The Complete Guide To Buying A Blog Domain Name
Buying a domain name for your blog is a big step… it could be the start of a big journey into the online world, something that you pour your heart and soul into where you express and share your thoughts with the world. But coming up with a domain name is just one step in the process to setting up and running a successful blog. There are a few other steps in the process and decisions you will have to make before you set up your website.
Unfortunately the process can be a little tricky, so here we discuss some of the things to look out for when buying a domain name for your blog.
Choosing a Platform
One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether or not you are going to use a free blogging platform, or create your own website on a stand-alone platform like WordPress.
With many online blogging platforms you can receive a free web address, but in order to build your specific brand or online identity, a stand-alone domain name and website will probably be your best bet. It is one of the easiest things to do and still an important step to follow in order to have your place online where you can set up shop or share your thoughts.
As an example, suppose you have a dog blog on a free blogging platform called blogtheworld.com. The blog name you have come up with for your brand is BarkingSpace. The free domain name you’ll receive from the site you are using will be something like barkingspace.blogtheworld.com.
Let’s face it, that’s a lot to remember and if you want traffic to flow in the direction of your blog you need to shorten the domain name. By registering your own domain you could end up with BarkingSpace.com (if it is available). This would be much easier to remember and allows you to use search engine optimization to assist in feeding traffic to your site.
How to Buy a Blog Domain
Now that you have settled on trying to register BarkingSpace as a domain name for your blog you need to choose a domain registrar. This is basically a company that is set up to ‘reserve’ and register your new web address. The cost of registering your domain name will vary depending on which registrar you use but they are generally in the under $10.00 per year price range for a basic registration. The more extras you add on to your domain registration purchase, the more it will cost.
There are many domain registrars around, with some of the main ones being GoDadddy, Namecheap and Crazy Domains.
Domain Registration Extras
In addition to the option of registering your new permanent web address for multiple years, you will be able to add a number of extras to enhance your web presence. Again, depending on the registrar, you will be able to add an e-mail account as well as web hosting for a future website. Another feature offered as an add on is something called privacy. When you register a domain name the online form you will have to fill out will require a fair amount of personal information. This primarily includes your name, address, and existing e-mail and associated contact details.
This information becomes accessible by the general public but you can have it hidden for a fee. The upside to this is you will not receive a flood of junk mail from online companies trying to sell you their products. The downside to adding privacy is that visitors to your blog site and search engines will view the privacy settings as an attempt at hiding something which may affect your personal online trustworthiness.
When the .Com Is Not Available
Before you register the domain name you have chosen, you will have to check to see if it is not already being used by someone else. With all domain registrars there is a search window where you can verify if your choice is unregistered (ie. Is available for you to register). The chances of finding a short, creative and available .com version of your domain name is highly unlikely. This is why you may want to look at the other options of TLDs you can register.
A TLD (Top Level Domain) is the suffix or extension of your web address. In other words, it is the .com part. If BarkingSpace.com is taken, you could look for .net, .org or one of the new ‘vanity’ TLDs that have come on stream in recent years. One of them may actually enhance the brand you are trying to create with your blog name. So maybe BarkingSpace.Online or BarkingSpace.Dog could sound a little more creative than the more traditional BarkingSpace.com option.
Your Personal Blog Parking Space
Now that you have registered your web address, you now need to find a home to attach that address to, for you to create your website on and upload all your content to, and for others to find you.
You could just redirect the domain name to your current free blogging platform location, if this is what you are currently using, and continue as you have been, but if you are serious about this then chances are you will outgrow that. In fact, you will probably find using a blog host restrictive after a while and will probably want to launch your own website at some point in the future anyway.
The website you launch will become your permanent online home. In order to find somewhere to ‘park’ your site you have to find a web host. Many domain registrars also offer hosting as an add-on when you register your domain, as stated above. This is an affordable way of setting up your online identity because of package pricing. However, you can have your domain registration and hosting with separate providers.
Some popular hosting companies include HostGator, GoDadddy, Bluehost and SiteGround.
Once you reserve your web hosting space, you can move on to building an actual website.
Domain Buying Tips in Review
Setting up a website for an online blog requires three main items. First, you will have to create a catchy, simple and memorable domain name. Second, you will have to register that domain name with a domain registrar. If the TLD choice you want is already taken, there are plenty of additional choices to choose from. Third, before you can launch a website you need a place in the internet to store all your content. This is called web hosting where you actually build your website and launch it when it is ready to go live.
It all starts with the creation of the perfect blog domain name. So use the steps above to get started on creating the best domain name for your blog, and in no time at all you can begin sharing your thoughts with the world and build your online empire.