How to Buy a Domain Name

So you are wondering how to buy a domain name.

A good domain name is almost as important as a good business name and is extremely crucial to the success of most businesses.

Choosing the Right Domain Name

Your business domain name should be the same as your existing company name or brand name, as you want to create consistency and enable customers to easily remember it.

If you have not created a name for your business yet, then you can let the available domains guide your decision.  A domain name may address the overall concept of your site. For example, if you sell bikes, it may be called CaliforniaBikes.com.  Keep in mind that if you can include a keyword that relates to your specific product, this will help you with search engine optimization – which relates to how frequently you appear in search results.

Steps on How to Buy a Domain Name

Take your time and choose the domain name that is right for you.  Here are a few guidelines on how to buy a domain name:

  • When deciding upon your domain name, you should first make a list of all the possibilities. Include your company name, the concept of the site or variations of the two.

Remember that a domain name should be simple, easy to spell, and easy to say. A complicated, long-winded domain name, such as greatbikesatgreatprices.com will likely be misspelled or forgotten by the average customer. On the other hand, a simpler domain name, such as greatbikes.com is both easier to remember and easier to type in than the former address.

  • Perform a simple search for the availability of a certain domain name by simply typing it into your Internet browser. If the domain name doesn’t appear, then you can do a more in-depth search of the domain name through the various domain name search engines available on the Web, such as GoDaddy.com.

  • Don’t rule out a domain name just because it belongs to someone else. Many business owners snag their domain names off current owners. If the website is up and running, try contacting the owners of the site and ask if the domain name is for sale.

Prices for domain names have been known to exceed six figures, but typically you can buy a domain name for a few thousand dollars or less. If you think this is expensive, consider what the domain name is worth to you. If it is the name of your company, then purchasing a domain name will likely result in a considerable amount of web traffic and subsequent business.

A popular place to check the owner of a website (if it isn’t already listed on the site or if the domain name is not being used) and to transfer ownership is InterNIC (www.internic.net).

  • There are several, authorized dealers through which you can purchase your domain name. It is important to understand that you don’t need to go through your web hosting company to purchase a domain name. This is one of those times that it pays to shop around to get the best deal!

  • There are several companies that allow you to actually put an order in to buy a domain name as soon as it becomes available, such as SnapNames.com.

  • You can also bid on a domain name through a virtual auction, such as NameWinner.com.

  • When choosing the company through which to register your domain name, check the credentials of the company and make sure you understand key points, such as: the number of years the company has been in business; if the company lets you have complete control over your domain name; if there is any fee to transfer the domain name away (hint: there shouldn’t be!); how many email accounts should be available to you with your domain name; and if you can use the company’s STMP servers for your outgoing mail.

With the knowledge of how to buy a domain name under your belt, you are well on your way to becoming the next internet real estate tycoon!