5 FAQs Business Owners
Want To Know 
About Buying A Domain Name

Buying a domain name can be an exciting task to embark on. Yet, I know how quickly that excitement can change into "Uh-Oh" fear in a matter of seconds.

That's because buying a domain name appears to be more complicated than it really is.

To help eliminate the confusion, I will answer some of the most common questions I've been asked, to inform you on the basics of buying a domain name.

1. How much is a domain name?

The cost of a new domain name differs from a pre-owned domain name.

  • A new domain name, one that's never been registered, will range between $12-$15, but no more than $20 tops, unless you are getting an added feature like domain privacy or email hosting. Depending on the service provider, you can get the first year for a super deep discount, below the normal price.

  • A pre-owned domain name, one that you purchase from a individual or company that sells previously owned domains, will vary greatly in price (from $100-$1,000+). Pre-owned domains tend to be more expensive than newly registered ones because they've already been established, and in some cases the more domains age... the more valuable they become.

Once you make the initial purchase, a domain name has to be renewed annually. About $12-$15/year is a reasonable price to pay to renew a domain.

2. Where can I register a domain name?

If you take one point from this article, let it be this one...

Register your own domain name directly through a domain name registrar. Don't let someone do it for you.

Want to know why? Please read "Reasons why you should never let anyone else register your business domain name for you."

I recommend Namecheap because they have reasonable prices and they include domain privacy for free... you'll want that and not all registrars offer it for free.

If you simply search "buy a domain name", you will find a ton of domain name registrars. Just be careful who you choose.

First, start by finding out what the normal rate is, because many will give you a discount for the first year and then raise it to the regular price. Then, check their terms to see what's included before buying a domain name.

3. Is buying a domain name the same as hosting?

No. Website hosting is a totally different fee from the domain name.

Some people get the two mixed up because of the fact that hosting companies will waive the domain name registration fee for the first year when you buy hosting, as an incentive. But these are really two different fees.

4. Does it matter how it's spelled?

A few people have asked me does it make a difference whether you spell or type out a domain name a certain way. It all depends on what you mean.

Here are a few common scenarios. I'll use my business URL www.graphicallyinnovativedesigns.com as an example.

  • Capitalizations don't make a difference. People basically use capitalizations in domain names to make it easier for customers to read on print collateral such as business cards, and flyers. But capitalized or not, it will all go to the same place.

    Example: "www.graphicallyinnovativedesigns.com" is the same as typing "www.GraphicallyInnovativeDesigns.com".

  • Dashes do make a difference. Adding dashes to a domain name makes it an entirely different domain name. Some businesses choose to buy both versions.

    Example: "www.graphicallyinnovativedesigns.com" is different than typing "www.graphically-innovative-designs.com".

  • Extensions do make a difference. Extensions (a.k.a. in the technical world Top-Level Domains) are the words you see on the end of a domain name like .com, .net, or .org ...just to name a few.

    Example: "www.graphicallyinnovativedesigns.com" is different than typing "www.graphicallyinnovativedesigns.net".

  • Spellings do make a difference. The littlest change in a letter can take you to a totally different website.

    Example: "www.graphicallyinnovativedesigns.com" is different than typing "www.innovativedesigns.com".

5. How can I find out if the domain I want is available?

There are a few ways to check domain name availability: (1) you can type in the URL of the desired domain name to see if a website comes up, or an even easier way is (2) go to whois.domaintools.com to do a quick and easy search of available domains for free.

Check out my post "3 Easy Ways To Check Available Domain Names" for more information.

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