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Create a WordPress Website Step 1: Domain Name Registration

 

So, you want to create a WordPress website for your business, one that you can blog with to increase sales and exposure. Great idea!

Wordpress

WordPress is the way to go

WordPress is the best choice for businesses big and small, being an excellent Content Management System as well as being an easy way to blog.

Blogging is the best way to improve your search rankings which is the best way to drive traffic to your site. More traffic means more sales.

But with a minimum of technical knowledge, exactly how do you create a WordPress website?

In this 10-part series, we’ll look at the steps you’ll take to getting a WordPress website up and running and hopefully ranking high in the search results.

The first thing you need to do is register a killer domain name.

Choose a Domain Name

To be found on the internet you need two things:

1. A recognizable and memorable domain name.

Choose a name that’s short, catchy, authoritative, unique, and hard to mistype. Whatever you choose, just avoid hyphenation.

There are two schools of thought about choosing a domain name – Brand and Keyword – and they are based on the vagaries of Google’s every changing algorithms.

Brand Names

Google favors brand names over all others because brands tend to advertise on Google more than non-brands. If you are a brand or part of a brand, the best you can do is register yourbrandname.com. Otherwise:

  • Eponymous. Your name could be your brand as long as it’s easy to remember and spell.
  • Create a new word. Who would have thought a company called “Google” would ever make it?
  • Use a portmanteau. Combine two (or more) words or morphemes and their definitions to create one new word. Rebelmouse, Linkedin, Meetup are all portmanteaus.

Keyword Names

If you don’t have a well-known brand name, the next best thing is to use applicable keywords in your domain. Exact Match Domains (EMDs) have a higher click-through rate than Generic Match Domains (GMD). In effect, you are what you do or sell.

  • Use the Google Keyword Tool to find keywords as well as qualifiers that rank well on search engines. Did you know that “red wine” is searched 3 times more than “white wine?”
  • Be sensitive to pluralities. Adding an “s” makes it a whole new domain name with a whole new set of results on the page. When in doubt, register both.
  • Use geography. If your business sells to a local area, using the name of your city or state is a good idea.

2. Top Level Domain

Top Level Domains are .com, .net, and .org. However, .com is like being on Main Street. The rest are like backroads on the information superhighway where people tend to get lost.

While it’s a good idea to register in all of the top levels – to fend off competition and avoid confusion – if you only get one domain address, .com is the one to snag.

Using country code domains, such as .ca or .uk, will limit your brand to that country.

Cybersquatted Domains

Back in the wild west of the Internet, people were registering all kinds of brand names and holding them until the trademark name owners paid them a ransom to claim them.

While a major corporation might have to pay millions to a cybersquatter to regain their branded domain name, other lesser-sized names may be bought at a reasonable price.

When you consult Whois.net and find that your must-have domain name is owned by someone who is not using it, don’t worry. They just might sell it to you – cheap.

I once paid $200 for a .com domain name that someone had registered and it was much better than settling for .net or .biz, or adding “the” or “store” to the name.

Domain Registration

It used to be that Network Solutions was the only registrar of Top Level Domains. Now, there are dozens of designated registrars that will sell you domains.

Where once the annual price of domain name registration was about $15, the retail cost now starts at about $7.50 per year. Registrars often drop the price  – or offer it for free – when you order web hosting services.

Because Google likes to know that your site exists for the long haul, it’s best to register your domain for a minimum of three years. Ten years is better.

Be aware of registrar scams to avoid. Here is a list of 10 Things You Must Know Before You Register a Domain Name With Anyone.

Conclusion

A domain name is like your trademark. Pick one that describes you well, and once registered, protect it from interlopers, intruders and thieves. It’s still the wild, wild, World Wide Web out there.

Come back next week for step 2 of how to create a WordPress Website: choosing a web host and installing WordPress.

Until then, give me your questions about this or anything to do with WordPress.

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