Why you should buy a domain before starting a web project

The very first thing you need to before starting any web project is to buy a domain name for the website. I’d go as far to say that once you’ve decided that your business needs a website then the next immediate step is to buy a domain name.

What is a domain name

A domain name is the address (or URL) that is typed into your browser. Examples like ‘google.com’ or ‘amazon.com.au’. It’s what you tell people when they ask ‘where is your website?’.

It also goes a little further than that, another common use for your domain name is that it can be used for your email address. Eg. ‘[email protected]’.

Why is it important to buy a domain name as soon as possible

For the most part, domain names are open and can be bought by anyone. You want to buy a domain name as soon as you can to prevent the chance that someone else will take the one that you want.

I’ve experienced this personally. At first I wanted to get paultruong.com for my website but alas, it was already taken. So I settled for paultruong.dev.

What to do if the domain name you want is taken

There are a few things you can do if the domain name you want is taken.

  1. You can try to find the owner and buy it off them. This usually means spending a bit more money, especially if your domain name is something people consider ‘in demand’
  2. You can try the same domain name with a different TLD (Top Level Domain). Top level domains are the ending part of a domain, like ‘.com’ or ‘.org.au’ (or in my case ‘.dev’).
  3. You can try different versions of the name. One thing you can do is try a hyphenated version the name. Instead of mysite.com try my-site.com

Do keep in mind that the domain name you choose for your site will be what you will be using for years to come. So it’s worth spending a little bit of time to think of the right domain name for your business.

Where to buy a domain name

Domains are bought from ‘Domain Registrars’, which is a fancy way of saying ‘place you buy domains from’. A quick google search will show a lot of companies you can buy a domain from. The key thing to focus on is how good is their support, and how easy is it to configure your domain once it’s bought.

Here are two of my recommendations:

What’s the process for buying a domain name

Buying a domain is similar to buying anything online and most domain registrars follow the same process for buying a domain name. It usually starts with a search for your domain name of choice, if it’s available then you can select it and check out. If not then the registrar will show you some alternatives.

The cost of a domain can vary greatly but most domains go for at around 20 dollars for the year. One thing to be careful of is if you buy a domain on sale then the renewal cost of that domain can be much more for the second year than what it was for the first year.

Domain prices for mywebbusiness on hover.com
A quick search on hover.com shows a lot of different prices between domain names

Domain names are critical for your website

Getting a domain name early is one of the best things you can do for your website. Even if the website is months away from completion. The last thing you want is to wait until the last minute to buy a domain name and find out it was taken just days earlier.

So once you’ve decided that your business needs a website, take a the time to get a domain name.

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