Creating a website or a blog to jumpstart your online business or to create an online presence is just the first step towards effective online branding. If you want to appear professional and boost your online credibility, then you need to register a domain name. A personal domain name like ‘timetoregistermydomain.com’ is your unique identifier online- a name and address that’s unique for your business online, and the web address that potential clients and customers will use to find your business. Although a free website or blogs like the ones hosted on WordPress.com and Blogger.com work, a personal domain name provides credibility, serves as a branding tool and can help set your business apart from the competition.
What to expect from domain name registration
Domain name registration comes at a cost, but it delivers great dividends and can be helpful in a highly competitive industry. If you have a domain name in mind, you will need to work with a registrar and pay the corresponding fee. Domain name costs vary depending on the popularity or availability, but usually the cost range from $10 to $35 per year. This means that you need to renew the domain on a regular basis and pay the corresponding fees. Registrars today offer auto renewal, chargeable to your preferred credit card account. Certain webhosts also do the job, and even WordPress.com offers a service where you can buy the domain name. Whatever option is selection, make sure you work with a reputable company that puts you as the owner and technical contact and not another individual.
Steps to register your domain name, now
- Create a short list of potential domain names, identifiers that you think are unique and carry the theme of your business. Don’t just think of one- there’s a big chance that’s the domain name is already taken! There are dozens of top registrars in the market including GoDaddy.com that charges at least $9.99 per year, Namecheap.com that charges at least $10.69 and Dotster.com.
- Make sure you have a credit card or have an account with PayPal.com. You will need an account to pay off the service fee and renewal.
- Once a web host has been selected, get the primary and secondary name servers. You will need the information to point the selected domain to the site. If a web host is not available, the registrar can ‘park’ the selected domain name at a temporary website. This is necessary to secure the domain while you are still at that stage of planning and developing the website. Top registrars online provide a free e-mail address which you can use to further bolster your online presence.
If you need a personalized domain name for your small business, register it now and start building your website (and online presence). The annual costs are actually manageable, like spending less than $1 a month to secure domain under your name! Remember, it’s a small price to pay for an online tool that can make or break your business.