How to Choose a Good Domain Name Part 3

Part 3: Registering and Using a Domain Name

Now that we’ve discussed the marketing power of a domain name and how to choose a good one, it’s time to put it into practice. We won’t get into all the cases for managing a domain name, but we’ll show you how to register one and how to set up a simple URL forward.

Registering a Domain Name

To register your new domain, you will need to visit a domain registrar. The pricing for a domain is about the same no matter which one you choose, but you can shop around and wait for a sale if you choose to do so. Usually a standard-priced domain is still great value, for example a .com at GoDaddy.com is $11.99. Extremely low-priced domains often come with some sort of catch, like a higher renewal price or a bundle requirement.

GoDaddy is the most popular domain registrar, but you can also look into smaller registrars like TuCows, Hover, NameCheap, Enom, Name.com, and more. Rather than pricing, additional features and your brand preference will usually tip the scales in one registrar’s favor.

Once you’ve decided on which registrar you would like to use, you can usually search right from the home page. For this example, I’ll use Name.com because they offer free URL and email forwarding (shout out to a fellow Denver-based business!). I’ll try to find a domain for a fictional Realtor named John Smith in Fort Collins, Colorado.

We’ll start by searching “johnsmith.com.”

As you may have guessed, johnsmith.com isn’t available. There are some other choices available, such as johnsmith.live and johnsmith.properties. If I add “realtor” to the search, I have some available options like johnsmithrealtor.co and johnsmithrealtor.online, but I’m going to see what kind of keyword-based domain I can find instead. Let’s try searching for “fortcollinsrealtor.com.”

Once again the .com domain is already taken, but “fortcollinsrealtor.co” and “fortcollinsrealtor.online” are both available. Those domains are both memorable, easy to say out loud, professional, and specific to a market. Also, .co is a pretty familiar domain ending, so I would suggest selecting “fortcollinsrealtor.co.” Once you pick your domain name, the process for completing your purchase is just like any other e-commerce website.

You might want to get WHOIS Privacy Protection with your domain to avoid any potential spam calls or emails. When you register a domain, it’s required that you submit your contact information, including physical address and phone number, so the registrar can add it to the WHOIS Database. They can mask your information if you add privacy protection.

Setting Up a URL Forward

The process for setting up a URL forward will vary from registrar to registrar, but you can usually find a video tutorial or knowledge base article that’s specific to your preferred registrar.

At Name.com, you can just log in to your account, visit their forwarding tools page (either from the account navigation or name.com/account/forwardingtools), select the domain from the dropdown menu, and paste the URL you want the domain to redirect to. For this example, I’ll use Breakthrough Broker Co-founder Nathan Froelich’s page, since he’s an actual Fort Collins Realtor.

Now, when someone types “fortcollinsrealtor.co” into the address bar, it will redirect them to Nathan’s Facebook page. This is a much simpler way for Nathan’s contacts to find him online than searching for Nathan’s tricky last name on Facebook. Plus, this new domain is easy to share verbally and commit to memory.

For more information on how a domain name works go to Part 1. Learn more about choosing a domain name by visiting Part 2.

Ethan Conley is a marketer, designer, and content writer in Denver, Colo. He was Breakthrough Broker's first employee and helped launch the site in 2011.

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