Build a WordPress Website: Domain

How to Build a Website Using WordPress Series:

The first step is getting a domain name. A domain name is www.marinalovescooking.com. I chose to use GoDaddy (despite their horrid website) because I have been using them for years after experiencing many failed customer service relationships with other domain companies. Yes, most domain companies also offer hosting services as well, but I recommend NOT putting all your eggs in one basket (more on that later).

Naming your company
Now, from my experience, even before registering your company legally and if you have a name in mind, go to GoDaddy and do a quick search to see if that domain name is available in a .com extension. If that domain is not available, then I would seriously consider renaming your company. Nothing is worse than being stuck with a company name and not having a matching domain, and heaven forbid, having to add hyphens and numbers (more on that below).

Buying a domain that is your own name
This option is usually for those who’s companies are in their own name. Artists, accountants, lawyers, self proprietor’s etc. If you are trying to buy a domain name with your name on it, like www.marinaduque.com and someone, somewhere on planet earth has the same name as you and already purchased it, then that really sucks. What would really suck more is if they bought that domain and parked it, only to try to auction it off to the highest bidder. I have recently seen domains as high as $24,000. No that is not a typo. Thankfully, I bought my domain somewhere in the ancient time of 1998. I’ve also bought domains for my offspring, who could care less, but just in case they need it in the future and they will thank me later because right now, all they care about are Ninja Turtles. Think of it as real estate investment for the web.

What extension should I use?
.com
– perceived as a more global company and would “reach” more clients.
.ca – if you are going to stay local, and NEVER expand anywhere outside of Canada, then do this. If there is even a remote possibility of .00000001% chance that you will expand to the USA, then don’t get this or you will regret it when that time comes. Reason being, you have established your base and brand, and to trying to change that in the years down the road will be a pain in the arse, not to mention the $$ you will need to spend.

Other than these 2 options, if you are a FOR PROFIT company, I would not consider getting any other extension.

Choosing a domain name
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT
put hyphens or numbers in your domain name. Unless of course, there are hyphens and numbers in your company name (at which point I will ask you “are you for realsies?”) You want your domain name to match exactly to your company name. For example, Danielle’s Cupcakes would be www.daniellescupcakes.com. Simple as that. People will remember this. When you start throwing in hyphens and numbers mixed in with letters, you will start getting a whole lot of confusion and then people will be trying to Google your name, not remembering what your company was called, get frustrated, and then forget about you and move on to your competitor. Kinda like www.daniellescupcakes4u.com (um NO).

This may sound funny, but I name my company names based on the availability of the domain name.

Ready to purchase your domain name?
Go to GoDaddy. There is really no step by step, so just follow their instructions. I must warn you that GoDaddy’s website is a mess and notorious at sneakily trying to get you to click on things you don’t need and can be extremely confusing. So make sure you read over everything and click only the things you DO need. So what do you REALLY need? Well, only two things:

  • Domain Name (select the term you want)
  • Privacy Option (protecting your name and address from being seen on the WHOIS directory)

That’s it. Nothing else. Don’t get their hosting. Don’t get their email. Don’t get their kitchen sink. Also look out for specials. Like today, there is a special on $2.99 domains. But of course, you need to purchase the second year at $19.99 to get this deal. Then adding privacy at $9.99 per year, which brings your total to be in the $40 area. Sigh….But isn’t that the fact of life?