You’ve likely been visualizing your website for weeks, maybe even months. You’ve nailed down your color scheme and picked your fonts, but one crucial decision still eludes you:
Where to purchase your domain name.
Furthermore, 33,000 new names are added to this list each day, making it crucial to buy yours sooner rather than later so your preferred name doesn’t get snatched up by all that competition.
In this article, we’ll look at the key considerations for purchasing a domain name. We’re covering the different types of domain names, what they cost, and how to understand registrars. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly where to purchase your domain, and be ready to take action on creating an online presence that works!
What’s a Domain Name?
A domain name is an address that guides people (and computers) to your website. It’s easy to think of it like your physical address—just as somebody who wants to visit you would type in your street address into Google Maps, someone wanting to see your website types your domain name in the web browser.
Under the hood, domain names are an alias for a numerical code called an IP address. That’s what computers use to find websites, and it looks something like: “192.168.0.1”.
Obviously, that’s not very user-friendly and memorable! Domain names make life easier by letting us type in actual words instead of numbers, and because they’re memorable we can quickly and easily find what we’re looking for.
Domain names consist of two parts:
- A top-level domain (TLD). This domain type comes after the last dot and can include .com, .net, .org, and many more.
- A second-level domain (SLD). You see this domain before the dot, and it is often your website’s name or brand.
For example, in “www.example.com,” “example” is the SLD and “.com” is the TLD.
Domain names are necessary for finding our way around, but they also help to establish credibility. Think of a domain name like a business card; if someone sees you have a professional-looking domain name, it can create trust for potential customers or visitors.
And finally, having a domain name can help to improve your website’s search engine rankings, as search engines often use the domain name as part of their ranking algorithm.
Getting the Right Price
When purchasing your domain, one of the most significant considerations is price. Depending on how desirable the domain name you want happens to be, prices can vary drastically from a few dollars up to hundreds or even thousands.
Let’s break down the elements to consider when purchasing your domain.
Popularity and Demand
Domain names with specific keywords can be more expensive due to their high search engine ranking potential, or because they are more likely to be remembered. Popular extensions such as .com, .org and .net may also cost more than lesser-known extensions like .biz or .info.
Age of the Domain
Generally speaking, older domains go for higher prices because they often have a better search engine ranking. But beware! Domains can be renewed or held by their owners for many years, meaning an older domain doesn’t automatically garner more value than a new one.
What matters is how much effort was spent maintaining the website’s content and search engine optimization (SEO) over its lifetime. The longer the history of consistent SEO updates, the higher the price tag could be for an old domain name.
Length of Registration
When purchasing your domain, it’s essential to consider the length of registration. Generally speaking, longer-term plans (over one year) come with discounts compared to shorter terms (less than one year).
For example, if you purchase a domain for two years but only pay one year upfront, this is considered a long-term registration and could save you money in the long run.
Finally, registering your domain for multiple years at once also makes it unlikely that someone else will buy it away from you in the future. This is particularly important if your domain name is integral to your business or brand identity.
Quality of Service
Researching the various companies and comparing their prices before purchasing is important to get the best deal possible. Many registrars offer “bulk” discounts for buying multiple domain names, free privacy protection, and other features.
However, some registrars may charge extra fees for hosting or website-building services, so make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
By understanding these factors, researching different companies, and comparing the quality of available features, you can guarantee you’ll get the best deal when purchasing your domain.
It’s Time to Buy—But Where?
An organization or company specializing in booking online domain names is referred to as a registrar. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)—the organization responsible for supervising web domains and IP numbers—accredits these registrars.
Once you’ve purchased a domain from a registrar, it will be registered in their database along with all other information about the owner of that particular web address, like contact details, DNS management records, etc. Keeping this information updated is essential so your domain remains active and secure.
Let’s break down the various types of registrars to help you make an informed choice. In general, there are four different options:
1. Purchasing a Domain Name Only
These companies specialize in registering domains for individuals or businesses who want their own website addresses. The advantages of purchasing a domain name from these registrars include not worrying about the extra costs associated with hosting services and taking complete control over your website.
This means you have full authority over where and how your domain name is used. This makes it easier to switch hosting providers or build a website with another platform in the future.
A possible drawback is you pay for additional services such as email forwarding or web hosting if you want more features than basic domain registration.
- Google Domains. For those that like and are familiar with the Google ecosystem, or, if you’re looking to set up email addresses using Google Workspace, using Google Domains is a simple and affordable option to keep things in one place. Buddy often recommends Google Domains.
- Domain.com. Offers domain name registrations with an intuitive user interface and simple checkout process.
- Bluehost. Allows customers to purchase a domain name separately from their hosting plan and provides buyers access to powerful SEO tools and email setups.
- GoDaddy. A popular registrar for those who want a straightforward buying experience, with options for website security certificates and other services like hosting and web building alongside your domain registration.
No matter which domain registrar you choose, ensure it meets your cost, features, and customer support needs.
2. Purchasing and Building a Website
Many web hosting providers also offer website hosting packages and web-building services. This is a perfect option if you’re searching for an all-in-one solution.
Here are a few of the trending domain registrars with added bells and whistles:
- SiteGround. If you’re looking to build a WordPress website, SiteGround is an excellent option for both hosting, and domain registration. SiteGround is an option that Buddy commonly recommends.
- Network Solutions. An established company with a long history of web hosting, Network Solutions offers reliable services with support available 24/7.
- DreamHost. This web-hosting platform provides free subdomains and advanced features such as private registration and auto-renewals at no extra cost.
- Hostinger. This company offers cheap domain registration with its basic package and a wide range of features such as free SSL certificates, website builder tools, and DNS management.
Do your research by reading reviews and comparison shopping before deciding to ensure you’re getting the best service for your money.
3. Domain Resellers
These companies purchase large volumes of domain names from registrars and then resell them at discounted prices. They may also offer bonus services such as website design or hosting, but their primary goal is to sell cheap domains. ResellerClub and Enom both offer reselling platforms.
There are several popular online marketplaces where you can buy and sell domain names. This is a lesser-known method of finding low-cost options or hard-to-find domains unavailable through other sources. Sedo and Flippa are examples of these types of registrars.
Now that you understand what a domain registrar is and the different types available, it’s time to find one that works for you!
Tips and Common Mistakes
Before deciding where to purchase your domain, there are some drawbacks you need to be wary of; after all, forewarned is forearmed. Here are some potential pitfalls to keep in mind when selecting a registrar:
- Researching different registrars for user-friendliness is key. Check reviews or customer testimonials to know what to expect before purchasing.
- Hidden fees like add-ons may not be evident at first glance, so read the fine print carefully before pulling out your wallet.
- Some registrars offer discounts or promotional offers from time to time. Be sure to check for these before purchasing to get the best deal available.
- Remember that some registrars offer a free domain when you choose one of their hosting packages. This is often a convenient way to save money and time buying both services separately.
- Ensure the registrar you’re considering offers 24/7 customer service support if something goes awry with your account or domain name registration process.
Keep these tips in mind as you consider where to purchase your domain, and you’ll be sure to find the best plan for your business.
Summing It All Up
Congratulations! By now, you should better understand where to purchase your domain, including how to get the best price for it and what types of registrars are available. You’ve also learned about common mistakes to avoid during the process.
When it comes to buying a domain name and building your website, Buddy Web Design and Development is an ideal partner that can make the entire process a lot easier. We provide reliable services with top-notch support, so you don’t have to worry about any technical details or possible complications along the way.
Our goal is simple: do great work and be great to work with. So let’s talk about how we can turn your ideas into reality and build something great together. With the team at Buddy, you’re just a few clicks away from taking that first step toward achieving success with your domain name!