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Are you an eCommerce newbie who’s looking forward to leveraging Shopify to create your dream digital storefront but wondering whether Shopify gives you a domain or not? This post is for you and this is what I’m about to answer.
No, Shopify doesn’t give you a domain and this is an additional expense of approximately $15/year that you need to handle. However, Shopify allows you to search and purchase your desired domain name without leaving the platform. Alternatively, you can buy your domain from an external domain registrar like NameCheap.
In this article, we are going to discuss together where you can get your domain from and how to integrate it with your Shopify store to represent your unique brand!
If you find this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and awkward hugs to all my sharers out there!)
6 Why Do You Need A Custom Branded Domain?
When you first sign up to Shopify, your store’s domain name originally will have this format by default: your-store-name.myshopify.com. Adding a custom domain that carries your brand name is beneficial for these reasons:
- Stay top of mind – A brand name will allow your product/service to pop up in your customers’ minds each time your products are needed!
- Rank higher in search – Custom-branded domains rank higher in the search engines and allow you to get truckloads of free targeted traffic.
- Establish your brand – In order to establish a memorable brand, you need to have a custom-branded domain to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd!
- Relevancy – In the era of E.A.T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) having a custom-branded domain name that is relevant to what you offer or sell online plays a huge role in getting your brand noticed by the right target audience.
- A Domain is a digital asset – At the end of the day, your domain is a digital asset that grows in value over time. You can own it, use it on any website, flip it, or even sell it!
- Building a unique selling proposition – USP is the one thing that makes your business better than the competition, and your domain name plays to your strengths and should be based on what makes your brand or product uniquely valuable to your customers.
Does Shopify Provide Free Domain?
No, Shopify doesn’t provide a free domain and this is an additional expense that you need to handle yourself besides the Shopify monthly subscription fees!
Shopify just makes it easy for you to search and register a domain name during your registration, without the need to leave the platform, and the process is really simple with their automated setup and requires no configuration.
However, you are not only limited to Shopify when it comes to registering your domain name. You can purchase your domain from outside the Shopify platform from marketplaces like NameCheap, and then integrate it manually with your online store.
This process requires a bit more technical knowledge, but by reaching out to Shopify or NameCheap customer support, you’ll just be in good hands. Plus, there are already a lot of tutorials on YouTube.
How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Shopify Store?
Choosing a domain name is one of the things that hold people back from starting their online business. In fact, some people overcomplicate it sometimes! Below are the 4 steps to follow when choosing a domain name for your Shopify store:
- Select a niche – A niche is what determines what you’re going to be selling. Therefore, it’s highly advisable to pick a niche, know what you want to sell, and pick a domain accordingly! Your domain name will basically tell what your store is about and represent your valuable brand. So, it should be relevant to your product/services!
- Brainstorm ideas – Just grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing down your thoughts. In this step, there are multiple domain name generators that can help you achieve this faster and on a bigger scale.
- Validate your options – After brainstorming some ideas and having a list of 20 brand names, it’s time for validating your ideas and start asking for some feedback from your friends, family, and beloved ones. See what they’d think about the name and whether it’s easy to remember and catchy or not.
- Check domain registrars for availability – Having a domain idea in mind is not all. You need to see which ones are taken and which are not so you can continue with the available ones. You can check the domain availability by going to websites like NameCheap, GoDaddy, or any other domain registrar.
- Pick the best one on your list – Your final step is to name your sweet new baby-born store and pick the right name the following these criteria: Catchy, relevant to what you sell, easy to spell and remember, short as possible, descriptive and preferably has a .com extension!
How To Buy A Domain Name For Shopify?
To buy a domain name for your Shopify store, first, you would need to check if it’s available, and second, decide whether to purchase it through Shopify or from an external domain registrar. After deciding your name and finding it available, you would need to pay a small fee of ~$15/year to own it and be able to integrate it with your store.
1. How To Buy A Domain Name Through Shopify?
After signing up for an account on Shopify, you will be taken to a page on which you can purchase a custom domain. Through their smart API with multiple domain registrars, you would be able to see whether the domain is available or not without ever leaving the Shopify platform.
After finding the domain you desire, you can pay its fee and just let Shopify do its work! Shopify’s automated setup makes it easy for you to integrate your domain without any configuration, if and only if you purchase the domain from within Shopify.
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Domain On Shopify?
Buying a domain on Shopify costs around $15 a year. It’s a bit higher than what domain registrars like GoDaddy or NameCheap usually charge, but Shopify will just allow you to integrate your domain with your store without a hassle and they will handle the techy configuration on your behalf.
Should I Buy My Domain Through Shopify?
If you want to avoid any headaches integrating your domain name with your store, and are willing to pay a bit more, then it could be a viable option and allows you to focus on other stuff that matters while having them handle this for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re a techy person or don’t mind learning a new skill in business, you can purchase a domain name externally and integrate it manually on your Shopify store. On NameCheap, you can sometimes find domain names for as low as a dollar, and the average price of ordinary domains is $8/year!
- Pros – Buying a domain name through Shopify will make it easier for you to integrate it into your store with literally zero technical knowledge as their automated setup requires no configuration on your end.
- Cons – The fee of purchasing a domain on Shopify is a bit higher than purchasing a domain name from external registrars but it can definitely save you time, and time is money!
2. How To Buy & Integrate A Domain Name From Outside Shopify?
- Search for the availability of your desired domain.
- Pay the fee, register it, and own it.
- Go to Shopify, log in to your backend office, and head to the Online store section.
- Click domains and enter the domain you want to integrate with your store.
Best 11 Domain Name Registrars For Shopify
- Google Domains
- Pros – Purchasing a domain name from outside Shopify will save you a couple of dollars!
- Cons – Purchasing a domain name from outside the Shopify platform would require some technical work to integrate it into your online store, and you won’t take the advantage of the automated setup and the zero domain configuration option!
Shopify Domains Frequently Asked Questions
As a beginner, you might have an endless amount of questions in regard the domain registration and integration. Here are some of them, and always feel free to reach out to me if you have any other unlisted questions.
Can I Move My Shopify Store To Another Domain?
Yes, you can! You have full control over your Shopify store and you can change your store’s domain name by simply going to the Shopify admin, online store – domains. Any email forwarding and DNS records will transfer along with the domain.
Can I Move My Domain From Shopify?
Yes! A domain is a digital asset that you can use on any webpage, but it’s advisable to do so before closing the account so it is moved away fully.
What Happens To My Domain If I Close My Shopify Store?
According to the Shopify community, you should still be able to access your OpenSRS account, which hosts your Shopify-purchased domain name. Once logged in, you can then transfer your domain to another provider.
How To Buy A Domain That Is Taken?
Chances are, the domain name that you might find would be taken or already registered. Well, it’s not the end of the world. Here are the exact steps you need to go through to buy a domain name that is taken:
- 1. See if the domain is used – If the domain is not used on a website, the owner would be more likely willing to sell and is just waiting for an offer.
- 2. Find out the owner – This is can be achieved by a lookup service like ICANN and it will tell you some basic information like:
- When the domain was registered,
- Who the domain was registered by,
- How to contact that person or company,
- Even when the domain’s current ownership expires.
- 3. Know what you’re willing to pay – Chances are, most owners’ pricing will not come in handy and it will cost way more than your business can potentially make! Therefore, it’s advisable to know the range of prices that you’re willing to pay before contacting the owner! You can have an idea of the prices on marketplaces like Flippa.
- 4. Contact the owner – To contact the owner, you either reach out directly or leverage a domain buying service. To reach out directly to the owner, you can use the information found in your lookup service but make sure to make your email brief and include your offer right away to speed up the negotiation process. If you want to use a domain-buying service, here are the 2 best and most trusted marketplaces:
- Negotiate your purchase – After establishing contact with the owner, it’s time for negotiating the price and how is the domain going to be transferred. You need to be aware of scams and avoid e-transfers and wire transfers. So, here’s where a trusted marketplace like NameCheap or Flippa comes into place and offers secured payments through Escrow.
A custom-branded domain name will give your business a fair advantage and it’s something that you should definitely consider having when starting a Shopify store.
This article has discussed one of the most frequently asked questions; “Does Shopify give you a domain name?”, and by the time you finish reading this post, you will have a better idea of how to purchase, register, and transfer a domain name on Shopify.
Join our FREE Shopify 8-video course to learn the basics of launching an online store without paying big bucks to some gurus, and claim your Shopify free 14-day trial.
This is what you’re going to learn in the free Shopify course:
- How to get your store up and running quickly and easily, without stress
- The 3 pages you must have on your store to stay legal
- How to almost instantly add products to your store (including beautiful images)
- How To fulfill your first order after you make a sale
- How You can begin making sales
- Installing the Facebook Pixel (without this your Facebook Ads won’t work properly)
- All the settings you need to adjust (and which ones you don’t)
- How to keep your store organized by creating collections
I hope that this post has added something to your knowledge! If you find this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and awkward hugs to all my sharers out there ✋)
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