Buy a Domain Name; Everything You Need to Know

If you think of setting up a business or are already in the process, you cannot miss out on the chance to maximize the opportunities on the online platforms. The first step, therefore, is to set up a website, and for this, you will need the right domain name.

Before you set out to buy a name for your domain, there are several things you need to consider and to know. We will highlight this in detail below so that you can make the right call for your business website.

Is the domain name the same as a URL?

If you are to think about the name of your domain as a piece of real estate, think of it as a house. Your domain name is that place where your target audience can always find you.  Much like the address of your home, your domain name is your online address.

If your customers or target audience want to find you, they will type in your domain name in the URL section on your browser. Domain names are the websites internet protocol or IP address, which are typically a series of numbers that are unique to each user. However, thankfully the originators realized that it would be challenging for the average person to remember the string of numbers, thus the use of domain names.

The universal resource locator or URL, on the other hand, is found at the top of the webpage, and this is where you type your online address or domain name.  The URL is made up of a string of characters, including the name of your domain.

If we are to take the example of the e-commerce platform Shopify, the domain name is shopify.com while the URL is https://www.shopify.com/.  

Top level domains you should consider when buying a name for your domain

There are seven high-level domains which include: –

  • .com – the com stands for commerce, and you will find many commercial websites using this extension. The .com is very popular and is the most sought-after extension.
  • .net – you will find many network providers using this extension.
  • .org – this extension is normally used by organizations
  • .edu – educational institutions like schools and universities normally use this.
  • .gov – the .gov extension is for use by government agencies.
  • .int – this extension is for use by international organizations.
  • .mil – this is used by the military.

Why you should consider a high-value domain

High-value domains are expensive, but you may want to consider spending the money in getting such a name. The advantages of a high-value domain name include: –

  • Protection for your brand – a high-value domain name will keep competitors at bay.  They will find it difficult to register a name that is close to yours to confuse potential customers.
  •  You come across as an authority – a high-value domain name will give you credibility whether online or offline.  It also gives the impression that your business has been around for a long time, making it easy for customers; both present and potential, to trust you and your brand.
  •  It will get you website traffic – A high premium website will get high traffic due to Google referral or direct type in’s.
  • SEO – high-value domain names utilize keywords and will help make your website easy to find by the search engines due to the high-ranking.

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How to buy a name for your domain

When getting a name for your domain, you have two options; the first is to get an original name and register it; the second is to buy an existing one.

Buying an original name

If you decide to go with the option of purchasing an original name, you will need to come up with one that is unique, catchy, and informative. You can do this by yourself, through a brainstorming session with your friends, staff members or family, or you can use domain name generators that are available online.

Registering a name does not mean it is yours forever. For you to keep using it, you have to keep up with the renewals; otherwise, someone can take it up once your subscription expires. Register domain names that come close to yours so that if a website visitor misspells your name, it does not direct them to another site.

Buying an existing name for your domain

You have the option of purchasing an existing name for your domain. E-commerce platforms like Shopify will sell you an existing domain name, you will need to pay the subscription fee, but if you do opt to move out of Shopify, you can still keep it.

The main advantage of buying a name that is existing is that it may already have excellent traction with the search engines, which will make your website, stand out. If you buy one which has a homepage or a blog that is running, you will save a lot of time and money, which you would use if you’re setting up a new one.

You can buy an existing name through online auctions and can get one for as little as $10. Some marketplaces also have names for sale from those which the previous owners have not renewed the subscription. You can even approach the owner of a name and offer to purchase it. Be careful though, do your research and make sure that the former owner did not use the name for dubious work like pornography or gambling.

Final thoughts

The process of setting up a website for your business requires that you get the right name for your domain.  It should be easy to remember and utilize keywords that will make it easier for search engines to find you. With the right name, you will set the tone for your presence online, and it will impact on how people interact with your brand.

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The State of Domain Names in 2019