You’ve had a million-dollar idea for a business and now you need to know how to buy a domain name. Or you just want to start your own website. Regardless of your why, to create an internet presence you’ll need to buy a domain name.
For end users and investors, buying a domain name isn’t something you should do without some careful thought. As an investor, you want to be sure you’re choosing a domain name that will fit into your investment goals. If you’re an end user, your domain name will be with your website and business for a very long time. Customers and visitors will associate your brand with your domain name.
Buying the perfect domain name can be the difference between droves of web traffic and the internet equivalent of an empty room. An upfront investment of time and resources will be essential to the long-term value of your website.
Fortunately, by the end of this article, you’ll know how to buy a domain name like a pro.
Creating (Or Choosing) the Perfect Name
The first step in buying a domain name is coming up with a name that will make a good investment. Ideally, it isn’t used. But if it is, don’t rule out the name just because it’s unavailable.
It may be tempting to go with the first thing that comes to mind, but deciding on your domain name and how much it’s worth to you requires strategic thinking.
Think of your domain name as an investment, like stock or real estate. A great domain name can be an enormous boost for your company, either through a lucrative sale or as a vital part of your brand identity.
When buying domain names, you’re making a long-term commitment. Your loyal customers, or the customers of the domain buyer, will find the site via the domain name and also recommend you to others using it. For an end user, this means that if you decide you really want a better one down the road, you’ll need to rebrand. And rebranding is expensive.
How to Buy a Domain Name with the Right Characteristics
There are a few characteristics that you’ll want to be sure your domain name has. The first is that it has the least amount of characters possible, while still getting your name across. Under ten is an ideal length. The shorter the name, the easier to remember.
You’ll also want to make sure the domain name is easy to say and understand. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and, while adding multiple hyphens may help you find a domain name, it certainly won’t contribute to the value of your domain.
Lastly, avoid slang and misspellings. You want a domain that will be just as good ten years from now as it is on the day you buy it.
Do a keyword search to find out what your ideal customers are typing into search engines and use those words to try and create a domain name. One more pro-tip before we move on to the next step in how to buy a domain name: .Com is still king.
So, while it may be tempting to choose an alternative like .net or.org to get the name you want and be done with it, it’s important to take the long view. The extra investment now to get a .com will be invaluable in the long run.
.Coms are and will continue to be the most reputable and globally recognized domain names.
Buying Domain Names
Now, after a period of deep reflection you’ve come up with the perfect name. Think hard about how valuable the perfect name is to you because if it’s already taken you may have to pay a considerable amount. But there is a reason good domain names are pricey, and that’s because they are valuable.
The extra business generated by the perfect domain name can be a gamechanger for anybody’s business. A powerful example: the Ceo of Sumo.com Noah Kagan spent 1.5 million dollars and waited 7 years for his domain name.
If you’ve thought of a name you like, and it’s not taken, the process is easy. Just create an account with a registrar and purchase your domain name. You’ll need a credit card or PayPal account. Be sure to give them a valid email that will stay valid. You don’t want to fail to renew your domain because you never got an email telling you it was going to expire.
People make a lucrative living by snatching up domain names from people who fail to renew. And they’ll ask for a considerable price before giving it back.
How to Buy a Domain Name When Your Target is Taken
In the more likely case that the perfect name is taken, it’s time to get in touch with a reputable domain broker. A domain broker will negotiate the sale of the domain name for you. Remember that the internet has been around for a long time now. While there may have been an abundance of .com domains available in the past, those days are over. Shrewd investors have picked up most of the best domain names.
The good news is that they are willing to sell.
Once you’re in the hands of a competent domain broker, they will see to the details to ensure a deal gets done. After contracts and paperwork, there will be escrow verification and payments. After that, just like buying an unused domain, you can place the domain with the registrar of your choice. Your broker will make sure the transfer goes through and everything is in order.
Invest In Your Domain Name
At the end of the day, it’s extremely important to look at buying a domain name as a long-term investment. Your domain name can either gain or lose you a considerable number of customers. It’s every business’s nightmare to send customers to a competitor through a misunderstood domain name.
A business aiming at growing over a long period of time can’t afford to be held back by a subpar domain name. If you don’t have the capital quite yet to get the perfect domain name, consider buying a placeholder now while setting the goal to purchase the best one when you can.