How to Purchase a Domain for Your Small Business

1. Determine Domain Name

This seems like an easy step especially when you want to use your company name as your domain name, but remember that there are millions of domains already registered, and you may find that your desired domain name is already taken.  For that reason, there are some other options to consider for your domain name:

  • Company slogan
  • Industry keywords
  • Key product names
  • Descriptive phrase

2. Select a Domain Registrar

There are literally thousands of accredited domain registrars to choose from, and even more domain resellers.  This means that your options are relatively endless, and it is wise to research a few providers if you don’t already have a preferred domain registrar.  We have had years of experience with various domain registrars and can attest to the fact that there are some that deliver excellent options, some that offer amazing prices, and some that fall flat of what we consider standard expectations.  Check out our lists of preferred domain registrars and most popular domain registrars.

3. Check Domain Name Availability

Many registrar websites have a domain name checking tool.  In most cases, that tool is obvious and located front and center on their home page.  Remember to have a number of domain name options in mind in case your first, second, or even third option is already taken.

4. Choose Domain Name, extensions, etc.

How To Purchase A Domain For Your Small Business With Inbound MarketingIf your domain name of choice is available, then that is great news.  If it is already taken, then many domain registrars will show you several similar domain name alternatives that are available when you do a search using their tool.  Good registrars will also show you all of the available extensions (TLDs) for your domain name including .com, .net, and .org.In addition to options for alternative domain names and extensions, you will often find different lengths of domain registration periods.  10 years is the maximum number of years that any domain name can be registered for, so if you are offered a longer term, then the registrar will be renewing the domain with the registry on your behalf every 10 years.  Truthfully, I see no great reason to enter an agreement that is longer than the 10 year maximum.  Even though a fantastic pricing deal may be offered in those circumstances, you will likely encounter issues if you choose or need to transfer your domain to another registrar.

There will likely be many other add-on offers thrown your way by the domain registrar as you indicate you preferences.  Keep in mind that your will site will not need every single add-on available.  Please feel free to contact us, if you have any questions about particular add-ons, what they mean, what benefit they provide, and whether they are necessary or useful for your small business.  We will be happy to give you the information you require.

5. Pay

Once you have all of the options for your domain name selected, you will be prompted for payment.  Most registrars accept multiple types of payment methods including credit cards, electronic checks, and even PayPal.Remember to review the entire order before you submit your payment.  Check the names of the domains, the spellings (this is where many people make mistakes), the extensions you’ve selected, the add-ons, and the length of registration for your domain.Prices will always vary for domain name registrations depending on the registrar and options you choose.  If the pricing that is offered to you falls within the $8 to $40 per year range, then that is typical.  In fact, there are times when registrars offer domain names for next to nothing for the first year just to gain you as a client.

6. Set a Reminder for Renewal

Letting your domain name registration expire is the last thing you want to have happen, especially when your online business is booming.  So be sure to go into whatever calendar/appointment system you use and set some reminders for yourself about 60 and 30 days prior to the end of your registration period.  Many of the registrars offer automatic re-registration for you and an option for your account.  But, even with those services, you should make it a habit to check in on your registration expiration dates and details.  Many times payment information changes (credit cards expire), email addresses change (they send your reminder to a dead email), and automated systems do break down occasionally (even when they are reported to be perfect).

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