When you decide you want to start blogging, you immediately start wondering how to pick a domain name. Your domain is the URL. So 2wired2tired.com is the domain name for this blog. When I first started blogging it wasn’t too difficult to pick a name. You simply thought one up, checked to see if it was used – it most likely wasn’t, and you bought it.
Nowadays there are so many blogs and sites it can be tough to pick a name that is not already being used. But thankfully there are sites to help find the perfect one. Before I get to the list though, lets talk a bit about Blogger vs. WordPress.org.
When you start a blog, you have to decide if you want to use Blogger or WordPress. I started out on Blogger and many people do because it’s free. However, like many bloggers, after my blog started growing I switched to WordPress.org. I had heard many stories of Blogger blogs being lost forever. Since you don’t technically own your blog on Blogger, this can be scary and can happen at any time. Plus it can be tough to transfer a blog to WordPress once it starts growing. That’s why I highly recommend starting with WordPress.
When starting with WordPress, purchasing a domain name costs anywhere from $4-$12 a year. You can find hosting for $5 a month. There are many great free themes to start out with. So your start up is very minimal which will save you worry down the road.
If you do decide to use Blogger, your url will look like this yourblog.blogspot.com, but there is a way to customize it to just yourblog.com if you buy the domain. And on WordPress it will be yourblog.com from the start.
Now onto how to pick a domain name.
First write down a list of names that if they are available, would be a perfect fit. At this time it’s ideal if the domain name ends in .com, I have a feeling this is going to change and the other extensions will start to be more widely used and familiar, but for now it’s best to stick to a .com.
Once you have that list go to DomainsBot. You can type in your domain name idea here and it will tell you whether it’s available and also offer you suggestions for similar names that are available.
Here I typed in kitchen.com which I knew would be taken. You can see it does not list it as available but it does give a nice list of other suggestions.
You can also search on GoDaddy.com for your domain name. To be honest I feel like sometimes the prices are a big higher on GoDaddy but it is a good place to look because they do show you the prices for premium domains. It’s also a fun place to browse to get an idea about what domains are popular. As you can see here kitchen.design is going for nearly $6500!
You can then use this info to decide if you want to pay a higher price for a domain name, find a name that is similar or completely different from a high priced name, or just browse around for fun and inspiration.
Another site to visit for domain name inspiration is NameMesh.com. This site is great because it gives you all kinds of variations of your domain name. You can click “Hide Registered” and it will only show you available domain names. There are a number of filters and settings at the top that you can set as well. I typed in kitchen.com and it gave me hundreds of suggestions. Here a look at just a few:
As you can see, this site can give you a wide variety of different ideas for your domain name.
Another way to come up with a domain name is through a generator. While there are a number of online domain name generators, I also like using business name generators as well. With some of these you type the word you want in and it will come up with names for you and others you just sit back and watch random names pop up. Here’s a look at a few that can help you come up with a great name:
After you pick your domain name and know it is available, it’s time to buy it. My favorite place to buy domain names is NameCheap.com.
The process to purchase is easy, the dashboard is simple to use, and if I ever have any questions I’ve found them to be very helpful.
That’s it! Once you’ve made your purchase you are the proud owner of a shiny new domain name! Congrats!
Stay tuned for another post in this series that will help you take the next steps in starting a blog. You’re so close and will be writing your first post soon!
If you liked this post you will also enjoy other posts in our How To Start A Blog Series.
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