What is a Domain Name?
Before discussing the best places to purchase domain names lets look at the definition. A domain name is similar to an address on the internet. It is used to identify IP addresses.
They are also used in URL’s to recognize specific web-pages. IP stands for internet protocol. URL means universal resource locator.
Here are a few examples to clarify:
Domain Name: projektfreedom.com
IP Address: 126.96.36.199 (fictitious)
https:// tells the search engine which executable file to fetch while projektfreedom.com/ …. provides information for the page or website to be retrieved. The computer finds it by searching for the assigned IP address (numbers).
The part we are most interested in today is the domain name and possibly the best places to purchase domain names or at the very least the most well-known domain registrars.
What is a Domain Registrar?
A domain registrar is a company where you can purchase a domain name. It is accredited or approved by organizations named the ICANN or ccTLD. ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The important point is these registrars are competitive retailers and you want to shop around carefully.
Is it Best to Use a Free or Paid Domain Name?
I am sure you have seen website builders offering free domain names and at first, it sounds like a fantastic deal. Wix, Weebly, WordPress and even SiteRubix within my community at Wealthy Affiliate. There are lots more for sure. However, you need to be aware of a few drawbacks.
Your website is actually placed on a sub-domain.
So it would look like the following:
Instead of this:
Do you see the difference? In the first example, the website builders name is also in the domain name. This is significant for a couple of reasons.
#1. The company is the owner of your new domain NOT you.
So you cannot switch it to another service provider in the future and if you have a site making money you probably cannot sell it to another business person. This is a real option for successful online entrepreneurs.
#2. Unique branding is impossible.
Creating a long-term business involves branding. You need to establish your own brand in the marketplace. You want to have control over your own destiny. Trust me on this one it will save you much time and effort.
So it is always better to spend some extra cash and own your domain. The only exception is if you are really on a tight budget. In that case, I would strongly suggest you start off with a website builder company that offers an option to switch your website from a free domain to a real domain when you have the cash.
There is only one company I know that provides this service within their community ie. the ability to switch from free to paid domains. Everything can be done within, purchasing the new domain and switching your website to new hosting. It is as easy as clicking a few buttons. This is a much easier way to do it for beginners.
Where can I buy a domain name?
#1. SiteDomains at Wealthy Affiliate
This is where beginner or struggling marketers want to be. Wealthy Affiliate offers a FREE starter online business training program which has no set time limit. However, resources are limited meaning there is enough training to help you build a FREE website on the shared hosting platform.
Paid for domains can be transferred or purchased through their system but you must be a premium member. Many members begin with the free program and then upgrade as their business begins to grow. Premium membership is affordable, much cheaper compared to other online companies (yearly membership).
Note: I have domains here. It’s my #1 recommendation for new marketers because of it’s all-inclusive package – hosting, training, tools and coaching.
#2. Name Cheap
Name cheap is my favourite outside of SiteDomains. Those of you who want to buy a domain from an established registrar can get one here for a really inexpensive price. The site is fairly easy to navigate and they offer tips and information for first-time buyers.
Domains start at .88 cents. They include free whois privacy and two months of free email. By the way this is also included in SiteDomains which goes a step further and provides SSL (secure socket layer at no extra cost).
The only set back here is you should really purchase a .com domain because it is most widely recognized and ranks best in the search engines. Of course, it depends on your purpose but if it is for a business to make money .com is best and that costs around 14 bucks a year which is standard.
You can learn more by visiting NameCheap Domain Names.
Note: I own several domains here. This is where I purchased my domains before finding SiteDomain.
#3. Google Domains
I am listing Google Domains as number 3 even though I have not tried them. There are two reasons for this: first I believe it is always good to use Google products because Alphabet inc. (Google’s parent company) is such a dominant force in the online world and second because it’s so user-friendly.
Google isn’t noted for being user-friendly for the average customer. It often takes a fair amount of time to decipher their explanations – so this is really excellent.
Actually, as a first place to buy domain names, this is the place to go. SiteDomains is the best all round if you need an all-inclusive platform to build your online business but Google Domains is super easy to understand and use. NameCheap and GoDaddy have a longer learning curve and many features beginners don’t need can make it confusing.
Google Domains have an easily accessible list of prices for each domain ending. The most important one though,.com is $17 per year. As with most domain registrars, you can purchase one, two, five and ten-year periods.
You get started by going to Purchase Google Domains.
GoDaddy is one of the oldest and most well-known domain registrars around. However, I have mixed feelings about them. They were the first registrar I have ever used and I still have some domains there. The problem is I have tried some of their products and I find them somewhat difficult to understand and use.
In addition, their prices are expensive. The domain names are probably within industry standards but they charge a lot for add-ons which can quickly increase the total price tag or services. For example, you often need to pay for privacy and security – items both included in the above companies I recommend.
You can find out more by navigating to GoDaddy Domain Names.
Domain Name Wrap-up
Choosing a domain name is a crucial step in building your business. It is important to choose a domain name registrar who you trust and provides quality service at a reasonable price.
My number one recommendation for beginners is to join Wealthy Affiliate because of the vast number of resources including both free and paid for domains.
This is a definite money saver in the long run. These days there is no need to pay thousands of dollars to register with gurus operated companies. However, some of you already belong to communities or would like to do this online business thing on your own and that is A-okay too.
In that case, try Google Domains first followed by NameCheap. I would say purchase from GoDaddy as a last resort mainly because of the overall cost and the not so user-friendly experience.