If you’re looking to set up an online business, then its domain name will be one of the most important investments that  you’ll make.  Registering domains and hosting websites can be a minefield for the uninitiated, but the following four point plan will guide you through it.

Register Domain Names

1. Choose The Right Name To Begin With
Sounds obvious?  It is, but it’s surprising how many online businesses fall at this first hurdle.  Your domain name is your shop front, your brand and your marketing strategy all rolled into one, so it needs to be right.
Think about your business, what it does and the image you want to portray.  Think about how your customers will search for that business.  It often pays to keep it simple, as short and snappy domain names are easier to remember.  Play around with ideas, brainstorm, ask family, friends and associates, and make a list of at least ten possibilities.
2. Be Patient – But Move Quickly
Once you have your list of possible domain names, you’ll need to check them using an online domain checker.  At first, it may seem as if all the best names have already been taken, but be patient, and eventually you’ll find one that’s free.
As soon as that happens, move fast!  Other people may be after the same name, so register it as soon as you’ve established that it’s available.  This can either be done through a web hosting provider, or through a separate domain registrar.  In either case, make sure that the company is certified by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).  ICANN is the governing body for domain names, and only certifies legitimate domain registrars and companies.
3. Move On If Necessary
Mistakes do happen, and you may find that you’re unhappy with your domain registrar.  In which case, you can transfer your domain to a new registrar.  If you decide to do this, your domain name needs to be at least sixty days old before it can be transferred, to comply with ICANN rules.
4. Populate Your Domain
A domain name is nothing without a website, of course, so you’ll need to choose your web host with equal care.  Read reviews, shop around, and score providers for price, reliability, technical support and hosting features.  Choose the host that scores the highest in all of those categories.
As with any other business decision, registering domains and hosting websites just requires a little forethought and planning to ensure maximum success.

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