Are you building your online store in Shopify? Buying a domain name for your store is one of the first things you need to do to give it a professional presence and build trust with your customers.
To make setting up your online store simple, you might be wondering if you can buy the domain directly from Shopify (instead of having to go to a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap).
The simple answer is, “Yes, you can.”
Before we get to the meat of it, let’s talk briefly about domain names to make sure we’re talking about one and the same thing.
What Is A Domain Name?
Your website’s domain name is the unique address that anyone with an Internet connection can type into their web browser (or add to their browser’s bookmarks) and visit.
Domain names have a name, like “mysite,” and an extension, like “.com.” Together, the name and the extension make up “mysite.com.”
Some extensions, such as .com, .net, and .org, are registrable by anyone. Others, like .gov and .edu, are reserved for government and educational institutions only.
Of course, you need a domain name that clearly reflects the identity of your online store.
Can You Register A Domain Name With Shopify?
Yes, you can!
Not only that, but we’re about to run you through how to do it in four easy steps.
Step 1: Choose a Domain Name
Ideally, you want a domain name that resembles your brand name as closely as possible, so that it can be easily found by potential customers and so that people can remember it easily.
The ideal choice, then, is probably something like Yourbrand.com.
However, there is always the possibility that your preferred domain name is already taken—there are a lot of websites out there! (And just as many domain name traders who buy domains just to sell them to you at an inflated price).
Luckily, you do have a few options to help you to get around this, whilst still making sure that your domain name resembles your brand name as closely as possible.
Add a prefix or suffix to make your domain name unique:
The first option is to use a suffix to help to differentiate your domain name.
For example, you include the location of your business, or primary product, in your domain name.
So if I had a brand, for example, let’s say selling bicycles and based in Toronto, I might opt for MyBrandCanada.com or MyBrandBicycles.com.
The alternative to using a suffix is to use a prefix instead. A great way to do this is to put an exciting verb at the start of your domain name.
As we’re selling bicycles, I might go for something like RideMyBrand.com. You can even combine a suffix and a prefix if needed.
For example, my domain name could be RideMyBrandCanada.com
Try a different domain name extension than the staple .com:
Another way to differentiate your domain name is to use a different domain name extension.
In other words, instead of using .com, you’re going to use something else.
There are a growing number of specialty domain extensions like .co or .store, or you could use a regional extension like .us, .ca, .eu.
Of course, if you haven’t actually created your brand yet, that’s good news when it comes to creating a domain name.
You can combine the processes of creating a brand name and creating a domain name, and only name your brand something that has a compatible, easy-to-remember domain name.
Step 2: Check the Domain Name’s Availability
Browsers use DNS, or the domain name system, to locate your website on a global network of servers.
There can be only one entry with the exact same domain name on the system, so you’ll need to check if your preferred domain name is available.
This is actually super quick and easy, as there are a number of tools that can let you quickly check the availability of a domain.
You can go and find them for yourself with a quick google search, or you can just use Shopify, which can do it for you!
Many tools will suggest similar domain names if your choice isn’t available.
You could choose to broker for ownership with the current domain owner if you’re absolutely set on a certain domain name that’s already been taken, but it can be a costly and time-consuming process.
Often, a simple variation will be a lot cheaper and easier but work just as well.
Step 3: Registering A Domain Name
Once you’ve settled on a domain name, you’ll need a registrar to reserve and register the name on your behalf.
There are literally hundreds of accredited registrars, but you don’t have to worry about that. Website-building platforms like Shopify are registrars and can do that part of the process for you.
You don’t need to host your domain in the same place you bought it, but it can certainly help to keep things organized if they are!
Buying and Registering Your Domain Name With Shopify
When you’re happy with your domain name and have picked a registrar, you can go ahead and buy it. Shopify will reserve it for you and register it on your behalf.
If you’re doing both buying and registering your domain name with Shopify, the process couldn’t be any easier.
Shopify will set everything up automatically for you, and having a Shopify domain will allow you to keep everything—as we said earlier—in one place.
It’s just easier if you can manage your business and your domain in the same place, isn’t it?
Once you’ve created a Shopify account, you just need to find the “Domains” tab under the settings.
From there, click “Buy new domain” and enter the domain name you’d like to buy.
You’ll see an automatically-generated list of extensions, and within a click of a button, you can buy your domain!
Simply provide a payment method, review the information, and click buy domain. You’ll get email verification and hey presto!
Your domain name will be registered and it should be up and running within 48 hours.
Yes, Shopify does register domain names, and it’s a pretty seamless process, too.
They’ll take care of most of the work! All you need to do is come up with a domain name that works well for your brand and is unique.
Maybe that’s the tricky part… Either way, hopefully, this guide helped answer some of your questions.