Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Buying a Name

I have a friend who has been doing photography for years and years.  This year, she finally got herself a website, at a neat service called zenfolio.  I really like it.  But still, her website name was too long: erinbrownphotography/zenfolio.com.  I have this all the time with sites that I make with Google Sites or Weebly.  You know what I mean about uselessly long URLs, right?

So tonight we bought her a domain.  I want to outline the steps, and encourage you that it's worth learning (and doing) if you have content online that you want people to see.
1) We went to godaddy.com and created a profile.
2) We asked for erinbrownphotography.com but had to settle for erinbrownphotography.net.
3) We agreed to pay $25 for two years' ownership of the domain, and diligently said "no thank you" to all the side-selling and upselling that happens when you have a domain in your cart.
4) Not knowing what to do with all the DNS controls and whatnot, we just Googled "zenfolio godaddy domain address" or something like that, and landed on a page of pretty good instructions.
5) In Domain Manager we followed those directions.
6) We ate dessert.
7) We checked http://erinbrownphotography.net/ and found that it was already live.  We also typed in www.erinbrownphotography.net and saw that it did the right thing, too (because we'd set it up following instructions).  Very successful.
8) Now the next step is to make Google aware of erinbrownphotography so that when you type that into a Google search, the .net version is right up there with the .com version.

Easy.  All between dinner and dessert.  Try it!