What to do after buying a domain name: 6 key actions
Moving is so relaxing — said no one ever. On top of having to physically move all your stuff, there’s a ton of admin tasks to handle like changing your address, forwarding your mail, setting up your home phone, letting your friends and family know your new address, changing your address on all of your essential documents…the list goes on.
Buying and setting up a domain can feel eerily similar to buying a house and moving all your stuff. Once you’ve finally chosen your domain name and purchased it, it may feel like the hard part is over, but there’s still a lot of setup and admin that needs to be done.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. This post will cover the six key actions you must focus on once you’ve bought your domain. This list will guide you through the most important steps, like figuring out a domain-specific email address and setting up a dedicated business phone system.
Let’s get started!
1. Find your domain name a home, aka find a web host
First things first — you’ve bought a domain, and now you need someplace for it to live. In other words, you need to choose a host and a hosting plan.
You have two options. Look for a stand-alone web hosting service or use a domain registry and web hosting combo service.
Odds are you purchased your domain name from a service that also offers hosting plans. There are a lot of companies that offer combined web hosting and domain name purchase. Buying both from the same service offers a lot of advantages.
First, you won’t have to worry about connecting your domain and hosting service – they’ll sync from the get-go. Second, a business that offers combined domain and hosting services will often include extra package perks that will make your life easier in the long run.
For example, Namecheap (you may be familiar, considering you’re here reading this article) is a popular web hosting and domain registry service.
You can register or transfer a domain name, host your website, and even create business cards, all on a single platform.
2. Create a domain-specific email address
When you move into a new home, you get a new address. Getting a domain-specific email address is a kind of like getting a new postal address. People need to know where you are and where they can reach you now.
Moving analogies aside, creating a custom email address that matches your domain gives you a professional polish that a gmail.com or hotmail.com account can’t muster.
Luckily, most web hosting and domain registry services offer domain-specific email addresses as part of their plans. Most plans will come with one free email and the option to add more as needed, though some higher-tier plans may include multiple emails.
With your new domain-specific email address, you can go nuts — get business cards, make company coffee mugs, anything you can think of to market your new email, and get your business name out there.
3. Match social media to everything else
Domain name and web host — check. Domain-specific email address — check.
The next step: make sure your social media presence syncs up with your new website and email address. Check all your existing accounts, create new ones, and see if your exact business name, or something close to it, is available. You’ll want to ensure that your business brand’s identity and tone on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms sync up with your website.
It may be beneficial to check what social media names are available before you purchase your domain name, as it’s such an essential part of branding these days.
If you can’t get an exact match, try adding a unique label, like an abbreviation for the country you operate in, such as CoolStoreUS or CoolStoreUK. It’ll work for your social media if it’s close to your business name.
Try your best to use the same name across your social media profiles so people don’t confuse your business with another account. This rule also applies to subdomains connected to Linktree, digital business cards, or any other URL that connects to your business.
Try your best to use the same name across your social media profiles so people don’t confuse your business with another account.
4. Register and trademark your business
Let’s say you just started a new customer engagement software company. You have a great company name, a website in the works, a domain-specific email address, and matching social media.
Before you pat yourself on the back, one of the most important things you still have to do to set up your business is to register and trademark your business name.
More than one million people filed trademark applications in 2019. As you can see in the chart below, that figure has been rising steadily since 2003.
You have several options when it comes to registering your name.
To register your business, you must decide if you want to operate as an LLC (limited liability company) or a corporation. Choosing between the two will depend on the nature of your business, how many people are in charge, and your tax circumstances.
Either way, you will have to file registration documents with your state’s agencies, but once the paperwork is approved, you’ll have a registered business.
Trademarking your business offers additional legal protection for your business. While some states allow for trademark registration, the most comprehensive choice is to trademark your business through federal trademark registration.
Federal trademark registration is more complicated and expensive, but it means your business name will be protected nationally. It gives you more legal protection and operational range.
5. Get dedicated phone and fax numbers
You’ve set your business up with a dedicated website, email address, and social media, now don’t make the mistake of using your personal cell phone number for business calls. Not only is this unprofessional, but do you want to send out your personal number to anyone?
Invest in a dedicated small business phone system and fax line (which remains very useful for companies in the healthcare sector) to streamline your operations and cement your brand across communications.
Choosing a cloud based system is your best bet, as they often include additional features that can be a game-changer.
Take, for instance, Dialpad’s comprehensive cloud-based business phone system. You get HD calls across multiple devices and a variety of plans at different price points. You can also choose a local or toll-free number so customers can call you from anywhere.
Dialpad’s virtual fax system lets you send and receive faxes like emails, so no need for bulky, expensive equipment —– it’s convenient and eco-friendly.
A business phone system like Dialpad lets you bring phone and fax capabilities into the 21st century so you can make the most of your business, saving your personal phone number for friends and family.
6. Design and develop your website
Once you’ve moved into a new home and all the paperwork is signed, you get to paint, buy furniture, and make the home your own.
If the idea of creating a website sounds overwhelming, consider hiring a web developer to do the work for you. If you think you can handle the work, there are plenty of online platforms that make the process easier. WordPress is a popular choice, and it currently powers 39.5% of all websites on the Internet.
Once you settle on the design and content, don’t forget to develop your website as your business grows.
Create engaging content to attract customers and create leads. Develop an SEO strategy to make sure you’re optimizing keywords and links to generate traffic to your site.
So, a quick recap:
- Find a service that will help you register a domain and provide web hosting.
- Create a custom domain-specific email address.
- Match your social media account names to your domain.
- Register and trademark your domain.
- Sign-up for a dedicated phone and fax line.
- Design your website and develop content as your business grows.
Now you have six easy-to-follow steps to get started and make the most of your new domain. Once these key actions are established, you’ll have a solid foundation to build on as your business grows.
In the end, setting up your domain will be a lot easier than moving — a real win for everyone.