In this lesson, we’ll talk about domain names and learn:
Welcome! I’m Leighton, your webmaster. In today’s lesson, let’s talk about domain names. How would you describe a domain name? What’s the purpose of it? Well, what’s the purpose of your home address? So people can find you. Your .com is like your digital address. It’s where people go to find your website. In this lesson, let’s discuss: (1) What domains do (2) How much they cost (3) How to pick one (4) Where I recommend buying one
What’s involved in a domain name? Obviously, you have the name itself, such as google.com. But what else? First off, every domain name has public contact information. What kind of contact information? Every domain has the name, address, email and phone # for the administrator, registrant, tech, and billing. Is that an invasion of privacy? Apparently, it has been, because in recent years, most domain owners privatize their registration. Basically, they hide the contact info. You can usually turn on Private Registration for free, which I will do mostly for the sake of fighting spam. Marketing companies will scrape domain names to build their marketing lists, so private registration limits that. Next, Domain names have a LOCK and Authorization Code. What are these for? Well, what do you give the new homeowner once you sell a house? The keys! Similarly, the LOCK and AUTH CODE help facilitate the ownership transfer. Finally, domain names have DNS settings, which stands for Domain Name System. It’s been described as the phone book of the Internet. What was the purpose of phone books? To send people to the correct person or business. DNS basically specifies the correct server to send website traffic, subdomains, and emails.
How much do domain names cost? Generally, about $15/year. I would not pay over $25 for one. You should find generally the same price whether you’re on Google Domains, IONOS, GoDaddy, etc. Let’s see an example. (Demonstrate: GoDaddy Domains Landing Page) So we’ve established there’s a small fee involved. As a web design business, you don’t have to cover this fee. You can invoice your client or even have them setup their own GoDaddy account in their name with their credit card.
How do you pick a domain name? This is very important. Your domain name is an extension of your business, and choose wisely, as most companies keep their domain for life. Your ideal domain name is just your company name… .com. Sometimes, that’s not available, and we have to get creative… look up variations of the name, add a keyword, locality, etc. A terrific resource is InstantDomainSearch.com.
PAUSE: Please pause the video and browse InstantDomainSearch.com for a few minutes. Brainstorm a domain name for yourself.
Obviously, as a business, you need a domain name for yourself. But what about your website design business? How do you handle domains for your clients? When you take on a client, there are 2 scenarios: (1) Your client already has a domain name. Great! Ask for the domain registrar’s login and use it. (2) They don’t have a domain yet. Together, you’ll come up with a name and purchase it. It’s important not to change your domain name unless absolutely necessary. Why? What problems do you think could arise when changing up your domain? (A few things come to mind. People are already familiar with the current domain name, so they might question the validity of the new one… Plus, the current domain is likely already printed on marketing material and ads! So it can become costly to update your domain across all channels. So when you sit down with a client, stress the importance of choosing the right domain name and sticking with it.
Where do you buy your domain name? Domains are ordered through what’s called a domain registrar. I typically buy my domain names either through IONOS.com or GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy is a solid choice for domain names, but I personally use IONOS since my web hosting servers are through them, so it makes things easier. Do you think it would be wise to keep all your clients’ domain names under the same roof? Why or why not? Yeah, for efficiency! Don’t have to juggle a bunch of logins! I try to keep all domain names under my 1 IONOS account so it’s all in the same spot through 1 login. Much easier to keep track of that way. That being said, having a GoDaddy account is also nice since it’s super easy to transfer a domain name from another person’s GoDaddy to yours. For example, if a business is transferring their domain name to you, you might need to get it from the former webmaster. If they have a GoDaddy account, you can transfer it in 5 minutes.
PAUSE: Please pause the video, go to IONOS.com, and click DOMAINS. Spend a few minutes reading this web page.
So far, what have we learned?
Remember: As the owner of a web design business, you will have your own domain name, but you’ll also manage domain names for your clients. Some clients will keep their domain name under their own account, and others will let you handle it for them. Either way, handling a domain name for a business takes a measure of trust. The better you understand how domain names work, the more trust you’ll earn. And the more trust you earn, the more valuable you become.
I’m Leighton, and now you know… domain names!
Think of ideas for your own domain name for your web design business. Research your ideas at InstantDomainSearch.com, IONOS.com or GoDaddy.com. If you do not already own a domain one, purchase one at GoDaddy, IONOS or Google Domains. We’ll start building your website on that domain name later on. Purchasing through my affiliate link is optional, but it’s a nice way to show appreciation for your webmaster.