Welcome to my 6 part series on websites for real estate investors. In this series I will break down the common perceptions that creating your own website is expensive, time consuming, and difficult. The truth is, you can create a professional online presence for less than $50 per year and it doesn’t have to be much more difficult than logging into your email. If you can use Gmail or Facebook, you can create your own website – even on a shoestring budget.
In this series I will cover:
- Intro & Choosing Your Domain
- Setting Up Your Web Host
- Content Management
- Styling & Customizing Your Site
- SEO & Time Saving Tips
- Outsourcing & Conclusion
If any of this sounds complicated, don’t worry, it’s not. By the end of this series you’ll be able to do it all on your own.
What is a Domain?
The first thing you’ll need to setup your own website is a domain name. Your domain name is your address on the web – for example the domain or URL for my website is www.andrewcmacdonald.com.
Which Domain Should I Get?
When you set out to register a domain name you may be overwhelmed by the number of extensions out there. Should you get the .com? The .net? The .org? What about .info, .biz, .me, .cc, etc.?
My simple answer is just get the .com. This is the most popular extension and the first thing that comes to mind when people type in a web address. If you are operating in Canada, you may also want to register the .ca domain.
In my opinion, it is best to avoid long URLs or hyphens because you will be using your address in your other marketing materials and want something which is both compact and easy to remember.
How Do I Find a Domain?
In order to register a domain, you’ll need to find one that is available. If your company is called Google Investments, you might have a hard time getting the domain of your choice.
A great tool to check for available domain names is PsychicWhois. This site allows you to start typing in a domain and will instantly tell you if that domain and its primary extensions are available or already taken. The tool isn’t always perfect, but if you see green beside your URL of choice then you can move on to registering that domain.
Where Should I Buy a Domain?
There are tons of “registrars” out there who you can purchase domains from. One of the biggest, and my personal favourite is GoDaddy. You can usually get a .com domain for less than $10 per year. By running a quick Google search for “GoDaddy coupon” or using the banner below, you can save a couple bucks with the current offer of $7.49 per year for a .com address.
I have found that GoDaddy has a good interface, works quickly, and is very easy to use, especially if you have more than one domain registered on your account.
What About All of the Extras?
Most registrars (including GoDaddy) will try to up-sell you on a number of extra features during the checkout process of your domain. Generally you do not need any of these to setup your real estate website, but if you are concerned with privacy and do not want your physical address associated with your domain for prying eyes to see, then a private registration may be your best option and only adds about $10 per year to the cost of your domain.
Websites Are Easier and Cheaper Than You Think
Some of the future topics might scare you if you are new to this, but most are as simple as this process of registering a domain or signing up for an email account. Setting up your own website is easier and cheaper than you think. The first place people go to find information on a product, service, or person is the web. Why not make sure you have a professional presence that represents your company or brand well?
Stay tuned for more articles in this series as I guide you through the process of setting up your own real estate website. If you decide the process is still too complicated or not the best use of your time, I’ll even provide a few options for having someone else take care of everything for you.
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to GoDaddy and if you purchase anything through that link I will earn a small commission. I have personally used their services for most of my domains and recommend them as a domain registrar. While you will save money by using the link I’ve provided, if you find a better deal or coupon elsewhere you can use that instead.
photo credit: Bull3t
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