You just bought a domain name. But what are you going to do with it?
If it’s your first time owning a domain name, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little lost.
We’re here to help you kick your creativity into gear, and help you understand everything from the registration process of a web hosting plan to establishing your presence with a stellar website for your business.
For many domain newbies, knowing what to do once you’ve bought a domain name can be a bit of a mystery.
Your shiny new domain name is the first step to many great things. It’s the starting point for building your online presence and brand, setting up a professional email address, and dominating Google search results and social media.
If you’ve just bought a domain name, your next steps to get started building your website include:
- Getting web hosting
- Creating a website, blog, or an online store
- Getting a custom email address
- Developing your business branding
- Grabbing the right social media accounts
- Monitoring your website’s growth
- Selling your domain (way down the line)
1. Connect your domain name to web hosting
Now that you’re the proud owner of your very first domain, you’re most likely thinking about creating a website with your new domain name.
If that’s the goal, then one of the first steps is to connect your domain name to a web host.
A web host is effectively the server space that will become home to any site you create at your domain name. As a small business, you’re unlikely to host your own site, and will need a reliable third-party host to keep your website up and running (preferably with a solid support team).
The very first step is to find a hosting service that offers a reasonably priced hosting plan. Remember, if you want your website and business to grow, you’ll need a hosting plan that can accommodate your expanding domain and site requirements.
Most quality web hosting providers and website builders have a simple and straightforward domain connection process. This is the process of connecting your new domain name to the hosting server:
- All you need to do is navigate to the control panel
- Look for a domain transfer or domain connection section
- Once you’re in the right place, you’ll be prompted to enter your new domain and the related information
- If you’re working with top-quality players like Zyro, the moment you submit your new domain name you’re finished and can continue with more important things
It may take a little time for whichever hosting service you’re using to fully register your domain on their servers, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing work on your website in the meantime.
You should make sure that your hosting provider also offers you SSL protection.
Easy peasy, right?
2. Create a website, blog, or an online store
Having a website allows people to discover you and your business online. You don’t have to have a website to own a domain name, but you do need to have a domain name if you want to share your site with the world.
Your site might just be a landing page to share information about your business to attract new customers and spread your company name, a blog to keep customers and competitors updated with goings-on, or a full online store to sell your products and services directly.
If you pick a catchy domain name, you can improve the chances of people remembering your site address, and your professional email address will be easier to share. This increases the chance of getting more organic traffic and improves brand awareness.
If you’re planning to connect your site to your business, it’s best that your domain name is similar or the same as your business name. Take a website address like Zyro.com, it’s clear which company owns that domain name.
You have a few options when it comes to setting up your website, blog, or online store. You could:
- Code it from scratch. This takes time and you should be fluent in programming languages.
- Pay someone else to do it. Opting for a third party to help you out is both time-consuming and expensive.
- Use a website builder. Perfect for those with no prior web development or coding experience. Plus, it’s much faster and cheaper too, just pick a theme and add your content.
We recommend opting for a website builder if it’s your first time creating a website.
Because a good website builder:
- Has professionally-designed web templates to accommodate all types of websites — from online storefronts to blogs, portfolios, landing page sites, and everything else in between.
- Has everything under one roof. You won’t have to worry about web hosting, storage, or SSL certificates.
- Is mobile-optimized. Cater to internet users everywhere, and on any device.
With website builders, you commonly just pick the template or theme you like and customize it to look and feel like your own. It’s a fast, simple, and most importantly easy way to launch your site.
3. Get a custom email address
One of the most exciting things about owning a domain name is the level of professionalism it can convey to your company. A big part of this comes from the transformation of your contact information.
Once you’re done getting hosting and setting up your website, the next step is to create a custom email address.
Linking an email service to your domain name gives you the option to have a custom email address. For example, you could end up with an email address in the format:
This is particularly important if you run an eCommerce store and often interact with your customers regarding your products. A custom email is also useful if you’re setting up an email marketing strategy to promote your online store or business.
Tip 💡 – Making a customer-facing email address? It doesn’t have to be formal. Opt for something like ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Clear, easy, and memorable.
Besides giving you a faster communication channel, having a custom email address is great for building trust with your customers in the long run.
Additionally, it also boosts your brand’s credibility, email open rate, and consequently your conversion rates. Years ago, you might get by with a regular email, but modern email providers have got more sophisticated
While a free Gmail or Hotmail email account works to get you on your feet, if you’re serious about running email marketing campaigns, for example, you can quickly run into problems with spam filters, shortening your effective email list.
And considering that 14.5 billion spam emails are sent globally every day, having a unique address based around your domain name can improve your overall email deliverability.
If you have a Zyro-powered online store, for example, you can easily set up a professional business email with the platform at no extra charge. In just a few steps, you can give everyone in your business professional email addresses, and connect them to any social media platform.
Not only can you put your domain next to the email address, but we also let you migrate content from your old mailbox to the new one. This way, you’ll never lose track of previous conversations.
4. Develop your presence
A brand is what separates you from competitors in the same niche. It is a must in the modern marketplace.
As it’s what people recognize you by, establishing a brand is one of the most critical steps to build your online presence.
It’s the kind of thing that takes your company from being found randomly in search results to being the name people type into search engines.
Since a domain name generally represents a business, owning one helps you get one step ahead in the process.
If you’re serious about branding, you need to put the work in to get your name out there and associate your business inextricably with the products or services you offer.
This means it’s time to focus on:
- Producing high-quality content. Never underestimate the value of associating your domain name with great quality content. By giving new visitors a reason to return, you can drive even more traffic to the site. This isn’t just about your blog, but video and other kinds of content.
- Developing your branding assets. You need to make sure your domain and its appearance fit the theme and aesthetic of your branding. Having a distinctive logo, a tagline, and a brand story make your company stand out from the competition.
- Prioritizing SEO optimization. Years ago, branding was far more one dimensional. These days, optimizing your website for SEO is one of the best ways to attract organic traffic and increase your chance of climbing the SERP ranking.
- Building a following. The more eyeballs make it to your domain, the better your company will perform. Having a following can help your site and company grow faster. For that, you need to engage with your audience regularly.
- Maintaining a good reputation. You might not think that PR is an integral part of brand-building, but maintaining a good reputation is a vital step to build a branding strategy and develop trust with your audience.
5. Grab the right social media handles
Now that you have your domain, a solid hosting provider, an attractive website, effective landing pages, and a branding strategy, it’s time to grab the social media handles while they’re still free.
Your brand will look trustworthy and it’ll be more memorable to the consumers if you’re sporting a unified look across the internet.
Whichever social media platforms end up hosting your company’s accounts, you need to have a uniform look and message that links all your various locations on the internet together.
You want your social media handles to be as similar as possible to your domain and brand name. They don’t need to be exact copies of your domain, though: sometimes you might need to include letters, symbols, or numbers in the usernames.
Having social media account names that match your domain and company names is key. Not only will it make it possible for users on the platforms themselves to find you easily in a menu search, but it will also provide you with links that make sense to include on your website, emails, or even business cards.
Get started by setting up new accounts on the platforms that you’re planning on using. If you’re short on time, just sign up with your custom email, grab your desired username, and finish up later.
The social media platforms you choose will depend on the kind of business you run, and what kind of people you’re trying to reach with your message. Keep in mind that you may get more traction on one platform than on another.
Recommended reading: How to Choose a Domain Name
6. Monitor your website’s growth
To have a successful website that’s designed for growth, you need to keep track of the popularity of your site. This includes monitoring your site’s performance and traffic growth rate.
You can do so easily using a web analytics tool like Google Analytics or Google Search Console. These free Google services generate valuable data and metrics about your website to inform your decision-making process.
Because this kind of data is so important for making decisions about the direction of your business, your branding focus, and the hosting providers you use, it’s worth taking time to really understand how to use tools like Google Analytics, and other insight metrics.
The types of data it produces include, but not limited to, individual web page performance, visitors’ browsing behavior, and visitor segmentation.
To boost your web traffic and your site’s overall growth, you should pay attention to:
- Regularly auditing the technical SEO sections on your site (this will help your content to rank on search engines)
- Increasing your site speed (you’ll lose visitors if your site takes too long to load)
- Improving the user experience and user flow (keep an eye out for any page errors and faulty links)
- Providing new content that is relevant to the kind of people you’re trying to attract to your website, including blogs, videos, podcasts, or other updates
- Ensuring that your website is totally secure, including using the most up to date SSL encryption
- Updating existing content or deleting content that is no longer relevant, accurate or useful for your visitors
- Check how your hosting is working with your needs and don’t be scared to move to another hosting provider if you find that your hosting requirements aren’t being met
7. Sell your domain
We get it, you put time and effort into acquiring your domain, sorting out hosting, and creating a beautiful website to advertise your company to the world, but realistically, you may at some point want to sell your domain to someone else.
Keep in mind the fact that some domain names are worth millions of dollars. We’re not kidding.
For some people, buying a domain name or two and selling them for profit in a few years is a real hobby or even a whole, legitimate business. Some people fund their entire lives by buying and flipping domains.
So don’t feel guilty if your moment of inspiration (and a good deal on .awesome domains) at 2am feels like a mistake the following day.
Chances are that there is someone out there who is willing to pay some money for it. Especially if you’ve picked a one-word or popular phrase as your domain, you should have no problem selling it to the right bidder.
Use domain auctioning platforms to sell your domain. Usually, it only takes a couple of moments to register with your email.
There’s so much you can do with a domain, and even if it turns out it’s useless to you, it can still prove to be a money spinner.