Choosing a Domain Name

domain name

Part 1 of the Series: 
How to Make a Great Website

Introduction: How to Make a Great Website
Part 1: Choosing a Domain Name
Part 2: Building Your Website: Evaluating the Choices
Part 3: Six Major Questions a Website Should Answer
Part 4: Fundamental Website Pages
Part 5: Is Your Website an Asset…or a Liability?
Part 6: How to Promote Your Website

Also known as your website address, your domain name is the calling card for your website, and you want it to be memorable. Your business name will most likely be your first choice when you make a website for your company. For instance, your business is “The Boston Tea Company.” You would love to own the domain www.BostonTeaCompany.com.

Find out if the domain name is available. Google it first, then use a free search tool from a domain name provider such as GoDaddy to check on availability. If the domain name is available, great! Buy it right away (before someone else does.)

If you’re too late, try a variation such as bostonteacompany.net or bostonteacompany.org. You may need to get creative. BestBostonTea.com. TeabytheSea.com. You get the idea. (You may want to consider buying these similar domain names anyways to protect your brand.)

Compare different domain name providers for pricing and contract terms. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, 1&1, Namecheap, eNom, Yahoo, or Google are popular choices. Expect to pay a nominal annual fee for use of the domain name. Make sure you keep your account current — you don’t want your registration to expire and lose your domain name!

Map your domain name. Once your website is presentable and you’re ready to go public, you will need to log into your domain name provider account again to “map” or “point” your domain name to your website host. (Are you thinking, huh? Don’t worry. If you use Rushmore Web to create and host your website, you can follow the step-by step mapping instructions on our website, or call us with questions.)

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