Last updated on March 21st, 2023
If you are planning to launch your website, the first crucial step to take is to ensure a perfect domain. Why? Because it will be the address of your website. But, buying and correctly protecting a domain name, avoiding those usual mistakes, is equally important. Designhill conducted a webinar with marketing specialist, Gvidas Maskoliunas who advised on how to best own and protect a domain name. Have a look!
The first step you take to start your business online is to book a domain name. The domain will be the address of your website and its business. People will use the name in the search box to find out your products, services, or other information.
But, merely buying a domain name will not give an effective address and protection to your website. While buying a domain name, you need to avoid the errors that many businesses make while purchasing a domain name.
So, to educate you on the right way to acquire and domain name and protect it, Designhill, the leading creative marketplace decided to take the help of an expert. The marketplace conducted a webinar on 9th February 2021 with Gvidas Maskoliunas on How to Buy And Protect Your Perfect Domain Name. He advised on the tips, tricks and best practices to follow while buying and protecting your domain.
He showed how to choose the domain name correctly and the best ways to secure it from any potential harm to your business. During the webinar, he covered most of the vital aspects of the domain, especially for the new website owners.
About Gvidas Maskoliunas
Gvidas Maskolinuas is a Marketing Specialist and working as an instructor at Hostinger Academy, teaching people how to create websites using WordPress. He also runs many courses on Udemy, Bitdegree, and SkillShare.
Here Is the Video Of The Webinar With Gvidas Maskoliunas
Here Are The Vital Aspects Of Buying And Protecting Your Perfect Domain Name.
The Structure Of The Domain
Protocol And Subdomain
Gvidas Maskolinuas: In the first two sections of the domain structure, we got protocol and subdomain. The protocol is HTTPS, or it can be HTTP. If it’s HTTPS, that means a website has an SSL certificate then the connection is secure. And right here subdomain level we have www. As you probably remember, in the past, it used to be very popular to use www so that people understand that we are talking about the website, not just about a word or the phrase.
The Domain Name And Top-Level Domain
In the last two steps, parts of the domain name are the main name and the top-level domain, or TLD. So, when you are purchasing a domain name, you buy the last two sections, this is the domain. The actual domain, which you would purchase, let’s say from hosting, or anywhere else would be hosting or.com or yourdomain.com, dot net, or an ad.
Types Of Top-Level Domains
As you probably know, some of the most popular domains are the.com.org .net. So the global top-level domain the most are .com.org.net.
The ccTLD stands for country code, top-level domain. So I don’t know where you from, as I can see a lot of people are some people are from the Philippines, others other from other places. So as you probably already know, in your country, you have your own TLD. Alright, the Z as I can see someone is from Pakistan. So each country has its top-level domain. For example, France has FR, Russia has U, and Germany has the E. Yeah. And those are usually used when you are creating a website or project in your language.
Then, there are new domains which more people are using. For example, as you can see, the most popular one among new top-level domains is .xyz. People say that it is going to be popular in the future. It might get even more popular than.com. I’m not sure about that. But as you can see, those are new top-level domains. There are plenty of them. Just today I checked. In total there are 1000, almost 1600 top-level domains.
So, like I said that .com is the most popular domain. Around 47% of websites are using.com. So, almost half of the websites are using.com. The second place goes to .org and ru, which is the Russian, .net, and .de, which is the German one. There are plenty of them. Usually, it’s up to you which one you would like to choose.
Choosing The Right TLD
Consider Your Audience
But, will explain a little bit more about this process to let you know which top-level domain you should choose. First of all, when choosing a top-level domain, or the extension or the ending of your domain, first consider your audience. Is it this or that audience, is it a global audience, or you want to target a specific country.
For example, if you need a website to target a global audience, the best option could be the .com domain. If it is not available, maybe the second-best option would be the .net. That is usually how it works and how I do it myself.
But, if your audience is a specific country, let’s say France, you should choose .fr. You should choose your top-level domain, which belongs to your country. And especially if you’re planning to derive content and in that particular language. So when that’s the case, you should choose ccTLD. So country code is top-level domain.
Know If The Domain Is Available
Consider the availability of a domain as well. So, you have an idea for a certain domain name, and you want to opt for a.com. Let’s say you wish to have it like funky dogs.com. But this domain is taken. Then, the next best option would be to check if .net is available. And, then you can choose.net if it’s available. This is how I usually do things for myself and recommend others to do.
Pros And Cons Of Country-Code TLDs
Visitors can identify with the website
You may be going for a country-code TLD, for example, the TLD of your country. In my case, I’m from Lithuania, I would have to use that Lt. So if I would use it for my website, people would understand that I’m talking to them. They would know that my website is targeted to finance if I’m using it. So, they have a clear understanding that this website is targeted to that particular audience. That structure of domain name, which has ccTLD.
Rank higher on search results
The ccTLD structure of the domain name gives the signal to search engines that this particular website targets a specific country. Because of that, you can rank higher, for instance, in Google search results. For example, I have two websites, and they have the same domain.
These websites may be with us blog.com and with us. blog.lt. I’m writing both blogs and Lithuanian. The chances of the website with an .lt domain ranked higher are much more than the one with a .com domain. This is because .com is targeted to a global audience and the other one targets only the Lithuanians.
Local ccTLDs perform better
In some markets, local ccTLDs perform better than non-localized ones. And then in some extreme cases, only those particular TLDs are shown. So, for example, in China, they only show results with a top-level domain that is .cn, which is China’s top-level domain.
Here Are Some Cons of ccTLDs
One of the biggest disadvantages could be that these domains are quite expensive. For example, if you would try to register a domain name, which has TLD, .br, which is for Puerto Rico, for one year, you would pay about $1,000. In some cases, it can be very expensive.
May not rank in other countries
A website with a ccTLD domain might not rank in other nations using the same language. So for example, take Portuguese. In Brazil, people talk Portuguese. And if you have a domain name, which ends with .br, for Brazil, and it will not show up in Portugal or other countries where the same language is used.
Ways To Choose The Right Domain Name
It should have some meaning
Gvidas Maskolinuas: I usually say that there are two ways to choose the right domain name. The first one is, the domain name has some type of meaning.
For example, there is a website called veritas.com. And there is another website called Project Veritas. Com. The Veritas is the goddess of truth. So, this domain name has a deeper meaning. Such a type of domain name is difficult to find. Especially if you’re trying to find the domain name, which ends with.com. It might be very frustrating. And some people like to go with hyphens in between the words they like to do that stuff. Or, they like to add numbers. So in some cases, in a lot of cases, those domain names are taken, so you’re going to have a difficult time finding them.
Like I said, it might take a longer time to come up with that certain domain name, like Project Veritas, Veritas. If you’re trying to make your domain name with a deep meaning, it might take more time to come up with it.
It should sound nice
The second one is, the domain just sounds nice. It just clicks you and you just like it.
An example of such a domain name is that of Zyro, which is a website builder. And as far as I know, it doesn’t have a very big deeper meaning behind it, it just sounds nice. It just clicks, it’s catchy, and It’s simple. And when you’re not focused on the meaning part of your domain name, you have more flexibility. Also, it will be much easier to come up with that domain name.
Of course, you will have to spend some time thinking of something catchy, that clicks straight away. But it will be way easier than trying to come up with a domain name that has some kind of a deeper meaning.
9 Tips To Buy The Best Domain
01. Do Your Research
The first step is to do your research. You might have some kind of idea of a particular domain name to use. But, when you look it up, you find that it is taken up. So, you go back to your drawing board to come up with different variations of your domain name. And eventually, you find out that this domain name is like a keyword, and you can rank for it in a search engine.
So, if a particular domain name is like a keyword, and it’s free, that’s fantastic. Once your website gets a little bit more established, you will be able to rank it for that certain keyword. This is because you have this domain name as your keyword. Most importantly you will get some free traffic.
02. Make It Easy To Remember
You should pick a domain name that is easy to remember. Zyra.com, for example, is a catchy and simple name that everyone can remember. It is like somebody finds your website and thinks you have a cool website. And no matter what type of website is that it could be a blog or an online store, or whatever. People will think that your domain name is cool. And they would like to let their friends know about your website. But if they have a difficult time remembering your website, they cannot easily let their friends know about your website.
03. Opt For .com If Possible
You should prefer taking the .com domain because it’s the most popular top-level domain. Around 47% of websites use this domain. If you decide to go with.com, you will never miss anything. The downside of it is that a lot of domain names with.com are already taken. You will have a quite difficult time to come in coming up with something new. So, go to a domain checker on Hostinger. Find out how many free available domain names, you can come up with any type of name.
04. Do Not Infringe Trademark Rights
Make sure that you check for trademark infringement. Let us say if you are going to use a domain name, which is very similar to well-established brands. You might get trademark infringement. So, let’s not try to copy others. If you are infringing any trademark, you can check with trademark checkers on Google. Once your websites start to grow bigger, you can always register your trademarks. You will protect your domain and you’re website of the company as well.
05. Avoid Numbers And Hyphens
Since a lot of domain names have .com and they are already taken. So, people like to use hyphens in between words. It is bad practice because it’s very confusing. Even other people have a difficult time letting their friends know about your website due to the hyphen. And the same goes with numbers.
Let us say you have a domain name cooltables001.com. If the person wants to know, if the person wants to let his friend know about your website, he might get confused if it’s, it’s a zero in words, or it’s a zero on letters, or it’s just a number zero. So try avoiding numbers and hyphens, especially hyphens in between the words.
06. Look For Close Alternatives
This one is also quite important. For example, there’s a website, Amazon. Very often, it gets misspelled. People like to enter it like an amazon.com. And guess what Amazon registered that domain name and pointing to their main website.
Or, let’s say we could use Facebook as an example. facebook.com that has registered the domain name, facebook.com. So, if you would type the facebook.com, you would go to facebook.com. And as you probably already know, if you would type fb.com, you would go to facebook.com. It may be that you see that your domain name has some close alternatives. It is kind of easy to misspell it, you might want to consider registering alternatives as well.
So that’s quite important. But I usually like to suggest you can register your main domain name. And after a while, when you see that your website is growing bigger, you start getting more and more traffic to your website. You could register other variations of that domain name that often misspelled or something similar.
Book Domain Early
I had a fantastic domain name. When I started I was kind of starting with all the things of that project. I wasn’t so sure which name I should choose and which domain I should get. And I was delaying everything. So, I checked if that domain name is available, and, potassic.com, was available, but for some reason, I decided to delay everything.
I just thought it was not going anywhere. After six months, I decided that I should get that domain name and hosting as well. But that domain name was already taken. And the worst thing is that it wasn’t just taken. No one is using that domain name for their project. That domain name is parked and it’s for sale. So once somebody registered that domain name, they listed it for sale. At first, its price was around $200. And even then, as I said, like, it’s just too much, I’m gonna pay $200. And guess what? just checked it yesterday. And now, they are asking $2,000.
So, if you feel like you have a good domain name or idea, better register more domain names and never use them, then not register and later on regret. So, from now on, I don’t make this mistake anymore. Every year, I register two to three domain names and usually have around 10 domain names. And right now I’m only using three of them. But it’s better to have it than not to have it.
07. Research Social Media Platforms
Once you register your domain name, you want to create social media profiles for that website for that domain name. So, never miss the chance. The same goes for social media pages. You can be the first or the last and if you are the second you are the last. We apply the same rule with domain names and social media profile profiles. Don’t miss the chance.
08. Think Future Growth
For example, maybe you decided to open an eCommerce store and you are selling fidgets spinners. Do you remember the hype for fidget spinners? If you would create a website, fidget spinners.com, which is a very good domain name. But over time, the hype disappears. So instead of choosing the domain name, which is targeted directly into one specific, and narrow niche, you could use other ones.
09. Discuss Your Ideas
This is quite important. Let’s say you have an idea. But you feel that it is missing something. Then, you can always talk to your friends and video family about the project that you are starting. You can do a brainstorming session with your friends, and try to come up with an awesome domain name.
Protect Yourself Against Spam
All right, this one is very important. If you want to protect yourself against spam, you must activate your privacy protection on your domain level.
For example, in the past, when I just started with my projects and created one website, I started getting spam emails. My mailbox and email box were filled with spam emails. And all of those emails were mentioning my domain name. After a while, I realized the importance of choosing personal information protection. You can get this protection when you’re purchasing a domain name.
Let’s say at Hostinger, you purchase the domain name and hosting. When you are in your shopping cart, you are on the checkout page. Then, you can choose this option that you want to purchase personal information protection. And when you register your domain name, you will need to add your information like your name, your last name, address, phone number, email address, etc. This is because you are registering a property online.
If you’re not using Whois protection, then guess what people can look it up. They can look up the information of your domain name to find your email address, phone number, and all the details. So that’s why when you’re purchasing a domain name, you should get Whois protection.
Designhill: How important it is to get those SSL certificates as compared to those who don’t have them?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: I would say it’s very important. If you don’t have SSL certificates, your website will not look trustworthy. In a lot of cases, you get SSL certificates for free. Most hosting plans, let you have an SSL certificate for free. So, why not have it, especially when you have an online store.
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, and you have an online store, you will lose a lot of customers.
Designhill: Why use a paid version of a domain name and update their hosting instead of a free one?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: In the past, I used free tools like Blogspot blogger WordPress itself. But eventually, I moved to a paid domain name. Because you create your own brand identity. If it’s a personal blog, it’s still nice to have your blog with your name, with your domain name. And, most importantly, it’s going to help for SEO.
So, for search engine optimization, you will rank. With a free domain name, you will not have a lot of success, unless you’re promoting your blog or your website, on social media. I always recommend getting a paid domain name this way, you’re just doing yourself a favor.
Designhill: Are there any specific platforms wherein people can sell their domain name if they want to make some extra money?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: You can sell domain names at very high prices. The domain name tesla.com, I believe was sold for $5 million. There are websites where you can sell domain names. Or, there you can park them and sell them and list them for sale. You can even purchase a domain name, create a landing page and say that this particular domain name is for sale.
But, this used to work very well in the past like 15 years ago, Then, more domain names available with tld.com. Nowadays, you have a very difficult time finding that particular domain, worth buying.
However, if you register a domain name, and later don’t want to start working on that project, you can list that domain for sale. You can park it and list it for sale. There are plenty of websites where you can sell your domain names. You can google them to find out.
Designhill: How to protect my website without buying any SSL certificate?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: You don’t need to buy an SSL certificate. Instead, you can get an SSL certificate for free and you can install it on your website. But if you don’t want to buy or you don’t want to use an SSL certificate, for a WordPress website, you can install such a plugin as wordfence.
But, I highly recommend you get an SSL certificate to make your website look trustworthy. And most likely, you will rank higher in search engine results.
Designhill: What to do if.com is already taken, while I am targeting English speaking countries? Should I go with TLD?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: In that case, you could go with TLD, which is just a second to speak English, but I’m targeting English-speaking countries, you can use .net. It’s always the second-best option next to.com.
Here in Lithuania, there are quite a lot of popular websites that use .net, even though it’s good for a global audience. Some people use it for their own country for their audiences, you know, and you can have really good results. So .net, I would say is the second-best option. Next to.com.
Designhill: If we choose a domain name according to the profession, like a graphic designer choosing .design, is it a good idea?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: I would say, it is a good idea to use that domain. Those are the new ones. I use .pat myself, and I have a really good result. It is ranking very well. I get a tonne of organic traffic. And I don’t have anything to complain about. So, if you are a professional designer, that design might look even better.
Designhill: Should I focus on a domain or the content of the website?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: Content is the king, that’s how they say. Yes, you should focus on content. But you should focus on your website the most because, at the end of the day, you can have the best domain ml. And eventually, you are not going to have any success, because you’re not focusing on your website on your content.
And because at the end of the day, you have to put in work, You should keep pumping out content, and so on. You can have the best domain name, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not working on the content. And if you’re not working on your website itself, so everything all goes together into one piece will go to waste. So, you cannot ignore one or the other. But you should focus on the content.
Designhill: Which one is a better hosting service Hostinger or GoDaddy?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: Of course, I will say Hostinger. I have a million reasons to say that. I have used GoDaddy in the past. To be honest, I have some domain names registered at GoDaddy. But I don’t want to say anything bad about GoDaddy. singer.
Designhill: If you buy a domain for one year when is the best time to renew it?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: I believe you’re going to receive at least a couple of email notifications to your inbox that your domain name is about to expire, and you should renew it. You can always set auto-renewal. Once your domain name is about to expire, it will be renewed automatically. So, if you want to avoid that hustler, renewing your domain name manually, you can set it to be renewed automatically.
Designhill: Is it possible to get an SSL certificate for free? If possible, how can I get it for free?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: I could show you a tutorial and hosting a rehab tutorial. But if you would use Google, how to install a free SSL certificate, Hostinger, you will find the tutorial which should be the first in the search results. And it’s going to show you how to get Let’s Encrypt.
Designhill: What should be the length of my domain name?
Keep it below 15 characters
Gvidas Maskolinuas: It should be under 15 characters, which is the best-case scenario. Do not make your domain name too long. The same goes for not just the main names, or company names, or whatever because it’s gonna be very difficult to remember it, especially if it’s a domain name. And like I said if someone finds your website very interesting, and they have a difficult time remembering it. They are going to have the same difficult time letting their friends know about it. So the best-case scenario is to keep it under 15 characters.
Designhill: What is the best way to secure a domain name?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: The best way to secure your domain name is to purchase it. Later on, you should use Whois privacy protection so that you wouldn’t start getting spam emails in your inbox. If you’re going to use the personal information protection, no one’s gonna find your phone number, your details, your first name, last name, or whatever, you know. So, you should always use that.
When building a website I always recommend you always use SSL certificates. In this way, your website is going to look more trustworthy.
Designhill: Is it okay to get hosting from one provider and domain name from another provider?
It is a common practice
Gvidas Maskolinuas: I have done this myself, almost every single time, and am registered. Now, I tried to do everything in one place such as Hostinger. But you can register your domain name somewhere else. And you can have a completely different web hosting provider. But you will need to point your domain name to that web hosting provider. It is a simple process. And that’s like the time until that domain name fully starts pointing to your web hosting, which can take up to 24 hours.
Designhill: Which domain name is the best for a school library website?
Gvidas Maskolinuas: For the school library website, the best option would be the .com domain. But, the new top-level domain names like .xyz. online and .icu dot online, are the cheapest ones. So you could use them. However, it is always better to get a real view of the real thing instead of trying to save some money. This is because later on, you might pay twice, as you decide to get.com. After all, the previous TLD is not good enough anymore.
So, I always recommend people to go with the.com domain if possible. The second best option is .net. And if your website is some type of organization, you could go with you. You could go with.org, which is popular for organizations.
These are the major points you must pay heed to while thinking of buying a domain name for your website. Follow these suggestions for the best results. You need to try hard to find out the best-suited name for your business and then get it as your domain.
At the same time, make sure that your website also makes a lasting impression on your target audience. Your website design should stand out.
To get a great website design or other visual identities of your business such as logo, business cards, send your design work to Designhill. Launch your design contest at this site and get started to have impactful brand identities for your business.
A domain name is crucial to conducting an online business successfully. You should buy a domain that has keywords for your business so that it helps in search ranking. It should be easy to remember and avoid including numbers and hyphens. The domain also should be bought at the first opportunity before someone takes it. But buy it from a dependable service that can protect it from spam.