How do I get a domain name?

You must own a domain name in order to have a website. The domain name is your website’s address (URL).

To obtain one, first decide on a name and some alternatives, in case the one you want isn’t available. Avoid hyphens or other marks that people may mistype. Special characters such as “*” and “&” are not allowed in domain names.

In most cases, you’ll want the “.com” version — that’s what people are used to typing in their browsers. But these days, many more interesting addresses are available such as “.menu” and “.golf.”

Sheer Domain Names will let you search for a name and will then show you all that are available. If the name you want is already taken, the Name Suggestion Tool will show you similar ones that are open.

Note: Your company or personal name doesn’t always make the best domain name. Use of keywords in the name can help your site’s search engine ranking.

When you’ve narrowed it down to a few available name options, show the possible names to lots of people — your partner, your kids, your family, your friends. Ask everybody which one:

1. You feel comfortable saying, over and over.

2. You don’t have to tell people how to spell.

3. Helps explain the site’s purpose.

4. Is the most memorable.

Then go to a registrar. Of course, we recommend our own Sheer Domain Names, which provides economical domain name registration services.

When Sheer designs your site, we take care of this process for you. You will retain ownership of the name and be listed as the owner/registrant, while Sheer Web is the administrator.

Just remember, once you secure your domain name, you must maintain it. If your e-mail address or contact information changes, be sure to notify the registrar or you’ll risk losing the name.

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