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Choosing a domain name for your business

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Want to pick a domain name but don’t know how? Here’s what to do.

If you want to create a high quality home services website, you’ll definitely also want to have it reside on your own branded 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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