After outlining your restaurant’s brand strategy on the previous step, it is now important to choose a domain name that matches with your brand strategy. In general, the domain name should be the same as your restaurant’s name but it could be different depending on your brand strategy.
What is a Domain Name for a restaurant website?
A domain name is simply your restaurant name or what people type in the browser URL bar when they want to find your restaurant on the internet.
Examples of that would be Google.com, Hotmail.com, or Facebook.com.
You can’t set up a restaurant website without obtaining a domain name first.
But if you’re wondering how exactly you do that, it’s simple – you purchase one from a domain registrar.
Once you’ve purchased a particular domain, it becomes your property and no one else on the internet will have the same domain as yours.
This unique string of characters will provide your website with a distinctive identity.
Having a restaurant domain name early is essential to prevent someone from taking the domain ownership from you.
How Important is the Domain Name for your restaurant?
- It’s your “first impression”. Your URL is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name can make a positive and lasting impression while a bad domain name can send visitors running.
- It affects SEO. While exact match domains (EMDs) are no longer a necessity, keywords in your domain name can still help your SEO ranking.
- It defines your brand. Your domain name is a branding opportunity. The right domain name can increase brand recognition.
Hopefully, you’ve already taken the first step in choosing your domain name.
Do you have a domain name in mind? Great!
Follow the rest of this post and you’ll have everything you need to register that domain name and build your online presence successfully.
Purchase a Domain Name
In this tutorial, we will be using NameCheap as our domain registrar.
We found out that NameCheap offers the best in terms of usability and speed of domain purchase.
However, if you want to use your preferred domain registrar, the steps below are more or less the same.
Please take note that NameCheap does not offer .com.my and .my domain. If you are thinking of getting those domains, please search for domain registrars which are Malaysian based such as Exabytes, Yeahhost, Shinjiru, DomainPlus or other related companies.
Now, let’s get started.
Step 1: Go to NameCheap.com and insert your chosen domain name.
Step 2: If your domain name is available, click the add to cart button and then “View Cart” button to proceed.
Step 3 WhoIs privacy protection is included for free, and the best news is that it’s free forever.
Step 4: Select the length of the term that best suits your needs and click “Confirm Order”
After you’re signed up and entered your payment details your domain name will be officially registered to you.
NameCheap Features and Prices Rundown (in USD) – General Rate at 1 USD = RM4
- .com extension –88/year (renews at $10.88/year)
- .org extension – $12.98/year
- .net extension – $11.98/year
- WHOIS Privacy – FREE
- Google G Suite – $6.00/mo
- Email – Free for 2-months (renews at $3.88/year)
- Web Hosting – $1.28/mo (renews at $2.88/mo)
- SSL Certificate – $3.88/year
Common Questions About Domain Name Registration
1. What are Domain Name Extensions?
Domain name extensions are categories of internet domain names. When choosing your domain name, there are several extensions you can choose from:
But you can be sure of one thing: “.com” is still by far the best domain name extension.
According to research from Domain State, 73% of domains have the “.com” extension, second is “.net” and third is “.org”.
“.com” is the most familiar and easiest to remember. Our advice is to go with “.com” – it’s the safest bet. If your chosen domain name is already taken by a “.com”, you’d be better off choosing a new domain name instead of a new domain name extension.
2. How to Connect Domain and Hosting?
If both of your domain and hosting providers are the same company, the process is straightforward. Usually you could just click Get Domain and it will automatically connect with your hosting. However, It gets trickier if you buy domain from a different company to your hosting account. In this case, a change of domain name server is required.
The process is as follows:
- Connect your domain to Domain Name Servers (DNS) management platform.
- From the DNS management platform, connect the domain to your Hosting account.
We will discuss further below.
3. How to Change Domain Name Servers?
Domain name servers (DNS) are the internet’s equivalent of a phonebook. There are two ways to change domain name servers for your domain.
Via Domain Registrar (If You’re not using Shared Hosting, skip this step)
To change your nameserver, you must log in to the domain name registrar with whom you registered your domain.
From there, the process will vary based on your registrar. But here are the basic steps:
- Find the DNS manager within your registrar.
- Locate the DNS that you’d like to change.
- There will typically be some sort of option like, “Use custom nameservers”. Click that option.
- Enter your desired new nameserver.
Use Cloudflare as a DNS management service to change your domain name servers.
- Register/Login to your Cloudflare account.
- Click on Add site from the top navigation bar.
- Enter your website’s domain that you have bought on the step previously and then click Add Site.
- Cloudflare attempts to automatically identify your DNS records. This process takes approximately 60 seconds to complete.
- Click Next.
- Select Free plan.
- Click Confirm in the Confirm Plan window that appears.
- Review whether all DNS records were identified in the DNS query results window.
- Manually add missing DNS records
- Decide which subdomains enable Cloudflare security and performance features or bypass Cloudflare.security and performance features or bypass Cloudflare.
- Click Continue and the screen as below should pop out.
- Copy the 2 Cloudflare nameservers and follow the steps below to configure the DNS on your domain name registrar.
Connecting Domain to DNS.
- Sign in to your Namecheap account.
- Select Domain List from the left sidebar and click the Manage button next to your domain:
- Find the Nameservers section and select your preferred option from the drop-down menu. Click on the green checkmark to save the changes:
You can choose from four possible options, unless your hosting account is at NameCheap, please use the option below:
- CustomDNS – this is the option for you to change the domain to custom nameservers (for example, your Personal DNS servers or third-party hosting nameservers if your domain is hosted with another DNS provider). You will need to fill in your hosting nameservers to the empty lines and click on the green checkmark to save the changes:
*ns1-2.nameserver.com are used as an example. Please use the nameservers provided by Cloudflare from the previous step.
Nameservers’ changes do not propagate instantly. Once your nameservers are changed, it may take up to 24 hours (more, in rare cases) for local ISPs to update their DNS caches so that everyone can see your website.
You can always check your domain name using any Proxy server as Proxy servers do not store cache, thus you can see the non-cached information.
Nameserver method only works with Shared Hosting service, for other hosting methods (with dedicated IP address), please use the DNS pointing method via Cloudflare. We will discuss further at the Hosting section below.
Lastly: Don’t Forget Renewing!
Depending on the length of your domain name term, you’ll have to renew your domain name in a year, two years, or longer.
It’s crucial that you remember to do so – otherwise, your domain name will go offline. And if you won’t catch on within a few weeks, your domain name will go back up for sale and somebody else can buy it – not good for you.
Make a note to renew your domain before it ends. Perhaps a Google calendar reminder or a reminder from your smartphone. Whatever the case, make sure you don’t forget.
For some domain name registrars (like the ones we mentioned above), you can set it to renew your domain at the end of its term automatically. This is the safest option – just make sure that you keep your payment information up to date (this can be easy to forget).
You have now completed the course on how to configure a domain name correctly.