So what about domain names?
We’ve already talk about how many authors use their full name as their domain name. Others use the name of their blog and some are using the name of their company. All three are good choices. The main thing is to choose something you plan to stick with for a while because this is how people online will find you and where you’ll link to as you share what you’re doing. It’s how you’ll be found in the search engines among other things. You can also set up email at your domain name.
While you can change your mind later, it’s easier if you start out with what you plan to go on with.
Finding a Domain Name
You’re probably wondering about finding out which domain names are available.
Domain registrars are where you register a domain name. You can go to a domain registrar’s site and search for domains and try out your ideas to see if they are available. You’ll want to stick with a .com if possible. There are a ton of other choices, but that one is still considered the most valuable. It’s also the one that comes to most people’s minds when you say website, they think dot com.
When you register a domain name, you are basically renting/leasing it for however many years you sign up for. So if you register for one year, next year it will be up for renewal and you’ll need to pay again for another year to keep using your domain name. You can register names for multiple years too. Just make sure that you keep your registrar account up to date with your best email address and a valid credit card. That way when your domain comes up for renewal, you can set it to renew automatically. Figure on spending around $10-15/year to register your domain.
You can also add things like privacy to your domain registration for a few dollars. This means the registrar doesn’t publicly publish your name and address and other contact information.
Here are several registrars:
GoDaddy – but watch out for all the upsells and add-ons you might not need or want. I think those make the whole process more confusion for people.
Mosts hosting companies offer domain registration too. I prefer to keep them separate, more on that next time when we talk hosting.