Chances are if you're online, you own a domain name, but what if you don't, and unsure where to start?
If you're considering increasing your online presence and need some help choosing your domain name, consider the following before signing up:
1. Domain names are used for personal ventures, creative outlets, blogs, and your business - ultimately, your brand. It is the new phone number and house address, a go-to source for your products or services. It will have to be catchy, smart, and memorable to ensure successful branding.
2. Ideally, most business stick with .coms, however, one has the option to stick with ccTLDS (country-code Top Level Domains) for a geographic targeted approach. There are also new TLDs available to register, such as .ninja, .club, and .website.
3. Make sure your business name or domain name is not trademarked, otherwise you will risk losing your domain name to an already registered business, and quite possibly having your website shut down.
4. Upon registering your domain name, make sure the Registrant information is yours, otherwise the domain will not belong to you. Most IT companies will register domains on behalf of you, thus owning the domain and causing headaches in the long run.
5. Try to avoid using dashes, numbers, or any other non-alphabetical characters.
6. Most importantly, DO NOT FORGET to renew your domain name! Most domain renewals are on an annual basis, so make sure your billing information is updated in your domain management panel to ensure securing your domain yearly.
Upon selecting some potential domain names, you’ll next need to check if they are available to register. Head to any WHOIS look up, for example: http://who.is, to see if your preferred domain name is available to purchase, or head to any domain name provider to search and view the domain’s list price.