Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions for how to register a domain name for your business. Click play on the video to watch me take you through the process. Or, below the video you’ll find a summary of the steps in text format. Be sure to leave a comment if you found this helpful.
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A domain name is the name of your website, like YourBusiness.com. There are many sites where you can register a domain name, but be sure to use a company with a good reputation. GoDaddy is one of the biggest companies.
Decide what you’d like your domain name to be. If your business is primarily local, where people come to your store, you probably want to try to get your business name as the domain name, to build your brand. For instance, if your business is “Joe’s Cakes”, you’d probably want to try to get “joescakes.com”, or if that’s not available, add your city name, such as “joescakesbaltimore.com”.
If most of your business will be done online and your primary focus is to get people to your website, you might want to try to get a domain name that contains the keywords people might be searching for online to get to your site. For instance, let’s say I had a business called “Todd’s Shoes” but I primarily sold the shoes online, and they were discount shoes, I might think of what people would be searching for who would be looking for what I offer. So I might try something like discountshoes.com, cheapshoes.com, or if those aren’t available, toddscheapshoes.com.
Don’t be too surprised if the first domain name you search for is not available. You’d be surprised how many domains are already registered. But keep searching and you’ll find something that’ll work. Sometimes they’ll offer to let you “backorder” domain names. Don’t mess with that, it’s a waste of money. It just means someone else already has the domain name you want and, if by some small chance at some point in the future they failed to renew it, you might have a shot at getting it. But it’s not going to help you right now, and likely the domain will never become available and you will have wasted that money. So I don’t recommend using that “backorder” option.
Once you find a domain you like, there should be a button to Continue or Checkout. Be prepared to be upsold on tons of different add-ons. In many cases you don’t need any of them. And if you decide later that you do, you can always add them on later. For instance, they’ll try to sell you hosting. If you’re hosting your website somewhere else (and I’d recommend it), you don’t need to buy hosting from them.
So skip past all that stuff unless you see something you need. You can choose the length of your registration. If you’re not sure if this is the domain you’re going to use long term, or not sure if you’ll be doing this business more than a year down the road, you can choose 1 Year. Otherwise, I’d recommend going with multiple years. One reason is that some people feel it has a positive influence on how sites like Google view and rank your website. Registering your domain for multiple years usually indicates you’re more serious about your business and likely to be around long term. There is some debate about this and I’m sure it has minimal impact, but it’s just something to keep in mind.
When you’re on the checkout page, it’s good to look over things to make sure you didn’t accidentally add something to your cart that you didn’t mean to.
You’ll need to create an account if you don’t already have one. One step a lot of people overlook is the step where you create your login name. By default it’s just a bunch of numbers (which is your customer ID), which you’ll never remember, so it’s best to create a custom login ID. Most of the other stuff they ask for is pretty standard. One exception is a call-in PIN #. This is just a 4-digit code that would be hard for someone else to guess, so that if you need help and call in for support, they can verify that you are the owner. You don’t want anyone else messing with your domain names, so it’s good to set this to something hard to guess.
Other than that, just follow the instructions on the screen and go through to checkout.
Congratulations, you’ve just registered your domain name!