Building a website: Do You Master Your Domain? – Last week we covered the various marketplaces available for you to set up a store, but what if you wanted to build your own website and host your own store? Well, I think that’s a great idea!
Even if you run your store through Etsy or another hosted site, it’s a good idea to have a “business card” website, which at least has your basic contact information and directs people to various outlets where they can find your work – in the end maybe you can. move to your own store hosting there too, hmm?
But how to build a website? Ah, therein lies the hard part. I started tackling how to create a website and all the different options you can take here and quickly realized that’s really a lot of information to cover in just one small post. So, I’ll be spreading a few “website building” posts over the next few days to make sure all the basics are covered. Today, let’s start with the first thing first:
Are you your Domain Master?
If you own a business and you don’t have a domain name for it yet, stop here. Open this instant domain search right now. Buy your domain name.
Yes, you need one. Plus, they’re inexpensive – usually only $9.99 per year or less. Even if you don’t plan on doing anything with it right away, why not buy it now and keep it until you need it?
Because it’s not so fun when you go to register a domain name and find that it’s been taken by an Asian make-up manufacturer who apparently is no longer in business, but still has the domain registered for the next 3 years ahead and you can’t do anything about it.
Tips for choosing your domain name:
1. Use a .com domain
Try to get domain names ending in .com because they are by far the most common and that’s what people usually assume when they type in a web address. yourbusinessname.com would be ideal!
I’d rather have .com instead of .net, .biz, .info or whatever people aren’t used to.
2. Shorter is better
When it comes to web addresses, shorter is better. The easier it is to type, the easier it is to remember, and the easier it will be for your potential customers to visit you. Also, shorter names are easier to include in your branding, on web banners, on your business cards, etc.
However, if your business name is long, your full business name will be better than random abbreviations that don’t necessarily make sense. Also, avoid hyphens and things that can trip people up if they happen to hear your web address vs. see it in print. mydomainnameislong.com is still better than my-domain-is-cool.com. Think easy!
3. If you are based outside the US, get a country-specific domain
I’d say .com is best for most businesses, but if you’re based outside the US and have a store or other business that caters more to local customers, then a country-specific domain will work well for you. There’s .co.uk for you Brits, or .ca for Canadians, for example. The attractiveness of the location can be a plus for many customers who want to shop locally. You might want to get the .com version too if it’s available! (If you’re in the US, don’t get a .us address! It’s still unused, no one will remember!)
4. If the domain of your choice has been taken.
If your dream .com is gone, think about what words you can change to get one that’s still available, is still relevant to your site, and is memorable. Could you add “store” at the beginning or end, maybe? Or another word that determines?
If your preferred .com is taken, I wouldn’t settle for .net, .biz or anything from the same domain, because people are bound to head to .com by accident, and then oops! This is your customer.
5. Should you buy more than one?
When you purchase a domain name, the registrar may be advised to purchase several extensions (.net, .biz, etc.) to protect the domain. If you’re securing .com I don’t think there’s a need to buy anything else either, but if you’re really worried about your .net domains popping up and targeting themselves to the same customer base, you might want to just buy them and redirect them to. your com.
You may also want to consider purchasing your domain’s common misspellings, if any, to have them redirected to your main site.
And if you have a country-specific domain like the one mentioned above, I’d definitely go for it try buying .com if it’s available too, and having one redirect to the other.
6. Register now!
What are you waiting for? There are new sites popping up every second. If you haven’t registered your domain yet, do so now! Whenever I think of a new business idea, I immediately go to register a domain name just in case. Some of them I’ve used, some of them I’ve passed on and let out of date, but I think it’s better to secure them for future plans than not have them available when you’re ready. If you have a business idea, don’t miss the opportunity for the domain of your choice – grab it now!
Securing your domain is only the first step. As we continue this series in the next few days, we’ll take a look at the different types of sites you can create, the difference between a self-hosted and a hosted site, the different options you have to easily set up your shop, see a web designer and how much it costs to set up a shop. have a professionally designed site and more.