This is where it all starts when creating a web site. Finding the right domain name… one that makes sense for your business, isn’t too long or complicated, and is available.
Some things to remember:
- Shorter is better
- No “cute” spellings
- Hyphen if you must (better to avoid, but sometimes you just can’t)
Domain names are inexpensive, that’s the good thing.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of places to register domain names. Almost all provide exactly the same services. Prices range from about $10 to about $40 for a regular registration (per year).
Check Your Domain Name Availability on CDG
I recommend a few different registrars. The prices below are subject to change.
- CDG Web Hosting $14.99 (yes, that’s my business!)
Limited extensions to choose from, but you’ll be supporting a small locally-owned business.
- Namecheap $10.29+
Consistently good prices.
- 1and1.com $14.99 – Includes private registration!
Can only register 1 year at a time, and they raise their prices every year.
- GoDaddy $12.99+ – Often have specials
Watch out for upsells! They are masters of offering extras that sound great, but don’t actually do anything for you.
One of thing that drives me crazy, along with most other honest business people, is domain name “squatters.” These are people and/or businesses that have bought thousands of domain names with the intention of selling them at higher prices. I tried for years to get cdg.com and it was owned by a non-profit that wasn’t using it. I wrote countless letters, even offering a small amount of money. Never got a response. I tried to get it when it expired (I even set an alarm), but alas, someone else got it. Last time I checked they had it up for sale for several thousand dollars. Jeepers. I’m a small business and I don’t have that kind of money. Oh well.
I was successful, however in procuring the domain name garagesalefinder.com for what was my garage sale mapping site (I sold the site in 2013). The previous owner had wanted to do basically the same thing I am doing, but simply didn’t have time and sold it to me for a reasonable amount. Not as short as some names, but very easy to remember.
In any case, sometimes it takes a bit of work to come up with a good domain name. One of the tools I find indispensable is: Domain Tools. If nothing else, it gives you a jumping off point for brainstorming the right domain name.