Thursday, May 01, 2008

Domains Under $2? Simple! $1.99 Through Yahoo

Some people have heard of this deal, but don't know how to get it to come up. Other people think the deal has ended. Not if you go through the steps properly! Here's how:

How to get the offer to come up

Yahoo keeps threatening to make this go away, and sometimes it's inaccessible for periods. If you have a Yahoo! account, sign out first, then search Yahoo! for "1.99 domains yahoo" and click the relevant ad links. (Don't do this from anywhere but Yahoo!, so Yahoo! doesn't have to pay anyone for the ad!) It will step you through buying a domain. Confirm that the 1.99 price is showing on each screen.

Watch out for the tricks

To get to the domain search screen, look carefully at your choices. You don't want to click a link for hosting, for example, just for domains. And once you have entered your choice of domain, and Yahoo! comes back and tells you your domain is available to buy (see below for how to find a good name) if you look carefully at the screen, you'll see there are two buttons you can click to continue. Last I checked, they both said "Sign up." However, one will take you to a screen with an inflated domain price. If that happens, go back one screen and click the other button.

I suggest buying with Paypal to prevent the domain auto-renewing at a much higher price once the first year has ended. Or, if you are POSITIVE you will to keep the domain for more than one year, transfer it to GoDaddy right away for about $7.95. That way it will be yours for two years, and GoDaddy is unlikely to start auto-renewing at exorbitant prices (due to their business model).

Create a new account

Man examining internet URLYou'll need to create a new Yahoo! account. Look for the confirmation email in the new account and click the relevant link and the account will go through faster (so you can set your DNS, etc.) Takes some minutes before the account is approved.

I switch from Yahoo! for later years sometimes. 1 & 1 hosting had a good deal for renewals recently.

How to find a good domain

Bust a name is really the best, IMHO. Builds domain names for you, finds synonyms, lots of tools for extending the name or creating special combinations, saving your searches, instant search, etc. MakeWords is good for a quick check with some common prefixes/suffixes. And Nameboy and Dot-o-mator have some nice options as well. (Sometimes it's easiest to start with or Wordsmyth though.)

Oh, and the Web 2.0 name generator is always good for a laugh -- or for ideas. (But it's results ARE real, available domains.)

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