How to Register for a Domain Name
When you're setting up a new business for the first time, you might be trying to figure out how you can register for a fancy domain name. It's much easier than you think!
Registering for a business domain name is seriously a great way to get your business up and running, as it helps make your business seem legitimate, and more professional to outsiders, and makes it easier for customers to find you online more easily.
So we've put together this no-frills step by step guide to get you going!
Step 1: Decide on a business name first, before you buy a domain.
This can be the hardest part as it's the first impression people will get from your business and will be the core for all of your branding and marketing. So you want to get it right!
Having said that, brands go over changes over time, so whilst it may seem like it's the name today, don't be afraid that it could change in 3 or 5 years from today, which means you can also buy a new name in future if you need to.
You'll need to get into a creative mind-frame in order to think of a business name that doesn't already exist. If you get stuck, there are multiple name generator websites that can help you out such as the Business Name Generator.
Step 2: Check to see if your business name already exists as a domain.
Once you've got your heart set on a business name (or a few options), you'll want to now check to see if something exists like that as a registered domain. You can do this for free and very easily using any domain search tool online (which is also where you go to buy your domains).
Our favourite tool is Hover, it's easy to use and they have a great support tools if you get stuck.
Once there, you just need to type in your proposed domain name in the search bar below, like the screenshot below, hit enter and you'll see the results - what's taken and what's not.
Depending on the results, it may mean that you might need to re-think your business name, particularly if it's something that's very popular and it's been taken!
Step 3: Select the domain name/s you want to register.
So let's use 'hobbytohustle.club' as an example - here's what the results look like:
You can see a list of matches and additional domain suggestions, and one's where there's a price means you can immediately purchase and register it. Ones where it says 'make an offer' means someone already owns it, and in this case, we recommend that you avoid making an offer (as they can get ridiculously expensive!!!) and opting for an alternative or a different name altogether.
Once you have decided what you want, select the domains you want to buy. In the above example, we've chosen to go ahead with 'hobbytohustle.com.au'.
Bear in mind that some domains vary in pricing, and it also depends on the time period of your registration. Typically the default period is 1-2 years, and then you renew every period if you want to continue owning it.
Step: Check out your shopping cart and your'e done!
You can buy more than one domain at one time, so when you check out, you'll see the list of what you're purchasing.
In our example below, we're going to purchase 'hobbytohustle.com.au' for a 2 year period.
To finalise the registration, just checkout like you normally do when you're shopping online, and you should be set!
We recommend registering for 2-3 variations of your business name, so you get more coverage across your brand.
For example, say your business name was "Hello Pink Horses", here are some suggestions as to what other variations of the name we'd recommend purchasing, alongside 'hellopinkhorses.com':
- hellopinkhorses.com.au (or whatever locale you're in)
The reason why this is important, is it reduces the risk of someone else who may end up purchasing those domains and setting up a competing business to you, or something malicious or inappropriate. You don't want your potential customers accidentally going to that website and getting it confused with yours!
Once you've registered for your business domain name, you'll need to link it to your website. Depending on what you use to host your website, there's normally free documentation online that can teach you how to do that! For example, if you use Squarespace, here's the steps to get yours set up.
Another key thing to do with your domain, is to link it to an email provider so that you can be even more legitimate (for example email@example.com, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org). We recommend using Google's step forward would be to set up a business email by following the prompts in G Suite.
Want to learn more about how to get your business set up to seem professional from the get go?
We've collaborated with Helen Hung from Lime Tree Bower to create this online course.She teaches the basics - the key things that you need to do to get going - in her floral design business course!