Choosing a Domain Name for your Website

One of the first steps in building a website is to choose a domain name for your site – and secure that name before someone else buys it.   Your_Domain_Name _sm

Decide on a domain name

Let’s assume that you want a name based on an existing publication. For example, The Sentinel, at “South High School.”

Start by making a list of possible domain names and alternates, such as:

  • Sentinel.com
  • TheSentinel.com
  • SouthHighSentinel.com
  • SHSentinel.com
  • SentinelSouthHigh.com

You should also consider the extensions .net and .org in your search, but using a “dot com” is the easiest way for people to find and remember the name.

Search for available domains

Most hosting services have a domain search function. Bluehost, Go Daddy and Host Gator and are just a few examples of highly-rated hosting services, according to HostingReview.com. (I’ll get into the topic of picking a hosting service in a future post.)

When I’m looking for domain names, I usually go to Whois.com to see what is available. On the Whois home page, look at the top left area where you can enter the domain name you want. Once you hit the search button, Whois will go through its databases seeking domains that are available for purchase and list the results.

Whois will tell you if the domain name is registered to someone else and will display alternate suggestions.  In some cases, the domain name may be held by someone who has not developed a website. Some domain owners may be willing to sell the name to an interested party.

Buy your domain name

Once you have found an available domain name, just buy it! The cost of a domain name is usually the least expensive part of your web journey – typically ranging from $.99 to $12.99 per year.

You can buy your domain from any reputable hosting site. However, I strongly recommend purchasing your domain name from the same company that will be hosting your website. Even if it isn’t the cheapest choice, it simplifies future steps when building your website.

Related articles:

12 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name

The Effective Strategy For Choosing Right Domain Names

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