In this free guide, we’ll walk through the process of finding, buying and setting up a domain name for your fitness business’ website.
Setting up a domain name should be a fairly straightforward process, but that’s not always the case if you haven’t done it before.
Let’s flatten the learning curve, shall we?
Step 1: Finding your Domain Name
Domain names are like car registration plates; only one person can own a domain name at a time.
This means that your first step should always be to check the availability of your chosen name(s), if you haven’t already.
Note: You can do this via any domain name registry website, but our favourites are Google Domains, GoDaddy and Namecheap.
If your business name will be “Joe Bloggs Fitness”, you may search for “joebloggsfitness.com”. If it’s available, fantastic! You can skip ahead to Step 2.
However, if it’s not available (because someone else owns it), you’ve still got a couple of options:
First, you can search for variations of that domain name, including other TLD’s.
TLD stands for “top-level domain”, and it refers to the “.com”, “.net” or any other ending of a domain name. The great news here is that there are many more TLDs than you may be aware of, and, although .com will typically be the most sought after, you can use TLDs to be a little more creative in your hunt for a domain name.
For example, if joebloggsfitness.com is unavailable, you could look at joebloggs.fitness instead! There is absolutely no functional difference between these domain names at all. They’ll both work exactly the same way. You’re just using the .fitness TLD instead of .com!
TLDs will typically suggest something about the business or website you’re running, but none of them will make any functional difference to how your website works.
>>> Here’s a list of all the current TLDs (https://www.namecheap.com/domains/full-tld-list/) you could use.
Aside from experimenting with different TLDs, you can experiment with different versions of the name itself. This only becomes challenging if you’re already decided on a very specific name.
Step 2: Purchasing your Domain Name
Once you’ve found your domain name, you’ll want to purchase it. Domain names usually don’t cost much, but there are some exceptions.
Again, much like car registration plates, anything that’s highly sought after will inevitably cost a lot more money.
Here are a few of the factors that may increase the price of a domain name:
- It’s very short (or just one word)
- It includes a prominent name or very common words
- It’s been owned previously and is being sold for whatever price the owner has chosen
Does it matter where you buy your domain from?
Short answer: no.
However, you will find that there are variations in price between registrars, so it’s always worth checking the same domain from multiple providers if you want to be sure that you’ve got the best deal.
Note: don’t get caught out with a cheap registration fee and a less obvious but more expensive renewal fee. It can be tempting to register your domain for £/$0.99, but if the annual renewal is much higher, you may want to reconsider.
When purchasing a domain name, you will likely be offered numerous ‘add-ons’, which will likely cost a little extra money. So, what else should you include, if given the choice?
The most common add-ons for your domain name are:
- Website Builder
- Your chosen name with different TLDs
Let’s run through each of these to understand if we should fall for the upsell.
This will typically refer to a service where you can setup your own professional business email address, using your new domain name. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will always trump a email@example.com, of course, but do you need to add this to your purchase right now? What other options are there?
The short answer is no, you don’t need to include this right now, even if you would like a custom email address.
Most domain registrars will offer this service, and they’re all often very cheap to sign up to at any point. However, you may find that you can get both your custom email address AND a whole suite of other tools through something like Google Workspace (formerly GSuite for Business).
This is what we use at FitMedia, and it’s what we recommend to many of our clients as well.
You don’t need to setup your email with the same provider as your domain name. You can either shop for cheaper deals or better services (such as Google Workspace). This can be done at any point.
In most instances, no, you won’t need this add-on.
If you’re building your website yourself then you will likely find that web hosting is included with your website builder.
Or, if you’re having your website built for you, then you’ll likely find that your web developer already has their own hosting provider in place.
Again, you don’t need to get your hosting from the same place as your domain name.
If you haven’t started building your website (whether you’re doing it yourself or are having it done for you), this can be a tempting option. However, the website builders offered by domain name registrars are usually inferior to more mainstream and purpose built platforms.
>>> You can check this article for our recommendations on choosing a website builder here.
If you are choosing to build your website yourself, this decision is entirely up to you, but it is worth checking your options before you get too far down the rabbit hole.
You don’t need to make this decision at the time of purchasing your domain name.
Adding privacy to your domain name can be a very good idea… especially if you care about privacy! (Well, duh!)
By default, anyone who registers a domain name will find that their details are publicly available via a simply ‘whois’ search. This information would include your name, organisation, address, phone number and email address.
If you add privacy to your domain name, all of this information will be kept private. Again, it’s purely personal preference, but we would recommend including it when possible.
Note: privacy isn’t an option for all TLDs.
Versions of your name with other TLDs
Often, when purchasing a domain name, you will be offered extra domain names with alternative TLDs. For example, this may be joebloggsfitness.com, joebloggsfitness.co.uk and joebloggsfitness.net. You may even get a discount for registering them all at the same time.
But do you need multiple domain names? What would you do with them all anyway?
Whilst it’s not necessary, you may like the idea of having a certain monopoly over your business name.
If you happen to own all the variations of Joe Bloggs Fitness then it makes it a lot harder for anyone to get lost or confused if they stumble across someone else’s website with a similar name or different TLD.
You can very easily set up any secondary domains to forward all traffic to your primary domain.
It’s totally up to you. It’ll just cost a bit more to renew all your domains each year.
Step 3: Connecting your Domain Name to your Website
Now you own your domain name, it’s time to connect it to your website.
To do this, we’ll be venturing into the “DNS settings”. DNS simply stands for “Domain Name System”, and this is where we ‘point’ your domain name to the server that your website lives on.
>>> If you want, you can read this article for a non-technical explanation of how websites, web hosting and domain names link together (and why you’ll need all three in setting up your website)
If you’re working with a web developer, then this won’t be relevant to you as your web developer will be able to set this up very easily.
However, if you’re doing it yourself you will want to simply follow the instructions provided by your chosen website builder.
In most instances, you will be asked to add a combination of “CNAME” records and “A Name” records.
It’s difficult for us to provide specific instructions in this article as the exact records you add will be very much dependant on the platform you’re using, however, don’t feel like you can’t reach out to a support team for help, if needed.
Use their live chat, phone or email support, if available.
Once you have added the required DNS records, you will then need to wait for a process called ‘propagation’ to take place. This is where the changes you’ve made to your domain name will take a short while to fully update across the internet.
Sometimes this can happen very quickly (within 5-10 minutes), and other times it can take a number of hours or even up to a full day.
In our experience, if it’s taking more than a few hours, it’s possible something has gone wrong and you’ll want to just double check that the records have been added correctly. This could also be a good time to reach out to the appropriate support team, if you haven’t already.
That concludes this free guide on finding, purchasing and setting up the domain name for your fitness business website.
I really hope that you’ve found this to be a useful resource in setting up your website.
Feel free to save it and refer back to it later, or reach out to me directly if you feel any part of this isn’t clear.
Also, finally, if you’re interested in having a professional website or landing page built for your fitness business, you can organise a chat with our team via fitmedia.net/apply.
To your success,