names is usually between $12 and $18 per year.
Stick to the .com
If you pick a name like cupcakes galore, most of these sites should show you if the dot com version is available. If it is taken they will try to offer you other dots, like dot org, dot net, even weird things like dot bakery. Under most circumstances you do not want any of these.
Do everything you can to come up with an available dot com domain name that still makes you happy. For the most part this will help you with ranking and traffic in the end, leading to more overall success.
A really awesome free tool that can help you explore different domain options is leandomainsearch.com. This is the best tool I have ever seen that gives you available “.com” domain options using your target keyword(s). I highly recommend checking out this tool. It is very cool.
Fight for your Domain?
If you have your heart dead set on a name that isn’t available, sometimes someone may own that domain name and not be using it. Sometimes the site you are trying to purchase it through can help you make an offer to the owner, but it may cost you a pretty penny. One I recently looked at was $69.99 plus commission, and I am sure that was on the low end.
There are also domain name auctions. Apparently there are people who buy up potentially good domain names and then sell them to the highest bidder. Seems a bit scammy to me, but it’s out there. Your best bet though, is to just find an available dot com that will suit you and your website.
Hosting a Website
Once you have your domain name you are going to want to find the right hosting service. As I mentioned above, most websites that offer you the ability to purchase a domain name also offer a website hosting service.
What is Website Hosting?
In basic terms, this is where your website and everything in it is stored along with related services. A good host will house all of you website information on their servers and offer you email addresses for your site and hopefully some technical support too.
There are ways to host a website yourself, but it can require a lot of storage space, money and technical abilities that I do not currently possess. It is not something I would recommend unless you just really want to spend the time, money, and effort required to try it out.
How much does it cost?
Typically buying your domain name is a low cost once a year expense, as mentioned above. Then you will want to choose the best hosting package for you, which is usually an additional monthly fee that varies depending on the package you choose.
On most hosting sites the basics will run you from $12 to $20 a month.
You will also want to make sure that domain privacy is included with your purchase, or buy the necessary add on. Without this “Privacy” people can look up your domain name and find out all your personal information, including your name, address, email address, and phone number.
Unless you choose a hosting service that automatically includes this, it will be an extra cost.
Of course, there are a lot of opinions out there on what the best hosting sites are. There are really too many to mention I however highly recommend using Wealthy Affiliate (WA).
I personally use WA. Through all my research and investigations into the best platform for web hosting, privacy, and the support needed as a new website owner, nobody compares to them.
When I started out, I pretty much knew nothing at all. I spent tons of time searching for answers and help for every little thing I tried to do online. Then one day luck struck and I came across Wealthy Affiliate.
You can check out my full review of Wealthy Affiliate in one of my previous articles (click here), but just to give you a basic run down on their services…
Do it For Free
First off, it is free to sign up! For free you can get detailed, easy, step by step, written and video instructions on everything you need to know to start your own website. They will even help you come up with your own genius idea for your website, if haven’t figured it out yet.
Secondly, they give you 2 free websites with your free membership that they host for you, for free. I know, there is a lot of “free” in there, but it really is free. It is a really great way to get going on your website and see how you like it before you decide to invest any money into it.
You can stay on their free program forever if you want. They do also have a Premium Membership that is $19.99 for the first month and then $49 after that, but there is absolutely no obligation to upgrade. You can just keep on enjoying the free stuff as long as you want.
You can also purchase domain names through WA for $13.99 a year. The really incredible thing is that, not only is that a great competitive price, but as a member, you don’t have to transfer your new domain anywhere.
When you buy your domain at WA it is registered and up and running within minutes, and they take care of all the technical stuff for you. They even provide the Domain Privacy and Hosting at no additional cost.
Everything You Need
Best of all, it is a huge community with hundreds of thousands of members that are online 24/7. There is more personal and instant help than you could imagine. They also have a lot of other incredible features that are all included at WA. Many of these are tools (that are all included) you will probably end up paying monthly fees for at multiple other sites in the future. It is really great to have it all in one place.
I guess that is enough ranting about how great Wealthy Affiliate is for now. I just really appreciate everything they have done for me. They have taught me how to be free, how to start my own website and how to work for myself with hardly any monetary investment.
If you do want to read my full review about Wealthy Affiliate and all they have to offer you can click here to go to that post.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear from you! You can leave a comment for me below.