Domain Name Guide for Beginners

Octopoly is a New Zealand based domain registrar. We offer customers the ability to buy their domain name under pretty much any extension they like. Buying a domain name is very simply but there are a few things which are useful to know.

Domains are the building blocks for all online services. Whether you want to have a personal email address or blog, a company website or an online shop, all of these need a domain name to work.

With the number of people using the Internet growing, more shopping is done online. This makes it essential that all companies, in particular SMBs, build an online presence and ensure their products and services are available to a larger audience.

Smaller businesses in particular profit from an increased audience. Every customer is important and missing opportunities is one of the main reasons many SMBs struggle in the first couple of years. Create your website immediately; with our help you’ll be up and running in no time.

Technically there’s little difference between domain extensions. You can use most for any project. The most important consideration is whether you should use a generic extension like .COM or .NET, or a country code extension like .NZ or .CO.UK

If you want to offer your business only locally, it’s more effective to use a country code extension. Google ranks country code extensions with relevant content higher in local search results; beating generics in page ranking. Therefore, if you have a candle shop in New Zealand with a website under candleshop.co.nz or candelshop.kiwi and someone searches for candles on Google, your website has the best chance of ranking highly.

If you plan to offer your products or services globally, a generic domain extension could work better for you. Consider using an extension that works naturally with your business. For example, if you are a photographer, why not register a .PHOTOGRAPHY domain for your web address. Users will be in no doubt as to what your business is about.

In case you are not yet sure which domain extension to use, you can always browse through the list of all our domain extensions. We are sure that browsing the domain options will give you the required inspiration to make your choice.

Choose your domain name wisely as it’ll be with you for a long time. Make sure that the name you choose is memorable, easy to spell and pronounce, and doesn’t restrict the future growth of your business. You may start off selling only candles, but have you considered branching out with incense sticks, fragrant oils, dream catchers? Here are a few tips to help you come up with the right domain name ideas:

  • Combining one or two generic words always works well. People are able to remember a domain name if it contains generic words they’re familiar with.

  • If possible, use your keyword (the name of the product or service you’re offering), as part of the domain name. This will instantly boost your search engine ranking.

  • If you prefer a made up brand name (as we did), you have absolute freedom; let your creativity go wild. Just be sure that the name you choose is catchy and sticks in people’s minds. It’s a good idea to check that you aren’t actually using a word that’s offensive in another language.

  • Is it easy to spell? If so, should you register alternative spellings, and singular/plural versions?

  • Is it easy to pronounce? Test it out loud, and get your friends to read it out. Don’t give any hints.

  • If you tell someone the name in a noisy environment, would they understand the name of your company and be able to repeat it?

If you are looking for a cheap domain name, check out our cheap domain names page. It shows a list of the cheapest available generic domain extensions.

Buying a domain name or registering a domain name is actually quite simply. You enter the preferred name or term into our domain search and check its availability. If the chosen domain name is still available, you select it and follow the checkout process.

In order to rightfully claim the domain name, you are asked to enter the registration details for the domain ownership. Please make sure to use your actual and valid contact information and address. Only a domain owner who can be identified and verified is considered the rightful owner of a domain name by ICANN, the global regulator for domain names. The Registries, are the entities responsible for distributing and managing the various extensions.

After you have chosen the correct contact profile information, you may add additional services or simply complete the checkout process. Once you have done that, our system will send your domain registration order to the respective Registry of your chosen extension.

Most domain extensions are fully automated which means that the domain name will be registered in real time and will show up after only few minutes in your domain account with Octopoly.

To register a domain name, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Octopoly account..
  2. Click on REGISTER A DOMAIN in the top menu.
  3. Enter your domain in the search box and click on SEARCH.
  4. Add the domain name you want into the cart by clicking on the green cart icon.
  5. Now click on CONFIGURE YOUR ORDER.
  6. Here you can click on CHANGE SETTINGS and select or enter the domain owner details, remember, this is very important!
  7. If you already know what you want to do with your domain name, you can change the Nameserver and Zone Profile information. Please note that domain updates under some extensions are related with costs. We recommend to use your preferred nameservers during the registration.
  8. Once finished with the settings, click on NEXT STEP.
  9. You can add additional services or simply click on REVIEW & PAYMENT.
  10. Review the order and increase the registration period if needed. (The domain registration period plays a minor role in Googles ranking criteria, in other words, buying your domain for multiple years could help your ranking).
  11. Accept the terms and conditions and click on PLACE ORDER.
  12. Congratulations! You will soon own your first domain name.

When a user buys or registers a domain name, they purchase the license for this domain name for a limited amount of time. The Domain registration period is usually a year. As long as the domain owner continues to pay the annual fee, they will remain the rightful owner of the domain name for an indefinite time period. In short, buying a domain name does not make you the default owner of a domain forever.

In case the owner of a domain name forgets to renew their domain name, the domain becomes available again to the public after a so called “redemption” period in which the former owner has still the chance to reactivate, renew and therefore reclaim the domain name. We recommend to always keep your domain on auto-renew, to avoid losing it - learn how to do that in the next guide. How to manage your domain names.

Once the domain name shows up in the Domain Names list in your account you are the rightful owner. Our system sets the domain per default on auto-renew, we do recommend to check and make sure that the auto-renew mode is activated after buying the domain name. This guarantees that the domain name will automatically be renewed and you reduce the risk of losing ownership over your domain by simply forgetting to manually renew it in a years time.

With the domain in your account, you have full control over it. Except for the owner information of the domain name, which cannot be changed for a period of 60 days after its registration, you are free to change any related information.

In case you have not specified it during the domain purchasing process, you can now update the DNS details like Nameserver and Zone information and point your domain name to its web hosting or server location. You can also claim your free exchange mailbox or add other extras like an SSL Certificate, which will help with your Google ranking.

After choosing a memorable domain name with the most appropriate extension, what else is left? It depends on the purpose of your website. Based on what you want to achieve, research and preparation are primary. Your target audience, your competitors, your mission; all need to be checked out.

Interesting and relevant content is essential. Explain your products and how they’ll benefit your customers. Happy customers keep coming back. Don´t forget, whatever makes the users happy also keeps Google happy, and this will have a positive effect on your ranking.

If you sell products on your website and you accept credit card payment, for the sake of your customers you must use an SSL certificate on your site. An SSL certificate secures all your online communication and transactions with your customers. Protecting you and your customers. Without the protection of an SSL certificate your site is vulnerable to phishing attacks and your customers’ personal information is not safe.

Starting and running a business or blog that requires active contribution is an ongoing project that requires dedication, persistence and passion. We’re happy to help you with the technical side and would love to take part in your initial brainstorming. Together we’ll prepare your business plan and set future goals. Don’t forget, it’s an ongoing project and requires commitment to succeed.

Outsourcing the technical stuff to us gives you time to focus on the marketing of your business.

Register your domain name with Octopoly and get with every domain name
a personalised email address and cloud storage.

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