You’re looking through the website of your favorite band or someone’s blog you enjoy reading and then suddenly you tell yourself, “I want my own site too”. This is when you start thinking about choosing your domain name. I’m not talking about those subdomains provided by your website building service (e.g. joe.freewebsitebuildingservice.com) , I’m talking about those short ones you see in most sites like google.com or facebook.com. But before you come up with those .com’s or .org’s, please remember that they are not FREE and most are charged in a yearly basis. They are not that expensive, most of them aren’t.
Pricing actually depends on the extension, availability, and where you will purchase the domain. You can use tools like DomComp where it compares the prices from different registrars to help you pick the cheapest one. You can even find coupon codes online to get discounts like for GoDaddy, which is a leading domain name registrar. But even if the domain that you want is available, it may cost a lot especially the ones that are too common like ‘joe.com’ because most of these ‘common’ available domains are just being resold by the persons who originally purchased it. It’s like they’re putting it up for auction and the highest bidder wins. However if you really want that domain and it is unavailable, most registrars allow you to negotiate with the current registrant for a price that you both will agree on.
There are also free domain names, one that I know of and have used before is Dot.tk. It allows you to register for a free .tk domain and mask your current website’s URL like name.weebly.com (if you made your website there). I will cover free and paid web hosting on another article. So if you don’t mind spending any money for a nice short domain, I encourage you to purchase one.
But there’s just so many…
Choose one that represents you or whatever purpose it may serve. If it’s for your own portfolio, use your name. I will also mention that domain extensions are not limited to .com or .org so try to find the one that suitable to you.
Here are just some suggestions on picking a domain extension:
.com – Good all-around extension especially for small and large businesses. There is no argument that this is the most popular one of all
.org – Good for organizations or societies
.net – Good for tech companies that are associated with networks
.io – Good for web and browser apps. Can also be used for personal portfolios of programmers
.info – Good for sites that provide information but not limited to one specific subject
.co – Good for corporations. Can be used as an alternative for .com
.me – Good for personal sites or branding
Picking a domain name requires proper planning. Remember that you will be paying for your domain for a whole year or more depending on how long you plan on keeping it. You can always acquire a new one if you don’t mind spending a bit. Choose one that you know you will be contented with and hopefully you plan to renew when it eventually expires.