If you want to know how to buy your own unique domain name, read this article first! We'll take you through the buying process, selecting an effective domain name and what to do once you've bought a domain name.
Create your own domain name. At this point, don't even think of browsing online looking for suitable domain names. You will have your own reasons as to why you want to establish your web presence, therefore, sit down and choose or make up a few domain names which meet these requirements. For example, if your requirement is to set-up an online portal for your business, you should be looking for domain names which effectively remind potential browsers and consumers of that business!
Use elements of an effective domain name.
- Domain names can be as long as 63 characters (as per standard protocols), but shorter names are easy to remember and recall.
- Avoid using abbreviations, no matter how familiar they are to you; your customers may not find them as significant.
- Don't use generic terms or names; there are plenty of domain names already up and running and any typos on the part of users may take them to a different site altogether, may be even your competitor's!
Check for availability.
Once you've shortlisted about 4-5 domain names, check for their availability online. You don't do this by typing out your selected domain names on your web browser! Instead, contact the company which will be hosting your website or a domain name registrar to check if your chosen domain names are available or are already taken! If you find one of the names on your shortlist is available, then buy the same from the registrar and immediately register it. Check an ensure the registrar is accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a company run by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
What do you do if none of the names on your shortlist are available to buy? There are two options available to you: (a) choose an alternate domain name, or (b) look-up the owner of your chosen domain name(s) using the InterNIC Whois? search facility. You can then contact the owner and arrange to buy the domain name from them. However, this could cost you more money, since many people are known to buy up domain names in bulk, with the express purpose of selling them at higher prices at a later date!
A few other ways to look for and buy the domain names of your choice are as follows:
- Auctions conducted for domain names where you can bid and only need to pay if you win!
- Choose and register your interest in a particular domain name which is currently "on hold" and once the hold expires, you can buy that name.
- Buy "expired" domain names where the current owner no longer wishes to use that name. However, when looking at expired domain names, check the history behind the expiry carefully. In many cases, the domain name could have expired on account of spam and other fraudulent tactics, leading the search engines to ban these URLs permanently. Such domain names will not be of any use to you ever!
With this information in hand, you are now ready to head out and buy all or any of the domain names you want!