A Domain Name. The first thing you'll need for your small business.
Alright. You want to start a small business. What are you going to call it? How will people get to it online? You'll want it to be original, personal, and easy to communicate. How do you figure out what's already been taken? How do you claim a domain name for yourself? (FYI a domain name is the google.com part of www.google.com.)
To answer all these questions, you're going to need a service that registers domains! A, Domain Registrar, if you will. My favorite domain registrar by far is google. Their interface is easy to use, straight forward, and costs the same as all the others. Plus there's added bonuses if you already have a google account, or plan on using G-Suite as part of your business. Also... It's free to search and doesn't require an account if you don't already have one.
All you have to do is go to https://domains.google.com in your favorite web browser.
Like I said! E.A.S.Y! If you know how to use google, you'll pick this up pretty quick. In the "Search for a domain name..." box in the center of the page, enter in name of your business or your site.
Once you hit enter (or click the little magnifying glass), google will search the internet to see if someone is already using the name you want. OOPS! Someone's already grabbed theketoheid.com! You can tell it's taken by the little "unavailable" note underneath. However, theketoheid.net, theketoheid.org, theketoheid.us, and theketoheid.co are all available!
So what's the difference between a .com, .org, .us, .co, .biz, or .tech? I had to google some of these myself because i didn't know for sure. Good old Wikipedia has a pretty good answer under the article "List of Internet top-level domains". Here's the propel digital, busy parent version:
- .com is for Commercial entities.
- .org is for organizations mainly non-profits.
- .net is for networks
- .us is for The United States of America
- .co is for the country of Colombia
- .biz is for businesses
- .tech is for technology
There are quite a few hundred other top level domains available and google supports most of them. If you wanted to browse the other domains click "All Endings"
Notice that most of the one's you've heard before are $12/year and the ones your not as familiar with are more. Depending on what you wanted you could get a domain for as low as $1 a day.
All you have to do is click the little shopping cart with the plus sign and it's ready to be purchased. Go up and click your shopping cart in the top right.
So now you have a few options to complete the registration. Google offers "privacy protection" where your name, address, and phone number will not be published in the public WHOIS directory. (Directory owned by ICANN so people can contact the owner of a site if needed.) This keeps your information off the internet and away from spammers and scammers. I recommend leaving it on.
Auto-renew allows you to set it up so that you domain auto-renews ever year without you having to do anything. This is a good feature if you plan on keeping your domain around for a while.
Last thing you'll need to do is click "Check Out". Unless your like me and didn't sign in.... then you have to sign in first... #FacePalm
Thanks for reading! If you know someone who could use this "how-to" please share it using one of the links below! If you have feedback regarding this post please email firstname.lastname@example.org