Why should I use a custom domain?
A custom domain is the first step to online marketing success. Without one, all of your efforts to make an online impression are wasted. Search engines will not be able to find and index your content, meaning that you will not show up in search results and new clients are unlikely to find you. You should not consider your website setup complete until you have a custom domain.
My site was activated already, and I can see it up online – do I still need a custom domain?
When your WordPress site setup is complete, you may find that you’ve been activated on a temporary URL. A temporary URL will look something like this:
Your website is going to look fully functional on this temporary URL – and it is. You can make changes and updates to the site while it’s on this URL. You can even add new content. But search engines will not see any of that work – and neither will any potential new clients – until you get your site on a custom domain. This temporary URL is meant to give you a preview of your site before you make it visible to the public.
How do I get a custom domain?
If you do not already have a custom domain name, we recommend that you register one as soon as possible. Based on our experience, we recommend GoDaddy.com, the largest provider of domain name registrations. We have found GoDaddy to be easy to work with and reliable, and they charge less than $15/year for domains. Once you have registered your new domain (or identified one you already have in your account), submit this form and we will take care of getting your new domain working on your WordPress website.
How do I choose a good domain?
It is important to select a domain name that is short, relevant, memorable, and easy to spell. You might consider including a location or keyword relevant to your market. Let’s say that you work primarily in Pebble Beach. You might choose a domain name like www.buysellpebblebeach.com. Maybe your market is more specific, and you specialize in buying and selling golf course homes. In that case, you could choose something like www.pebblebeachgolfhomes.com.
Some agents brand themselves by name, and so decided to choose a domain includes their name. Unless you have already focused serious marketing efforts on marketing yourself by your name, consider a domain that instead uses a combination of your location and relevant keywords. New clients looking to buy or sell are more likely to search for real estate agents by area than by name. If they don’t know you, they can’t search for you.
More things to consider when registering your domain name:
- You should register yourself as the owner of the domain name with administrative rights
- All things being equal, you should try to select a domain name with a .com extension
- Use the word “RE/MAX” without first reviewing the RE/MAX Trademark and Graphic Standards guidelines (download the RE/MAX Brand Identity Manual and start on p. 52)*, or the word "realtor" without reviewing the National Association of REALTORS® Membership Marks Manual. If you purchase a domain that uses either of these terms in a manner not compliant with these guidelines, we will not be able to assist you.
- Use dashes, abbreviations, or numbers unless necessary
- Choose a domain name that is difficult to spell out
- Use a made up or purposely misspelled word
*If you are an agent or team, you likely cannot use "remax" in your domain. Offices are permitted to do so if they follow strict guidelines.