Register A Domain Name For Your Website
You can register a domain name for your website at any time, whether or not you have your website up and running.
What Is A Domain Name?
Computers communicate using numbers, and they will find your site through its IP address, which will be in the format 17.234.765.834 – but imagine having to remember a string of numbers like that every time you wanted to find a website!
The solution is to use names which mask the code, and that’s what domain names are. When you register a domain name (for example, www.eastcoastblueshosting.com) you are putting the individual address of your website out on the internet.
Why Are Domain Names Important?
Search Engines have to give a good amount of weight to domain names – as much as 20% of results ranking factors.
The reason for this is that many people type what they are looking for, followed by ‘.com’, into the URL bar of their Web browser instead of using a keyword search on a search engine.
Also consider buying the domain names that are variations of your Web site domain name or are a misspelled version of it.
What Should A Domain Name Include?
Choose a keyword focused domain name, one that helps your audience identify your site’s purpose, and incorporates the keyword phrases or terms that you would like to rank for in search engines.
Avoid any name that only works in print, and needs to be spelled out when spoken aloud to be understood. This rules out almost all abbreviations, or the use of single characters to represent words (like ‘U’ to mean ‘you’, or ‘4’ to mean ‘four’).
Avoid using dashes, underscores, hyphens or any other characters within your domain name that may cause confusion.
Hyphens are allowed, and are actually used quite often in domain names – but you can’t include them at the beginning or the end of the domain name.
Hyphenated domains can mean visitors don’t find your site, as they might automatically type the URL in without the hyphens when thinking of your domain.
Where hyphens help is that they allow you to clearly separate multiple words in a domain name, making it less likely that someone will accidentally misspell the name. And, if you find that the unhyphenated version of the domain name you want has been taken, you may be able to buy the hyphenated version.
The next thing to consider is the top level domain. This is the ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’ part of the domain name. Generally .org domain names are for non-profit groups and organizations, whilst most .net domain names are used by networking companies. So if possible stick with the common ‘.com’ extension when you register your domain name, it‘s what people expect website addresses to end with.
How Do I Register A Domain Name?
To see which domain names are available, type in ‘domain name search’ or a similar term and you’ll find plenty of sites where you can quickly and easily enter ideas for your domain name and see if it’s available.
Registering a domain name costs about $10 per year. It’s a good idea to register it for longer than one year, if possible.
You can register a domain name for your website anywhere, although if you are using BlueHost they provide a domain name checking service so that you don’t have to worry about transferring it.