Tag - Domain

How Much Does a Domain Name Really Cost? (Expert Answer)


If you have ever tried to register a domain name before, then you have likely seen a wide-variety of prices ranging from $9 to several thousand dollars.

The cost of a domain name varies based on the domain extension (such as .com, .org, .net), domain registrar, availability, and few other factors.

Apart from new domain names, you can also buy premium domain names from someone else who has registered it before you. Domain name investors often register premium domain names that are shorter, brandable, and easy to remember for the sole purpose of reselling.

In this article, we’ll explain how much does a domain name really costs. We’ll also show you different ways to buy a domain name including a way to get one for free.

How much does a domain name really cost

Since this is a comprehensive guide on domain name costs, we have broken it down into few sections:

How Much Does a New Domain Name Cost?

Buying a new domain name would typically cost you anywhere between $9 and $14.99 per year. However, these prices may differ based on the domain extension or the domain registrar you choose.

If you are starting a new website, then we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the top web hosting companies in the world.

They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name + free SSL certificate on top of the 60% discount on their web hosting plans.

→ Claim Your Free Domain Name with Bluehost ←

Since you need both a domain name and web hosting to make a website, this is the most affordable option to get started.

If you just want to purchase a domain name, then we recommend using Domain.com as your registrar. You can use our Domain.com coupon code to get 25% off your purchase.

Here is how much a new domain registration costs with different registrars.

  • Bluehost – Free domain with hosting $2.75 / month
  • Domain.com – $7.45 for .com domain names with our coupon code
  • HostGator – Free domain with hosting $2.64 / month
  • GoDaddy – $11.99
  • DreamHost – Free domain with hosting $2.59 / month

These prices are for new .com domain names only. The pricing of other extensions such as .net, .org, .info, .blog, etc. will vary based on the domain registrar you use.

When it comes to domain extensions, we always recommend users to use .com because it’s the most popular one.

Hidden Costs of a Domain Name

Aside from the domain registration cost, there are few hidden domain costs and upsells that you should be aware of, so you can make the most educated decision.

Yearly Renewals

Domain name registration is done on a yearly basis. You can maintain control over your domain name as long as you continue to renew your registration each year.

Some domain registrars offer domain name discounts on first year purchase, but their renewal costs are much higher. If you see a promotion where you can pay $0.99 for a domain name, then please know that it’s usually for first year only. Your annual renewals will be at a much higher price.

WHOIS and Domain Privacy

ICANN is the not-for-profit public-benefit corporation that is responsible for coordinating the assignment and maintenance of domain names. They require each domain registrar to collect contact information for the website owner.

This information can be publicly accessed using WHOIS data. Other businesses and companies can use this information to contact you about a potential business partnership.

Having the WHOIS data publicly available can result in unwanted emails and phone calls. This is why many domain registrars sell an add-on called Domain Privacy.

This addon typically costs an additional $9.99, and it’s completely optional. The problem is that often registrars automatically add it to the cart, and you have to manually remove it if you don’t want to pay for it.

Some registrars like DreamHost offer free domain privacy with their domains.

Business Email Accounts (Email Domains)

When buying a domain name, you will likely see an addon for email domains for setting up a professional business email address.

You do not need to buy this because you can get a free business email address with most web hosting companies.

If you want a more professional option, then we recommend buying this directly from G Suite or Microsoft Office365, so you’re not locked into a registrar.

Pro Tip: Secure Domain Discounts for Multiple Years

Some registrars like Domain.com allows you to pre-pay for multiple years upfront. This is a great way to get the introductory discount offer for multiple years.

Since you have to pay for domain renewals every year, pre-paying for multiple years can be a significant saving. Not to mention, it saves you from future price increases.

But these hidden fees and domain cost explanation is primarily for new domains that are available to register.

What about premium domains or domains that you buy from other people? Let’s take a look at the premium domain costs in details.

How Much Does a Premium Domain Name Cost?

Premium domain names are pre-registered domain names that are often shorter, brandable, and more memorable. Often domain investors register these premium domain names to sell later at a higher price for profit.

Cost of premium domain names can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. It all depends on the uniqueness of the name, domain length, and its overall brand potential.

Some premium domains may even cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Here are some of the most expensive domains sold in history:

  • Insurance.com – $35.6 million
  • PrivateJet.com – $30.18 million
  • Hotels.com – $11 million
  • Fb.com – $8.5 million
  • Business.com – $7.5 million

You can find premium domain names listed for sale by private sellers on various websites.

We recommend buying domain names from reputable websites to ensure a safe transfer of the domain name. See our guide on the best places to buy a premium domain name.

How to Estimate The Value of a Premium Domain Name?

Many beginners ask us about how to find the right offer to make for a premium domain or a pre-registered domain name?

Domain names that are already taken are often sold at a higher price. However, most of the time the asking price is outrageously high which discourages many inexperienced domain buyers from making an offer.

We recommend users to do some research and make a reasonable counter offer. Remember, the domain investor only makes money when they sell the domain.

Like most trades, the value of a premium domain largely depends on the maximum you’re willing to pay and the lowest the seller is willing to accept.

However, you can look at domain marketplaces like BuyDomains, Sedo, or Flippa to better understand the market rates, so you can make a respectable offer for a particular niche.

Flippa domains

If the domain you are looking for already has a listed price, then you can start by offering 50-75% of the listed price.

Note: Most domain value estimation tools are completely useless, so it’s best to avoid using them as a reference.

We recommend caution when buying a registered domain name. If you are unsure about the domain’s potential worth to your business, then simply walk away.

How Much Does an Expired Domain Names Cost?

Each day thousands of domain names expire. These are the domain names where the owner decided not to renew their registration, or they simply forgot about these domain names.

Expired domains provide an excellent opportunity to find great brandable domain name. The following are a few places where you can look for recently expired domain names.

1. FreshDrop

FreshDrop

FreshDrop is a domain marketplace that allows you to follow expired and soon to be expired domain names. It comes with an advanced search tool that you can use to narrow down your search.

2. ExpiredDomains

ExpiredDomains

ExpiredDomains is a search engine dedicated to expired domain names. It may not look as easy to use as other domain search tools but it has a large and constantly updated index of domain names.

Note: You need to check for domain abuse and other problems before buying a used, pre-registered, or expired domain names (more on this later).

Cost of Expired Domain Names

Normally, you can register an expired domain name at the usual yearly rates of your domain registrar company.

However if a domain name is soon to be expired, then you can use a domain backorder service. This allows you to place an advance order for the domain name.

If there is no other advance order for that domain name, then your order will become successful. Most domain name companies charge a small one-time fee ($25 – $99) to provide this service.

How to Buy a Domain Name Not Listed for Sale?

So far we have talked about the cost of domain names that are available for registration or sold by third-parties. What if you have your eye on a domain name that is already taken but not listed for sale?

There is a good chance that you can still get your hands on that particular domain name.

You see, many users register domain names to start a new online business idea. A lot of them end up never using that domain name or abandon the idea.

Since they’re not using the domain name, you can directly contact the domain owner to make an offer.

If the domain name has a website, then you can use the contact form on their website to reach out.

Alternatively, you can use the Whois search to find contact information of the domain owner and send them a message to show your interest.

Sometimes people register domain names for future ideas, so even if they’re not using it, they still wouldn’t want to sell it. Some folks get greedy and will ask for a premium to part ways with their domain.

Remember, you’re buying someone’s “dream idea”, so you need to be respectful but also realistic about the value.

Pro tip: If you have a business idea, then it’s better to register a domain name even if you’re not 100% sure. You don’t want to risk someone else registering it before you get around to it. We think of it as an insurance policy because a domain costs only $9.99.

Doing Your Homework Before Buying a Domain Name

If you are buying a domain name that has never been used before, then you are good to go.

However, if you are buying a domain name that was previously owned by someone else, then you need to do some basic due diligence.

These domain names could be violating copyright or trademark, used to distribute malware or spam, or misused in other malicious activities.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of tools that you can use to do your homework.

1. Check For Trademark

First, you would want to make sure that the domain name is not a registered trademark of an existing business.

According to ICANN rules, if a domain name violates a company’s registered trademark, then that company can claim the domain name or ask you to take it down.

You can check the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database to do a quick trademark search. Simply enter your domain name in the search box to see if it returns any matches.

Trademark search

2. Check Past Domain Name Usage

Next, you would want to see how the domain name has been used in the past. What kind of websites were made using that particular domain name?

The easiest way to do this is by using the Wayback Machine. It is a massive historical archive of the internet with snapshots of websites archived on a regular basis.

Wayback Machine

3. Check Historical Whois Records

Whois tools provides you historical whois records for a domain name. This helps you see when a domain name was created, last renewed, DNS changes, and other historical data.

Whois

4. Run a Domain Health Check Test

Finally, you need to make sure that the domain is not used to send spam, launch DDoS attacks, or spread malware. You can use MxToolBox’s domain health tool to see if raises any red flags.

Check domain health check

Frequently Asked Questions About Domain Name Costs

Having helped thousands of users start a blog and website, we have answered a lot of questions related to domain names. Below are some of the most common ones:

Can I get a domain name for free?

While domain name typically costs $14.99 / year, you can get a domain name for free as a bundled offer with various web hosting companies.

Hosting companies like Bluehost, HostGator, Dreamhost, GreenGeeks, and others offer free domains with their web hosting packages.

Which is the best domain name registrar?

We believe that Domain.com is the best registrar right now because they have the features you need, and they’re offering a 25% off discount.

However it’s a smarter money decision to get a free domain with web hosting like Bluehost because it saves you time and money.

You can always transfer your domain name to another popular domain name registrar if you’re not happy with your existing provider.

Do I need both domain name and web hosting to build a website?

Yes, you need both the domain name and web hosting to build a website. Domain name is your website’s address on the internet whereas web hosting is where your website files are stored. For more details, see our guide on difference between domain name vs web hosting (explained).

Can I buy a domain name forever (permanently)?

No, you cannot buy a domain name permanently. Domain name registration is done on a yearly basis. However, you can pre-pay for up to 10 years which guarantees that you will have a domain name for 10 years.

How much does a domain name cost on Wix vs WordPress?

When using a hosted website builder platform, the cost of your domain name will vary. It’s important to remember that website builder platforms offer a combination of hosting + domain.

For example, Wix domains cost $14.95 / year, but they are free if you choose the annual plan which costs $13 / month.

WordPress.com domains cost $18 / year, but they are included for free with the annual Personal plan which costs $8 / month.

But if you use a self-hosted WordPress platform, then you can start a website with Bluehost for $2.75 per month, and it comes with a free domain name. For more details, see the difference between WordPress.com vs self-hosted WordPress.org.

We hope this article helped you learn how much does a domain name really cost. You may also want to see our guide on how much does it really cost to build a WordPress website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Get a Free Email Domain (5 Quick and Easy Methods)


Are you looking for a free email domain? The email domain is part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol.

It is really important to get an email domain for your business instead of using a generic Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail email address.

Customers and other business owners are reluctant to trust emails coming from a generic email account. A custom domain email address looks more professional and gives credibility to your business.

In this guide, we will show you few different ways to easily get a free email domain for your business.

Getting a free email domain for your business

What is an Email Domain? (Definition)

An email domain is the web address that comes after the @ symbol in an email address. For example, in an email like syed@companyname.com, “compnayname.com” is the email domain.

Email domains allow you to setup an email address with @company name using your own business / brand name.

You can either buy an email domain, or you can get a free email domain for your business when you create a website.

Since there are multiple ways to get a free email domain for your business, we have covered the best options in this guide:

  1. Bluehost
  2. HostGator
  3. DreamHost
  4. G Suite (Paid but better)
  5. Office 365 (Paid but better)

Ready? Let’s get started.

Method 1. Get Free Email Domain with Bluehost

Normally, a custom domain name would cost you $14.99 per year and email hosting services start from $9.88 per month (usually paid annually).

This is a significant amount of money specially when you are first starting a business website.

Luckily our friends at Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users free email domain with discounted hosting packages.

Basically, you will get a free email domain with a shared hosting plan and a free SSL certificate for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Each account includes webmail, email forwarding, spam protection, and the ability to use any email client on your mobile phone or desktop to send or receive emails.

Here is to get your free email domain with Bluehost.

Step 1. Set up your free email domain

First, you need to visit the Bluehost website and click on the Get Started button.

Bluehost get started

Next, you will see the pricing page where you’ll be asked to select a plan. Basic and Plus plans are popular among businesses looking for an email domain.

Click to select a plan, and you will be taken to the next step. From here, you will choose a free email domain name.

Select your free email domain

After that, click on the next button to continue.

Bluehost will now check the availability of the domain name you entered. If the domain name is unavailable, then it will show you some alternative options to choose from, or you can just enter a new domain name.

For tips on choosing a domain name, see our article on how to choose a domain name for your business.

After you have selected the domain name, you’ll need to enter your account information and finalize the plan details.

Package details

You’ll notice some optional extras on this page. You can safely uncheck them to keep your costs down.

Lastly, you need to enter your payment information to complete the purchase.

You will now receive an email with details on how to login to your account control panel. This is where you manage everything including email accounts and other settings.

Step 2. Adding email accounts to your domain

Once you log in to your account dashboard, click on the ‘Email & Office’ menu from the left column and then click on the ‘Manage’ button.

Manage email

This will bring you to an email account management area. From here you need to click on the ‘Create’ button to add a new email account.

Creating a new email account in Bluehost

Next, you need to enter the email address you want to use and then enter a password. Optionally, you can choose how much storage you want to allow.

Creating a new email account

After that, click on the create button to save your new email account.

Bluehost will now create your email account, and you will see a success message.

Step 3. Using your custom domain email with Bluehost

Now that you have created your first account on your email domain. Let’s start using it.

There are multiple ways to use your new email account.

1. Webmail

Bluehost provides a neat interface to manage your email under your account using your browser.

Simply go to Email & Office » Manage page and click on the Check Email link next to the account you just created.

Check email in Bluehost

You’ll be asked to select a default webmail app. They all work the same, but Roundcube has a cleaner interface.

2. Other Devices and Apps

You can also send/receive email using any email app like Outlook, Thunderbird, or another mail app on your phone or computer.

Simply head over to Email & Office » Manage page and then click on the ‘Connect Devices’ icon.

Connect devices

On the next page, you’ll see a list of all popular email apps and devices. Click on the app you want to connect, and you’ll see step by step instructions to connect your email client.

Mail clients

Below the list, you’ll also find manual settings to connect any other device or app that is not already listed.

Manual mail settings

3. Use it with Gmail

Gmail not only allows you to send and receive emails to your Google account, but you can also use it as a full-fledged email client to get all your email in one place.

You will be able to send emails using your custom domain email directly from your free Gmail account or mobile app.

Simply log in to your Gmail account and click on the Gear icon to select the Settings page. From here, switch to the ‘Accounts and Import’ tab.

Add mail account

Scroll down to the ‘Check mail from other accounts’ section and click on ‘Add a mail account’ link.

This will bring up a popup where you will need to add your custom domain email address. On the next screen, you will be asked to provide your account details.

Connecting Bluehost email to Gmail

Your username and password will be the complete email address you created earlier and its password. The POP server value will be your domain name with a mail prefix.

You must select ‘Always use a secure connection (SSL)…’ option and then change the port value to 995.

Click on the Add account button to save your settings.

Next, Gmail will ask you if you would want to use that account to send emails. Select ‘Yes’ and then click on the Next button.

Send email via Gmail

After that, you will be asked to provide a sender name. You can also choose to use this account as an alias.

Basically, an alias is useful when you own two email addresses. For example, an individual’s company email account.

Uncheck the alias box, if you want to keep the ownership of this account separate. For example, if it is your business’s departmental address like support@example.com or info@yourdomain.com.

Sender information

Click on the ‘Next Step’ button to continue.

Now, you will need to provide your server’s SMTP information. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the industry standard to securely send emails.

SMTP information

Your SMTP outgoing server will be mail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your actual email domain). After that use your complete email address as the user name and enter the email account’s password.

Click on the ‘Add account’ button to continue.

Gmail will now send a verification code to the email address. Since you have already added that email address, you will get the email directly in your Gmail inbox. Copy the code and enter it to complete the SMTP setup.

That’s all. You can now use your Gmail account to send and receive emails using your custom domain.

Method 2. Get Free Email Domain with HostGator

Another easy way to get a free email domain is by signing up for HostGator’s hosting plan. They are one of the top hosting companies in the world and offer excellent plans for startups and small businesses.

Our founder Syed Balkhi has been a loyal HostGator customer since 2007. In fact, WPBeginner is hosted on their enterprise dedicated server cluster (see our case study of how we made WPBeginner blazing fast).

HostGator is offering WPBeginner users an exclusive discount on WordPress hosting + a free domain name. Basically, you’ll be able to get started for just $2.64 per month.

→ Click Here to Start with HostGator ←

You get free unlimited custom domain email addresses with your account. It also includes webmail, email forwarding, and support to send/receive emails using any email client of your choice.

Step 1. Sign up for a HostGator account

First, you need to visit the HostGator website and click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button.

HostGator get started

Next, you will be asked to select a plan. Hatchling and Baby plans are the most popular among beginners and small businesses.

Click to select a plan and continue.

Choose plan

After that, you will be asked to select a domain name. Simply enter the domain you want to register to see if it is available.

Select domain name

If the domain name is available, then you can click to select it.

Scroll down a little to enter your personal and billing information. After that, you’ll reach the additional services section. We don’t recommend choosing them at this point, and you can add them later if you really need them.

Skip Addons

You can now review your order details and click on the ‘Checkout Now’ button to complete the purchase.

You will now receive an email from HostGator with details on how to login to your hosting dashboard.

Step 2. Create an email acccount

Login to your HostGator hosting dashboard and click on the Email section and then select ‘Email Accounts’.

Manage email accounts in HostGator

On the next screen, you will be able to create a new email account by entering an email username and password.

Create email account

Click on the ‘Create Account’ button to save your new email account.

Step 3. Using your custom domain email account on HostGator

HostGator provides the same methods of sending and receiving email as Bluehost above.

1. Webmail

You can view and send emails directly from your HostGator dashboard. Simply visit the webmail by adding /webmail at the end of your website URL. For example, https://yourdomain.com/webmail

HostGator webmail login

Once on the page, enter your email address and password to login and start using your email account.

2. Send or receive email using other mail clients and apps

You can also access your custom domain email account using third-party mail apps on your computer and phone.

Here is the information you will need to set up email on different devices and email clients.

Pop3:

Username: Your full email address
Password: The password for the address you wish to access.
Mailserver/ Server Hostname: mail.yourdomain.com
Port: 995
SSL: SSL/TLS

SMTP:

Username: Your full email address.
Password: The password for the address you wish to access.
Mailserver/ Server Hostname: mail.yourdomain.com
Port: 465
SSL: SSL/TLS

You will also use the same settings to send or receive emails using Gmail.

Simply log in to your Gmail account and click on the settings button. After that switch to the ‘Accounts and forwarding’ tab and click on ‘Add a mail account link’ next to the ‘Check mail from other accounts’ option.

Add mail account

This will bring up a popup, where you need to follow the on-screen instructions to add your account.

Method 3: Get Free Email Domain with DreamHost

Another easy way to get a free email domain is by signing up with DreamHost. They offer a free domain with all their shared hosting plans.

On top of that, they have agreed to offer WPBeginner users up to 47% discount + free SSL certificate. Your account comes with unlimited email accounts using your own domain name.

→ Click here to start with Dreamhost ←

Follow the instructions below to set up your free email domain with DreamHost.

Step 1. Sign up for a DreamHost account

First, you need to visit the DreamHost website and select a hosting plan.

Select your DreamHost plan

Next, you will be asked to register a domain name. Simply enter a domain name to see if it is available. If it is, then you can continue or look for another domain name.

Register your domain name

After that, you need to complete your purchase by entering account and payment information. Don’t forget to uncheck the additional options at left or at the bottom to reduce your costs.

Enter billing details

You can now review your selection and click on the submit order button to finish the purchase.

DreamHost will now send you an email with your login details.

Step 2. Create your custom domain business email

First, you need to login to your DreamHost hosting panel. From here, click on the Mail menu from the left and then click on the ‘Create New Email Address’ button.

Create new email account

After that, you need to provide a username and password you want to use and then click on the create button to save add your account.

Your custom domain name email account is now ready to be used.

Step 3. Using your custom domain email account

You can use your newly created custom domain email address through webmail or by using any of your favorite email clients.

1. Webmail

Dreamhost provides an easy to use and fully-functional webmail interface. You can check your email by simply adding webmail before your domain name. For example, webmail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain name).

Login to DreamHost webmail

You can login by entering the email address and the password you created earlier.

Dreamhost webmail UI

2. Access DreamHost custom domain email using third-party email apps

You can also use your email account with any third-party email clients and apps on your phone. DreamHost has extensive documentation for each individual email client.

Here is the information you’ll need to use your custom domain email with any mail app on your computer or phone.

POP3:

Mailserver: pop.dreamhost.com
Port: 995
username: Your complete email address
password: password for your email address

SMTP:

SMTP server: smtp.dreamhost.cocm
Port: 465
username: Your complete email address
password: password for your email address

Method 4: Create Custom Domain Email with G Suite (Paid Solution)

Email is crucial for the success of any business, which is why we recommend using G Suite.

G Suite is Google’s suite of applications for small businesses. It allows you to use the same Google apps like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Calendar, but with your own domain name.

You also get Google’s powerful spam filtering and security features for your business email. It is much easier to use and works on all your devices.

To get started, you need to visit the G Suite website and select a plan.

G Suite plan

Their basic plan starts from $6 per user per month with 30 GB of storage. You can also choose the business plan which starts from $12 per month per user and gives you unlimited storage.

Next, you will be asked to enter your company name, size, and country.

Company information

After that, you need to enter your contact information and click on the Next button.

This will bring you to the domain selection screen.

If you already have a domain name that you would like to use, then you can use that. Otherwise, go ahead and select ‘I’d like to buy a domain name’ option.

Buy domain name

You can now enter the domain name you want to register and click on the Next button. If your entered domain is available you will see its pricing.

Domain selection

Click on the next button to continue.

After that, you will enter your business information and payment details to finish the process.

G Suite account created

You can now click on the ‘Go to Set up’ button to start adding email accounts and users.

On the setup screen, you can create your first email account. After that, you can add more accounts for your employees or departments or just click on ‘I have added all user email addresses’ and click on the Next button.

Adding new users

That’s all you can now use your newly created email account in Gmail and use it with your own custom domain.

Sign in Gmail with your custom domain email

If you need more detailed instructions, then please see our guide on how to create a professional email with G Suite.

Most business owners do not buy an email domain from G Suite. Instead they start with the free email domain services offered by their web hosting companies and then later switch to G Suite when they can afford it.

We use G Suite for our business because it allows us to better data retention, easy file management, calendar, and tons of other useful apps to grow our business.

Method 5: Create Domain Email with Office 365 (Paid Solution)

Microsoft Office also provides its office suite called Office 365 with support for custom domain email. In terms of features and functionality, it is similar to G Suite.

Want to see compare both platforms, then see our comparison of G Suite vs Office 365 to find out how they stack up against each other.

Here is how you would set up your custom domain email with Office 365.

Step 1. Setting up Office 365 with custom domain email

First, you need to visit the Office 365 website and click on ‘Buy Now’ button under the plan you want to purchase.

Select a plan

This will bring you the Office 365 sign up page, where you will be first asked to provide an email address.

Office 365 signup

After this, you will be asked to provide your personal and business information.

Next, you will be asked to choose a domain name. Microsoft only provides a subdomain, and you will have to purchase and add a custom domain name separately.

Subdomain

Go ahead and enter a suitable subdomain for your business and click on the Next button.

After that, you will fill in your payment information to complete the sign up process.

Step 2. Add Custom Domain to Office 365

Microsoft does not provide domain registration service, which means you’ll need to separately buy a domain name or use an existing domain name to add in Office 365.

There are a number of domain registrars that sell domain names. We recommend using Domain.com as they are the best domain registrar on the market.

Simply visit the Domain.com website and look for the domain name you want to purchase. WPBeginner users can use our Domain.com coupon code to get additional discount.

Search domain name

If your selected domain name is available, then you can proceed to the billing and complete the purchase.

Complete domain registration

Now, let’s add this domain to Office 365.

Head over to your Office 365 admin dashboard and then click on Set up » Domains page.

Add domain to Office 365

Next, click on the ‘Add Domain’ button and then add the domain you purchased earlier.

After that, you will be asked to verify your ownership of that domain name and point it to work with Office 365.

Verify domain name

You will see some DNS records on screen which you need to add to your newly registered domain’s settings.

Switch back to the Domain.com and login to access your domain settings. Select your domain name and then click on the DNS and Nameservers menu.

Domain DNS Settings

First, you need to select TXT/SPF record and enter the value shown by Office 365.

Adding TXT record

Next, click on the ‘Add DNS’ button to save the settings.

After that, you need to switch to MX Records and add MX Records shown on Office 365 settings page.

Add MX record

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Add DNS’ button to store your changes.

That’s all, you have successfully added custom domain to your Office 365. If you are using some other domain registerar or need more details, then see the instructions in our guide on how to branded email address with Office 365.

Step 3. Create custom domain email addresses in Office 365

Now that you have added your email domain to Office 365, let’s create a custom business email address.

From your Office 365 dashboard, go to Users » Active Users and then click on Add a user button.

Add user in Office 365

On the next screen, you need to provide the user’s personal information and then choose an email address for them.

User information and email address

Don’t forget to click on the Add button to save user settings.

Step 4. Using your Office 365 custom domain email account

Microsoft offers a web version of their popular Outlook email software called Outlook.com. From here, you can simply log in using the email address you created earlier.

Sign in Outlook

Your Office 365 subscription also allows you to download Microsoft Office apps on your computer. This includes their popular Outlook email client.

Microsoft Outlook on Mac

You can also use your custom domain email address with Outlook app on your mobile phone.

If you would rather prefer to use another app, then your email address will work with just about any mail client and app without any special configuration.

Which is Truly The Best Free Email Domain Option?

We have shown you three free email domain solutions and two paid ones. All of them would work well for a small business, and even large enterprises.

Most small business owners start with a free custom email domain offered by their web hosting company. This option is extremely affordable because it’s included in a package deal when you build a website.

Companies like Bluehost, HostGator and Dreamhost, give you a free business email address with your own free domain when you use their hosting service to build a WordPress website.

As your business grows and you can afford the extra $6 per month, then you can use G Suite by Google. It gives you the familiar Google apps Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and more with your own business name. It is easy, secure, and comes with the best spam protection in the industry.

We use G Suite in our own business.

But remember, you don’t want to register your domain with G Suite because you likely want to build a website using that domain name too, and Google does not offer a website builder.

Instead you should register your domain name with a proper domain registrar like Domain.com or use a WordPress hosting company like Bluehost to get a domain and build a website.

And after that, you can use this custom domain in your G Suite settings, so you can retain full control over your domain at all times.

We hope this article helped you learn how to get a free email domain for your business. You may also want to see our guide on the best business phone service to help you manage all your business calls, and the best email marketing services to easily send bulk emails to improve communication with your users.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Get a Free Email Domain (5 Quick and Easy Methods) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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7 Best Places to Find Premium Domain Name for Sale (+ Expert Tips)


We have been often asked by many readers about the best places to find premium domain names for sale.

There are many domain name registrars on the market, each one of them try to sell you the best domain names.

However not all of them offer you the best tools to find the perfect domain name. Some even try their best to sell you lesser-known domain extensions at cheaper rates.

This makes it difficult for beginners to do their domain name research and find a brandable name for their business or blog.

In this article, we will share the best places to find domain name for sale including new, expired, and premium domain names. We’ll also share expert tips on how to do due diligence when buying a premium domain name.

What are the best places to find domain name for sale

Domain Name Registrars

The first place to start your domain search is through a domain name registrar. These are the companies allowed by ICANN to sell domain names to the general public.

However, not all domain registrars are the same.

Some try to aggressively upsell other services that you may not need. Others try to lock you in by making it difficult to transfer your domain name.

Below our providers that we use and recommend.

1. Domain.com

Domain.com

Domain.com is the best domain name registrar on the market. It has a fast and simple domain search tool which helps you easily find a domain name available for sale.

They offer all top-level domain names, at very competitive pricing for newer domain names.

If you are looking for domain names on sale, then simply click on the premium domains tab to find unique, brandable, and shorter domain names.

Premium domain search

Premium domain names are typically more expensive, but you get a better selection to choose from.

Domain.com makes it easier to manage your domains using a simpler domain management area. From there, you can point your domain name to any hosting company and start making a website.

Finding Premium Domain Names on Domain Marketplaces

Domain names are a lucrative business. You can think of it as real estate for the internet.

Thousands of people trade domain names every day which means that at any given time there are premium domain names on sale from domain investors.

You can find these domain names on domain marketplaces. This is where users can list their domain names for sale, allowing others to search, make an offer, or directly purchase the name at a premium price.

2. Sedo

Sedo

Sedo is one of the biggest domain marketplaces in the world. They provide a reliable and secure platform for domain owners to list their domain names for sale.

You will find a lot of premium domain names for sale there. Some of them have been used in the past, but most of them are never used to build a website.

Sedo is also an excellent platform to do your domain name research. You can find interesting ideas matching your keywords, which you can then use to find similar domain names at a regular price.

3. Flippa

Flippa

Flippa is the world’s leading platform to sell online businesses, websites, and domain names. It is a marketplace where sellers list their domain names for sale. Most of them are premium domain names listed for auction or direct purchase.

You can watch domain names, follow auctions, or enter the auction by bidding on domain names.

If your bid is accepted, then you can follow the payment guidelines. Usually, sellers use Flippa’s escrow service for secure payments and transfer of registration to the buyer.

4. GoDaddy

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is the largest domain name registrar in the world. They manage millions of domain names for a very large number of customers around the world.

They offer domain research tools, domain name generator, domain broker service, and more. They also have their own premium domain marketplace with auctions.

However being a large business, they offer tons of other services and upsells which can be a bit overwhelming for beginners.

Many GoDaddy alternatives offer more focused, cheaper, and better services to compete which ultimately benefits the customers.

Finding Domain Names for Sale on Forums

There are thousands of online communities and forums where website owners can discuss online business ideas, marketing techniques, and building websites.

Some of these online communities focus solely on trading domain names, while others have dedicated sub-forums for the topic. Here are some of the online forums you can use to find domain names available for sale including expired domain names or soon to be expiring domain names.

5. NamePros

NamePros

NamePros is one of the leading online communities to buy and sell domain names. It is also a great place to learn about building online businesses, investing in domain names, and finding unique domain name ideas.

They have a dedicated domain marketplace section, where sellers can list their domain names on sale. Domains are listed as auctions, buy now, bargains, and make an offer.

6. DNForum

DNForum

DNForum is another popular online community to find unique domain names. The forum is used by both sellers and buyers to trade domains, run auctions, make offers, or request help from domain name brokers to find you a unique idea.

Get a Free Domain Name via Hosting

If you just want to register a new domain name for your business, then the easiest way to get a free domain name is by signing up for a website hosting account. This way you can save money on domain name registration and quickly make a website right away.

7. Bluehost

Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world and officially recommended hosting provider by WordPress and WooCommerce.

They have agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain name + SSL certificate and a generous discount on hosting. You can get started for just $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Deal ←

How to Find a Great Domain Name for Sale

There are so many places where you can find domain names available for sale. However, it is a highly competitive business and if you are not careful, then you could end up paying a lot more for a domain name.

First, we recommend you to find a unique domain name idea by yourself. Use the domain availability checker tool on Domain.com to see if your desired name is available for registration.

This way, you would be able to find a domain name on a regular price which could be between $10-14.99 per year.

See our guide on how to find a domain name for some tips on coming up with catchy ideas for your domain.

Finding a Premium Domain Name for Sale

Finding a domain name can be hard. You may feel that all good domain name ideas are already taken.

However, if you are willing to invest in buying a shorter, more brandable, and clever domain name, then domain marketplaces can be a good resource.

This helps you narrow down your search and get a domain name that is not available for registration.

We recommend using platforms like Sedo and Flippa to find unique premium domain names on sale. These platforms offer better tools for secure transfer of domain ownership, better tools to asses seller’s reputation, and are trusted by legit businesses all over the world.

How to do Due Diligence When Buying a Premium Domain on Sale

After you have found a unique domain name that you want to buy, it is time to do some due diligence before moving forward.

Domain names that have already been used could be blacklisted, marked for spam, or have a bad reputation. Buying such a domain name could affect your business.

Luckily there are tools that you can use to do your homework before making the purchase.

First, you would want to make sure that the domain name is not a registered trademark of an existing business.

According to ICANN rules, if a domain name violates a company’s registered trademark, then that company can claim the domain name or ask you to take it down.

You can check the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database to do a quick trademark search for your domain name to see it is already registered by a business.

Next, you would want to see if a domain name has been previously used to make a website. An easy way to do this is by using the Wayback Machine. This massive archive crawls the internet and takes snapshots of websites.

Wayback Machine

You would also want to search a domain name’s historical records using the Whois tools. This allows you to see when a domain name was created, last renewed, DNS changes, and historical data.

Who.is

Lastly, you would want to check if a domain name has been misused to send spam email, spread malware, or other malicious activities. You can perform a quick domain health check test to see if it raises any red flags.

Domain health check

We hope this article helped you find the best places to find domain name for sale. You may also want to see our pick of the best business phone services and the best email marketing services that you can use to grow your business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Check Domain Name Availability (Easy Domain Search Tools)


Choosing a domain name can be overwhelming because first you need to come up with an idea, and then you have to check domain name availability.

Since a lot of good domains are already taken, often beginners feel stuck.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you can check domain name availability faster and even find new ideas while you do it?

In this article, we’ll show you how to check for domain name availability with some of the easiest domain search tools.

Checking for domain name availability using domain search tools

1. Domain.com

Domain.com

Domain.com is one of the best domain registrars on the market. They offer a wide range of domain extensions at discounted rates, and have the best domain management tools for beginners.

Most importantly, they have a powerful domain search tool that let’s quickly check domain name availability. Simply go to their website and enter your desired keywords or phrase.

Check domain availability on Domain.com

Domain.com will show if the domain is available for registration. If it is, then congratulations you can go ahead and get it registered right away. Bonus: use our Domain.com coupon code to get an additional discount.

Domain available

If the domain you are looking for is not available, then it will show you different combinations to help you brainstorm and come up with a unique idea.

Once you have found a domain name, you can simply add it to cart and click on the ‘Continue’ button to register it.

Continue registration

On the next screen, enter your billing and payment information to complete the purchase.

Proceed to payment

2. Nameboy

Nameboy Best Domain and Blog Name Generator

Nameboy is one of the oldest and the most reliable domain name generator tool on the market.

If you want to quickly generate dozens of domain name ideas, then you can use this tool. Simply enter your desired keyword or phrase and it generates a list of domain names to choose from.

You can click on any domain name to view details and register the domain name. The downside is that it does not show you the availability of domain names right away.

3. IsItWP

IsItWP Domain Generator

IsItWP offers a bunch of useful tools like a WordPress security scanner, website uptime checker, password generator, and a powerful domain generator.

The domain generator allows you to look up for a domain name by simply entering keywords or phrases. It then creates a number of different domain names.

This gives you a ton of possible choices to go through. However, you will need to click on the view details button to actually register or check the availability of the domain name.

4. Blog Tyrant

Blog Tyrant

Blog Tyrant is a popular blogging resource site with several free tools including a domain name generator.

It helps you look up for domain ideas for your selected keyword or phrase. You can click on a domain name to see more details or try a different keyword combination to get even more domain name suggestions.

5. Bluehost

Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world. If you want to make a website right away, then their domain availability checker will be a good option for you.

They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and a generous discount on WordPress hosting. Basically, you’ll be able to start a blog or website for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

You can simply visit their website and click on the get started button. After that, you will be asked to choose a plan.

Select a plan

On the next screen, you will be asked to choose a domain name. Enter your desired domain name or keywords to check availability.

Bluehost domain checker

If your preferred domain name is not available, then it will show you several suggestions to choose from or search for another domain name.

Once you have found the domain name you like, then you can simply go ahead and complete the purchase.

6. GoDaddy

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is one of the biggest domain name companies on the market. You can use their website to look for domain name availability as well.

However, their suggestions usually include hyphens, lesser-known and uncommon domain extensions, or premium domain names which are available for a higher price.

There are many excellent GoDaddy alternatives that are cheaper and more reliable.

How to Choose The Perfect Domain Name?

Many beginners find it difficult to find the perfect domain name. More than 350 million domain names are already registered, and it feels like that all the good ones are already taken.

If the domain name you want is not available, then you’ll need to get creative. Here are a few quick tips that will help you find the perfect domain name for your website.

  • Stick with .com domain names and don’t choose a new domain extension
  • Use keywords associated with your business. See our guide on how to do keyword research to learn more.
  • Avoid hyphens and numbers in domain name. They would make it harder to spell and pronounce.
  • Choose a domain name that is easily memorable, doesn’t require you to spell it, and represents your brand

For more in-depth tips, see our complete guide on how to choose the best domain name.

I’ve Found a Domain Name, Now What?

You need to act fast and register that domain name.

Thousands of new domain names are registered every day. Domain names are a lucrative business and people are always looking for good domain names to register and then resell for a better offer.

If your domain name idea is good, then there is a great chance that it will not be available for long. You need to just go ahead and register your domain name.

Do I Need a Website to Get a Domain Name?

No, you don’t.

You can register a domain name without creating a website. To understand how these two things are related, see our guide on the difference between domain name and web hosting.

To make a website you’ll need to sign up with a hosting company. This is where you will store your website’s files.

Domain names are sold by domain name registrars. These are the companies licensed by ICANN (an international body that manages domain names worldwide) to register domain names.

To make a website, you need both domain name and web hosting. However, if you are not yet ready to make a website, then you can simply register a domain name.

This will give you the ownership of that domain name for the licensed period. You can make a website or start an online store later when you’re ready.

Which is The Best Tool to Check for Domain Name Availability?

We recommend using Domain.com as the best tool to check for domain name availability.

It allows you to quickly do your domain name research. You can instantly register the domain name without visiting a third-party website. They also offer the easiest domain tools and a simple domain management area.

If you just want to explore different domain name ideas, then Nameboy helps you instantly generate dozens of domain names using your keywords or business name.

We hope this article helped you learn how to check for domain name availability using smarter domain search tools. You may also want to see these easy online business ideas that you can start with your new domain name.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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9 Proven Ways to Get a Free Domain Name (100% Guaranteed)


Are you looking for an easy way to get a free domain name for your business?

A domain name is your website or business name on the internet. People can type it in their browser’s address bar to visit your website. For example, wpbeginner.com.

Normally a domain name registrar charges anywhere from $9.99 – $14.99 per year, but there are other ways to get a domain name for free.

In this article, we will show you proven ways to quickly get a free domain name. We will also cover what’s the catch behind these free domain names, and things you need to watch out for.

Easy ways to get a free domain name

What’s the Catch with Free Domain Names?

You might be wondering if domain names cost an annual fee, why would any company offer free domain name registration?

Well that’s because they profit from it indirectly.

To build a website, you need two things: domain name and web hosting.

Domain name is your website’s address on the internet whereas web hosting is where your website files and content are stored. See our article on the difference between domain name and web hosting for more details.

Majority of the “trustworthy” free domain name offers that you will see on the internet are from web hosting companies. They offer free domain name to customers who host their websites with them, and the cost of the domain name is recouped from the hosting fee.

This is a great deal for small business owners who’re looking to make a website or start a blog. You need web hosting to build a website regardless, so getting a free domain name is a great deal.

We use this method all the time and highly recommend it for all users.

Now there are some other companies that will offer a free domain name in exchange for you displaying their advertisements or placing their tracking scripts on your website.

We strongly recommend that you avoid these offers. They will likely distribute malware and viruses through your website, and this can become a legal liability for you. The $10 / year saving is not worth a bad reputation or the legal troubles.

With that said, below are the trustworthy and proven ways to get a free domain name.

1. Get a Free Domain Name with Bluehost

Bluehost

This is the best free domain name offer on the market. You’ll need to purchase web hosting from Bluehost, which is one of the best and most affordable hosting companies in the world.

Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users an exclusive 60% discount on web hosting with free domain name and free SSL certificate.

Basically, you’ll be able to start a website for $2.75 per month.

→ Get This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Bluehost is one of the biggest hosting companies, and they are also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Once you sign up, you can follow our guide on how to make a website to quickly start using your domain name.

2. Get a Free Domain Name with HostGator

HostGator

HostGator is one of the most popular website hosting companies on the internet. We use their web hosting for our WPBeginner website.

They are offering WPBeginner readers free 1 year domain name registration on top of a 62% discount on web hosting as well as a free SSL certificate. Basically your website will cost $2.64 per month.

→ Click here to claim this free domain offer from HostGator ←

HostGator offers 1 click WordPress install, professional free business email address, free WordPress site transfer, $200 in marketing credits, and so much more.

3. Get Free Domain with Constant Contact Website Builder

Constant Contact

Constant Contact offers an A.I powered free website builder. It comes with beautiful website templates and a powerful drag and drop editor to add your content.

They are offering free domain registration for 1 year on the purchase of any of their premium plans. Each plan has different monthly pricing and features.

You can start your website for free on a subdomain, but once you upgrade to their Starter or Business Plus plan, you will be presented with an option to get a free domain name.

→ Click here to claim this free domain offer from Constant Contact ←

Constant Contact website builder also offers other powerful features like logo maker, Ecommerce cart, and more.

4. Get a Free Domain Name with GreekGeeks

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks is an environment-friendly hosting provider. They offer shared and WordPress hosting plans on faster servers with SSD storage and advanced security features.

They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name with their hosting plans and a 60% discount on hosting. This would make your costs go down to $2.59 per month.

← Get your free domain with GreenGeeks →

GreenGeeks hosting also gets you free SSL certificate and 1-click WordPress installer to easily get started. If you already have a WordPress website then they would transfer it for you.

5. Free Domain Name with SiteBuilder

Sitebuilder.com

SiteBuilder is another popular website builder in the market that offers a free domain name registration with any of their plans.

You can use their hundreds of professionally designed templates and powerful drag and drop website builder to easily create your business website or online store within minutes.

→ Click here to claim this free domain offer from SiteBuilder ←

SiteBuilder offers all the essential features to build a website, and they offer live chat and phone support to assist you in getting online.

6. Get a Free Domain Name with DreamHost

DreamHost

DreamHost is one of the oldest and most reliable hosting companies around. They offer shared hosting, VPS hosting, domain name registrations, and a website builder to create your website.

Luckily, DreamHost is offering WPBeginner users a 47% discount on hosting + free domain name and SSL certificate. You would be able to get it all for $2.59 per month.

→ Click here to claim this free domain offer from DreamHost ←

DreamHost is also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider. Their offer also includes pre-installed WordPress, free WordPress migration, and expert support.

If you don’t want to use WordPress, then you can still claim this offer and use any self-hosted website builder with your domain name.

7. Get Free Domain with InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting

Another way to get your free domain name is by signing up with InMotion Hosting. They offer WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and a website creator plan.

They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and discount on their hosting plans. You can get their premium hosting plan for $4.55 per month.

← Get free domain name with InMotion Hosting →

InMotion hosting offers incredibly fast hosting plans with 1-click WordPress installer, and free BoldGrid website builder. You also get award winning 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email from US based technical staff.

8. Get Free Domain with WordPress.com

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a fully-hosted website builder and blogging platform. It is not the same as self-hosted WordPress.org websites. To learn more, see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

You can get a free domain name by signing up for a paid plan with WordPress.com (Personal plan or higher). Basically, you’d get all the features of WordPress.com with your own custom domain name.

← Get your free domain name with WordPress.com →

WordPress.com offers multiple plans suitable for different kinds of websites. For example, if you want to install plugins then you’ll need their Business plan. For an eCommerce store, you’ll need their eCommerce plan

You don’t need to install any software, manage updates, or create backups. You also get access to tons of free website templates to make a professional looking website.

9. Get a Free Domain Name with Gator Website Builder

Gator Website Builder

Gator is a new website builder offered by HostGator, the popular web hosting company that we mentioned above.

If you don’t want to use WordPress to build your website, then Gator website builder is a good alternative. They’re offering a free domain name, website, analytics software, customizable templates, and more in their very competitive offering.

← Get your free domain name with Gator →

Although we always recommend everyone to use WordPress, but we know that sometimes people want a WordPress alternative. Gator is an excellent alternative in case you’re looking.

FAQs About Free Domain Name Promotions

Over the last 10 years, we have helped thousands of beginners find domain names, make websites, and start their own online businesses. During this time, we have heard almost every question you can think of.

Following are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about getting free a free domain name.

1. Why are some companies offering free domain names?

Domain names are generally not free. You need to pay a small yearly fee to a domain registrar to buy a paid domain name. If you are just starting a blog or a website, then this adds up to your startup cost.

Some companies use this as a promotional tool to sell their other services and products. They pay the cost of your domain name by hoping to cover the cost from other services.

Many of these companies, like Bluehost are domain registrars themselves. This makes it easier for their users to manage their websites and hosting from the same dashboard.

2. Can I buy a domain name without a website?

Yes, you can buy a domain name from any of the reputable domain registrars online. We recommend using Domain.com because they make it super easy to manage your domain names and point them to any hosting company of your choice.

You can use our Domain.com coupon code to get an additional discount.

If you want domain name ideas, then check out a domain name generator like Nameboy.

3. How is domain name different from website hosting?

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet (e.g. wpbeginner.com). Web hosting is where your website’s data and files are stored.

Think of domain names as the street address and web hosting as the actual house where your website’s files live.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on the difference between domain name and web hosting.

4. Can I transfer my free domain name to a different company or hosting provider?

Yes, you can transfer your domain name to a different domain registrar or a web hosting company that allows you to move your domain registrations.

You can even point your domain name to any hosting service without actually transferring it by simply editing its DNS settings.

5. Which is the best free domain name option?

If you searched on Google, you’ll find hundreds of companies advertising free domain names. Many of these websites will lure you in with a free domain offer and will try to sell you lesser known domain extensions or lock you into their platform.

All the companies we have mentioned above are one of the best companies on the internet with stellar reputations. They all allow you to transfer your domain name to any other company if you need to.

In terms of value, we recommend using Bluehost. They give you a free domain name with robust shared hosting and all the useful tools you’ll need to start your website.

We hope this article helped you find the perfect ways to get a free domain name. You may also want to see our article on how to get a free business email address or how to get free website hosting.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 9 Proven Ways to Get a Free Domain Name (100% Guaranteed) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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What is a Domain Name and How Do Domains Work?


We are often asked by beginners: what is a domain name and how do domains work? If you are a beginner, then you may have heard that you need a domain to make a website.

However, many beginners confuse domain name with a website or website hosting service. If you are just starting out, then all these different terms may sound too technical.

In this beginner’s guide, we will answer what is a domain name and how domains work. The goal is to help you understand and choose the right domain name for your website.

Domain names and how do they work?

Here is a quick overview of the topics we will cover in this guide.

What is a Domain Name?

Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.

In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.

A more detailed explanation:

The Internet is a giant network of computers connected to each other through a global network of cables. Each computer on this network can communicate with other computers.

To identify them, each computer is assigned an IP address. It is a series of numbers that identify a particular computer on the internet. A typical IP address looks like this:

66.249.66.1

Now an IP address like this is quite difficult to remember. Imagine if you had to use such numbers to visit your favorite websites.

Domain names were invented to solve this problem.

Now if you want to visit a website, then you don’t need to enter a long string of numbers. Instead, you can visit it by typing an easy to remember domain name in your browser’s address bar. For example, wpbeginner.com.

How Domain Names Actually Work?

To understand how domain names actually work, we will take a look at what happens when you enter it in your browser.

How domains work

When you enter a domain name in your web browser, it first sends a request to a global network of servers that form the Domain Name System (DNS).

These servers then look up for the name servers associated with the domain and forward the request to those name servers.

For example, if your website is hosted on Bluehost, then its name server information will be like this:

ns1.bluehost.com
ns2.bluehost.com

These name servers are computers managed by your hosting company. Your hosting company will forward your request to the computer where your website is stored.

This computer is called a web server. It has special software installed (Apache, Nginx are two popular web server software). The web server now fetches the web page and pieces of information associated with it.

Finally, it then sends this data back to the browser.

How is Domain Name Different from a Website and Web Hosting?

web hosting

A website is made up of files like HTML pages, website builder software, images, and more.

If the domain name is the web address of your website, then web hosting is the home where your website lives.

This is the actual computer where your website’s files are stored. Such computers are called servers and they are offered as a service by hosting companies.

To create your website, you need both domain name and web hosting.

However, it’s important to remember that they are two separate services, and you can buy them from two different companies.

Now you may be wondering, how would it work if you bought them from two separate companies?

You just need to edit your domain name settings and enter the Name Server information provided by your hosting company. Name Server information defines where to send user requests for your domain name.

We recommend getting both your domain name and hosting from the same company. This allows you to easily manage them under the same account.

For more details, see our guide on the difference between domain name and web hosting.

Different Types of Domain Names

Domain names are available in many different extensions. The most popular one is .com. There are many other options like .org, .net, .tv, .info, .io, and more. However we always recommend using .com domain extension.

Let’s take a more detailed look at different types of domain names available.

Top Level Domain – TLD

Top level domain or TLD are generic domain extensions that are listed at the highest level in the domain name system.

There are hundreds of TLDs, but the most popular ones are .com, .org, and .net. Other TLDs are lesser known and we don’t recommend using them. For example, .biz, .club, .info, .agency, and many more.

Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD

Country code top-level domain or ccTLD are country specific domain names which end with country code extension like .uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .in for India.

They are used by websites that want to target audiences in a specific country.

Sponsored Top Level Domain – sTLD

Sponsored top-level domain or sTLD is a category of TLDs that has a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain extension.

For example, .edu for education-related organizations, .gov for the United States government, .mil for the United States military, and more.

Who is Responsible for Domain Name System?

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages the domain names system. It is a non-profit organization that creates and implements the policies for domain names.

ICANN gives permission to companies called Domain Name Registrars for selling domain names. These domain registrars are allowed to make changes to domain names registry on your behalf.

Domain name registrars can sell domain names, manage its records, renewals, and transfers to other registrars.

As a domain name owner, you are responsible for telling the registrar where to send requests. You are also responsible for renewing your domain registration.

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website?

Choosing domain name

There are currently more than 350 Million registered domain names and thousands more get registered each day.

This means that all the good ones are already registered or will be registered very soon. This puts a lot of pressure on new users to come up with a domain idea for their website.

Here are some quick tips to help you choose a domain name for your next website.

  • Stick with a .com domain name as it is the most popular, easy to remember, and easy promote.
  • Make sure it is shorter and easy to remember
  • Make it easy to pronounce and spell
  • Do not use numbers or hyphens
  • Use domain name generators to come up with clever domain name ideas

For more tips and practical advice, see our guide on how to choose the best domain name for your website.

How to Buy a Domain Name?

You can buy domain names from one of the many domain name registrars. A domain name typically costs 14.99 per year. Some popular domain name companies are:

However, buying domain does not automatically give you hosting service. For that, you will need a website hosting account as well.

Many WordPress hosting companies offer domain registration services as well. This allows you to manage both services under one account, and you also don’t need to worry about changing name server settings for your domain.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and 60% discount on hosting. Basically you can get started for $2.75/month.

Frequently Asked Questions About Domain Names

Over the years we have helped thousands of beginners start their first websites. We have heard almost every possible question about domain names that you can think of.

Following are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about domain names.

1. What is a subdomain?

A subdomain is basically a child domain under the main domain name. For example, videos.wpbeginner.com is a subdomain of wpbeginner.com.

Once you register a domain, you have the permission to create subdomains for it by yourself.

Subdomains are commonly used by websites to create child-sites under the same domain name. For example, a business website can create a subdomain for their blog or their online store as store.example.com or blog.example.com

2. Can I cancel my registration of a domain name?

Some domain registrars allow you to cancel your domain registration at any time. If you cancel your registration, it will become available for others to register.

Other domain name registrars allow you to simply let your domain registration expire.

In most cases, you will not get any refund for the domain registration. However, some domain registrars do have refund policies which you may want to discuss with them before canceling your registration.

If you don’t have the auto-renew feature turned on, then your domain name will simply expire after the registration period you have paid for.

3. Can I move my website to a different domain name?

Yes, you can. You can point your domain name to your hosting server. You can also keep both domain names pointing to the same website.

However, search engines consider it duplicate content and that will affect your search rankings.

We have a step by step guide on how to properly move a website to new domain name and setup redirects, so you don’t hurt your SEO.

4. Can I sell a domain name?

Yes, you can sell your domain name. Domain names are like real estate for web. There is a huge demand for good brandable domain names.

Trading domain names is a multi-million dollar industry. Since domain names are so cheap, smart entrepreneurs are always looking for great domain name ideas to get their hands own.

If you want to sell your domain name, then there are many marketplace websites like Sedo, GoDaddy, and others where you can list your domain for sale.

Popular registrars like Domain.com also let you buy premium domains right from their domain search feature.

5. What is domain privacy? Do I need it?

ICANN requires people registering domain names to provide an email, physical address, phone number, and other personal information to be made available publicly.

Domain Privacy is a separate add-on service sold by domain registrars. It allows you to show proxy information instead of your actual personal info.

You don’t need to buy domain privacy if you don’t want to. However if you are concerned about privacy, then you can buy this service for a small cost.

6. Can I buy more than one domain name?

Yes, you can buy as many domain names as you like.

7. Where can I learn more about making websites?

Right here. WPBeginner is the world’s largest WordPress resource site for beginners. We have tutorials, step by step guides, and videos created specifically for beginner users.

Here are some of the helpful resources you’ll find on WPBeginner (All of them are completely free).

We hope this article helped you learn what is a domain name and how do domains work. You may also want to see our list of best free domain name generators to find cool ideas for your next domain name.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Move Custom Domain Blogger Blog to WordPress (Updated)


Do you want to move your custom domain Blogger blog to WordPress? Blogger is a free blogging platform that has been around for a very long time.

Normally, a free blog on Blogger has blogspot.com in their website address. For example, myblog.blogspot.com.

In our main Blogger to WordPress migration tutorial, one of our readers asked us for step by step instructions on moving custom domain blogger website to WordPress.

That’s because Blogger also allows users to connect custom domain names to their blogs such as myblog.com.

If you have a custom domain Blogger blog, and you want to move it to WordPress, then this tutorial is for you.

In this step by step guide, we will show you how to easily move a custom domain blog from Blogger to WordPress.

Moving custom domain Blogger blog to WordPress

Note: If you’re looking for moving a normal Blogger subdomain blog to WordPress, then see our guide on how to switch from Blogger to WordPress.

Following are the steps we will cover to help you move your custom domain blog from Blogger to WordPress.

  1. Getting started
  2. Change DNS settings
  3. Remove domain redirect
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Export content from Blogger
  6. Import content in WordPress
  7. Setup Permalinks
  8. Redirect Blogger feeds to WordPress
  9. Customizing WordPress
  10. Extending your WordPress site

Step 1: Getting Started

Before we start, it is important to note that this guide is for the self-hosted WordPress blog. See our guide on the difference between self hosted WordPress.org site vs WordPress.com blog.

In order to get started, you will need a WordPress hosting provider to set up your self hosted WordPress website.

We recommend Bluehost because they are an officially recommended WordPress hosting company, and they are giving WPBeginner users exclusive 60% discount + free domain and SSL.

Basically, you can get started for $2.75 / month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

If you want a Bluehost alternative, then take a look at Siteground. They also have a special offer for WPBeginner users.

Step 2: Change DNS Settings

Blogger allows you to use any domain name registered by a 3rd party. U.S. based users can also use a domain registered with Google Domains.

When you first setup the domain pointing to your Blogger blog, you were asked to add CNAME and A records to your domain’s DNS settings.

These domain name records help browsers decide where to direct users when they enter your domain name. See our guide on domain names and how they work)

You will need to delete those old records and add your new WordPress host’s DNS settings.

You can get DNS settings required by your WordPress hosting company from their documentation or support websites. A typical DNS nameserver looks something like this:

NS1.Bluehost.com
NS2.Bluehost.com

In this guide, we will show you how to update DNS settings in Godaddy. However the basic settings are the same across all popular domain registrars.

Changing DNS Settings in GoDaddy

You need to Login to your Godaddy account and click on the manage button next to domains. After that you need to click on the gear icon next to your domain and then select manage DNS.

Launch DNS management in GoDaddy

You will see your domain information page. Next, you need to click on the DNS Zone File. This is where all the DNS level records for your domain are stored.

Edit DNS zone file in GoDaddy

On the DNS Zone File page, you need to locate the A record and CNAME aliases you added for your Blogger blog and delete them.

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to apply your changes.

The next step is to setup nameservers for your WordPress hosting provider.

Go back to manage DNS page for your domain and then click on ‘Manage’ under the namservers section.

Manage nameserver settings

On the next page, you need to click on ‘Custom’ and then click on edit nameservers link to add your new WordPress hosts nameservers.

Adding nameservers

Click on the save button to make your DNS changes go live.

Important: DNS changes may take anywhere between a few hours to one or even two days to fully propagate. During this time, you can access your Blogger blog by logging into your account.

Step 3: Remove Domain Redirect

Your Blogger blog’s original blogspot.com address is redirecting users to your custom domain. Since we have changed the domain settings, we need to remove this from Blogger too.

Simply log into your Blogger account and go to Settings » Basic page. Under the publishing section, click on the cross icon to cancel the redirect.

Remove custom domain redirect from Blogger

Step 4: Install WordPress

If your domain’s DNS has propagated now, then you can install WordPress on your hosting provider.

If your domain is registered on a 3rd party service other than your web host, then you will need to add the hosting for the domain.

For example, in Bluehost you will add your domain as an Addon domain through cPanel unless it is the main domain on your account.

Adding a domain name to your hosting account

After adding domain to your new host, the next step is to install WordPress. Most hosting companies have simple 1-click WordPress installers that you can use to quickly install WordPress.

If you need more help, then follow the instructions in our complete WordPress installation tutorial.

After successful installation of WordPress on your custom domain, you will be ready to import content from your Blogger blog.

Step 5: Export Content From Blogger

Before you can import content into WordPress, first you need to export it from your Blogger blog.

Blogger allows you to export content in an XML file.

Simply login to your Blogger blog and visit Settings » Other page. Under the blog tools, click on the Backup Content link.

Export blog posts from Blogger

This will bring up a popup where you need to click on the ‘Save to your computer’ button.

Depending on the file size, it may take a few seconds or a few minutes. Once you have your data, it is time to import it into your WordPress site.

Step 6: Import Blogger Blog into WordPress

Login to your WordPress admin area and visit Tools » Import page. There you will see a list of importers for different services. You need to click on Blogger to install the Blogger importer.

Install Blogger importer tool for WordPress

WordPress will now download and install the Blogger Importer plugin for you. Once it is finished installing the plugin, you need to click on Run Importer link to continue.

Run Blogger importer

On the Import Blogger screen, WordPress will ask you to upload the XML file. Simply click on choose file button and upload the XML file you downloaded earlier. Click on the Upload file and import button to continue.

Upload file to import

WordPress will now import your blog posts from Blogger, once it is finished you will be asked to assign an author to the imported posts. You can assign your blogger posts to an existing author or create a new one.

Congratulations! you have successfully imported your Blogger blog into WordPress.

However, you still need to make sure that you don’t lose any search rankings by redirecting search engines and visitors to the same content on your new WordPress powered website.

WordPress comes with a feature that allows you to set up SEO friendly URL structure.

However, since you are importing content from Blogger, you would want your permalink structure to be as close to your Blogger URL structure as possible. To set permalinks you need to go to Settings » Permalinks and paste this in the custom structure field:

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

Change permalinks

Setp 8: Setup Feed Redirects

You have successfully redirected your Blogger blog to WordPress. However, users who have subscribed to your Blogger RSS feed will stop receiving updates.

You need to redirect feed requests to your WordPress feeds. This can be easily achieved by editing the .htaccess file in your WordPress site’s root folder.

If you can’t find your .htaccess file, then see this tutorial.

Start by connecting to your WordPress site using an FTP client. You will need to enable ‘Show Hidden Files’ option in your FTP client settings. If you are using Filezilla, you will find this option under Server menu.

Show hidden files in FTP

Once you are connected to your website, you will find the .htaccess file in your WordPress site’s root directory. You need to edit this file and paste the following code before any other code in the file.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
   RewriteEngine on
   RewriteRule atom.xml /feed? [L,R=301]
   RewriteRule rss.xml /feed? [L,R=301]
   RewriteRule ^feeds/posts/?.*$ /feed? [L,R=301]
   RewriteRule ^feeds/comments/?.*$ /comments/feed? [L,R=301]
</IfModule>

Don’t forget to save your changes and upload the .htaccess file back to the server. Your Blogger feed subscribers will now be redirected to your WordPress site’s feed.

Step 9. Customizing Your WordPress Site

Themes control the appearance of your WordPress site. You can use them to change your website’s colors, layout, navigation menus, and more.

WordPress themes

By default, WordPress comes with a very simple theme that doesn’t offer many features.

Luckily, there are thousands of WordPress themes available that you can choose from.

Following are a few of our showcases with our expert-pick of best WordPress themes in different categories.

Here are a few tips that you should consider when looking at these themes.

  • Simplicity is the best design. Look for a simple theme with flexible features.
  • You will not find a theme exactly as you had on Blogger, but you can look for a theme with similar layout and color choices
  • Make sure that the theme you are choosing looks good on mobile devices
  • Only install a theme from reliable sources like WordPress.org or one of the top WordPress theme shops.

Once you have found a theme, you can go ahead and install it. See our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme for step by step instructions.

Note: You can also use one of these drag & drop WordPress page builders to create completely custom website designs without writing any code.

Step 10. Extending Your WordPress Site

WordPress plugins

One of the top reasons for using WordPress is the large number of plugins that you can use. Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. You can use them to add new features and extend WordPress functionality.

Now, as a beginner, you may be wondering how to start using these plugins? Which plugins you should try first?

Don’t worry we got you covered there as well. Check out our expert selection of the essential WordPress plugins that you should install first.

Next, you should know that WordPress is not just limited to blogs. You can use it to create any type of website you can imagine.

Finally, as a new WordPress user, you may need help now and then. WPBeginner is the largest WordPress resource site for beginners. See how you can make the most out of WPBeginner’s free resources.

We hope this article helped you move your custom domain blogger blog to WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 40 useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress blog.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Move Custom Domain Blogger Blog to WordPress (Updated) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Choose the Best Domain Name (11 Tips and Tools)


Choosing the right domain name for your website is crucial for your success. If you choose the wrong domain name, then it can be a hassle to switch later on without hurting your brand and search rankings.

That’s why it’s extremely important that you choose the best domain name from the start.

When first starting out, it can be hard to come up with catchy business name ideas with a perfect domain name.

In this article, we’ll share all the tools and tips you need to get domain name ideas, choose the best domain name, and register your new domain (for free).

How to Choose the Best Domain Name

11 Tips for Choosing the Best Domain Name

When starting a blog, choosing a domain name can be stressful because you don’t want to make a mistake.

To make the process easier, we have a simple 11 step framework that you can use to pick the best domain for your website.

  1. Stick with .com
  2. Use keywords in your domain name search
  3. Keep your domain name short
  4. Make it easy to pronounce and spell
  5. Keep it unique and brandable
  6. Avoid hyphens in domain name
  7. Avoid doubled letters
  8. Leave room to expand
  9. Research your domain name
  10. Use domain generators for clever ideas
  11. Act quickly before someone else takes it
  12. Best place to register a domain name
  13. Get free domain with web hosting
  14. Most popular domain registrars

Let’s take a look at these tips one by one with more details.

1. Stick with .com

Stick to the .com extension

There are plenty of new domain name extensions available today, from the original .com, .net and .org to niche extensions like .pizza, .photography, and even .blog.

We always recommend choosing a .com domain name.

While it can be tempting to come up with clever blog names using new extensions, .com is still the most established and credible domain name extension.

Newer domain extensions like .ninja or .photography can be untrustworthy.

Dot-com domains are also the most memorable. Many users, especially those who aren’t as tech-savvy, will automatically type “.com” at the end of every domain without thinking about it.

If your website is something like jane.photography, and your users accidentally type in jane.photography.com, they will end up on an error page on photography.com website.

It’s smart to avoid that risk by sticking with .com.

Not to mention, most smartphone keyboards automatically have a .com button.

2. Use Keywords in Your Domain Name Search

Keywords play an important role in a domain. By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about. Together with quality content and good user experience, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google.

It is very hard to find a good domain with your target keywords, that’s not already taken.

You will need to be creative and combine your keywords with other words to make your domain stand out.

3. Keep Your Domain Name Short

While keywords are important, don’t go overboard with domain length. It’s better to have a domain name that’s short and memorable.

We recommend keeping your domain name under 15 characters. Longer domains are harder for your users to remember.

Not to mention, users will also be more prone to entering typos with longer domain names which can lead to loss traffic.

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your domain length short.

4. Make Your Domain Name Easy to Pronounce and Spell

You should be able to easily share your domain name when speaking as well as writing. You never know when you’ll be asked to share your domain name in person.

If you’re planning to use your domain name to create a professional business email address, then it definitely should be easy to understand and spell for any listener.

5. Keep it Unique and Brandable

Your blog domain name must be unique, so you can stand out in your readers’ minds. It’s smart to research other blogs in your niche and find out what domain names they’re using.

You don’t want to accidentally use a trademark name or get accused of copying another blogger.

You can also choose to pick a domain name that’s more brandable.

Brandable domain names are unique, catchy, and memorable. For example, “Amazon.com” is a much more brandable name than “BuyBooksOnline.com.”

6. Avoid Hyphens in Domain Name

Never create a domain name with hyphens. Hyphens can be a sign of spam domains which you do not want to be associated with.

Hyphenated domains are also prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with hyphens because the domain you want is already taken, then your users will likely end up at your competitor’s site if they forget to type in the hyphen.

7. Avoid Double Letters

It’s a good idea to avoid domains with doubled letters, because it increases your chances of losing traffic to typos. For example, a domain like Presssetup.com will be more prone to typos, and result in lost traffic.

Avoiding doubled letters will also make your domain easy to type and more brandable.

8. Leave Room to Expand

It’s smart to choose a domain name that’s related to your industry / niche because it gives users some idea of what your website is about. But you also don’t want to limit your long term options too much.

For example, a florist might choose a domain name like orchidblog.com, but then they may want to start blogging about other flowers beside orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting readers interested in other flowers.

Properly moving your site to a new domain can be a frustrating process, and it can cause you to lose search rankings if you don’t do it right. That’s why it is important to pick a flexible domain name from the start.

9. Research Your Domain Name

Before you register a domain name, try to find out if there is already a registered business using the same name.

You can perform a trademark search to see if there is already a similar or exact name already trademarked.

Research trademarks to avoid conflicting domain names

You can also perform a Google search and check for the name’s availability on top social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

A similar or matching name would not only cause confusion, but it could also have severe legal implications which may cost you a lot of money.

Once you have your own website up and running, you can learn more about how to trademark and copyright your website name and logo.

10. Use Domain Name Generators for Celever Ideas

Currently, there are more than 360 Million registered domain names. This leads to many people saying that all good domains are already taken.

Searching for individual domain name manually can be very time consuming.

This is where domain name generators come in. These free tools automatically search for your defined keywords to find hundreds of clever domain name ideas.

Nameboy domain generator tool

We recommend using Nameboy, which is one of the oldest and most popular domain name generator tool online. You can also use IsItWP’s domain generator to find more domain name ideas.

11. Act Quickly Before Someone Else Takes it

Each day thousands of new domain names are registered from all parts of the world. If you have found a domain name that you like, then don’t wait too long.

Domain names are like real estate. Thousands of people are actively looking for good brandable domain names that they can register for better rates in the future.

If you don’t act fast, then someone may go ahead and register your domain idea.

Since domain names are relatively cheap, we always recommend our readers to act fast. If you change your mind later, then you can simply let it expire.

Best Places to Buy a Domain Name

How to register your own domain name and how to get one for free

There are hundreds of domain registrars on the web. It’s important to choose carefully because it can be difficult to move your domain later on.

Just like with web hosting, pricing for domain registrations can vary anywhere from $9 to $24. You can even get it for free*.

Let’s take a look at how you can easily buy a domain name.

Free Domain Registration with Web Hosting

Majority of web hosting companies also offer domain registration as a service. Some of those companies offer free domain registration with new hosting accounts.

If you’re starting a new website, then it’s a smart idea to take advantage of this offer and get your domain name for free.

Below are the two WordPress hosting companies that are offering our users over 60% off web hosting, free SSL certificate, and a free domain name:

Bluehost is one of the oldest and largest brand name when it comes to web hosting. They’re an official “WordPress” recommended hosting provider.

iPage powers over 1 million websites and is the most budget-friendly web hosting provider on the web. $1.99 / month for web hosting, and you get a free domain name.

It’s important to keep in mind that most hosts offer free domain registrations for 1 year only. After the first year, your domain registration will renew at usually around $14 per year.

A lot of users take advantage of the free domain for the first year because you would have to pay for the domain name regardless, why not get it for free.

Most Popular Domain Registrars

If you just want to register a domain name without purchasing hosting, then you can do that by purchasing it from a domain name registrar.

Domain.com is one of the best domain registrars on the market. They offer all top-level domain names, with a smart search feature, premium domains, and all the necessary tools to manage your domain names.

Search for domain name on Domain.com

Domain.com is offering WPBeginner readers a 25% discount, and our domain.com coupon should be automatically applied on your purchase.

GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world. They manage over 63 million domain names for over 14 million customers.

They also offer web hosting plans as well. If you use our GoDaddy coupon code, then you can get a free domain name.

Final Thoughts

If you are starting a blog for the first time, then you may find our ultimate guide on how to start a WordPress blog helpful because it walks you through everything step by step.

You may also want to check out our WordPress and Blogging Coupons page to find the best deal on other web tools and services.

For more domain name ideas, you can see our post on the 14 best free domain name generators.

That’s all. We hope this article helped you understand how to choose a perfect domain name for your blog or business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Easily Move WordPress to a New Domain (without Losing SEO)


Do you want to move your WordPress site to a new domain? Changing your website’s domain name can significantly impact your SEO rankings, and it’s a process that needs to be done very carefully.

While you cannot avoid temporary SEO fluctuations when moving your website to a new domain, you can definitely minimize the impact and quickly regain your search traffic and rankings.

In this guide, we will show you the proper way to move WordPress to a new domain without losing SEO.

Properly moving WordPress to another domain name

Here’s the 5 step process that we will cover to help you migrate your WordPress site to a new domain name:

  1. Create a Duplicator package of your WordPress site
  2. Create a database for new domain name
  3. Unpack WordPress on new domain
  4. Setup Permanent 301 redirects
  5. Notify Google about the change

Before You Start

Before you start, we want to emphasize a few things.

The process of switching to a new domain will temporarily affect your search engine rankings as Google and other search engines adjust to the changes.

Yes, this will also temporarily affect your search traffic as well. Please keep in mind that this is normal, and it happens to all websites that switch to a new domain.

However, you can dramatically decrease the SEO impact by following this guide. We will show you the right way of moving your WordPress site to a new domain name, setting up proper 301 redirects, and notifying search engines.

Please note that this guide is not for moving WordPress site to a new web host. This is for switching a domain name. Yes, while the process is similar, there are extra things involved in this process.

Pre-Steps

In this guide, we are assuming that you have your WordPress site setup on oldsite.com, and you are trying to migrate it to newsite.com.

We are also assuming that you already have a web hosting account, and you are familiar with your web hosting control panel.

You will also need to know how to use FTP.

In case you don’t have a web hosting account, we recommend using Bluehost (great for small sites + comes with a free domain) or WP Engine (great for large sites).

Once you have your new web hosting account and domain name, you’re ready to start the process.

Step 1: Create a Duplicator package of Your WordPress Site

The first thing you need to do is create a full backup of your WordPress site. While there are many WordPress backup plugins available, the one we’re going to show in this step does both backups and migrations.

It’s Duplicator and it’s a completely free plugin.

Let’s start by installing and activating the Duplicator plugin on your old domain name. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once activated, the plugin will add a Duplicator menu item in your WordPress admin. You need to click on the Duplicator menu, and then click on the create button to create a new package.

Create a new Duplicator package

After that, you will be asked to click on the Next button to continue.

Duplicator will now run the website duplicator wizard. First, it will run some tests to see if everything is in order. If all items are marked ‘Good’, then click on the ‘Build’ button.

Build Duplicator package for switching to new domain name

The plugin will now start creating a duplicator package of your WordPress site. This process may take a few minutes depending on the size of your website.

Once finished, you’ll see download options for Installer and the Archive package. You need to click on the ‘One click download’ link to download both files to your computer.

Download Duplicator package

The archive file is a complete copy of your website, and this will allow you to move WordPress to another domain name. The installer script will automate and run the migration by unpacking the archive file.

Step 2. Create a Database for New Domain Name

Before you can move, you’ll need a database to unpack WordPress on your new domain name.

If you have already created a database, then you can skip this step.

To create a database, you need to visit your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard, scroll down to the ‘Databases’ section, and then click on the ‘MySQL Databases’ icon.

Database icon in CPanel

On the next screen, you’ll see a field to create a new database. Simply provide a name for your database and click on the ‘Create Database’ button.

Create database for switching to another domain name

cPanel will now create a new database for you. After that, you need to scroll down to the MySQL Users section.

Next, provide a username and password for your new user and click on the ‘Create a user’ button.

Adding a new MySQL user

The new user you just created, still does not have permission to work on the database. Let’s change that.

Scroll down to the ‘Add User to Database’ section. Simply select the database user you created from the dropdown menu next to the ‘User’ field, then select the database, and click on the add button.

Add user to database

Your database is now ready to be used on for moving WordPress to the new domain name. Make sure to note down the database name, username, and password. You’ll need this information in the next step.

Step 3. Unpacking WordPress on New Domain Name

Now you need to upload the Duplicator files you downloaded earlier to your new domain name.

First, connect to your domain name using an FTP client. Once connected, make sure that the root directory of your website is completely empty.

After that, you can upload the archive and installer files to the root directory.

Upload Duplicator files to new domain name

Once both files have finished uploading, you are now ready to unpack WordPress.

Open a new browser tab and go to the following URL:

http://example.com/installer.php

Don’t forget to replace example.com with your new domain name. This will launch the Duplicator migration wizard.

Duplicator wizard

The installer will look for the archive file. You need to check the terms and conditions checkbox and click on the next button to continue.

Now, the installer will ask you to enter your WordPress database information.

Your host will likely be localhost. After that, you will enter the details of the database you created for your new domain name in the earlier step.

Connect to the database for your new domain name

Once done, click on the next button to continue.

Duplicator will now unpack your WordPress database backup from the archive into your new database.

Next, it will ask you to update site URL or Path. You shouldn’t have to change anything since it automatically detects the URL of your new domain name and its path.

If it doesn’t, then you can change the URL to your new domain name. After that, click on the next button to continue.

Update URL to your new domian name

Duplicator will now finish the migration.

You can click on the ‘Admin Login’ button to enter the WordPress admin area of your website on the new domain name.

Finishing WordPress migration to new domain name

Step 4. Setting up Permanent 301 Redirects

Setting up a permanent 301 redirect is very important for both SEO and user experience.

This step will allow you to automatically redirect users and search engines to your new domain name.

In other words, whenever someone lands on one of your old posts or pages, they will be automatically redirected to your site on the new domain.

To setup a permanent 301 redirect, you need to connect to your old site using FTP and edit the .htaccess file.

This will be located in the same directory as your wp-includes or wp-admin folder. Open the .htaccess file and paste the following code at the very top:

#Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Note: Replace newsite.com with your new domain in the above code.

Once you have applied these changes, then visit your old domain name. It should automatically redirect you to the new domain.

If it doesn’t, then it means the redirection is not setup properly, and your server likely doesn’t support redirect rules. You need to reach your web hosting’s support to get RewriteEngine turned on.

Step 5. Notifying Google About the Change

Now that you have moved WordPress to a new domain name and setup redirects, it is time to notify Google about the change of address. This will help Google find your new domain name quickly and start showing it in search results.

First, you need to add your new domain name to the Google Search Console. See step 1 in our Google Search Console guide for instructions.

After you have added your new site, you need to switch to the old version of Google Search Console.

Go to old version of Google Search Console

Next, you need to switch to your old domain name and then click on the gear icon at the top to launch change of address tool.

Change of address tool

On the next screen, Google Search Console will show you a step by step wizard to submit your change of address request.

First it will ask you to select your new site from the drop down menu. After that, click on the check button to test 301 redirects and then confirm verification.

Change of address for your old domain name

Finally, click on the submit button to send your address change request.

Notify Users About the Move to New Domain Name

While the 301 redirects do their job, it is always good to make a public announcement about the migration.

You can do this by simply writing a blog post on your new site and sharing it on your social media accounts.

If you have an email marketing list, then you should send a newsletter to let all your subscribers know.

This can be helpful in a lot of ways.

First and foremost, your users are more likely to remember the new domain once they read about it.

Second, you can ask your users to let you know if they see any bugs. You alone cannot test your site in all different type of browsers and system environments. It’s always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at it.

We hope that this tutorial helped you move your WordPress site to a new domain name. You may also want to see our guide on how to track your search keyword rankings after moving to a new domain name.

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The post How to Easily Move WordPress to a New Domain (without Losing SEO) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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