Your second task on Day 1 is to choose and buy your domain name for your new website.
Before we Get Started…
Let’s talk a little about online stores.
Building an online store is actually really easy, and yes, you can have it up in 5 days (or less)! We use Shopify and recommend it for the following reasons:
It’s super user friendly, easy to set up, and does most of the things you need it to do. For the things it doesn’t do, there are a lot of Shopify apps that allow customization for pretty much anything.
The other nice thing is that Shopify is widely used. This means high security and strong software (Shopify supports over a million stores and can’t afford a hack, so it has the security to prevent one). Additionally, if you have a problem or something not working, odds are someone else has googled that exact same question and it’s easy to find threads or articles for troubleshooting.
Shopify is a one-stop-shop solution for: seamless credit card processing, seamless DISCOUNTED shipping (no need to set up an account with UPS), and easy integration with email marketing and other marketing tools.
Shopify’s rates are better than most online payment gateways and storefronts.
For those reasons, Shopify is what we’ll be teaching you to use in this course. But we won’t be working on Shopify just yet. First, you need a domain name.
Shopify does allow you to purchase a domain with them. But do NOT do this. Your domain is basically your “address” on the internet, while the store platform is the house that holds all your information and content. If you set up your domain under the store platform, then both your “address” and “house” are held by the same company. If you ever decide to move to a different platform, it can be a little hard to take your “address” with you because your platform wants to make it hard for you to leave them. It’s best, then, to just purchase your own domain separately and have it as yours free and clear.
If all this sounds confusing, don’t worry! You don’t have to understand this perfectly. Just know that you want to buy domain name separately. Also be aware you’ll have to pay an annual fee to hold this domain as yours (usually about $13.00), but you would have to do this no matter where you “set up shop” in a sense.
so with all that said, let’s get started!
The first step here is to decide what your web address is going to be.
We’re guessing here that you already have a farm name. If not, you’re going to have to head to the drawing board on that, but this course isn’t really about coming up with a good brand name. So we’re proceeding as if you have a name.
From there, it’s not hard to pick your web address. Your address will be the url that shows up in the top of your browser. Be aware that this is something that’s hard to change later, so you want to pick something you’re happy with permanently. You want it to be:
A Good Domain Name Is…
Easy for someone to remember
Your brand name, or something that contains your brand name
Easy to type in! Lots of vowels are hard, as are words nobody knows. If your farm name is sort of hard to spell but your customers know your name, then it’s probably ok to have this as your URL. But otherwise try and think of something that’s easy to type in.
Relatively short. No more than a couple words.
Free of numbers, special characters, or hyphens. These cause confusion.
So with these guidelines in mind, here are a couple things to get your wheels turning:
Our store name is shopalderspring.com. This is because we already have a separate main website that is alderspring.com. You may want to name your store a “shop” name like this as well even if you don’t already have another website, just in case you ever want to create one.
Words you could use include “shop,” “store,” “provisions,” “farmstore” and “market.” Look up a thesaurus for other ideas.
You may simply want to combine your farm name and one of those words, as we did. So for example, if your farm is Clearwater Farm, then you might pick “shopclearwaterfarm.com” or “clearwaterfarmshop.com.”
Keep in mind that you might want to expand your niche in the future. So, for example, you’re a farm now. Maybe in the future you’re also going to sell handmade sweaters (just making this up here). So think about areas you might want to expand into, and pick a name that will work in these markets as well as your current market.
So once you’ve come up with a name you like, go to godaddy.com.
Type the domain you’ve selected into godaddy’s search bar.
Sometimes that domain might not be available. (see picture).
In this case, unless you want to pay an arm and a leg, you’ll just have to pick something else!
Note: you definitely want a “.com” address. So even though another ending might available (like .org or .net), it’s best to just find a domain with .com address available.
Once you’ve found a domain that works, click “add to cart.”
You will be hounded all the way to checkout to buy extra stuff. Don’t. It should say about $29.00 for the domain and 2 years of holding it and that is it. If you end up paying more, you probably accidentally added something else to your cart. Also, you may want to select only 1 year (you can always renew later)!
Here at Alderspring our Dutch genes have never permitted us to pay a penny more than we have to for anything, so if you’d like to do the same go to retailmenot.com and see if you can find some coupons for godaddy.
It may be worth adding “domain privacy” (see screenshot below). Otherwise people can see your phone number and contact info, and you’ll never stop hearing from the telemarketers.
Once you’re ready to check out, create an account and go through the checkout. Don’t forget to write your username and password down, as you’ll have to come back here to renew your domain every now and then, and later today you’ll also need these to connect your shopify store.
so that’s all you’ve got to do for a domain!
That’s it! You should now have a domain that’s ready to go and ready to point to your online store. And speaking of your online store, that’s what we’ll set up next. Just 1 more thing to do today!