Being around the web design universe, I throw words around which the average person might not be as familiar with. One of the first terms to know and understand is a domain, more specifically, a domain name.
What is a domain?
Names have always carried importance, and your domain name is no exception. The domain name simply refers to the part of the web address which clearly identifies it as belonging to a particular realm, or place. “Domain” itself as a word historically referred to geographic territory (land). For the world wide web, your domain is the name that you chose. When applied to websites, it’s the specific name where your clients go to find your business’s online presence (realm). For example, my domain name is “webluminary.com”.
Should you buy more than one domain name?
Probably. When designing a web presence, you’ll need at least one domain name, although you can purchase more than one. What’s the benefit of this? To avoid someone else purchasing a close replica, which could lead to clients arriving at the wrong business location. I also own webluminary.net. I purchased it more as insurance so that someone else can not purchase a domain name that is so close to mine. Put simply, it could mean lost revenue for me and I encourage my clients to own the .com and .net of the chosen domain name. Multiple domains don’t mean multiple websites, but think about it as a forwarding address service, like when you move houses. You’ll still get your birthday cards in the mail. Similarly, by having domains forward clients to your website, you’ll ensure they easily find your business – and hire you!
How do you pick a domain name?
How do you choose a domain name that works with your business name? Did Shakespeare truly have a valid point in stating a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? Perhaps in poetry; however, in business, it’s best to pick a business domain which closely, if not exactly, matches your business name.
Also, remember that half of the people looking at your website might be on a phone. The shorter your domain name, the less likely they are to mis-type. Also, you want to avoid using special characters like dashes (-). You don’t want the typist to have to switch keyboards when the customer is on a phone.
And if possible, select a .com name as that is what people automatically type in. If the .com isn’t available in your name, look to see if the .com is has been purchased. Since the internet has been around for over two decades, there are pirates out there that have purchased likely domain names. Do not let these pirates rip you off. Instead, consider buying a different name or the .net version of the name. If someone types yourbusinessname.com and gets nothing, they will know to google your business name instead.
Where should I buy a domain?
First, spend at least a few days researching what is available for a domain name using the researching on www.NameCheap.com. Refrain from buying anything unless you are 100% sure and it matches your business name and/or brand. When I started my business, I didn’t have a business name yet. I purchased at least six domain names before I settled on the business name and domain name. It was such a waste of money! When you buy your domain from NameCheap, it comes with privacy so that no one can lookup who bought the domain name. This is great, as it costs extra with GoDaddy and other registrars. Lastly, do not buy an SSL certificate from the registrar. Many hosting providers give them for free and they will also install them for you.
In short, make sure when you buy a domain make sure you get registry security and you do not buy an SSL (unless you are going to have an E-commerce website)
Stay tuned for additional blog posts in this building a website series – Part 2 describes URLs, and Part 3 goes into detail about registrars. Then I finish this series with Part 4, outlining website hosting .