When you set up a website for your sports organization, one of the first things to consider is the domain name of your website. A domain name is simply the address that a visitor will type into their browser to visit your site (like example.com). It's also the address people will see when they search for your team or league on Google, and the link you'll post on Facebook and other outside sources to direct traffic to your website.
It's a simple process to get a new or existing domain name up and running. But, there are a few major Dos and Don'ts to consider before purchasing a new domain, and when you're renewing your domain in the future
Continue using an existing domain if you already have one.
A common mistake is think that a domain name can't be transferred from an existing site to a new one. Good news - it's typically very easy to use an existing domain on a new website. Just a few settings need to be updated on the domain and your existing domain will direct to your new website. You may have to track down the coach or board member that originally purchased the domain. If you don't know who purchased it, you can typically look it up online.
Keep it simple
If the name of your team or league is long, you might want to use an acronym or some shorter abbreviation to make the domain easy to type and remember. Consider that a lot of people will visit your website from their phone, so you'll want to make the address easy to type on a touchscreen. For example, if the name of your organizatoin is Mount Byron Youth Sports Association, going with mbysa.net or mountbyronsports.org instead of mountbyronyouthsportsassociation.org might be a good idea.
What you'll feel like when you find the perfect domain.
Lock it in for several years
You can purchase your domain on an annual basis, or pay in advance for as many years as you'd like. It's a good idea to go ahead and purchase the domain for several years, as opposed to just one. We always recommend purchasing your domain name for five years because you can lock in the price, and the board doesn't have to worry about remembering to renew the domain each year. Your domain provider (like GoDaddy) will remind you well in advance when the time comes around to renew the domain.
Purchase the domain with an organization email address
You should purchase your domain with a shared email address that is used by your organization (like email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org). This will make sure your organization still has access to update the domain in the future in case someone on the board moves on. If you or someone else on the board purchases the domain with a personal email, you'll be the only person with access to update or renew the domain when the time comes.
Don't purchase your domain through your website provider
You'll want to make sure you purchase your domain name directly through a domain name registrar so that you and your board owns it. If you purchase your domain as part of a fee to a person setting up a website for you, you won't have direct access to update the domain if you want to change websites in the future. The most common domain name registrar is GoDaddy, but there are many others to choose from.
Don't purchase extra unnecessary add-ons
If you're using a service like Jersey Watch, the only item you need to purchase from the domain name registrar is the domain. Typically there are other add-ons that the registrar will offer (like hosting, domain privacy, and email). Make sure you need those items before making a purchase. When you check out and pay, your total should come out to around $10/year if you're just purchasing a domain.
Don't fret too much about .com, or .org, or .net, etc.
There are many domain name extensions that are available to purchase. While .com is certainly the most common and .org is often used by non-profits, you don't need to have .com or .org as your extension if it is already taken. If available, get the .com or .org, but don't jump through hoops or pay an outrageous amount when .net or .co will work fine.
Other questoins or feedback about purchasing and maintaining your domain? Send me a message at email@example.com and I'd be happy to see if I can help.