Let’s imagine you made a decision: you want to build a website. There’s just a slight problem ahead: where to start? We know the online world might seem a bit overwhelming, so today we will try to bring you closer to everything you need to know about website creation. To make this journey as helpful and worthwhile, you will also find some tips and tricks along the way. This is an exciting occasion and a stepping stone for future growth. The online presence unlocks numerous benefits and provides an additional potential for monetization. Your starting point is: to register your first domain name!
Starting point: Domain name
Your virtual identity begins right here, so coming up with a clever and well-thought idea can make your audience love its purpose even more. There are a couple of checkpoints we would suggest ticking before you register your first domain.
If you’re thinking about the length of the domain name, less is often more. The aim is to come up with something catchy and easy to remember. If the name is complicated, you might end up with the user mistyping it in the search bar, so try to go with simplicity.
Keeping the website name the same as your brand name is ideal as a general rule. It is better to avoid putting numbers or dashes in your domain name, as it could be confusing. Make sure that it does not involve brand names or trademarks by other companies.
Our experience taught us a lesson worth sharing: double-check that your idea doesn’t sound unintentionally hilarious when joined in the domain name.
Why a domain name is part of your personal brand
The online buzz, compared to the real world, has one troubling similarity: the competition. Building a personal brand is a clever solution to accelerate the speed of your career, stand out, and enlarge your audience. The idea is to create an online presence that portrays your personality in the best way. To start, you need a personal domain name.
In the real world, your name is your first attribute. In the online sphere, your name could be your website’s link! Using your own name as a domain name not only makes it easier to find you but also helps build a brand around you as a person. This way you are not restrained – shifting between careers and finding another purpose is easier, and the website can narrate about your growth path. Learn more about how to build your personal brand with .ME.
Choosing the right extension for your domain
Your extension comes after the final dot in your domain and surprisingly, your choice for the right one can tell a lot about the website as well. Did you know that .com extension was originally intended for commercial websites? Now, with 366.6 million domain registrations up to Q2 2020, as Verisign states, things have mixed up a bit. The options are diverse and there are no clear rules regarding which extension to choose in most cases.
For example, now .org is not used for organizations only, .biz doesn’t mean that the owner is a business, .net doesn’t involve exclusively networking sites. Yet, there definitely are some industry-specific extensions, which are restricted and can’t be used for other purposes (.edu for example).
We’ll try and be impartial from this point onwards, but before we do, it’s important we say that .ME is not only the most personal brand, but also allows you to play with words, create a phenomenal call to actions, and chances are, your domain name will be available. Just ask any of our .MErs. We cherish the identity and imaginativeness that extensions like these can bring, which is great for branding purposes.
Read more: Personalize your Business with .ME
Check the availability
Once you have made your decision about the domain name, you would like to check if it’s available, or if someone else has taken it. You can do so by typing your desired domain name on any web hosting platform. Caution: don’t get heartbroken if your ideal name is taken. The solution is coming!
If your chosen name is already taken, there are still some ways that you can get the ownership of that domain. We covered this topic in detail in our blog. If you’d prefer to come up with another idea: that’s where creativity plays a crucial role. You can try to add a short word to make the search more specific, the name of the region/country, or try to personalize your name more with the right extension. If your domain name is already registered for .com extension, it is not a good idea to keep the same name and opt for .net ending. It will lead to confusion and a lack of uniqueness of your brand.
Choose the right registrar for you
With your choice for the domain name secured, the next step is to choose the registrar. The extensions we mentioned earlier are all handled by their respective registries. Specialized companies, named registrars, manage the registration of domain names and serve as an intermediary between buyers and the registry. The most popular registrars offer a range of extensions, so the search for your perfect domain name is complete and well-rounded. It’s important to check if your registrar is accredited with the governing body – ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
Think of your domain names as a lease agreement for a car. You choose a car, sign a lease, but the terms of the lease are important, right? After all, you wouldn’t want the lease company to control whether you can drive your car to another town. Equally, it’s important to check up on the registrar’s conditions. Sometimes it is easy to oversee that some registrar companies offer partial control only. This reflects in the inability to modify crucial settings, or difficulties if you want to transfer the domain to a different provider.
It’s always better to read the policies yourself or to ask the provider directly before you register your first domain. That’s where another important aspect hides – customer service! Any problems with the functioning of your website due to problems with the registrar might cause the loss of the traffic. Having the right support when you come into a problem is a matter of the highest importance, so choose wisely now, to avoid headaches later. Great user experience is one of the foundation stones for future online success.
We made sure that all the registrars that offer .ME domain are accredited, and you can find the full list here.
Before you go: Domain Transfer
If this article sparked your curiosity about the potential of website creation, it is only the beginning of an exciting journey. In case you are not satisfied with the service provider you chose, it is essential to know that the transfer is possible. You can demand an authorization code for your domain from your registrar. You will probably need to fill out a certain domain-transfer form from your new provider choice. Keep in mind that this change can be done after a minimum of 60 days after you register your domain. It also takes some time (usually around 5-6 working days) for the transfer to go through, so we advise you to start with it optimally one month in advance.
At last, light your spark and fasten your seatbelts! The .ME team wishes you the best beginning of your online journey.