Use these tips to help get your site right the first time.
When someone refers to a “Domain Name”, this may seem like an intimidating or unfamiliar subject, but really the concept is quite simple. A domain name is simply the name of any website – Google, Facebook, Wikipedia etc. are all domain names. This name represents the set of characters that must be entered into an Internet browser for users to access a website that you create.
A domain name is not limited to words in the English language, or any other language for that matter. It is actually any combination of characters, which for the sakes of this definition are letters and/or numbers.
When you think of a domain name, you likely associate it with what is known as a “domain name extension”. This is the short set of characters that is typed in after the domain name itself in an Internet browser. Common examples include ‘.com’, ‘.gov’, ‘.co’ and more.
Domain names are tools which computers use in order to access and “talk” with other websites over the Internet. In reality, the true identity of a website or computer is an IP address, which is a long series of numbers. This series of numbers would be difficult for people to remember, however. Imagine having to type in ‘69254839’ every time you wanted to access your favorite website! This is the reason domain names exist. They make navigating different websites over the Internet intuitive for people.
In order to use a domain name, it has to be registered first. A domain must be unique, and can only be registered to one person or business. This process ensures that the domain name will only direct people to your website, not somebody else’s.
Unfortunately, purchasing a domain name doesn’t last forever. Domain name registration lasts for only a period of time before a domain must be reregistered. Normally, this period is one year. This process will vary in price, but it will usually come out to be anywhere from $15 to $25 to reserve a domain for a year. (Get a SiteRight Domain for just $13.50/yr!)
Domain names are crucial components to creating a website, but they do not tell the whole story. One other key component is needed to launch a website: web hosting.
While a domain name is a way to direct users to your website using an Internet browser, web hosting sort of acts behind the scenes to actually store the information that makes up your website itself.
Think of driving to somebody’s house. If you navigated to the address they gave you but found an empty field, you would certainly be confused. Web hosting and domain names are very similar to this. A domain name is simply the address of an empty plot of land, while hosting provides the infrastructure and ‘building’ where your website will be created and lives in. If you had no hosting, someone might do a domain name search and find no website at all.
Domain names are crucial! They represent your brand and your business. For many people who come upon your website, the domain name will be their first introduction to your company. When a customer contacts customer support, the response will be coming from a custom email, further showcasing the importance of having your own Domain name.
A good domain name that is memorable and representative of your business is crucial to making a good impression with customers and sustaining your business long term.
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