Part 2: Picking up a perfect domain name for your online store
In Part 1: How to start an online store and start an ecommerce business, we looked at how to choose the best ecommerce platform for your online store. Now we’ll take another step and find a perfect domain name for your online store.
Choosing the perfect domain name
You can think of your domain name as your Internet ID that anybody sees all over the world. Choosing the perfect domain name helps you build brand authority, raise brand awareness, and make it easy for prospects to remember you and your online store. So, pick a name that represents your business right, the kind that attracts attention and leads to more conversions.
Use your company name for marketing and branding reasons. If for some reason you can’t use your existing name, pick a name that is easy to pronounce, short, identifiable, and is in line with your main offer.
Deciding on the extension
Extension is the last part of your domain name and comes right after the dot, i.e. .com, .net, .biz, etc. It is known as TLD (Top Level Domain). The original TLD (.com) stands for commercial, and is still your best bet. If you can find the perfect domain name for your online store with that extension, of course. The other two best extensions are .net and .org. They have a slightly different meaning, but are amongst the oldest and best. When searching for your perfect domain name, try these extensions first.
There are lots and lots of TLDs available today. Besides the national ones (like .co.uk, .si, .it, .de, etc), where certain conditions may apply, there’s a whole bunch of more targeted ones. You can register domains like .restaurant, .email, .online and many more. In case you decide for one of these, be certain to match your primary website topic. It would be rather crazy to register a domain under .shoes and then promote IT services, don’t you think?
The most important thing: while choosing the perfect domain name for an online store, always try to make it easy for your potential customers to find you. Your domain name will be the first thing they’ll see and the one thing they must remember in order to come back to your online store.
Selling yoga pants calls for domain name like yogapants.com. You will be much more successful than trying to sell them via domains like wearethebest.com or candycrush.com. It’s as simple as that. People will remember the connection between your domain name and the goods or services you’re offering and will come back more often.
Just as a side note, the mentioned domain (yogapants.com) is on sale right now, and it can be yours for just over $135,000. This shows the meaning of choosing the right domain name, don’t you think? Someone registered it years ago for $10, remember.
Use the same name across all your social media channels to build authority and make it easy for prospects to connect with your business.
Learn more about the name you choose and find out if it’s not linked with a registered business or organization. Do adequate research to avoid lawsuits and protect your business from legal issues that can happen down the line and can ruin your whole business in an instant.
Once you choose your domain name, register it with a reputable company. When you register your domain name, it belongs to you and noone else can register it. Pick the right domain registrar to avoid frustrations down the line. Here are a few things to consider when picking the right company: pricing, policies, and domain transfers.
Choosing your registrar and hosting company
Check pricing plans and pay attention to the most important information such as renewal fees, domain transfer fees, and other additional charges.
Read and understand important policies like the domain expiration policy to ensure you don’t lose your domain name if you miss a payment. Some companies discontinue services when you skip payment while others offer a certain grace period and allow you to renew your perfect domain name for some time after it expires. So, make sure you understand their policy.
Choose a registrar that allows you to transfer your domain name to another company without any additional fees in case you decide to. And it’s equally important that the registrat offers an easy way to transfer an existing website under the new domain, if you already have a site and want it under the new domain name.
One very important thing you must consider is buying an SSL certificate for your domain. This is a must because Google and other search engines will slap your search visibility, and you will appear much less trustworthy in the eyes of your visitors. You know, this is the difference between http:// and https:// in your domain address, and the later brings up the lock icon in browsers. It means nothing else than that this connection is safe, because it’s using the proper safety protocols. The price starts from roughly $5 per year, depending on your needs.
Some reputable domain registrars to work with are Namecheap, DreamHost, Siteground, Network Solutions, GoDaddy, Bluehost, and domain.com.
Personally, I chose Namecheap.
First, they have what I found to be amongst the lowest domain registration prices online. It’s not the most important thing, but sure plays a role when deciding. It’s not a big deal if the domain price is $9 instead of $8, but it starts to build up fast if you have more. And, of course, it’s even more important that the renew price is as low as possible.
Great domain search tool and simple ordering
They have a great domain search tool. If you’re searching for lets say a domain name like shoes123.com, it will immediately tell you not only whether it’s available. Instead of just that, it will also recommend other TLDs with the same name. This will greatly help you while choosing the perfect domain name for your online store. It just makes it easier to choose. Namecheap also has a very simple ordering process. Additionally, they include an addon service Domain Privacy that’s included for free. And, you can buy the SSL certificate with your domain for $4.99 when registering, which is very cheap.
Simple editing of your new domain data
After registration is done, it is very easy to change things you need to change. One of them might be the DNS (Domain Name Service) servers, which point your perfect domain name in the right direction when called online. So, if you plan to host your online store somewhere else than Namecheap, you’ll need to change those asap. They have to match whatever your hosting company will tell you. It’s literally a 1-minute work. And if you lose your way around their site, there’s always a very comprehensive help available that will walk you step by step.
Presently, I have over 50 domain names registered with Namecheap, and some of them are also hosted there.
Their ordering process is very clear and you’ll learn about the initial cost, the renew costs, the added free services (like Domain Privacy). Should you need it, they also offer good pricing on hosting, but that’s already in the next post.
Take a look at Namecheap domain search tool, and see what I mean. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. A word of caution: it will let you search only a few domains unless you register with them (it’s free). After that, you can knock yourself out and search all you want.
Full report (FREE)
You can download the full report about how to start an online store by clicking the image below. It will let you download a full PDF doc that you can read at your own pace and on any device.
Posts in this series:
- #1: How to start an online store and start an ecommerce business
- #2: Choosing the perfect domain name for an online store
- #3: How to find the best WordPress hosting for your online store
- #4: Use the best ecommerce plugin for WordPress online store
- #5: Customize your online store
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