Domains


How to get a .com domain?


Just about every domain name registrar will be able to sell you a .com domain name.


Do I need a .com domain?


No, there are many other options.


For example — if you are a non-profit organization, a club, a church, or another non-commercial entity, you may want to register as a .org domain name.


There has been a trend among tech-focused startups and open source projects in the last few years to use the .io extension.


For non-US entities, each country has its own country-code TLD, such a .uk and .ru. These are also popular for domain hacks — using the domain extension as part of the name of your site or brand.


There also, of course, the new “exotic” domain names, such as .ninja and .club. There are a number of these, and they might fit your brand very well.


You generally want to steer clear of second-tier gTLDs such a .biz and .info. These are not very well respected and tend to make savvy internet users suspicious.


Is .com domain still the best?


Even with all the additional options, .com seems to remain the gold standard for domain names. It carries a high-degree of trust with consumers, and communicates a sense of legitimacy that is hard to achieve with other domain name extensions. Because of this .com domains continue to have the highest sale price in the domain aftermarket.


How to buy domain names?


If you want to buy a domain name that no one else has registered before, that is very easy — just use any reputable domain name registrar.


If you are trying to purchase a domain name that has already been registered, you can do that as well. It can be a little more complicated than purchasing new registrations, though. Check out our in-depth guide to aftermarket domain purchasing for details.


How to sell domain names?


If you have registered domain names that you would like to sell, or are thinking about getting into the domain speculation business, there are a lot of details to consider. 


Do I need a domain name?


If you want to set up a website, you probably need a domain name.


Some people set up free blogs or other types of sites using a domain name that belong to a third-party service like WordPress.com or Tumblr. That’s okay for small personal blogs — but if you want to build a serious online presence, you really should have your own domain name.


It isn’t hard to get your own domain name, all you need to do is buy one from a good domain name registrar.

 


Do I need multiple domain names?


You usually want to focus your brand-building efforts on a single domain name. Especially if you’re just starting to build an online presence for yourself or your organization, trying to build on multiple domain names can spread your efforts too thin.


However, it can be helpful to purchase additional domain names apart from your primary domain name. For example, if you have a .com, it’s usually a good idea to go ahead and buy the .org version if it is available (and vice versa). It’s also a good idea to buy common misspellings of your primary domain name, or other things people might accidentally type if they were looking for you.


Generally, when you buy these additional domain names, you don’t want to set up whole sites on them — you just want to set up a simple 301 Redirect to your primary domain. (Make sure you set up wildcard redirects so that links to any URL with the wrong domain name will end up in the right place.)


How to pick domain names?


Trying to figure out the best domain name for your new website is one of the more difficult tasks when establishing a new online presence. You don’t want to change domain names often — it’s bad for branding and bad for SEO — so whatever you diecide is going to have to work well for a good long time.


If you are an organization with a primarily offline presence, the best thing is usually to pick a domain name that is a easy-to-remember version of your real-world name. That might be your full business name, or a common, conversational shortening.


If you serve a particular geographical area, it can be helpful to include the name of your city or town in the domain name. This is especially useful if your name is somewhat common. For example — there are a lot of churches named “St. John’s” and a lot of private schools named “Excelsior Academy.” Since schools and churches both serve local communities, it’s a good idea to distinguish these with domain names like stjohnsfortworth.org or excelsiorwilkesbarre.academy.



What is a domain registrar?


A domain name registrar is a company that manages the registration of domain names. When you buy a new domain name, you are buying it “from” a registrar (that is — you are paying the registration fee to a registrar).


How to become a domain registrar?


Becoming a domain name registrar is not easy — it requires a significant investment in capital and technology. (Let’s put it this way: If you need to read this page to learn about it, you aren’t qualified.)


However, that doesn’t mean you can’t sell domain names. Most people don’t buy domain names directly from the actual registrar, but rather from retail domain name sales companies.


To become a domain name reseller, sign up for a reseller account at a registrar like Enom


How to search for domain names?


Any good domain name registrar will let you search for domain names.


Namecheap has a particularly good domain name search tool. It lets you search hundreds of domain name options based on provided keywords, including domain names with the new Top Level Domains.


Should I use a domain name generator?


A domain name generator is a tool that takes one or more keywords as inputs and provides a list of possible domain names based on combinations of your keywords and common affixes such as myi, or best. Some will attempt to create new words by combining letters from your different key words. Usually these tools are combined with a domain name availability checker, so that only available options are presented.


Domain name generator tools can be a good way to brainstorm ideas, especially if you’re stuck for a creative name or the name you really want is taken. However, ideas from a domain name generator need to evaluated to see if they would be a good fit for your site. 


Who owns the domain system?


The domain name system isn’t owned by any one entity. It is, however, managed by the Internet Coorporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN), a non-profit organization.


Hosting

 

Shared Hosting


What is shared hosting?

Shared hosting is a form of web hosting in which many web hosting customers share a single (virtual or physical) server.

The customers in a shared hosting environment are partitioned away form each other, so (when everything goes well), they have absolutely no access to each other’s files, and are ideally not even aware of each other.


Shared hosting allows for a high customer-to-hardware density, which makes it a very inexpensive way to run a website — shared hosting is the cheapest form of hosting, and relatively high-quality shared hosting plans can be had for less than $10/month (sometimes less than $5/month, with a good coupon).


The problem with shared hosting is that a limited pool of computer resources is being shared by a large number of customers. This can cause slow-downs and site outages if one or more sites on a shared hosting server gets a lot a of traffic.


To prevent this, shared hosting providers usually institute some kind of throttling — even on so-called “unlimited plans.” This usually kicks in if your traffic spikes, which makes shared hosting plans a terrible idea if you are trying to build a highly-scalable, well-trafficked website.


Can I host my website on shared hosting?

Usually, yes. The question is whether you want to.

If you are launching a more-or-less basic site which will have limited traffic — such as a personal blog, a homepage for a small offline business, or a website for local non-profit organization — then shared hosting is a great way to go. It will provide all the hosting power you need for up to several hundred visitors a day, for a reasonably low cost.


If you need a website that will work with larger traffic numbers — several thousand a day, especially highly engaged visitors on an interactive site (like a store or web app) — then shared hosting is going to be a terrible experience for you. You would be better off, in that case, with a VPS hosting plan.


Can I host WordPress on shared hosting?

Yes.

Because of its popularity, most shared hosting providers are well-equipped to handle a WordPress blog. Many even offer a simple one-click installation script, allowing you to get set up with a new WordPress site very quickly.


You can use our hosting features comparison tool to find hosting providers that support WordPress.