Purchasing a Domain Name
When you are looking to purchase a domain name there are a few items you need to take into consideration. The first thing and most obvious item you need to consider is what you would like your domain name to be, and the second item to consider is where you are going to purchase your domain name.
The key quality in choosing your domain name is whether or not it is easy to remember. Ultimately, make sure it’s relatively short in length. Studies show that the average length of a domain name is 11 characters long, meaning that most people agree that shorter is generally better. To see what I mean, take a look at some major companies and see if their domain names are easy or difficult to remember. Washington Mutual’s domain name is WaMu.com (very simple since they are pushing to be called WaMu). Prudential’s domain name is prudential.com. Other good domain names I have seen in the real estate space are: bringdreamshome.com, lillingtonforsale.com, yourdreamsyourhome.com, and texashomecentral.com; all of these are relatively short and easy to remember.
Lots of agents use their names as domain names. This works well providing that your name is easy to remember and easy to spell. If your name is more complicated, it is recommended that you explore other options like using your city name in conjunction with the words “real estate” (such as irvinerealestate.com) or something catchy about buying or selling homes (such as jensellsirvinehomes.com).
Letting people know what you are about in your domain name will help with getting them to remember it. If I have a website at jennifermabe.com and I am selling jewelry, my domain name doesn’t give you a clue as to what I am putting on the Internet. If I have a domain name of jewelrybyjennifer.com, I will be better promoting myself and what I am doing. This is not a requirement, but rather something to keep in mind.
Once you have decided on your domain name, check to see if it is available for registration (link). If your requested domain name is not available, that link will give you suggestions as to others that are available. If your domain name is available, you will want to purchase it right away.
You can purchase your domain name with any registrar (e.g., Go Daddy and Network Solutions). The main difference between the different registrars is the price. You can point your purchased domain name at any hosting company’s servers. Additionally, you can purchase your domain name directly through us, in which case you will have the benefit of not having to do any of the work to set it up.
Transferring a Domain Name
Although transferring a domain name is different with every company, the overall process is mostly the same. In order to execute the process, you’ll have to perform the following steps:
- Unlock your domain name at your current registrar
- Make a transfer request through the new registrar
- Obtain a transfer number from your current registrar and enter it at your new registrar
- Wait for the transfer to take effect (up to 60 days, depending on who the companies are)
If you do not know how your registrar handles transfers you can check their FAQ or contact their support center. Transferring a domain name is often very annoying; I would recommend avoiding it unless you really do not like your current registrar.
Changing Settings for Your Domain Name
The most frequently changed setting for a domain name are the domain name servers (DNS). To change your domain name servers, you may or may not need to unlock your domain name through your registrar’s online control panel. Once unlocked, you should be able to access a page in the admin area named something to the effect of Domain Name Servers or DNS. If you are switching your domain name servers to Diverse Solutions you will need to change them to ns1.diversesolutions.com and ns2.diversesolutions.com.
(*A note about changing your DNS: this will affect any email addresses you may have set up with your domain name (e.g., Jennifer@jennifermabe.com). Please let us or your new website hosting company know if you have email addresses so that they can be addressed and set up right away or other options can be explored. If you have your email addresses through another company and you would like to keep it that way, we can change the MX Records so that nothing with your email addresses will change.)
To forward your domain name, there will usually be an area called Domain Forwarding or something similar to that. You would then just enter in the domain name that you would like to forward the domain to.
Domain names play an important part in the website process. This is how people will access your website. Remember to place your domain name on all of your marketing materials and in your email signature.