The Domain Game

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Whether you’re a web guru or not, it may be time to brand yourself online— and outside the realm of social media. Scooping up a domain name and creating a portfolio Website is highly encouraged for students like ourselves, so what does it take to get started?

  1. Brainstorm a website name, and keep it short, sweet and memorable. A good domain name will let people know what to expect from the site. More often than not, it’s best to use your own name or your brand name for a portfolio site. However, if you have a popular name or a really complicated name spelling, you might want to think twice about using it.
  2. Don’t fear the “com”; in fact, you should befriend it. A .com website will be more successful because most people think in .com terms. A .net or .me domain can also be used, but avoid .org unless it’s actually an organizational site.
  3. The more, the merrier. Take advantage of an opportunity to buy multiple domain names. This will help with traffic stealing if another person has a domain name similar to yours, and can account for misspellings on the user’s part.
  4. Scope out what’s available. GoDaddy’s bulk upload feature allows you to see what domain names are up for grabs. It’s quick and easy. The nameboy search is also a good time saver.
  5. Decide where you want to purchase your domain name. There are tons of registrars online, and prices vary.
  6. Choose a host. The Site Wizard has a good list of what to look for while selecting one.

Purchasing a domain name doesn’t mean you have to launch a website overnight, but it lets you have some control over what comes up when you Google yourself. It’s a way of self-branding, displaying best works and putting your information out there for potential employers.

Have you purchased a domain name? Which registrar did you go through? Do you have an online portfolio?

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4 responses to “The Domain Game

  1. I got my domain name through justhost.com. It was really cheap — only $2.95 per month! As I was about to pay for the $4.95/month price, my friend told me to exit out. As I hit the X in the corner my screen, a popup from JustHost said they’d give me a last-minute deal and cut the price in half. Apparently they do that every time to try and get buyers, and it worked for me! My portfolio is online at http://www.katefoleymedia.com

  2. Thanks for sharing, Kate – I just checked out your portfolio! Here is a neat article about 101 awesome portfolio sites for inspiration if anyone else is looking to start an online portfolio:

    http://designm.ag/inspiration/101-awesome-portfolio-sites/

  3. Yay! I love domain names. I thought this was a good blog, had lots of good info–much of which I’ve already taken to heart. The key is creativity. And congrats, Kate, on finally getting a Web site online! I’m so proud of you!! 🙂

  4. This post was really helpful. I am building a Website for a class right now, so I really appreciated all of the tips. I decided to go through iWeb. It’s a program that’s installed on my computer, and I love it. iWeb makes the process of building a Website super easy. Really, all you have to do is plug in the content and the program does the rest for you. The thing I don’t like though is my domain name. I don’t know how well people are going to remember it, or if Google will find it. My name is really common though, so I had a tough time coming up with something close. This is the closest I could get.

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