So you want to create a website or blog?
What do you call it? What domain name should you choose? How long should it be? Do I need to find something unique? Where can I get a domain name? Do I need to purchase additional domain names? Should I pay extra to keep my personal registration information private?
These are just some of the questions I asked myself years ago when setting up A Story About A Girl and now The Great Canadian Housewife. I will admit that the domain name for my personal blog was not all that hard to come up with, it had been a handle (or username) I had been using since the days of AOL and MSN messenger, this blog, however, was another story. I actually purchased 3 domain names before I actually settled on this one and settled on a theme for the blog.
Naming Your Website
Whether you come up with the website name or domain name first, they go hand in hand most of the time. It’s unlikely you will purchase a domain name and call your website something completely different or vice versa. Most of the time you will base your domain name off of your website name (at least in my experience). When choosing a name for your website it is always a good idea to do a search to ensure that the domain name you want to use with it is not already taken so that you don’t have to rethink the whole thing again later.
Is A Long Domain Name Okay?
This depends. Ideally, you want to keep your domain name as short as possible and easy to remember and it should have something to do with your site name and site content. This is something I thought about a lot when choosing thegreatcanadianhousewife.com and as you can see I chose a little bit of a longer name. I would say that it is on the outskirts of the length you want it to be. However, if it is long but really memorable, ie you already have the business, and people who would be visiting your site are already familiar with it and won’t forget it or get it wrong.
Uniqueness When Choosing A Domain Name
I always try to choose a domain name that has some sort of meaning to me when I am registering a domain name as a personal blog. For instance, as I mentioned above my current domain name for my personal blog storyboutagirl.org has been something I have been associated with for years. It has meaning to me. It comes from my favorite song, from my favorite band.
You want something you will not want to change before the first year is out. Especially in the case of a business as you don’t want people to get used to one thing then change it on them. If your site is not a personal blog but instead a business then obviously you want to take that into consideration depending on if the business is new or already established.
Acquiring Your Domain Name
When you’ve decided on the domain name the next step is getting it. Usually, this requires purchasing it through a domain seller such as GoDaddy or Name Cheap. Keep in mind though that a lot of hosting packages come with a free domain name, so check that out first before purchasing.
Additional Domain Names, Are They Needed?
Not really, however, you may want to consider it if you feel people might go to .com instead of .ca for instance, by owning both you ensure they will get to your website either way. Sometimes people will also purchase some that could be easy spelling mistakes. A good example of this is my domain storyboutagirl.org, by registering storyboutagirl.org or astoryaboutagirl.org I could ensure anyone typing it in wrong would get to my site. I haven’t bothered doing this but some might find it useful, others a waste of money.
Do I Need To Pay To Keep My Registration Information Private?
This really depends, personally I would suggest yes to this. Why? Because even if you are a business you can put your contact information on your website yourself so you have control over what is listed. It usually does cost extra but I think it’s worth it, especially in the case of a personal blog where you might not want people having that information. Some domain sellers will provide this free as a part of the package you purchase, especially if it’s a package with hosting in it too, mine does.
I hope this information will help anyone purchasing a domain or setting up a website or blog for the first time! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. I typically purchase all my domain names through my hosting provider, OfBlue.org, I highly recommend them!