What should I pick for my domain name?
Back in the day people would just make their domain name the same as the most searched phrase in their niche (Exact Match Domains). That used to be enough to start getting search engine traffic. Now regardless of your domain name make sure it’s brandable and customers can remember it.
Most common mistakes in domain choice
- Relying only on a keywordy domain
- Using or buying up different domain extensions (.net, .biz, .guru, etc…)
- Having to long of domain name
But have no fear I’ve been down this road a time or 2 or 100+. You may be thinking you already have a domain. Well unless you’ve damaged that domain with bad marketing practices keep to the adage if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.
If you are in the market for a domain name I’ll let my friend Matt Cutts head of Google’s web spam help you decide.
- 1st choice businessname.com Ex: JoesPlumbing.com
- 2nd choice is productcity.com Ex: PlumbingPortland.com
Check availability of your domain using my favorite domain finding tool InstantDomainSearch.com. But don’t go crazy just yet, next up is actually buying the domain.
Side note: Here is a great write up on exact match domains
What do I do it my old website is not WordPress & I still want a site redesign & optimization?
It’s very very common to leave your existing old website up until you have your new site ready. Then you switch over to the new site without any service interruptions. If you are a little tech savvy then perhaps you can do this yourself. If not this does get technical so seek outside help.
- So the technical terms for all this is creating a staging website
- Then when ready redirecting the old site domain (name servers & C class) over to the new site
- If you have a host like Go daddy or Blue Host or any with good customer service then you can have them walk you through each step
So on Blue Host for instance the general process goes like this:
- Install a fresh WordPress to a sub folder of your site (www.domain.com/subfolder)
- Then you do all your work at that url
- When ready you change your domain to point to that sub folder inside your domain host
- Then from within WordPress under general settings you change WordPress url & site url to your real domain not the sub folder
- Then you can use a WordPress plugin like blue velvet to fix any images that no longer show up
- Then using any 301 redirect WordPress plugin you 301 redirect all old urls to all new ones
- Then within the domain host recreate any emails is applicable
What do I do if my old website is on WordPress & I still want a redesign & optimization?
You have options when working with an old WordPress site. You can change things on your site or you can do it all new an fresh like the not on WordPress steps above explain.
I most often just backup the WordPress site and then update all the plugins and the WordPress install. Then I change the theme. Then I fix everything that breaks like menu, page design and widgets. If I can’t get it right I revert to the backup and seek professional WordPress coding help.
What if I choose to use something other then WordPress for my site?
You can still improve your none WordPress website using this course but I do not recommend it. If you aren’t on WordPress you’ll get so much less out of this course. It makes everything easier from finding the easiest way to execute on your idea to making the site look professional.
The is the possible option to leave your old site while staging your new site. It’s not as easy as I would like and I’m no domain and hosting expert by any means. See above for old not WordPress site redesign advice.
What if my current website host is different than yours?
if you are on a different website host you will have to decide if you will switch. I would say if your website usually loads faster then 5 seconds you can probably say with your current host.
There are DIY ways of doing this but if you’ve never done this before it might be best just to pay someone like DreamHost the $100 to migrate your website.