Since you’re continuing on with me let’s talk about what you need to consider when purchasing a domain.
First and foremost thing you should think about is actually the last part of the web address, the part after the period. Think “.com” “.org” “.net” – these are called Top Level Domains (TLD’s).
I won’t go into the history regarding ICANN and how they released new TLD’s, but as you’re thinking about TLD’s (for literally the first time in your life) you might find it interesting to know that there are actually over 1,500 currently. You can look at whole boring list here.
I am bringing up TLD’s because as you’re considering your domain and your website in general, it may be discouraging to find out that someone has already taken “yourname.com” or “businessname.org”. I had to wait 3 years for “robkirkpatrick.com” to be released so that I could buy it.
But because there are so many variations now, you have some room to be creative. My favorite example is a business whose name ended in “and Company,” so their domain read “TheirBusinessNameAnd.co” where the domain they purchased was “TheirBusinessNameAnd” and they used the TLD “.co”
Now that you’re hopefully not going to be discouraged, let’s go look at domains. I use GoDaddy to search for domains so let’s go there
Type in the domain you’re thinking, and you may get lucky and find the exact match you wanted. Otherwise, GoDaddy will suggest other TLD’s that you can use that may be similar to what you were hoping for.
I personally used GoDaddy to purchase my domain. I have also used Hover.com in the past as well. They all will do essentially the same thing for you, so I recommend shopping your domain and maybe even chatting with the sales teams to see what they can do for you.
A couple things to note before you purchase:
As I mentioned above, I purchased my domains through GoDaddy. They will offer you a lot of other services during the check-out process. All of their services are super reliable, and I’ve worked with their Customer Success Team before – unbelievably helpful. But for what I’m doing in this guide, you won’t need anything more than the domain.
Also, once you purchase a domain it has to remain with the registrar for 60 days. (Transferring a Domain | icann.org) This really shouldn’t be an issue for you, but thinking ahead. If you take on this process and decide it’s too much work – you won’t be able to directly transfer it to another site like Squarespace.com. You would need to map the DNS from GoDaddy to their site while you wait.
This really isn’t as scary as it sounds. In fact, we’ll be using DNS in the next steps. But before you buy, make sure you’re happy with the company you use.