If you’re in the first steps of creating a new dental website or blog, you’ll need to purchase a domain name. In short, a domain name is the address people will type into their browser to find your website or blog.
The first thing to do is select a domain name. It’s wise to include your city and service in the domain, if possible, because your domain can tell search engines about your dental office. A cosmetic dentist in Denver might choose denvercosmeticdentist.com, cosmeticdentistdenver.com, denvercosmeticdentistry, denversmilemakeover, denverdentalmakeover, or something along these lines.
You can also use your practice name as your domain, or your own name, for that matter. You won’t have the search engine advantage described above, though.
You can have multiple domains. Your site should reside on your main domain. I recommend that you purchase your practice name and professional name (ex: johndoedds.com), then redirect these to your main domain. The people at GoDaddy can help.
To find out if the domains you like are available, simply type them into your browser. If the domain is available for purchase, it will say so. You can also login to www.godaddy.com and use the domain search feature. I like this method because you’ll learn which variations of the name are for sale, and you can purchase your favorites then and there.
Purchasing a domain name costs about $12 a year through GoDaddy, but you can purchase your domain through many different companies. I prefer GoDaddy because they have excellent customer service and a dynamic product line that’s perfect for the small business owner.
Here’s a tip: It’ll cost more up front to purchase your domain for 10 years, but it’s worth it. Search engines give more credit to domains reserved for a longer period of time. You’ll actually get a discounted rate overall, so you’ll come out ahead.
Need to know: Hosting is different than purchasing a domain! Your domain is like the signage for your online shop. Hosting is like paying the landlord for your space. In fact, hosting fees cover the space you take up on a server. Your site can be hosted at GoDaddy or any number of other companies. Before selecting a hosting plan, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for. Again, the folks at GoDaddy can help. Just call them.
For dentists who want an affordable website or blog, but they don’t want to hassle with learning about domains, hosting, code, email, and graphic design, companies like iDENTIwrite offer a great deal. Owned by a veteran dental copywriter and a seasoned marketing expert, iDENTiwrite caters to dentists and has excellent customer service.