The most overlooked step in entrepreneurship: domain names.

domain names extensions
Domain name extensions

When people create a website for their business, they often overlook one of the most important steps: choosing and buying a domain name. Read ahead to make sure you know how to choose and buy a domain name!

What is a domain name?

To understand this, one must first now what an IP address is. An IP address is similar to a real world address: It is a series of characters which points to a location in the internet. An example would be:

196.172.1.13

Every website can be identified and searched for with a similar address. To try this, type in 192.168.1.1 in your search bar. In most cases this will open a page from which you can change your wifi router’s settings.

Remembering all these numbers or writing them down would be pretty hard and time consuming, so there’s a system to make this simpler. Domain names are a a series of characters such as google followed by an extension such as .com. The result is google.com.

Where and how to buy a domain name.

To buy a domain name, choose a reputable provider.

My personal recommendation is namecheap.com.

Other great options are domains.google and porkbun.com.

How to choose a domain name.

Choosing your domain name is incredibly important. After all, it is how people will find you online. Make sure to choose a recognizable and unique domain. Think about it. Would you buy sports shoes from cheapsportshoes.com or greatsportshoes.org. These domains are recognizable but they are not unique and don’t communicate a brand image. Compare that to Adidas or Nike. They have successfully built a brand image with a non-explanatory name. Try to emulate this.

Choose an extension

We all know about .com domains. They’re the most common and communicate the most security. They also happen to be the most expensive. They can cost anywhere from 14$ to thousands if they are very sought after. Other common options which are rarely expensive and work well are .org, .co, .us (Or .co.uk, .fr …) and .net. If you’re in a niche field, there might be a domain extension made for that. Examples of this are .tv, .ai, .edu, .aero, .museum, .pro. Once you have your domain name and extension chosen, buy it on any of the providers listed above! (namecheap.com, domains.google, porkbun.com.)

Confirm your ownership and connect it to your website

Once you’ve chosen a domain name, looked it up on any of the providers and successfully bought it, you need to confirm you own it before you can use it. This is simple: you will receive a verification email from your chosen provider. Follow the instructions on the email and done! You can now use your domain.

Every hosting provider has different ways to connect your domain name to your website. Look up on your provider’s FAQ how this should be done. Most often, it will consist in changing the DNS (Domain Name Service) your domain name points to. This will automatically connect your website to your domain name and make it possible for users to find you easily.

As always, leave any questions you have down in the comments and good luck!

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