How can I buy a domain name

Register your first own domain: find the right domain in just 7 steps

What is a domain?

We all know it: the website domain. Because everyone who regularly surfs the Internet enters it every day or at least stumbles across it. To put it simply, a website domain is the Internet address of a company, such as "fuer-gruender.de". The part in front of the point (de) and the part after the point (de) have their own names, whereby the last part is the more important one. Each domain is only assigned once and is therefore unique.

So that you can secure your personal domain, simply follow the following 9 steps:

# 1 What name do you want it to be?

In the best case scenario, your company already has a great name that can be used for your domain. Unless it is too general like "Bäcker Meier", such domains are already occupied in most cases. With a very unusual variant, you will certainly still be able to register a domain, but can everyone remember it? If you are looking for an art term for your company, it can be freely interpreted here - whether it fits your company or not. In addition, keep in mind that searchers rarely enter any artificial terms, but rather generic or existing words in connection with the desired search query.

Our tip: research other domain names as well. By researching existing company or brand names as well as existing domains, you can avoid legal disputes about a domain. You can use the following databases for research when looking for a domain:

  • Business register
  • The database for trademarks of the DPMA
  • Endings in .de
  • You can also use the portals where you can register websites to check which pages are still free. Examples are www.1und1.de or
  • www.alfahosting.de

Attention: think about copyright infringement! Foreign brands, book titles, city names and the like may not be used. You risk high claims for damages or injunctive relief from those affected.

# 2 period, period, comma, line?

A domain that is easy to remember should be as short as possible and without frills. Unfortunately, however, many of the short domain names are already taken. For this reason, many companies use so-called multi-word domains, e.g. slogans. An important rule here is: a maximum of three words and two hyphens, otherwise it will be difficult to remember again. Better to spend a little more money on a shorter and easy-to-remember domain unless otherwise possible. Because remember: a good website also determines your business success or failure.

But which variant should you choose as the main domain? With without a hyphen? It all depends on whether the words are written together or apart. At “Staubsauger-kaufen.de” we recommend the variant with a hyphen, at “Friseurbedarf.de” the variant without a hyphen. If you are looking for a domain for the international market, then leave out the hyphens. These are mostly not common in countries such as America.

Since a domain name is and should be very individual, there are some online tools that can help you find a name.

# 3 In the brevity lies the spice

Can you remember the domain llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk -? No? We neither. Domain names do not have a character limit, but should therefore not extend to infinite, as nobody can remember that anyway. However, that is exactly what your goal should be when choosing your future domain: the domain must be memorable. Concise domain names are easy to remember and do not cause your fingers to cramp if the website is also accessed via mobile devices.

# 4 Words say more than a thousand numbers

Domain names with special characters and / or umlauts have also been able to be registered for a number of years. Here, however, the question arises whether this is really effective. On the one hand, many Internet users are already used to spelling out umlauts when entering a domain name - e.g. a ue instead of ü - and on the other hand, domain names with ä, ü or ö on a foreign-language keyboard, for example in France, are usually rather difficult to enter. Such domains are therefore difficult to access from abroad. If you still decide on a domain with special characters, then you must also register the written variant with ae, ue or oe.

# 5 .de, .com, .net, .info: which top-level domain is the right one?

The term top-level domain refers to the ending of the domain name such as .de, .com, .org or .info. When it comes to finding your website in a search engine, choosing the top-level domain makes little difference. Rather, the choice of the ending for the domain depends on the type of website and the national or international orientation.

For example, if the website offers information or products for the international market, the extensions .com, .net, .org or .eu can be a good choice for your domain. If, on the other hand, your offer is limited to a national audience, the country code .de is recommended for Germany, because it makes the website look serious and reliable.

There are open registries where you can register your domain. The well-known, official registries for some top level domains include:

  • www.denic.de - registry for a .de domain
  • www.nic.de - registry for a .at domain
  • www.eurid.eu - responsible for a .eu domain
  • www.afilias.info - registration organization for an .info domain

Depending on where you are registering your domain, you must observe certain rules for formulating the name, such as which letters, umlauts and special characters may be used.

Use a practical approach to name brainstorming: think of names, ask your friends, family members, partners for ideas or even afford a copywriting agency.

# 6 Domain check: find out whether your desired domain is still available

First of all: first check the domain name, then think about the domain registration of your new website. However, as there are more and more websites now, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to get the domain you want. With a domain check, you can usually find out within seconds whether a desired web address can still be acquired or whether someone before you had the idea of ​​securing the URL with the desired domain name.

If you find that the web address you want has already been taken, you don't have to bury your head in the sand. During the domain check, it is often possible to check with which endings the domain name has already been assigned. So if you don't necessarily want to use a German .de domain, you can, for example, purchase the desired domain with .net or .info as an alternative and thus also establish a memorable website.

If you find out during the domain check that your desired domain is still available, you can usually secure it directly from the respective provider.

# 7 buy and register a domain

When you register a domain, you only rent it for a limited time. If you do not renew the contract at the end of the contract period, your domain name will be released again and can be rented by other interested parties. Even when domain names are sold, only the registrant changes.

First come, first served. This also applies to the registration of a domain. So if you decide to buy a domain, check in advance with a domain check whether your desired domain is still available. Everyone knows the endings .com and .de, but now there are many more alternatives such as .info, .hamburg or .online - take a close look around and choose the ending that suits you.

The next step in buying your website domain: secure your new address online. Domains that have already been registered can be bought from the current owner, which is usually associated with additional costs.

Register a domain

Registering a domain with official registration organizations can be comparatively expensive. That is why it makes sense, especially for start-ups, to register a single domain via a web host.

In general, web hosting is understood as the accommodation of a website on a web server. Web hosting is used to publish a website. Providers take on the task of web hosting. Among other things, they offer web storage, databases, email addresses and other products for exchanging data on the Internet. You can also register your domain with some providers. The choice of the provider with whom you register the domain should be carefully considered.

If you want to register a domain, there are annual fees that vary depending on the domain ending. For the registration of a .de domain, for example, you pay € 0.29 a month with the provider 1 & 1 for 12 months, then € 1.29 a month. For the endings .at, .ch, .com, .net or .org, roughly double to triple this can be expected. Some providers charge a setup fee for domain registration. It usually takes 24 to 48 hours at most until the domain registration is available everywhere on the Internet, then the domain can be used in full.

The well-known, official registries for some top level domains include:

  • www.denic.de - registry for a .de domain
  • www.nic.de - registry for a .at domain
  • www.eurid.eu - responsible for a .eu domain
  • www.afilias.info - registration organization for an .info domain

Depending on where you are registering your domain, you have to observe certain rules for formulating the name: Which letters, umlauts and special characters can you use when registering a domain?

Please note: registering a domain also always means observing legal requirements. For more information, read point # 9.

The new domain also has its own website. Use a web designer from our network or simply create your own website.

Create website

Conclusion: register your own domain

In conclusion, it can be said that when choosing your website domain you should always think long-term and timeless. Take a look at the domain of larger companies and ask yourself why Daimler has not registered the domain www.schönes-auto.com. Register unique domains that are easy to remember. Here is a summary of how you have to proceed if you want to register your own domain:

  • Use a domain check to check whether your desired name is still available.
  • Choose from a wide range of national, international and new domain extensions.
  • Special characters and umlauts are possible depending on the domain, but not recommended.
  • You can redirect or forward your domain and email addresses.

If possible, a website domain should reflect what is on the associated website. If your domain name is "Gelbklamotten.de", but the website is about television, the website visitor will feel confused. Apart from the fact that Google does not recognize the connection between domain and content and thus a lot of potential is wasted.

Always remember: the following always applies to visitors - “what doesn't look professional can't be professional”. This applies not only to the web design of your website, but also to the domain name.

Author: Für-Gründer.de editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.