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So you finally decided to create your own website AND start a blog – congrats!

Now you’re probably trying to come up with a domain name, right? Domain names can be challenging; you want yours to be a good one. It should be easy to remember, short, sweet, easy to spell and to preferably end in.COM.

Once you have an idea of your domain name and are ready to buy it (key here is ready to buy) then head over to a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Name.com. I have used both and prefer Name.com (my referral link which gets you $5 towards your purchase). Be sure to type in your preferred domain name into the search box again, only if your ready to buy the domain name should it be available.

Why you have to be ready to purchase before typing in your domain name?

Rumor has it that once you type in your name it can be picked up by the inner workings of the system which could prompt someone else to buy it if don’t purchase it right away. So best practice is to always hold off from typing it in until you are ready to buy. Now that you are at this point and have typed in your preferred domain name, you will see one of two things. One, your name with the extension .COM is available (congrats! Snag that!) or two, your name is taken, but you have all these other random extension names you can choose from. If it’s the latter option, take the following steps to get your preferred domain name.

What happens if your domain name is taken? Here are steps to purchasing one Click To Tweet

Domain name not available. Try this:

First, you want to double check you spelled everything correctly. Assuming you did, take a look and see if there is anything that you can slightly change. Can you add or take away a letter? Can you shorten it? Things like that will help.

Someone owns my domain name but is not using it

Now let’s say you have tried everything and still nothing works and you’ve noticed the domain name you want is taken but is not really being used. You can try looking up the domain you want on Whois and see who owns it. Most of the time you can find the contact person here. Type in the domain name you want, hit search, and on the results page look at the registrant name and email. Then simply shoot the person an email asking if the domain name is for sale and if so, how much?

I would recommend sending this email from your personal email account vs say a business account. It might help in keeping the price down should the other person want to sell the domain name. Think of it like a wedding. Anytime you mention the word wedding when looking for a venue or a photographer the price always seems to at least double if not triple. Same thing could happen in this situation. So just keep it simple. You are just an average person who happens to like the domain name and wants to see if it’s for sale. If the other person responds with a number that is too high, feel free to counter offer.

Someone is ready to sell me their domain name

If and when you agree on a price then head over to escrow.com to complete the transaction. Escrow acts as the middle man and only takes a small fee compared to say GoDaddy which charges $70 for the service on top of a commission off the sale. If all else fails and the .COM domain name is just not an option look into the other extensions and see which ones are most relevant to your niche. Research your competition and see if any of them are using an extension other than .COM.

So you found your domain name, now what?

Now that you found your domain name it’s time to start thinking about building a website. Now I know this might scare some of you, but don’t worry. I have broken down the process of building a website for those of you who want to go the DIY route and save some (a lot) of money. I built a mini course called WordPress made stupid easy™ which will walk you through the whole process from purchasing a domain name to hosting options to building a website on WordPress.org in just under an hour. And no, you do not need to be a “techie.” So why did I create this affordable course when one of my services is building a website? Simple, it’s not about the money. It’s about providing those of you who want to go the DIY route (like I did when I created EdTroxellCreative.com) with the tools and resources you need to get started.

Looking for more on domain names, web hosting, and general information around websites?
Check out “Let’s Talk Websites.” 

THANK YOU!!!!! I would just be walking around crying trying to figure out all of these first steps to get my site set up!! I am sooooo grateful to for this program and all of the support you have given me.

Jess Hoffman

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