Great, so you have decided to pull the trigger and you can’t wait to start your online business. You have decided on how to host your website and the name of your company, now all that is left is securing a domain name. Buying a domain name can be a very straightforward procedure but could also turn into a headache when your desired domain is not available. In this post, I will share my experiences and show you how to buy a domain name.
A domain extension is the .com, .org or .net, which are fairly known domain extensions. You also have a lot of domain extension for specific countries, for example, .nl for the Netherlands, .co.uk for the United Kingdom or .cn for China. Domains are no infinite source and many .com or .net domains have already been taken by either other businesses or companies that sit on domain names hoping someone desperately needs them later on.
In light of limited availability many more domain extensions have been added, such as .io, a popular extension for those in the tech sector, or even domains such as .business or .lawyer and many extensions are added. See a full list of all domain extensions and additional information here.
Is the Domain extension important?
The short answer to this question, yes it is important. Despite what others might argue I still believe that unless you are in a very specific business, a .com is still the way to go. Exceptions might be when you are in tech so you could use a .io, or if you only do business in a specific country/language so the domain extension corresponding with that country could suffice.
So I would advise that in any case you should try to secure a .com domain for your business. Since you never know when you might need a specific domain and if that domain is still available, I also advise you to buy several domains that you might need in the future. I have parked several domain names for projects that I anticipate on starting in the future and I have those domain names managed with Namecheap.
What if the name I want is already taken?
This is a common situation and this pushes you to make some important decisions. When you search for a domain on for example Namecheap, you can see when a domain is no longer available.
In the screenshot above you can see that Tropicalup.com is no longer available, likewise. You can see that you are presented two different options, you can make an offer to the current owner of the domain or you can click on WHOIS. WHOIS let you see who is the current owner of the domain and where the domain is registered.
By choosing to make an offer you are often referred to a third party broker firm that can facilitate communication between you and the current owner of the domain. Although it is possible to successfully purchase a domain from a current owner I would not advise to aim for this solution when you are only starting out. Second hand domains often sell for around $ 2,000 and the perfect domain is not inherent to your success. You can always consider buying the perfect domain for your business when you are established and you feel that you still need it.
A domain name is very important for how people are able to find you and your business on the internet. I would always suggest that you should try to secure a .com domain that fits the name and purpose of your business. If you are anticipating also launching other online ventures in the future, it might be a good idea to buy and manage multiple domains with a site like Namecheap.
Try to take domain availability in consideration when naming your business in the first place as you would often find that there are multiple angles to find the perfect name and domain. When I was looking at launching Tropical U.P, I was looking at several different names that were unfortunately not available. At the end the most important thing about your domain name is that it suits the purpose and that the name is not too hard to spell and easy to remember.
So what is your strategy for finding domains and how do you manage these? As always I am interested in your opinion and make sure to check out the other posts that I mentioned in this article for more background information. Thanks and stay awesome!