What is a domain name?

By now, you have probably heard of or been asked about your domain name, which is the term used to describe the name that you want to give your website. As if coming up with an invention was not complex enough, trying to think of a name for your company and/or website is not any easier.

As a rule of thumb, it is always recommended to name the website the same name as our business or product. Why? When people search for your product or business in search engines, your website (if under the same name) will come up in the list of results. This is beneficial to build your brand and reputation while attracting visitors to your site.

Because of the vastness of the web, there are a number of popular websites that allow you the opportunity to purchase a domain. Costs for purchase range anywhere from $5 and up. Pricing typically depends on the level of the domain name or, in other words, whether it is national or international.

As you prepare to purchase your domain, consider some of these best practices or guides to help ensure that your domain will be successful:

Domain Registration: As I always suggest, take time to research different websites that offer domain name purchasing. If you are unfamiliar with building websites and the entire domain concept, finding a registration service that offers reputable customer service is always a good idea.

Domain Name Selection: As with any name associated with your business, be sure to give careful thought and consideration to the name. This name is not only definitive of your product and your business, it will also service to establish an online presence. In addition, it can also help to attract potential investors, customers, etc. Once you have decided on a domain name, consider its significance.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Is this name reflective of my product?
  • Does it represent the company I am working to establish?
  • Is it offensive in any way?
  • Is it engaging?
  • Is it easy to remember?

Initial Search: Once you’ve decided on a site registrar for your domain, you will find that these sites will allow you to search the name that you have chosen to ensure that it is available. This is the first (and easiest) step in the domain process and ensures that your domain is unique.

National or International: During your search, you can also determine the pricing for various country codes. Country codes are reflective of the extension after the name you choose (i.e. co.uk indicates that the website is directed toward the United Kingdom). A .com is generally recognised as an international site; however, co.uk or co.au are specific to the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively. To be on the safe side, I suggest purchasing the name for your country and the international .com. Domain names are fairly inexpensive and, having these options will be worthwhile overall.

Don’t Lose It: Once you have done the hard work of coming up with a domain name, searching for it to ensure its availability and then paying for it, do not forget that most domain names have expiration dates. In other words, when you pay for the domain name, you will pay for a certain number of months or years to own the name. To avoid missing the expiration date, consider setting up an auto-renew option or creating a reminder on your calendar.

Overall, research is key. Consider all of the domain registrar sites available as well as the importance of your domain name. Once you have done adequate research and are ready to buy, ensure that your name is unique and does not infringe on any trademark. Pay the fees associated with registration and set up auto-renew to avoid expiration of ownership. It truly is as simple as that!

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