I will cover things to consider when selecting a Domain registrar, and then I will go through what you might need to consider when you are selecting your domain name through my experience.
Selecting and purchasing URL
Choice of registrar
Starting as a “clean slate” I knew only of the big advertised names such as GoDaddy and Google Domains. The benefit with them is that you can combine URL with Hosting service if you are a person that wants to keep it all in one.
However, their prices were not ideal for me and I would not recommend them.
After doing a bit of research I found out that there are much more options in the cheaper range that suited my budget as a student such as Namecheap and Hostgator.
The service I went with was the one I have seen recommended by the YouTube channels I follow theFutur and DesignCourse – Porkbun as it included all that and at a great price.
Things that you need to consider from my research:
- SSL certificates included (“s” in the https)
- Protection/ confidentiality of most of the personal details you give to your registrar
- Email included in the offer
- Price (of renewal without the initial discount)
Choice of domain name
Selecting a domain name can be a long process because there are things to consider, especially if you are a small business.
There are countless pieces of advice to choose from online so you can google them or use AI tools to advise and recommend how to go about it.
Here I will outline my thought process for picking my domain name.
You might have a problem with the name because it has been already taken or like in my case my family name can be a challenge to be remembered even by the people from my country. However, as a freelancer/ individual, I decided to stick with it as this would be my business card to the world.
.design (profession) vs .portfolio (an element that relates to the profession) vs .com (where you are from/ coverage) vs .xyz (funky one)
Basically, for me, it was a question of whether should I make my profession explicit.
However, I am not bound to my title and at that moment I was transitioning from Graphic Designer to UX Designer, even now interested in the Transition Designer title. Technically designer still would do the job but I wanted to have my options in the future. The funky one was not at all option for me because I find it not professional.
.com vs .co.uk vs .bg
If you are like me, being in a foreign country as an international you have the option to blend in better with the local market of the country by picking its domain. You might also want to show that you are proud of where you are coming from and make it obvious.
My reason for choosing .com option was the fact that I want to have my options for the international market as I can have clients from either the United Kingdom, my home country, Bulgaria, and potential clients from the rest of the world. On top of that it is a fairly straightforward convention that everyone is used to.
Actually for me dropping the subdomain part happened in the process. I just linked it to slavikaloferov.com on the first website I had with Webflow. On one hand, it is shorter and most people today do not type www. as it is given but on the other when they add www. piece they will not be able to land on your website.
This might be a thing that can be fixed later but might break links on the Google search page and can cause a loss in traffic.
Availability of your selected domain name
The crucial factor is if the name would be available, as with English names the likelihood is less so and changing/ tweaking and repeating the process would be needed until you find a free name.
Then again the combination of name.com might not be ideal because it can cost a lot so you might need to spend a bit more money if you do not want to change it. In my case it was a good price, fitting well in my criteria as well so I had less of an issue on this side.
In conclusion, I would recommend creating your set of criteria and trying to find that most of the technical points from your registrar are met. Doing your research is needed on available options to you and how they perform. The second part is more of an art and personal preference depending on your situation.