What is a domain name?
Imagine there’s a collector named Malik who owns a shop called Malik’s Antiques.
Malik has been selling vintage furniture and assorted collectibles in his shop for years, but now he’s trying to have an online presence, too.
Malik has never set up a website and isn’t sure where to start, so let’s help him out by choosing a domain name that suits his business and may attract potential customers.
Which domain name should Malik pick?
Malik should pick Maliksantiques.com because it describes his business and will be easy for people to search and find. Buyfrommalik.com doesn’t contain the word antiques, so online buyers may miss it. Beautifuloldstuff.net isn’t ideal because it doesn’t include Malik’s business name or the keyword.
Think of your domain name as your business’s storefront sign on the web, the equivalent of the sign on a physical store.
An ideal domain name accurately describes your business so it’s easy for potential customers to find. Keep it relatively short, simple, easy to spell, and try to avoid using confusing hyphens and numbers.
It helps to include a recognizable keyword in your domain name. For example, Malik including the word "antiques" makes his site easier to find for people searching online for antiques, even if they’ve never heard of Malik.
To register a domain name, go to a site like socjsc.com and see what’s available.
Most domain names are pretty cheap (many can be purchased for under $15), but you need to remember to renew yours every year, or you could lose it. Most sites offer discounts if you register for several years or sign up for auto-renewal.
If possible, register domains with a ".com" extension. This is the most recognized domain extension, though you could also use ".net". If your business is a non-profit, you can use ".org". If it’s education-related, you can use ".edu".