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Do you own you name domain? (and how to get it)

Do you own your name? 

We’re talking about owning a domain the same as your name! 
We share names in real life, but each domain is unique to the person that owns it. 

Ask your self:

Why share your name any longer, when it could be yours forever?
Or
What if you brand yourself, but your name is no longer available as a domain?
Or
What if someone with the same name now needs to buy the domain off of you?

Let’s talk about it.

First things first…

What's a domain?

Before we get into the details about what domains are, let’s clarify: a domain is not a website.

You can own your domain, without having to build, buy, or manage a website to be hosted along with it.
So, do not feel obligated to get a website because you want to lock your name down. It’s all good.

Simply put, a domain is a web addressIt’s what internet users use to access a website. 
In order to get your house, visitors plug in  your home address to Maps.
A domain is what visitors search for to get to any (available) website.

As mentioned, you don’t need a website to own a domain. In this case, your domain is considered “parked” or not linked to a website or email hosting service. You can still own it! It’ll just direct to a generic web page.

Domains in detail

Domains consist of two components: a top level domain(TLD) and a second level domain(SLD)…

Top Level Domain (TLD)

Top level domains comes after the final dot(.) in a web address. 

Examples: com, org, net, io 

 .com may be one of the most popular but the list of top level domains is seemingly limitless. 

There are hundreds of TLDs.
You can find TLDs specific to various industries, interests or regions.

whats a top level domain TLD

Second Level Domain (SLD)

whats a second level domain SLD

Second level domains: comes before the final dot(.) in a web address

Examples: google, apple, travisredwood

This is where your name comes into play! 

 [your name] + . + TLD  = a domain !!!

How to get your domain.

Getting a domain can be fairly simple if the domain you want is available. However,  if the domain is not available, you will need to contact the owner.

Either way, the process starts in the same way.. Visiting a registrar.  

What's a registrar?

A registrar is a service that registers your domain to be solely and uniquely yours. Once registered, your domain is yours for as long as you pay for it (typically annually). No one else will have claim to that exact second level and top level domain combination! 

There are a number of registrars to choose from, GoDaddy is likely the most popular. However, I do recommend purchasing a domain from Google Domains, which offers a free SSL certificate and data privacy, and the renewal price is stable.

Purchasing the domain

When you visit the registrar, you will be able to simply search for the domain you want. The registrar will tell you if the domain is available or not.

If the domain is available: you will have the option to buy.
Depending on the registrar you may be offered to purchase additional services regarding security and privacy. 

If the domain is not available: The registrar will recommend different versions of the domain you provided.
Possibly with a completely different TLD, a variation of the second level domain, or a combination of both.

How much does a domain cost?

The cost of your domain may vary from a little to a lot. The availability of the domain will be the main factor. The TLD will also impact the price.

Generally, the registrar will display the cost of your potential domain with different TLDs. You will be able to make whichever decision is best for you.

If the domain you want is not available, and you’re not willing to settle…

Take a breath..

Now we need to contact the owner..

How to find the owner of a domain

Visit the domain! 
If there is a website hosted to that domain, there may be a means of contacting the owner of the website and domain.
From there, you can ask for the availability of the domain. Then negotiate the price.

If there is no website hosted 
You can visit who.is
There you can search any domain for detail and information. 
You want to find the “Registrant Contact Information” section from the search results. 
There, you will find information about the person that purchased the domain.

Be prepared: the registrant may have registered privately. In which case the provided information will not be their actual name, number, or email address. It will also be quite obvious if the registrant is private.

But still attempt to contact the provided details. 

Contacting a domain owner

Regardless, if the details are private or not, it’s up the Registrant themselves to reply to you. 
Also, there is no regulation about what to charge for a domain. So, the registrant can ask for whatever they want, and it’s up to you to accept, deny, or negotiate.

Good Luck!

The Flipside

One day, you may be contacted about purchasing the domain you purchased shortly after reading this post…

...How much is your name worth to you?

I hope you found this information helpful!
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