I remember being very excited buying my first domain…
Straight onto the registrars site and typing in the name…and buy it….
Then i found out that i couldn’t have that name in some of the social media i need to use as it was taken….
When you buy a domain name it is up to you to do your own due diligence. Checking previous history, trademarks, similar names or whether the one you are just about to buy is a blacklisted site.
Take a deep breath, as what you will need to check before you buy your domain name isn’t difficult, it does take a little of the edge off the excitement…but then you know you can forge ahead with your business….
Let’s go through some of the precautions before you purchase a domain name.
Don’t google your name
It is very tempting to type into Google the name you are just about to buy….just to see whether it is already there…
But if you do this then there is a chance that others who are monitoring the web space may pick up on it and get in there before you….
And you would be gutted if you lost out to one of these people by seconds and then they offered you the site for double…or even triple the original price….
When creating your business online …or even offline…the last thing you want is your $15 domain name ending up costing you thousands as a big corporation decides your name is too close and infringes on their territory…It does mean that you may have been starting to make inroads into their territory, but you may end up losing it all….
So how do you check on whether the domain name you are just about to purchase is not infringing any trademarks.
There are rules in force – set out by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) about name disputes and some of the reasons for a dispute are:
- Your name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademarked name
- You have no right or legitimate interests in the domain name
- Your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith
The last one is trying to help you in the case of someone trying to get you to buy the domain name you want for a higher price and only bought it for that reason…
But what a way to start a business…..
The USPTO (the United states patent and trademark office) is the place to start checking…
In the future you may decide that you want to start running ads to help promote your business.
And the last thing you want is to find out that you cannot as you domain name is on the banned list….
So a quick check of a register to just check whether the name you are just about to choose has been banned by google ads is worth it…
Try adding the domain name to the adsensechecker site to find out whether it is banned…
Your domain name will likely be part of your branding and the name you give your website will be close if not the same as your domain name.
Doing a quick check to see if the name you have chosen is available over social media will reduce frustration in the future when you start with your online marketing.
A site like namechckr will effectively check most social media sites for the name you put in.
I found out the hard way and forgot to check for social media availability – one of my sites names was taken on youtube , but the domain was not taken….
How devastating it would be to find out the domain name you have just bought has been used in the past for dodgy dealing and has a bad reputation.
Well.. you can research a little of it’s history, if it has one, through a few simple checks.
If there is a past history that has been recorded it may be stored in the internet backup – or in the wayback machine.
Typing the name of your domain in there may reveal whether it has been included in the past and clicking on the bars will show you the sort of content that was added to the domain.
To see whether your domain name has or is on a blacklist for emails or it’s name it is worth checking on a site like mxtools
The report that it gives back can appear confusing but what you are looking for is a list of blacklisted emails – meaning that the domain name email could have been used in the past for spam emails and you may have difficulty in using it in the future…
If the site has not been used or is not registered then it will pass back an error on the DNS – it can’t find the name registered.
At the time of writing sallysfarm.com is registered, but sallysfarms.com isn’t…
Sallysfarm.com comes back clean, with a couple of minor errors most of us have.
And sallysfarms.com is a new name not registered and throws up a DNS error.
So in this case sallysfarms.com is available to register.
After all it is your businesses future
It is your brands reputation that may lie in tatters before you start if you don’t do some background checks before you go purchasing the name you want you business registered with online.
So it is worth taking a little time to go through these checks to find out whether the domain name you are going to choose :
- is trademarked
- has been used before
- Is on a blacklist
- Is banned from adsense
- And can be used as a brand on social media
Using the services above will show you how clean …or not .. the name you have chosen is.
And don’t just choose the cheapest registrar – or you may get bitten with the hijacking….
Most are reputable but some like to keep the good names to themselves…
So have a look online for reviews on places to buy your domain name and what you get bundled with it.
If you don’t get whois privacy then your details will be open to anyone searching the whois directory- including your address…
If you don’t get a ssl certificate ( not impossible even nowadays…) then this is something you will need to sort yourself…
And check the renewal fees – the cheap price maybe there to lure you in and next year ( you can pay for more than one year, but it is a yearly fee for domain registration) you end up paying twice or three times as much for renewal.
Where i get my domains from, ok they are not the $0.99 ones – they are a fair price and come with whois data privacy.
They have a comprehensive search tool, showing if the the top level domains are free and the cost.
And if you go on to host with them they give you unlimited email addresses, free ssl certificate, they have an anti spam protection, no waiting 24 hours for your domain to be free to use.
And there is a massive training course as well.
The platform i am with is called wealthy affiliate…and you can see what the training is like for free.
You get a free siterubix site to follow along with the level one training and to explore for free.
For 7 days you get to ask the massive community questions to help you decide whether this is for you.
Most have been in your position…starting out …not so long ago..so they know what you are going through.
It is quite refreshing that this is a platform that doesn’t promote inhouse promotions – so no spamming of newbies is allowed, or anyone else for that matter.
You will see the owners, Kyle more than Carson ( he’s the techie one). in live chat and you can ask them anything related to your business or affiliate marketing
Is there any downsides, yeah, if you like talking to others you may spend a lot of time in there rather than concentrating on your site at the beginning….
Some of the training showing interfaces like the google tracking tools maybe out of date in the main training, but it will have been covered by members creating training, showing you the easiest way to get your site verified by google.
But do be careful choosing the name of your domain and go through these simple checks to prevent damage to your business in the future.
Good luck with your choice and that the checks come back clean….