Buying Domain Names
As the internet has gotten bigger and personal websites more popular and prevalent, buying domain names has become a very popular option for many internet users who want to make their website look more professional. There are many different options for buying domain names, and there are also many things to think about before buying domain names.

The first step is to come up with ideas for your domain name. Don’t get your heart set on just one, because chances are that your first choice will not be available. Come up with a list of names that suite your site and then see if they are available in order of preference. The most popular websites for buying domain names, GoDaddy.com and networksolutions.com, make checking to see which of your choices are available before purchase easy.

Before you do this search, decide whether the domain name or the top level domain you want is more important. For example, if you want to buy the domain names mywebsite.com and myotherwebsite.com, are the “mywebsite” and “myotherwebsite” the most important to you, or is having the .com suffix more important? Once you’ve made this decision, it is time to go to GoDaddy.com or your preferred site for buying domain names. Enter mywebsite.com into the search, and the site will let you know if this domain name is still available. If the names you want are available, then the site will move you easily, step-by-step, through the process of buying domain names that you wanted.

If they are not available, the site will give you other options. If using “mywebsite” and “myotherwebsite” are the more important to you in buying domain names than having the .com, look through the other options of available top level domain suffixes. Most likely some version of .org, .net, or .co, etc, will be available for your name. Choose the ones that you like best, and complete the process of buying domain names you’ve picked. If having a .com is more important to you, the site will likely suggest similar names that are available. You can choose one of these, or you can go back to your list and try the search again.

Once you have chosen the domain name that you want to buy, buy it immediately. Buying domain names usually costs you about ten dollars per domain, so this is not a huge expense, and you never know how long that that name will still be available for you to buy. Nothing is worse than finding your perfect domain name is available, and then waiting to buy it only to find that that domain name is no longer available and has been taken.

If you are considering several different domain names, buy them all. As discussed above, they are not expensive, and you do not want the one that you eventually choose to be taken by the time you come back to buy. If you have so many ideas that it is not practical to buy them all, and you want advice on which domain name to use, do not ask for advice on your choices online. Ask people privately. Otherwise you run the risk of someone stealing the domain name you want, and trying to sell it back to you at a much higher price.


Photo Credit: Dennis Skley

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