Imagine that every time you wanted to visit Google, you had to type its IP address into your browser instead of its domain name. It would be much more difficult to remember and type 18.104.22.168 than Google.com. Same with 22.214.171.124 for Twitter.com and 126.96.36.199 for Wikipedia.com.
Seriously, if I asked you to close your eyes and repeat one of those IP addresses, you probably couldn’t, but I bet you could repeat all the domain names.
That’s the beauty of domain names – they are a simpler alternative for remembering and identifying websites, acting as a home address for websites on the Internet. They tell visitors where different sites live so they can easily find and return.
To drive visitors to your site and keep them coming back, you need a domain name that is unique, short, and easy to memorize and spell. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave this to chance. Instead, you can buy and register a custom domain for your site.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what a custom is, how to get one, and how much it costs. Let us begin.
What is a custom domain?
A custom domain is a unique brand tag that is connected to the IP address of a website. To visit a particular site, you can type your custom domain name in the address bar of your browser
Domain name registration is necessary for proprietary reasons – it gives you ownership over your website address so that no one else can claim it, and it simplifies the way internet users find your site.
But buying and registering a custom domain name has additional benefits, including:
Brand identity – A name is essential for a consistent online brand identity. Visitors will expect your domain name to match or resemble your business name.
Credibility – A name that aligns with your business name (or your own name) establishes credibility and makes your website appear legitimate to users.
Memorability – If your domain is easy to remember, visitors can easily enter it into their search bars, driving more direct traffic to your site.
Differentiation from the competition – A clean and attractive custom domain sets you apart from competing sites with clunky domains.
Search Authority: In addition to strengthening your brand, custom domain names can also help you establish a search authority. As a general rule of thumb, the older a domain is, the more authority it has in search. That’s because you’ve had time to accumulate quality content, internal links, and backlinks.
For these reasons, it is important to use a custom domain name from the beginning. If you start with a free website builder like Weebly, WordPress.com, or Webnode, for example, you will be assigned a subdomain, meaning your URL might look like example.weebly.com. If you decide to upgrade to a paid plan later, you can purchase a custom domain, but your domain authority will basically be reset to zero.
When choosing a custom domain name for your business, make sure it is short, unique, and easy to pronounce and spell. It should also give visitors an idea of what your business is about.
How much does a custom domain cost?
The cost of a domain name varies, depending on the domain registrar you buy it from and the domain extension you want. Typically, a .com domain name, which is the most popular extension, costs between $ 10 and $ 15 per year.
Virtually all website builder platforms, from hosted website builders to self-hosted CMS platforms and everything in between, include domain name registration in their registration process.
Some hosted platforms like Squarespace, as well as hosting providers like Bluehost, include a free year of domain registration when you sign up, attracting new site owners who want to keep their costs down. Just be sure to check the renewal fees so you don’t unknowingly commit to a costly annual fee.
Other hosted platforms like CMS Hub and providers like SiteGround require you to purchase a domain from a third-party domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap and then connect it to your account. This is a relatively inexpensive and painless process as well.
Generally, registering and renewing main costs between $ 10 and $ 15 per year.
Now that we understand how the price of a name varies, let’s take a look at the process to get one.
How to get a custom domain
- Choose your domain register
When choosing a register, evaluating the price, available domain names, privacy, reputation, and expiration fees for each can help you narrow down your selection. Domain.com, for example, offers domain registration for as little as $ 2.99 a year and most .com domains for $ 9.99 a year. This makes it one of the most profitable options.
- Search for your desired name.
Once you’ve chosen your domain register, look to see if the domain name you want is available. If so, you can add it to your cart and go to step 4. If it is, continue to the next step.
For the sake of this demo, let’s say I want to create a lifestyle blog with the domain name afitzgerald.com
- If that name is taken, try different variations and extensions.
If you take the desired name, you have several options. You can try to buy the domain name of the current owner. Since this can cost hundreds (or even millions) of dollars, consider trying another approach.
If “.com” is taken, consider other known extensions such as .net or .org. Or you can start over and try different variations with .com.
- Add privacy and domain protection to your cart.
Once you’ve decided on a name and start checking, it’s a good idea to add privacy and protection to the domain. Without it, your personal information (including your name, address, phone number, and email) will be included in the public WHOIS database for anyone to see. This information is required by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees and approves domain registrars
- Buy alternatives
In addition to your primary custom domain, consider purchasing misspellings, relevant extensions, and other alternatives for your domain name. This can help you retain traffic destined for your site in the event that users enter the wrong address in their browser.
- Select your registration term.
Once you have added your custom domain, desired alternatives, and domain privacy and protection to your cart, select how long you want to register your domain for. You can set it up for one year to pay the least amount upfront.
- Buy an email domain and other add-ons.
During the checkout process, most domain registrars will offer a selection of add-ons, from email to hosting to SSL certification.
The website builder platform will likely include most of these features in their hosting plans, except for email. For example, with the CMS Hub, you get hosting, SSL certification, website creation and design tools, and built-in security features
- Enter your payment information.
Once you have added everything you need to your cart, you are ready to proceed with billing. You will only have to fill in your payment and billing information to officially own your domain name
- Connect to your hosting account
With the custom domain officially registered in your name, all that is left to do is connect it to your hosting account or website platform.
Suppose you have decided to create your website on the CMS Hub. You can connect a domain to HubSpot in a few easy steps directly from your dashboard
Reinforcing your brand identity
Buying and registering a domain name is an essential step in creating a website.
Not only can a custom name build trust with your audience, but it can also strengthen your brand and drive traffic to your site. The process is easy with the right platform. Look for one that offers the documentation and support you need to buy and connect a domain with ease.
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