How Do I Register a Name for My Website?
A domain name is an important part of your website's online presence. It's how potential visitors will remember you, so choose wisely. You can learn more about how to register a new domain from your Bluehost admin panel below. If you are not a Bluehost customer, you can register a new domain here.
- What is a Domain Name
- How to Log In and Register a Domain Name with Bluehost
- Advanced Tips for Choosing a Domain
- Additional Information for Registrants
The Internet is a network of computers that communicate using TCP/IP. Each computer is assigned a unique numerical IP address, making it hard to remember for humans. This is where domain names come in, providing a user-friendly and memorable representation of an IP address. When someone types a domain name like Bluehost.com, the browser communicates with a root domain nameservers to obtain the IP address.
A domain name consists of a top-level domain (TLD) and a second-level domain (SLD). In Bluehost.com, the TLD is ".com," and the SLD is "Bluehost." Remember, the "http" in the web address is not part of the domain name.
When selecting a domain name, you only need to worry about the TLD and SLD. Be creative when choosing an SLD, but avoid infringing on someone's trademark. Only alphanumeric characters and hyphens are allowed, but hyphens cannot be used consecutively. Symbols and spaces are not allowed.
- Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
- Click the Domain Name tab, and select Buy Domain Names.
- Enter the domain name you want to register for and click Search for Domain.
- Once the domain name shows available to purchase, click Continue.
- Apply payment details and click Submit and Process Payment.
Keep it Simple
Try to find a domain name that only has one possible spelling. Choosing a simple domain name without confusing spelling will make it easier for visitors to reach your website.
Shorter is Better
The shorter your domain name is, the easier it is for your visitors to remember, type, and tell others about it. Try using 6-10 consecutive characters.
Hyphens can really get someone lost. Not to mention, it cannot be easy to embed the hyphen into someone's memory. If mydomain.com is taken and you decide to order my-domain.com because it is available, there is a great chance you will end up getting people lost at mydomain.com.
Consider Other Extensions
If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com, then it usually is a great idea to pick up other extensions like .net, .org, .info, .us, etc., as you can park these domains to point to your actual account to pick up any visitors that may happen to type in a different extension.
Keep it Singular
This follows the same reasoning applied to avoid hyphens. If mydomain.com is taken and you pick mydomains.com, there is a good chance you will be sending your traffic to mydomain.com, as most domains are singular rather than plural. This is not so much the case when it comes to picking keyword-rich domains.
If someone owns a domain you want, and you see it is not in use, run a WHOIS to find the owner and communicate your interest in obtaining the domain.
Make it Keyword Rich
While this does not significantly impact SEO, it can help. For instance, if people are searching for "Texas motor events," texasmotorevents.com could be a great domain to buy for the mere fact that it is exactly what people are searching for.
This is applicable when someone navigates directly to a website by simply typing in what they are looking for, followed by ".com" in their browser's URL bar. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip of choosing a keyword-rich domain.
Avoid Numeral Substitutions
Numeral substitutions just really do not work. Tell someone your site is "advanc3.com," and you are guaranteed confusion.
This is for the same reason as avoiding numeral substitutes. For instance, ursite.com is a bad substitute for yoursite.com.
Make it Brandable
In the early days of the Internet, no one knew what Google, Yahoo!, or Facebook was going to be. But now they do, and those domains are highly brandable. It does not hurt to get creative with your domain name in anticipation of future branding.
Avoid Copyright Issues
The last thing you want is legal trouble over your domain name.
Use a Thesaurus
Look for alternative words if something you want is already taken. This is a great way to come up with a creative name; however, make sure your alternative word is something that can be remembered and spelled properly.
If you are selling products or offering services online, then it is a great idea to use a domain that is related to your industry. This is a secondary "fallback" if you cannot find a domain to match your actual business name. In an instance like this, industry-related domains are better suited for online sources or communities.
Take your time and put some real thought into it. If you have a business partner or someone you closely trust, work together to brainstorm a name. In most cases, you will already have a name if your site is going to be business-related.