In this first step, we’re going to discuss what a domain name is, why you need one, and how to choose the best domain registrar, and get your domain. Let’s get started!
A domain name is the unique address that identifies your website on the internet. It’s the string of characters that users type into their web browsers to access your site. For example, www.yourwebsite.com is a domain name. Having your own domain name is crucial for establishing your online presence and making it easy for people to find you on the web.
Having a domain name is essential for a number of reasons:
I believe everyone who has an online presence should at least own their own name, or something close to it! This helps establish your personal brand and makes it easy for people to find you online.
I, myself own: rosinabignall.com, rosinabignall.net, rosina.me, rosina.one, and bignall.us.
So, create yourself as a brand by choosing a domain name that is yourname.com if you can get it, or something along those lines. If you have a common name, yourname.com may already be taken, so choose something related. You might choose yourname.net or yourname.org. You may choose to use your first or last name (likely also taken, but it never hurts to check). You could do something like superyourname.com or myyourname.com, etc.
If you already own your name, or really insist you don’t want to be a brand (it really is good for marketing, but it’s up to you). Choose something related to your niche that is catchy and easy to remember.
Stick to .com, .net, or .org domain extensions if possible. The .com extension is the most widely recognized and preferred option. If you can’t get a .com, consider .net or .org as secondary choices. It’s best to avoid other extensions, as they may not be as widely recognized and can make it harder for people to remember your website address. Also they are generally more expensive, sometimes much more expensive than the standard .com, .net, and .org extensions – other extensions are sometimes advertised very cheaply, but sure to find out the renewal cost, it’s usually much higher.
In general you also want to stay away from numbers in your domain name – try spelling out the number instead of using the number itself -, though there are times where the number works better than spelling it out. Also stay away from dashes in your domain name. They are hard to type and hard to remember that they are there. People will remember your domain much better if you just squish the words together, otherwise you’ll have too advertise much harder to help people remember.. Use rosinabignall.com not rosina-bignall.com.
A domain registrar is a company that manages the reservation of domain names on the internet. They’re responsible for registering your domain name and ensuring that it’s unique, so no one else can use it.
There are many domain registrars out there, but it’s essential to choose a reliable and reputable one. I recommend using Namecheap for a few reasons:
Now that you understand what a domain name is, why you need one, and how to choose a domain registrar, your assignment is to choose and purchase a domain name for your personal website. Take some time to brainstorm ideas that reflect your brand, expertise, or personal interests. Remember the recommendations on choosing the right domain extension and the importance of personal branding.
With your domain name secured, you’re one step closer to launching your personal website!
In the next lesson, we’ll talk about hosting and where to get it.