This post is part of a series called blogging 101.
Buying a domain for the first time is a thrilling experience. A domain is something uniquely yours and it is the chief identifier of your site or brand. Your domain is not only the first element of your website brand that makes an impression on your visitors but is also the most recurring. Your visitors will be forced to recognize your domain every time they type it into their address bar or view their address bar while browsing your site. That is why you should carefully consider the following 3 things when choosing a domain:
- What is the name of my blog and how is it represented in the domain? Generally, you should have your blog’s name in the domain for branding purposes. There are very few exceptions.
- How long do I plan on running my blog? When registering a domain, you will often have the option of choosing how long you would like to register your domain. Registering for one year is a wise choice because, even if you are very enthusiastic about your blog project, you may soon decide to abandon your blog or go into a different niche.
- What keyword terms am I looking to target in my blog? Search engines like Google pay attention to what is in your domain name. If you have a domain like fishesandeggs.com, your site will be better suited for ranking pages for the terms “fish” and “eggs.”
- What kind of blog will I be running? Domains like .com symbolize commercial websites, .net symbolize networks and .org represent organizations. If your domain is not available in .com (which is often the most preferred type), you should probably resort to a .net because the two are very similar. You should also consider how your domain extensions sound when combined with the name you choose.
How do I purchase a domain for my blog?
Purchasing a domain is the easiest part of creating a website. You just need to find a good domain registering service like GoDaddy or NameCheap, create an account and start buying! Most domain services will offer to give you a first domain (for new accounts) free. Blogtap’s website domain was purchased with GoDaddy which, by the way, has a very good domain management program.
If you will not be hosting your site files with the domain service, you should read this guide about hosting your own blog. You will need to forward your domain to the DNS (domain name server) of your hosting company. It is not recommended that you host your site with the service that you purchase your domains from. Domain registering services tend to be terrible and overpriced server hosts.
Be warned—once you buy a domain for the first time, it is likely you will buy a dozen more within the next year. The truth is, domains are like crack for bloggers. Pace yourself.