Background on domain names

A domain name is primarily related to your solar installation or fireplace services business website. It is part of the address that people use to show your website. To go to a website, you might type in https://www.companyname.com into your web browser. The “companyname.com” is the domain name.

A domain name has two parts. The hostname and the top-level domain name. In our example, “companyname” is the hostname and “.com” is the top-level domain name. There are many top-level domain names but the most common for businesses is “.com”. The “com” is short of commercial.

There can only be one, unique hostname per top-level domain. As we mentioned earlier about selecting a business name, finding an available domain name is part of the process. So, you must find an available hostname and top-level domain name that matches your company branding.

Domain name brainstorming tools

There are a number of tools you can use to help with brainstorming available domain names.  Some are:

To start my brainstorming, I like to use the tool available in my recommended service to purchase a domain name.  If I can’t find something I like, I will use the tools above.

Domain name purchasing

A domain name is leased or rented from a domain name registrar for a yearly fee.  There are a number of places to do this.  Some are:

I recommend Hover.   On Hover’s website, they provide a search option to check the availability of a domain name.   You type in domain name and if available, you can purchase it.  If not, they will show you some alternatives.  If already owned, they will show some options to purchase it.  That is an option but typically it is easier to try to a find an available domain name with different combination of words and top-level domain names.

Costs

The costs of domain names are different between domain registrars and may change with upfront discounts.  But you should not need to pay over $15 a year from a major registrar.  You can find cheaper, but you might not get the support your need or want.  Again, we recommend Hover for these reasons and more.

Privacy

As part of the domain name registration process, you need to give your name, address and email address.  For a physical business, this probably isn’t a big deal.  But, if you are a home-based business, you might not want this information public.  There is an option to make this information private.  Some registrars charge extra for this service but Hover includes it for free.

Domain names and website hosting

We will talk about website hosting soon but some website hosting companies will include a domain name as part of their services. I don’t recommend this. There are many reasons you might want to change who hosts your website over time. Moving your website is much easier if you don’t have the place where you host your website be the same place you register your domain name.

Summary about domain name

A domain name is your address on the Internet for your solar installation or fireplace services business website.  There are tools available to help you find an available domain name.  A website can be purchased from a registrar which leases your desired domain name on a yearly basis.   There are a number of registrars to pick from.  Costs are a factor but is a small part of your marketing plan.  The key is to match your domain name to your business name for consistent branding.

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