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  Lesson 12: How to Choose and Register a Domain Name  

     Important tips for choosing a domain name     

I want to give you some useful and important tips for choosing a good domain name for your website. A domain name is basically the address where your website can be found on the internet. Of course, it depends on where you are going to host your website, whether you are going to use a free webhost or a paid hosting service.

Most of the free hosting services will give you the option to choose a website name which is then used as a sub-domain of the webhosting provider´s domain name, so your website address on the internet would become something like: http://yourname.hostname.com
For example: http://yourname.0catch.com  or  http://yourname.50megs.com

Hint: I´ll show you in lesson 16 a free web host that will even host your own TLD ( = Top Level Domain - f.ex. yourname.com / yourname.net / etc ...) for you, so your website address will be something like "http://www.yourwebsite.com", which looks much better.

1. Keep the name of your website short, easy to read and easy to remember. If your website is about you (f.ex. if you are publishing your pictures or your personal life experiences, your daily ramblings about what you do, etc ...), then you could even use your name.

2. A good option is to compose a domain name which reflects the main topic of your website. Whether you want to use hyphens to separate words or not is up to you. The main reason why you see some domain names composed with hyphen-separated keywords is that there has been an advantage in achieving better search engine rankings. But these days are over and its much more user-friendly to have a name without hyphens. Here are some examples of this type of domain name to get you inspired:

vinylsidingguide.com
dentalcarebuddy.com
rosegardeningcenter.com
easywebtutorials.com

3. Another option would be to create a fantasy name or a construct that uses the initial letters / syllables of words. Some examples are companies and website names like "Google", "Yahoo", "eBay", "Jamba", "Napster", "Gimpsy", etc ...
If you choose this option, then it would be important that you keep your website name very short and very catchy, so people will easily remember it and come back more frequently.

Also make sure that your website name is easy to spell. Don´t use words that are likely to be misspelled in order to avoid confusions.

VERY IMPORTANT: Don´t use trademarks, brand and company names in your website name unless you have a written permission of the trademark holders. An example of a website which uses a registered trademark inside the domain name is http://www.googlecash.com ( I´m pretty sure they have Google™´s permission ).



     Where and how to register a domain name     

The importance of flexibility: Although many web hosting providers also offer domain name registrations, you should go with an independent service because of two reasons:

1. They are usually cheaper: Most hosting services charge between 15 - 25 $ per year for a domain name registration. At GoDaddy.com, one of the best registrars and my personal favorite, you can get domain names for less than 9 $ / year. At certain times, they have discounted prices.

2. You have more flexibilty: Where do you host your website one year from now ? Who knows if your hosting company goes out of business or if your website needs more features and capacity because it has grown in popularity ? If you registered your domain name with your webhost, then you´d face the hassles of transferring your domain name when you need to move to a different host. I´ve gone through this and believe me: this can be a real waste of time. When you have your domain registered at GoDaddy.com, you simply point it to the new host (I´ll show you how in lesson 16).

Here´s a video that walks you through each step for registering a domain at Godaddy. During the registration process, you´ll be offered a lot of different things you don´t need. I´ll show you how to get around these up-sells quickly.

video
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Visit GoDaddy.com now to register a domain name for your website.

While you do not have a webhost yet, Godaddy will park your domain for free and display a "coming soon" message. I will show you later how you can manage your domains in your GoDaddy account, especially how to point your domain to your webhost.

Now that you have a name for your website, you can go ahead and create a logo for it. The next lessons shows you how to use a free online service to create simple but quite pretty logos and buttons.


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    Web Design

  • Design and market your own professional-looking website with easy-to-use tools.

  The Lessons  

Introduction
Skills & Tools
HTML Basics
The Head Section
The Body Section
Images
Anchors & Links
Lists
Tables
Font Styles
Cascading Style Sheets
Website Layout
Domainname Registration
Website Logos & Buttons
Main Webpages
Legal Documents
Web Hosting Providers
Publishing Your Website

Editing Images


Glossary

FAQ / Support

Resources


Cheap Website Hosting
DailyRazor offers a full featured hosting plan for only $ 1.66 per month. Best choice for people on a low budget for hosting one website.

Multiple Site Hosting
Some webhosts allow you to host several different websites under one hosting account. This makes your hosting costs per site very cheap. My favorite webhosts:
Bluehost
Hostgator
Lunarpages

CSS Tutorial
"Styling with CSS" is a comprehensive and easy guide to web design with CSS for beginners. Highly recommended book that should be on your shelf.
Buy it from Amazon.

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