The Domain.com Blog

How to Create a Valuable Business by Doing the Minimum

They say, “what’s your business about,” and you say, “nothing.” I think we may have something here. Everyone is doing something with their small business these days, and while you can’t do nothing, you don’t have to do everything. Try starting with the minimum. You can combine two strategies to start your business without massive investment right away: creating a minimum viable product, and marketing to a minimum viable audience. It’s not a business about nothing, because your small business is everything to you. Learn more about these two strategies to create a product that grows as your audience grows at the same time. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. Create a product by doing the minimum Remember buying work software, like Microsoft Word, on cds? Every time the product improved, or an update had to be made, Microsoft needed to manufacture new cds. Now, software companies create what’s called a minimum viable product. After releasing an early version, companies send updates over the internet, constantly improving the product, and charging customers a smaller monthly or annual fee, instead of one big fee for a new cd set. Even if you don’t create products that can be updated over the internet, you can still release earlier beta products, and let your customers help you improve it over time. For example, even if your business sells handmade furniture, you can release a smaller line of products, a simple table and chair combo, and then let your customers tell you what they want next. Listening to your customers is easier than trying to predict what they want. Let them tell you what to sell instead. Keep your business running lean In the world of startup businesses, “Running Lean,” is a buzzword, but only because it works. Keeping your business lean means limiting major investments, in money and staff, until you have a proven business model. Instead of hiring a whole team of marketing staff, operation leads, and customer service, plan to do everything yourself for as long as possible. It may sound like a lot of work, but in the beginning your customer base is smaller. Take advantage of the smaller workload and invest the money that would have gone to a staff on productivity tools. The more you can automate and plan ahead, the easier it is to do it yourself. Speaking of investing, investing your revenue back into the business lets you grow without the help of outside investors, leaving you with more control. Look for a tiny audience to attract customers Once your products are ready to share with the world, then it’s time to find your customers. Instead of trying to yell out to the entire world, drowning out your message in all the noise, keep your focus as small as possible. Your messages become stronger when they’re directed at individuals, so it’s time to find your minimum viable audience. Your product won’t be loved by everyone. That’s fine. Instead of trying to convince everyone to by, your minimum viable audience is the group of people already looking for your product. Brainstorm your ideal customer, being as specific as possible. Why did you create your product in the first place? Your customers have a problem they need solved, so match your product messaging with the group of people already looking for the solution that you’ve created for them. When bigger isn’t better We all want the world. Just because you’re starting small, that doesn’t mean you need to stay small. Think about it like a bricklayer building an entire skyscraper. You can’t build a solid foundation by doing it all at once. You have to go brick by brick. Once you step back after focusing on the steady progress of laying each brick perfectly, that sturdy building can touch the clouds. Your business is the same way. If you get your products into the hands of a small number of customers, you can listen more closely to their feedback. That continual progress, making your products better and better, while at the same time, showing your customers that you truly listen, means your business creates a cult following. By the time you step back and look at how far you’ve come, your business will have a fleet of proven, customer-tested products, who want to support your business – and the owner behind it. Keep your focus small to miss small with your small business You can’t do everything right away and still have enough time, or resources, to accomplish everything. Instead of trying to do everything, but end up with nothing, focus your small business at the start to share your minimum viable product with your minimum viable audience. Your small business is everything to you, so keep it on the right track to succeed in both the short term and the long term. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post How to Create a Valuable Business by Doing the Minimum appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Why You Can’t Register a Domain Name With a Fake Name or an Alias

You have secrets. That’s alright – we all have secrets. Using an alias for certain websites and chat rooms is generally accepted, but does that mean you can use an alias to register a domain name? The internet is perfect for keeping yourself hidden, but keeping your real name hidden during the registration process, isn’t a smart idea. We’re not trying to be “Debbie Downers,” or bring unwanted attention to your private life, but there are a few reasons why it’s necessary to register your domain using your accurate, legal information. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. Help the right internet servers find your website   When you purchase a domain name, you’re purchasing it through a domain name registrar, like Domain.com, which is accredited by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. As their website states, “To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer … That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination, we wouldn’t have one global Internet.” ICANN is also “committed to implementing measures to maintain timely, unrestricted and public access to accurate and complete WHOIS information, subject to applicable laws.” Unlike ICANN, WHOIS is not an acronym, it’s a query protocol that searches independent registries and registrar databases to determine who owns a specific domain. When you register a domain name, your personal information is made visible to all WHOIS queries unless you choose to use domain privacy. You, the registrant, are responsible for giving accurate and reliable contact details, and maintaining the accuracy of that information. What happens if you’re forgetful? It’s a good thing we’ve got you covered. We’ll email you a reminder each year asking you to verify the accuracy of your information. Keeping your information current is an obligation, and part of every registrar’s Terms of Service agreement. What happens if you give the wrong information anyways? You may live life on the wild side, eschewing rules and regulations, but in this case, the stakes are too high. WHOIS states, “If you give wrong information on purpose, or don’t update your information promptly if there is a change, your domain name registration may be suspended or even cancelled.” Could you imagine how terrible it would be to find your domain name gone? Your domain name is the address that leads people to your website, so without the right information,  you lose both traffic and revenue. Help your customers find your business online Once you lose your domain name it becomes available for others to purchase, and there’s no guarantee that you can ever get it back. Let’s set the stage for a sinister scenario: You’re relaxing on the sofa watching a movie, resting after a busy day of work. You spent the day optimizing your website to show up higher on the search engine results page. This should bring more traffic to your website, and in turn, more revenue. During a commercial break you realize you forgot one little task, so you log in to manage your site. But something is amiss. Your precious domain name – that you matched perfectly to your business name — is gone. Your customers knew your domain name. They trusted it. What now? If someone decides to run a WHOIS query on your domain name and finds that you’re using fake information, they can report you. Who could have done such a thing? Anyone. Once you’ve been reported you have a short window of time to update your information, or you can lose your domain name. Maintain your privacy and still keep your domain name secure Don’t lose your domain name because of an alias. Instead, you can have the best of both worlds, privacy and security, using domain privacy. With domain privacy you never have to worry about coworkers discovering you’re the genius behind a Backstreet Boys Adult Fan Club website. You can rest easy knowing you’re also secure against any inaccuracy complaints that could cost you your domain name. So register your domain name today using accurate information – your secrets are safe with us. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post Why You Can’t Register a Domain Name With a Fake Name or an Alias appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Office 365 vs. G Suite

It you’re a business owner, freelance worker, or anyone in need of a digital office suite, you might find yourself at the crossroads of choosing between Office 365 or G Suite. This becomes exponentially more difficult if you don’t have experience with either. Worry not. Instead, learn how these two services match up on pricing, usability, and features. Read along as we discuss the pros and cons of Office 365 vs. G Suite in an effort to highlight which one best fits the needs of your specific business. Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business or Microsoft Office 365 to your domain name. What do G Suite and Office 365 do? Both subscription services are office suite productivity tools that allow you to go about most daily tasks, such as writing documents, creating spreadsheets, making presentations, and communicating with both clients and team members. Microsoft first created Microsoft Office Suite, a physical program for PCs that came with the now famous Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In the last decade, Google released G Suite for the cloud to compete with Microsoft, which boasted an online collaboration center, word processor, spreadsheet processor, and presentation creator. Moving these services to the cloud completely revolutionized the capability of office suite tech, drastically improving cooperation and communication. Taking Google’s cue, in 2011, Microsoft pushed their popular service into the cloud, looking for ways to simplify and optimize their services to improve productivity.   What is Office 365? Office 365 Suite for Business comes in one of two main packages, Business and Business Premium. For both packages, you receive the applications in web version and desktop form, meaning that you get the hard-copy versions to load onto your computer to use even if you’re offline. Office 365 Business At $8.25 per user per month for an annual contract, Business is perfect for teams that need cloud storage and collaboration, as well as Office applications. It does not, however, include business email. The base Business level gives you the following: Outlook – Microsoft’s web-based all-in-one suite of email, tasks, calendar, and contacts lets you work productively and share attachments directly from OneDrive. It also allows you to schedule meetings, block out time to work on a project, or book a conference room directly from your Outlook calendar.  Word – Microsoft’s most famous application is its word processor. Word gives you the tools to write confidently and intelligently. With Suite, you can work with a teammate in real-time, collaborating on the same project. Excel – The original spreadsheet processor, Excel has been refined over the years thanks to new tools, charts, formulas, and templates that all improve data organization and output.PowerPoint – A presentation program that lets you create vivid and powerful pitches and presentations. With 365 collaboration, you can have several people working on the same PowerPoint at one time. OneNote – A digital notebook that helps you and your team take notes and get organized. Notes is especially great for tablets where you can write notes, doodle, underline or highlight sections. OneDrive – A file hosting service that lets users save files and photos to OneDrive and then access them on any device from wherever that person is. You receive 1TB of OneDrive storage and a license that covers fully-installed Office apps on five PCs or Macs, five tablets, and five phones. This may be a good option for small businesses. Office 365 Business Premium Business Premium costs $12.50 a month per user with an annual contract. This is perfect for businesses that require a business email, Office suite, and other Microsoft business services including: Exchange – Microsoft’s business version of Outlook is more powerful and comes with tools businesses need for their email services and calendaring. With an adaptive, intelligent inbox and a smart calendar, your ability to communicate and organize improves dramatically. Sharepoint – A browser-based document management and collaboration platform, this content management system and information portal can run via Internet, Intranet, or Extranet. Microsoft Teams – A platform that organizes chats, notes, meetings, and attachments whether in Office or on Skype.Business Email Hosting – Create a custom email domain address. Each user has a 50 GB inbox.Skype Call – Video conferencing for up to 250 users. Support – 24/7 phone and web support. What is G Suite? G Suite’s web-based service comes in one of three packages: Basic, Business, and Enterprise. G Suite provides businesses with more flexibility for payment,allowing the purchase of a subscription on either a monthly or annual basis. While the monthly may cost a few dollars more, it gives you the option to add or drop users, or to discontinue services. G Suite Basic For $5 per month per user, G Suite Basic gives you 30 GB of storage and access to G Suite’s baseline applications. Unlike Office 365, G Suite’s most basic plan provides  access to a business email, through Gmail. Other features include: Calendar – Set your schedule and manage your day with Calendar. Create, request, set, or invite other team members to meetings, or simply block out time where you’re not to be disturbed. If you share your calendar with teammates, they see your agenda, and can plan accordingly.Docs – Cloud-based word processor that lets team members edit, read, comment on, or share documents easily. With cloud-tracking in docs, you never lose a file or an edit, increasing accountability, and allowing you to go back to view older versions of the document. Forms – Create fun and simple polls or surveys with members of your team. Forms helps you get answers fast and then compiles them intelligently, making analysis easy.  Gmail – The most powerful and popular email service in the world. G Suite Basic lets you create a business email linked to your domain and powered by Gmail’s smart inbox tech. Google Drive Storage – Google’s cloud storage that lets you store any file, whether that is a video, doc, sheet, pdf, adobe, music, or photo file. Hangouts – Google’s video conference service, Business Hangouts, is a powerful and consistent tool that allows up to ten people to video conference at once.Sheets – This online spreadsheet tool helps you organize and compile critical data. Create a spreadsheet, collaborate with a teammate, and share with others instantly.Slides – Google’s PowerPoint feature lets you create beautiful presentations. G Suite Business For $10 per month per user, G Suite Business gives you all of the tools mentioned above and then boasts up to 1 terabyte of data storage per user for five or fewer users, or unlimited for more than five users. G Suite Business also includes: 24/7 Support by phone, email, and web messaging.Archive policies for email and chat.Audit reports that track user activity.eDiscovery for chats, emails, and other files.G Suite Data Regions.Set retention for email and chat.Smart search via Cloud Search. As the name suggests, Business is the model that most small to medium-sized businesses should utilize. The increased storage and search capabilities make it vastly more powerful. G Suite Enterprise For $25 per month per user, G Suite Enterprise is intended for large companies that require a ton of storage, advanced security, and more control. Google Hangouts is upgraded to Google Meet, which dramatically improves video quality, and allows 30 members to participate in a video conference. These include all of the features above as well as the following: Enterprise-grade security with Google Drive.BigQuery Gmail log analysis.Hosted S/MIME encryption to improve your mail’s security.Data regions for G Suite.G Suite Security Center.Email traffic scanning.Image scanning for text.Third-party email archiving.Data loss prevention for Gmail.Data loss prevention for Drive.Gmail logs BigQuery analysis.Automatic mobile device management.Suspicious activity detection. Office 365 vs. G Suite As you can tell, these services provide very similar products. Both are widely used, widely praised, and boast similar functionality. Selecting the right one depends on your business’ specific needs. Below, let’s compare and contrast some of the critical factors that distinguish the two:   Price Although their prices are not all that different, G Suite’s basic plan is notably cheaper and still comes with a business email. When you reach the Business and Enterprise levels the cost difference and services received are largely comparable. G Suite does give you more flexibility with the option for a monthly or annual plan, but Office 365 also provides your team with desktop versions of the app. This gives Office 365 a slight edge in what you’re paying and what you’re receiving at Business, or higher levels. File Storage When you’re talking entry-level plans, Office 365 1 TB of storage far exceeds Google’s 30 GB of storage that comes with the Basic G Suite. On top of that, G Suite counts email messages as a part of that 30 GB. That said, when you move up to the Business plans, Google’s plan beats out Microsoft’s plans by a large margin. If you have more than five users, G Suite Business offers unlimited storage which is significantly more storage than 365’s single terabyte.   Email Office 365’s Business plan offers far more email storage than G Suite’s Basic plan. However, it maxes out at 100 GB, whereas Gmail’s upper level inbox storage is limitless. When it comes to the functionality of these email services Gmail is simple, more popular, pairs with third-party apps, and makes message discovery easy. Office 365, on the other hand, is likely the more powerful of the two and has greater organizational tools, but a much steeper learning curve. Furthermore, Gmail is much more streamlined and aesthetically pleasing. Apps When it comes to the main apps, the discussion turns heavily in favor of Office 365. They were the original flagship programs for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and have perfected these tools over the years. G Suite’s Docs, Sheets, and Google Slides are streamlined, but lack some of the more advanced features you can find with Office 365. While G Suite’s simultaneous collaboration is a big point in its favor, if you rely heavily on word processing, spreadsheets or presentations, Office wins this fight hands down. Video Conferencing As with other features, on the surface, both G Suite’s and Office 365’s video conferencing apps are quite powerful. That said, the dependability, quality, and functionality of Hangouts are significant improvements on the bulkier and less reliable Skype. Hangouts also has a fantastic feature that magnifies whoever is speaking on the screen, which makes it easier to focus when having multiple people in the same video conference. Collaboration While both services allow for online collaboration, Office 365’s additional bells and whistles actually detract from the ease of working together. G Suite was created with collaboration as the main selling point, whereas Office 365 added this feature in order to compete with G Suite. G Suite’s simplicity and streamlined features makes collaboration more natural and more intuitive. It’s also much easier to navigate for the “computer novice.” Make the right decision for your small business needs Your business may care more about the desktop features and jam-packed desktop apps of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, or it might require the superior collaboration features and additional space provided by G Suite. The best tools depend on the specific needs of your small business. Regardless of which platform you choose, both services are compatible with Domain.com and can be linked to your custom domain. At the end of the day, both of these services are renowned software tools that aid your pursuit of success, no matter your goals Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business or Microsoft Office 365 to your domain name. The post Office 365 vs. G Suite appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Gmail Domain Setup: A How-To Guide

Many first-time domain owners are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of domains and their integration with other services, such as Gmail. For example, did you know that you can link your domain to your Gmail account so that your business can take full advantage of G Suite services? Boiled down, this means that you can connect a Gmail address to your domain name, and then access it from just about anywhere in the world. Let’s say that you have a domain called golfbropros.com and your name is Tom. With Domain.com you can easily create Tom@golfbropros.com as the email, and then have that linked directly to a Gmail account. If you don’t already own a domain, you can find one and complete the purchase process with Domain.com in minutes. This way, you get to keep a professional looking email and have the power of the G Suite at your fingertips as well.  Now, getting started can be a little daunting but finding a domain name and linking it to a Gmail is easy with Domain.com. Let’s discuss the steps to take to setup a Gmail and domain, plus  everything you need to know about Gmail for business.  Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. Obtaining a domain name Before you can have a Gmail domain name, you first must register a domain. If that step is already completed, just skip this section and move on to the G Suite section. For those of you that have yet to complete this vital process, fear not, Domain.com has made domain registration cheap and easy.   In order to claim a domain name, it must be registered with ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit that keeps track of available, unused domain names. Because of regulations, a domain can only be registered with ICANN through a domain registrar such as Domain.com.  Domain registrars are afforded this privilege because:  They have received accreditation through ICANNThey have built up years of experience in the world of domainsIt helps centralize and track ownership and availability of names Purchasing a domain name Checking for a domain name’s availability at Domain.com is simple. Type the name you wish for in the search bar and then hit the magnifying glass symbol. If available, you can then buy your domain name. If unavailable, a list of similar names with slight variations to the domain name itself or the domain extension is presented. Once you have found that ideal domain name and confirmed its availability, you’re then required to submit the following information to Domain.com: The domain name and domain extensionFirst and last nameEmail addressPhone numberPhysical addressBilling informationAdministrative contact information After you file this information, Domain.com instantly starts the registration process, sending the request to ICANN, who then performs a WHOIS query to confirm your identity. As a note, you should be aware that domain registration does not last forever. It is similar to renting an apartment for a few years, with the option to renew that rent annually. With Domain.com, you have the opportunity to purchase a domain name for a span of one to five years. G Suite explained If you weren’t already aware, Gmail for business is not merely an email service. It is powered and enhanced by the G Suite tools. These applications are what really set Gmail apart from other mail services, and are a big part of what has propelled it into the spotlight as the most popular email service to date. Utilizing the power of cloud computing, they have revolutionized the way we work, edit, share and collaborate on the internet. These apps include the following applications: Calendar – Cloud-based scheduling software that lets users view a teammate’s calendar, share their own schedule, set meetings, or plan for the upcoming week or month.Cloud – Get rid of servers and protect your data with Google’s cloud computing service. Docs – Google’s cloud-based answer to Microsoft Word allows documents to be worked on, edited, shared, or viewed by anyone, with permission. This gives easy visibility and workability, all the while preventing loss thanks to automatic updates and the ability to track changes. Drive – Google’s cloud-based data storage center for all of your files, including music, video, text, documents, pictures, or any other vital data.  Forms – Collect and disseminate information like never before. Start a poll, create a survey, and get answers quickly. Forms gather, tabulate, and organize responses so that analysis is made simple.Gmail – Google’s mailing service is intuitive, powerful, and easy to organize. Users can have storage that is either 30GB, 1TB, or Unlimited, depending upon their package and the total number of users.Hangout – Video conference app that takes video chat and messaging to the next level. Depending on their subscription package, anywhere from 10 to 25 users can have a video conference at any given time.Meet – The high-resolution, high-end version of Hangouts that can support anywhere from 50 to 100 users on a single video conference at any given time. Sheets – Spreadsheets are brought to the cloud. Similar to Docs, Sheets can be worked on, edited, shared, or viewed by anyone on your team.Slides – PowerPoint creation has never been simpler. Slides has all the tools and templates you need to put together a high-end pitch or demonstration. Selecting the right G Suite plan  Before you link Gmail to your domain name, you should first choose the G Suite package that fits your business and its needs. While you may think you can just get by with the free Gmail account and Google Apps, that means you don’t have the ability to link your domain name to Gmail. On top of that, you miss out on all of the powerful tools that come with the G Suite subscription. The three types of G Suite Subscriptions include: G Suite Basic – At $5 per month per user, Basic is intended for tiny companies or home business owners. This plan gives you access to the G Suite tools and 30 GB of data storage.G Suite Business – At $10 per month per user, Business is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses. It comes with an enhanced version of G Suite, with additional safety features, search options, and reporting ability. If you have four users or less, you get one TB of data storage. If you have five or more users, you get unlimited data storage.G Suite Enterprise – At $25 per month per user, Enterprise is ideal for medium to large sized businesses. It gives a user unlimited data storage as well as premium G Suite safety, control, and analytics. This includes:Audit reports for user activityBigQuery log analysisGmail and Drive data loss-prevention featuresHosted S/MIMEGmail third-party archivingSecurity key enforcement How to setup Gmail with your domain Once you have decided the G Suite package that best suits your business, begin the following process: Go to Google Apps Gmail page, click the “Get Started Button.”Enter the name of your business and choose the number of employees or users.Pick the company’s location.Enter your email address, but know you can create a new business Gmail address later.You will receive a prompt that asks, “Does your business have a domain?” If, yes, enter it on the screen and click “Next.”Create your login information including username and password. Enter your credit card information and click, “Continue.”Confirm you’re not a robot, check the box, and click, “Agree and create account.” Now that the account creation is complete, you can begin to set up your Gmail account with your domain. First, though, you need to verify your domain name. Go to the Google Admin Console and hit the “Start Setup” button at the top center of the page.Hit the “Verify Domain” button then hit, “Next.”You will receive a message that says, “Verify your domain: Before you begin using apps and services we need to contact your domain host to verify that you own (your domain name). Your domain host can detect that sdrive-gmail-setup.net is hosted at Network Solutions.com.” Hit, “No.” A drop-down list will appear. Choose, “Other” then hit “Begin Verification.”The easiest way to verify a domain name is an “HTML File Upload.” Download the given HTML domain verification fileUpload the file to your domainConfirm successful upload by visiting the given HTTP:s-drive locationHit “Verify”Once you’ve finished, login to your Google Apps account and hit, “Users.”You will see an option to add new users including a custom email address. Congrats, you’re finished! Benefits of G Suite There are plenty of benefits that come from linking a G Suite Subscription to your Domain. They include: Domain-branded emails – A professional email name connected to your domain, and powered by G Suite signals to prospective customers that your business is legitimate. A stranger who knows nothing about your business trusts you infinitely more if you have a website, and an email tied to it.Storage – Even the 30 GB of storage provided by the basic account is a huge amount of securely stored data. For the Business and Enterprise models, you may never have to worry about storage again.Email marketing – G Suite allows users to create and facilitate high-level email marketing campaigns and grants you the ability to fashion up to 30 email aliases per user. Collaborate – G Suite cloud-based document creation uses cutting edge technology that lets teams work together, make alterations, and share their work no matter where they are located. A team member in Dallas on their PC can participate in a Hangout with a team member in Los Angeles on their mobile device, along with another worker in New York on their tablet. These three people can access the same document, spreadsheet, or presentation simultaneously, making changes and strategizing in real time.Document ownership – Thanks to archiving, it’s so simple to track changes to any file in Google Drive. You can see who made changes, when the changes took place, and what the differences were. You can access the earlier versions of the documents, or make notes about the current one. This method means that team members are kept accountable, and can take ownership of any edit.  Outlook sync – If your company or employees require the use of Microsoft Outlook’s email service, G Suite has a simple G Suite Sync with Outlook. Two-step domain verification – G Suite provides extra security by allowing admins to decide if a user needs to sign into their account with both their password and then confirm with their mobile device. This 2-step verification protects sensitive information, especially if you utilize Drive as the cloud backup. 24/7 support – G Suite provides a dedicated 24/7 phone, email, and chat support. So if you have any questions or need help troubleshooting, call, mail, or text the Google team and get an answer instantly. Setup Gmail to start talking to customers It’s never been easier to link your domain name with a Gmail account. As discussed, the benefits to your business are endless. Start using an email that’s custom branded with your own domain name to talk to customers and potential business partners like a professional.  Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. The post Gmail Domain Setup: A How-To Guide appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Gmail For Work: What You Need to Know

Gmail for Work, an app from Google’s G Suite, is a SaaS tool that can take your business’ emailing, calendaring, teamwork, communication, and document creation to the next level. Learn about more G Suite below, and find out how it can benefit your business. Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. The power of professional emails with Gmail for Work You’re probably all too aware that, these days, using a personal email for your business is not always the best way to hook in customers. Similar to having your own website, a professional email address grants a person or business legitimacy, signaling to customers that you’re a real and trustworthy operation. With Gmail domain integration, you can use the Gmail system for all communication from your custom domain email address. This way you get to have the best of both worlds, a professional email address that matches your domain name. Gmail For Work Business email aside, you likely already use Gmail’s complimentary service and apps on a regular basis for emailing or online writing purposes. While these provide plenty of horsepower for anyone who is using Gmail personally, for businesses, some of the basic features of Gmail for work are lacking or limited, especially when compared to Microsoft Office 365. Gmail for Work is the paid version of Gmail and was designed specifically for businesses of any size. With Gmail for Work and Domain.com, you receive a package of products and cloud-based services that allow you to communicate and collaborate seamlessly from anywhere on any device. Your company is armed with an intuitive and fantastic set of Google tools meant to improve communication and optimize workflow. Four features of Gmail for Work At their essence, the G Suite tools can be broken down into four categories: communicate, collaborate, store, and manage. Communicate The following G Suite applications help improve your team’s ability to act and react in real time, to share messages, or to stay in touch. They include: Gmail – The most obvious feature of Gmail for Work. A paid subscription via Domain.com grants you email access to your domain. Depending on the G Suite package you choose, this email address allows users to store data and messages, anywhere from 30 gigabytes to multiple terabytes. Calendar – This time-management and scheduling service lets G Suite users create and share a schedule, meeting, or pitch. With it, teams can plan out delivery schedules and due dates. They can also highlight important dates or times. Since it is cloud-based, you can share your calendar with other people at the company, allowing them to check your schedule for availability. Hangout – Google’s powerful video chat and messaging service lets ten users participate in a single video conference. Hangout is easy to use and far more reliable than a similar product such as Skype. For G Suite enterprise, as many as 25 people may join a low-resolution video conference.Meet – Recently, Google rolled out Meet, a beefier version of Hangout meant for medium to large businesses. This allows anywhere from 50 to 100 users to participate in a video conference call simultaneously. This version allows for phone dial-in, recording of the meeting, and high-resolution video. Collaborate Gmail for Work relies upon cloud computing in order to revolutionize the way work documents can be collaborated upon, edited, shared, and viewed. Each service comes with a plethora of easy to use templates. Any changes made to the document are made in real time, and saved automatically, preventing document loss while also keeping editors accountable for who wrote what, who made a change, or who made a note. These products include: Docs – Docs was Google’s take on a Microsoft Word in the cloud. As a result, documents can be edited, disseminated, and altered rapidly without any fear of losing files. Documents can be shared in either edit mode or view-only mode, so only the right people can make modifications to the material. Docs also work seamlessly with Microsoft Word, allowing you to convert a word file to docs, or vice versa.Sheets – Google’s version of Excel, this easy to use but extremely powerful spreadsheet service lets users create charts, graphs, tables, and formulas to both enhance and simplify your spreadsheet compilation. The dozens of templates allow a person to dive in immediately no matter what device they’re using. Open, create, and change your spreadsheets from wherever you work.  Forms – Forms allow a person to gather and optimize information, whether big or small. You can start an office poll, gather up personal email addresses, or start a survey. Forms help you get answers as quickly and concisely as possible. With a variety of templates and options, from multiple choice to fill in the blank, your Q&As can be set up in such a way as to provide you with the best and most pertinent information. Thanks to smart organization, responses are neatly compiled for optimal analysis. Slides – Slides is Google’s answer to PowerPoint. This excellent tool helps you give a pitch, create a presentation, or compile a slideshow. Make impactful presentations and tell inspiring stories anywhere, anytime.Sites – Google’s structured Wiki and Web page creation tool lets any user with access to G Suite create simple websites. File storage With previously unprecedented cloud storage , store lets Gmail for business users create, edit, query, and renew files from wherever. Drive – Drive is a cloud-based data storage center, which creates a haven for all of your data, including:SheetsDocsMusicAudioVideoExcelWordPowerPointSlidesAdobe videoPhotoshop Cloud – Google’s cloud computing service, Google Cloud allows for secure and high-performance cloud services. It enables a business to go serverless and provides a host of robust data and analytics tools. Features include:Virtual ComputingStorage  Space and DatabasesNetworkingBig DataData TransferAPI Platform and EcosystemsInternet of ThingsCloud AIManagement ToolsDeveloper ToolsIdentity and SecurityProfessional Services Manage Smart tools make it easy and straightforward to manage and secure your users, devices, and files. Admin – With admin privileges you can manage your Google Admin console with a variety of topics, such as:Admin rolesAnalyticsAuditAuthenticationBilling and SubscriptionsChrome devicesCommunication settingsCompany profileCustom URLsData migrationsDomain namesGroupsMobile DevicesPassword strength requirementPassword strength monitoringAPI AccessReportsServices On/OffService-specific settingsSingle sign-onSupportTwo-step verificationUsers Vault – Vault allows a business to keep, manage, find, and send data to increase archival organization and eDiscovery. Vault retains:Email messagesChats in HangoutsDrive filesConversations in HangoutsRecording in HangoutsGroups Mobile –  Gmail’s mobile app and suite features can be accessed from any smartphone or tablet, whether they are running Android or iOS. G Suite subscription Gmail for Work can be split into three categories and price points: Basic – $5 per month per user plan that gives users 30 GB of data storage space along with various G Suite tools. Business – $10 per month per user plan that gives four or fewer users 1 TB of data storage, and five or more users unlimited storage. Business comes with enhanced office suite with additional features such as audit reporting, cloud searching, eDiscovery, and access to Google Vault.Enterprise – $25 per month per user plan that grants unlimited storage with premium office suite advanced tools and analytics. Enterprise allows for:Audit reports for tracking user activityData loss prevention for Gmail and DriveIntegrated Gmail with third-party archivingBigQuery log analysisSecurity key enforcement Hosted S/MIME One of these plans should be ideal for your business, though the vast majority of companies find the sweet spot of price point and features with G Suite Business. These plans can be paid either monthly with the flexible plan, or annually with the fixed plan. Although the annual plan saves some money in the long run, the flexible monthly plan allows a company to add or remove accounts, and only pay for the accounts that get used. The flexible plan also gives you the ability to cancel a subscription if desired, whereas, with the annual plan, you pay for a year and get a year, whether or not you use the service. Getting the most out of Gmail For Work If you want to get the very most out of your Gmail for Work and Google Apps, consider the following: Set up your domain name to be hosted by Gmail – Doing this, you get to use Gmail for your Domain.com email inbox. You can also make custom emails for anyone who works for you or to delineate various aspects of your business such as press@ourbusiness.com, or help@ourbusiness.com. With Domain.com you do not need to toggle between separate mail systems or names, simply integrate your email with your domain. By doing so, you no longer have to search a domain name or register individual accounts. This benefits your company by allowing for quick domain ID, 24/7 customer support, and a custom Gmail for your domain. Create a signature – Having a personalized signature at the bottom of your messages makes every email look more official, and ties you or your employee closer to your business in the mind of your customer. Utilize the labels feature – You can label and categorize your inbox in order to simplify inbox navigation, or to highlight important messages or contacts.Take advantage of Customer Support – Google provides round the clock customer support for paying members. If you have any questions, queries, or problems, they’re a brief call, email, or message away.Group email addresses – A nifty feature of Gmail for Work is that you can catalog people or departments into groups for easier messaging. By adding the entire marketing team to a group, you no longer need to find and enter every email address. Verifying Your Domain Before you can start rolling with Gmail for Work, you must verify and register a domain to confirm that no one else is using that domain without your expressed permission. With Domain.com, verification is simple, letting you get to work in no time at all. To do this,  sign into your Domain.com account and add the record of Gmail for Work to your DNS records. To do this you need to: Have your Domain.com login info at hand. If you have forgotten, you can easily reset your password at the login section. Search for Domain.com’s Domain Name System settings.Copy that information and paste either the MX, TXT, or CNAME record of the DNS settings. Another option available to you is adding the meta tag or HTML file.This verification record does not affect your Gmail or website.Once you have this information, follow the Gmail Setup Wizard to verify the domain.If you have trouble accomplishing this, feel free to contact Google Cloud Support which comes with the G Suite subscription. You can also reach out to the team at Domain.com if you are having difficulty finding the MX, TXT, or CNAME records.   Getting started with professional tools from G Suite and Domain.com Gmail for Work is a powerful cloud-based tool that can help take your business capabilities to the next level. Thanks to its fantastic mailing features and real-time document collaboration, you can crush your work from anywhere at any time. Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. The post Gmail For Work: What You Need to Know appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is G Suite?

The rise of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model has, in recent years, become one of the main  reasons cloud computing is such a game changer. These innovative products have created a paradigm shift, dramatically improving your team’s organization, productivity, and communication. One such foundational SaaS product is G Suite for Google Cloud, which many consider the best email solution available today. Whether you have a small, medium, or large business, G Suite provides your team with a bevy of features, tools, and benefits that set it apart from other similar services. Learn below what G Suite is, and why these additional features matter to you and your business. Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. A brief history of G Suite For years, Microsoft Office was the industry leader in office suite products thanks to applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With the advent of cloud computing, Google sought to challenge Microsoft’s supremacy with G Suite. Formerly known as Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Your Domain, G Suite was created to be a software that provided productivity and collaborative tools, while utilizing the ease and universality of cloud computing. Up-to-the-second cloud computing means that any changes to a G Suite document are automatically saved the moment you type. These changes are tracked and stored so that you can go back through your revision history to see old versions of the same document, or see if someone else with access to the document made a change or left a note. Today, a baseline G Suite account gives you access to the following things: Gmail – Google mail is one of the most popular free email services in use today, and provides several gigabytes of Gmail data storage. With G Suite, you’re granted a Gmail account through your chosen domain name, which can be registered at Domain.com.Google Drive –  A cloud storage service that grants you the ability to store and share files without having to store them locally. This means you can store any type of file including videos, photos, .pdfs, .documents, and others. G Suite provides at least 30 GB of storage space on Google Drive for every user.Docs – Google’s cloud-based word processor takes the concept of Microsoft word and ushers it into the cloud era. Docs allows for smart styling, and simultaneous multi-user editing. Whether you’re on a computer, mobile device, or tablet, with Docs you can read, edit, create or share your documents no matter where you are.Sheets – Similar to Docs, Sheets is Google’s cloud version of Microsoft Excel. This powerful spreadsheet tool makes charting your critical data easy and intuitive. Whether creating, analyzing, or sharing spreadsheets, Sheets works seamlessly with Excel and Excel files, giving you access to your vital information from anywhere in the world. Slides – Google’s equivalent to PowerPoint lets you tell your company stories, or give an effective presentation from any device. With a host of tools and templates, Slides makes pitch creation and collaboration simple.Forms – Create quick and easy surveys or Q&As, and then display the answers in an easily digestible and actionable way. If you want to know whether your company wants Chipotle or Chinese, or if they’d prefer to have the work trip in Joshua Tree or Mammoth, you can find out instantly without having to poll people one at a time. Calendar – Scheduling and time-management service. Calendar allows users to create, share, edit, and display meetings, events, or special occasions. This tool enables a user to see what is on their team member’s agenda and pin down a time to meet without having to bother them or interrupt something important.Hangouts – Easier to use and more powerful version of Skype or FaceTime, you can use Hangouts to video conference with up to ten people at once, call any phone number, or create group chats. Hangouts’ video service is clear, crisp, easy to use, and intuitive. Why pay for G Suite? Now, you may be wondering why your small business would pay for these tools when all of these web applications can be used for free. What you likely weren’t aware of is that G Suite was created to arm businesses, especially small to medium sized ones, with additional business-focused capabilities and instruments. The time to get your small business on the cloud is now. G Suite is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get there. The free consumer version of these apps gives you the baseline features, but don’t grant the same access to organizational, analytical, and editing technologies that come with the subscription model. While we will dive into these features more thoroughly below, here are some brief points to remember: The ability to create a Gmail email handle that is linked to your chosen domainUser management and admin features with several usersCollaboration features that promise privacy and security Multiple level auditing 24/7 access to G Suite support Dramatically increased storage ability While baseline features may be good enough for some businesses, the G Suite subscription takes sharing, collaborating, editing, and data analysis to a whole new level. G Suite plans The three main G Suite plans available are Basic, Business, and Enterprise. Each of these plans gives you access to the range of tools mentioned above, but differ in their capabilities and intended user. Payment for all three plans can happen through either a flexible plan or annual plan. Flexible – Monthly bill for each user account. This gives you the opportunity to remove or add new accounts whenever you want, and to only pay for the accounts you actually utilize that month. While you pay a slightly higher rate per month when compared to the annual total, you have the option to cancel your subscription whenever you choose without incurring any penalty.Annual Plan – With the annual plan, you pledge to pay for the service for an entire year at a slightly lower rate. You have the option to purchase more licenses as needed, but you can only remove licenses once the year is up. If you cancel the annual subscription early, you still are required to pay for the entire year. Basic At $5 per month per user, Basic gives you access to G Suites tools and features, and provides you with a somewhat limited 30 GB of storage. Basic is ideal for a small business that has five or fewer people, especially if your business does not have demanding data storage needs.   Business At $10 per month per user, Business gives you access to G Suites tool, and additional features, like 1 TB of storage per user. For companies with more than five users, this storage upgrades to unlimited. Business also includes: Cloud search – Intelligent search navigation for all your files and dataGoogle Vault – Archiving tools meant for legal compliance and policy managementeDiscovery – Process of seeking information for legal or investigative purposesAudit reports – Keeps a record of actions performed by admins As the name suggests, business is the model that most small to medium-sized businesses should utilize. The increased storage and search capabilities make it vastly more powerful. Enterprise At $25 per month per user, Enterprise is meant for larger companies that want unparalleled storage, features, and management tools. Enterprise includes: Enhanced Google Drive securityEmail traffic scanning for specific content, such as credit card or social security numbersImage scanning for text Third-party email archiving Data loss preventionGmail logs BigQuery analysis S/MIME encryption for improved email security Automatic mobile device management Suspicious activity detection 30 person Google Hangout meeting limit, which can also be recorded Benefits of G Suite Although we may have mentioned some of these previously, let’s dive into the benefits of purchasing a G Suite subscription: Gmail domain name – With G Suite, you can link your email name to your business’ domain, giving you a more professional appearance. Customers are far more likely to trust you and respond to your business if your email is Jake@computerpros.com rather than jake1970@hotmail.com. Do not worry though, this email is just the professional version of Gmail, so employees do not need to learn how to use some new email system.Email grouping – For bigger companies with multiple departments and roles, you can send out messages or emails to email groups instead of having to select each member of that department. For example, you can create a single message and send it to everyone grouped in marketing, or everyone grouped in accounting. The number of groups you can make is unlimited, so it does not have to be limited strictly to departments.Ease of use – At this point, most people already use the free versions of Gmail, Docs, and Sheets. Because of this, very little basic training is required, allowing you to focus on the more advanced tools and methods. This basic functionality means that even novice employees can get to work on most tasks immediately.Uptime – Google is one of the best web services in the world when it comes to uptime and reliability. G Suite never has scheduled maintenance or downtime windows and exceeds an absurd 99.9% Service Level Agreement. Thanks to redundant data centers, G Suite guarantees nearly perfect uptime, so you do not have to waste time as the site gets tinkered with or fixed.Round the clock support – G Suite comes with top-of-the-line customer support, which is not available for the free Gmail version. If you have any issues or questions, just call, email, or create a live chat with customer support. This is especially valuable for companies integrating Google Apps for the first time. Unparalleled team collaboration – Thanks to real-time updates, your whole team can work on the same document simultaneously. Each edit is linked to the editor, allowing the team to see who made a change, what change they made, and when that change occurred. Editing capabilities can be granted or removed if you simply want someone to read and make notes about the document. Thanks to the chat system, you can discuss ideas or edits as you go. This is especially useful for teams that work remotely, or in offices scattered across the country.Document sharing – Whether or not you are in the same building, or using the same device, your whole team can easily access and share documents with just a click. Even if you only have your mobile device, just sign in and pull up any doc you need. Offline abilities – Although G Suite thrives thanks to cloud hosting, these tools can be configured to work offline too! This gives you the chance to be productive even when you have no internet access. Unlimited storage space – As mentioned, if you have more than five users on a Business account you get unlimited cloud storage for your photos, videos, music, files, emails, and docs. Thanks to data migration tools and services, it’s also easy to transfer data from your current storage spot. Improved data security – Thanks to Drive, all your data can be safely stored in the cloud. You no longer have to worry about saving files or documents locally or have to deal with lost data when a computer fails or crashes. This data is safely stored and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.Two-Step authentication – G Suite allows for two-step verification to ensure that the person connecting to your network has verified their authenticity, with both their phone and email handle. This keeps your company safe and secure from breaches or hackers. Is it time to get your business professional tools from G Suite? G Suite tools are the solution for many businesses, as it complements a wide range of needs, while continuing to innovate upon its software. From better collaboration, linking your professional email to Gmail’s platform, unlimited storage, to the various other features offered by G Suite, there’s a clear reason why its in the top two office suites on the market. You can’t go wrong with a service of this caliber, especially one offered at an affordable price point. Domain.com makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. The post What is G Suite? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Design and Create The Right Business Logo For Your Audience

What makes your business memorable? Is it your catchy slogan or witty business name? How about your logo? What’s that, you say? You don’t have a logo?! Not having a logo is detrimental to your business. Now that you have a domain name and website it’s essential you design a logo. Photo courtesy of Merriam-Webster. Stop and think about some of the biggest businesses you know: Starbucks, Walmart, Nike. They all take great care in their logos. At a glance, these logos bring the business top of mind; if golden arches against a red background make you salivate, you’re not alone. Memorable logos aren’t strictly the purview of big business — your small business or side hustle can create one too! Let’s take a look at three things to keep in mind when designing your logo. Online success starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. Color influences perception Choosing the correct colors for your logo is imperative. Various colors evoke different emotions, and you can leverage those to your advantage. What are some common connotations that different colors have? Yellow is associated with happiness, green with health and nature, and purple with royalty. Not all colors work with all types of businesses. If you’ve been stressed and want a soothing, relaxing spa to while away an afternoon, which one will you visit: the spa whose logo is composed of calming greens and blues, or one whose electric, neon-colored logo looks like Rainbow Brite got sick all over it? It helps to ask your friends or family for input on your logo’s colors. How do the colors make them feel? What do they think of when seeing those colors? Use their feedback to refine your choices. You can also refer to this handy infographic courtesy of FastCompany. Size matters in logo design Your logo should always be featured on your website, marketing communications, and other advertising. Be mindful of your logo size and complexity, as not all of your advertising takes place on a giant billboard. If all your advertisements were that size it’d make sense to create an intricate, hyper-detailed logo, but that likely isn’t the case. Your logo should be distinctive and maintain clarity when displayed on small phone screens, business cards, pamphlets, or wherever else you may advertise. Choose your typography carefully Just as with color, different fonts are associated with different emotions and business types. Think about a soft, rounded, swooping script. Would you expect to find that sort of typography used by an edgy, street-wise graphic designer? Probably not. In fact, Wichita State University did a study to determine if different fonts were associated with emotions or personalities, and scripted fonts were perceived as being feminine and casual. Before you decide on a font, consider doing some sleuthing. Are your competitors all using a similar font type? It may be a good idea to choose a like font, as your audience may have already created an association between that font type and your industry. Creating a good logo takes more than a cute design When creating a logo for your new website and business, keep these tips in mind. Color, size, and type are three indispensable components of logo design. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you a little while to come up with the perfect logo! After all, it’s one of the first things people think of when they think of your business, so it’s important to take the time to iterate and create something special. Online success starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. The post Design and Create The Right Business Logo For Your Audience appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Start a Business Without a Ton of Money

You’re finally doing it. You’ve decided to start your own business, become your own boss, and break out of the daily grind. But then reality sets in – you have no money to help get your business off the ground. So what now? In any business, money is everything. You want to be prepared for unexpected expenses, issues with getting paid by customers, and anything else that might affect your cash flow. Starting a business with no money isn’t easy, and you’ll face some pretty large challenges as you work your way to success, but it is possible. Here are some ways to turn your big idea into your dream job. Online success starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. Keep your day job You may want to throw caution to the wind, and throw yourself into your true passion, but great things come to those who are patient. The most important thing you can do right now is keep your job. Even though it may not be the most impactful role you could see yourself in, what it does offer is a steady source of business capital. You can even start a side hustle. Using aspects of your developing business as a side job can help you network with all the right people, and make connections in your new industry. If you don’t have a job and you’re considering starting a business with your new free time, bump up getting a new job to the first item on your business checklist. Is a conventional career not for you? That’s fine. Look into getting a flexible role, or a remote position, instead. Start your business using what you know When starting your business, one way to ensure success, and help avoid burnout, is to build your business around the skills, interests, and knowledge you already have. This could be anything people buy, from handmade crafts, to pet sitting, fitness coaching, or even big-ticket items like building custom computers, or restoring vintage cars. Going into business in the same industry as your day job gives you a leg up, since you most likely already know many of the ins and outs of the business. Until your business takes off, it’s wise to figure out where you might be able to save some cash and do most of the tasks yourself. Do you need to build a website? Do you need product photography? Do you need to actually make physical items and build up inventory? While some of these are short-term time investments, remember to budget time and money for other tasks like bookkeeping, taxes, customer support, and anything else that may become a consistent need for your business. If you were unsure about the need to build a website for your new business, the answer is that you absolutely do need one. Take the time to build a website, but also to create social media channels for your brand. Take advantage of free stock photography from websites like Unsplash or Pixabay. If you need product photography, it’s possible to replicate studio-quality product photography with minimal investment using the smartphone you already own. You can also find free photo-editing products, such as GIMP, which helps you get your products ready to sell.When you’re working with a tight business budget, every penny counts. Tell everyone who may be interested in your business If you’re starting a business, think about who you already know who can help you get the word out. Reach out to your friends, family, and even social media and networking groups. Remember to do this in a mindful, considerate way – your new business’ reputation now depends on it. You want your social network to be just as excited and positive about your business as you. Don’t pressure anyone to spend their precious time or cash unless there’s a valuable return for them. Your networking ability is your most powerful asset at this juncture of your business, especially if you’re targeting local customers. Be kind to them. This is your opportunity to get free feedback as well, such as if a product you created wore out too quickly, didn’t operate as expected, or had issues with shipping. Your social connections are more likely to be gentler about these issues since they know you, and they’re doing you a huge favor by letting you know about these problems so you can correct them. Speaking of your social network, if you don’t already have social media, now’s the time to take the plunge. Create profiles on the top five sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube. Social media allows you to control the image of your business, advertise new products, and engage with existing or potential customers. These sites also come in handy when it’s time to invest in paid social media. While it’s important to sell products and services on your own website, small business owners can also benefit from selling on Etsy, Amazon, Craigslist, or in local or interest-based Facebook sale groups. Once you have some visibility, marketing materials, and business cards, it’s time to network with other local businesses and see where you might be able to make some connections or referrals for free. If you’re opening a bed and breakfast, see if there are souvenir or gift shops in your area, and ask to leave some brochures. If you’re offering fitness classes, consider where people who are looking to get fit might shop – this could be as simple as leaving your card or flyer on a bulletin board at your local health-oriented grocery store. Try to figure out where your target customers might go before, or after, they make a purchase from you. You can also work with local media, business organizations, or community events. Figure out your actual costs Do you know the essential costs for your business? It may be more (or less) than you think. Now that you have a solid plan for your business, you need to figure out the running costs required to maintain your business. As a small business owner, you may be able to write off expenses at tax time, but you’ll still need to be prepared to pay them upfront. This may also change as your business plans change – if you started as a personal trainer traveling to the homes of your clients, but now want to channel your passion into starting a gym, you need a physical space. If your products are selling online, you don’t need a storefront – unless all your customers are local, or you live in an area that’s popular with tourists. As you ramp up your business, the cost of equipment, tools, or materials grows too. See where you can rent these items, buy them used at a steep discount, or buy them wholesale. Lean into your network of friendly business to learn ways to save money. Budgeting tip: If that sounds like a whole lot of math that you’re completely unprepared for, check out this free course in Accounting created by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Pay attention to your returns on investment If you need to generate cash flow quickly, focus on selling items or services with a high return on investment (ROI). This means your investment in the product is minimum, but the revenue you receive from each sale is maximized. Doing this might be harder in some businesses, but almost all businesses can find something to offer at a high ROI. For example, bath bombs for your spa business, or a fitness guide for your gym, can both be created quickly, but sold over and over again. Apps are another example, as digital items can be a huge source of revenue. If you create your own products, see if you can find materials of equal quality that are available in bulk, or research other ways to swap out your monetary investment for a time investment. A baker might make their own custom sprinkles, a gym owner might paint their own location, or an accountant might prepare their own spreadsheets and formulas. These are also examples of using what you know to help build your business. Borrow the money you need to get started There’s no reason to scale up quickly. unless you’re committed and are ready for it to work. If these tips have helped your business grow at a steady clip, it may be best to keep a bootstrap mindest, using revenue to grow your business, rather than an outside investment. Still, sometimes you need capital to reach the next phase in your business growth. You determine the metrics of your success, but some small businesses do have the potential to become big, and for that to happen your business needs to keep growing. At a certain point, it may become clear that your business can’t possibly grow without an influx of cash. If you want to jumpstart your business, and you’re ready to take the risk, it might be time to consider getting a small business loan. Before approaching a bank or lender, make sure to read reviews from other business owners who have worked with them. This should also be your last option. First, you need to have a solid business plan, a steady customer base, and steady revenue. Then you have a shot at getting approved for that loan. If you want to avoid a loan, consider approaching potential investors, or borrowing the money from your own savings. Your family may have seen the potential of your business, and may want to contribute to help you get to the next level. Be cautious. Loans, and dipping into savings, whether you own or your family’s, comes with a risk. Be careful not to overextend your business. Big things have small beginnings Did you know that some of the most wildly successful businesses went through the exact same growing pains your business is experiencing? Whole Foods, Nike, Apple, and Disney are some of the most well-known companies with small business roots. The founders of Whole Foods, John Mackey and Rene Lawson, actually lived in their first store when times were tough. Their seed money came from friends and relatives. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The founders of Nike, Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman, started out by selling shoes from the trunk of their car. Today, Nike’s net worth is $126.4 billion. Disney was started in a garage. Today, Disney’s net worth is over $110 billion. Still don’t believe us? All of these businesses started with almost nothing: Dell – worth $90 billionHewlett-Packard – worth $57.9 billion Harley Davidson – worth $5.66 billion Mattel – worth $4.29 billion Yankee Candle – worth $1.75 billion (2013) You’re not alone in this All of this sounds like a lot of hard work, and it’s okay to be nervous as your new business takes its first steps, but stay optimistic. The potential growth of your new business, and the new challenges you’ll face, can also help you grow. Start working for yourself, make your own rules, and build a legacy that lasts. No matter what kind of business you’re starting, these tips can help you get enough money together to get started towards your goals. Online success starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. The post How to Start a Business Without a Ton of Money appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Build a Network and Find Customers by Being Social

“Build it, and [they] will come.” Unless your name is Kevin Costner, or you’re some other 90s movie heartthrob, or you have a Hollywood budget, then stop right there — that’s not how you draw in your audience. “But I just finished building a shiny, new website and listed all my inventory for sale.” That’s great! It really is! We’re not here to rain on any parades, but we are here to help you do more business now that you’ve got the perfect domain name and your site is up and running. To do more business, you need to find the customers or clients interested in what you’re selling. Where are they? Let’s look at two different approaches to finding your ideal audience so you can turn them into your newest customers. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The right social media channel for your business Everyone you know, or could hope to know, is on social media. Except that one guy who decided to move off-the-grid after college. Obviously, this means you should join every single social media network there is, and blast the details of your new site, new products, and, of course, share pictures of yesterday’s lunch. Right? Please don’t do that. Your audience is on social media, that much is true, but they’re not on every single network so you don’t have to be either. Are you launching a new blog or ecommerce site? Consider using Pinterest where you can create and share pins that link to your site’s posts or products. The more your pins are shared, the greater your audience will grow. Pinterest works as a “visual discovery engine for finding ideas,” so make your pins look good. If you’re not a professional designer, don’t panic! There are many free tools like Canva or Unsplash that can fuel your creativity and make creating pins a breeze. If you’re selling products, or have a lifestyle brand, Instagram is a no-brainer. Be there, and be square (no, really, square images at 1080×1080 pixels look best on the platform, even though they’ve recently opened it up for vertical and horizontal images as well). To find your audience, investigate relevant hashtags, and incorporate them into your posts when applicable. If you’re still calling “#” the pound symbol, it’s probably time to upgrade from rotary to smartphone. Instagram tip: Describe your image, or share your story in the caption, but try posting your hashtags in a separate comment. It can influence the algorithm behind the platform and boost your post’s visibility, since posts with engagement (i.e. that comment on your post that’s full of hashtags) perform better. A social media search engine for finding customers What’s your favorite search engine: Google? DuckDuckGo? Mine is Twitter. If you’re searching for a passionate audience, look to Twitter. Most people search Twitter using hashtags, usernames, or keywords, but it’s capable of so much more. Let’s say you’re opening a local microbrewery, and you’re looking for customers. Search Twitter with an advanced search for people talking about beer in your geographic area using Boolean operators. If they’re already talking about your niche, the likelihood of them talking about your site or store goes up! Boolean operators are simple words and symbols that help to vastly improve your search results. If your search for local beer drinkers is turning up lots of local root beer drinkers, you may want to search “beer -root” (beer MINUS root) to better cater your results. Here’s a handy cheat-sheet including that operator and more. You should spend some time on each social network to find out where your audience is, but don’t invest all your time going hog-wild on each and every social network. Once you’ve identified where your online audience is, invest in those networks. What did people do to find customers before social media? Was it even possible?! Yes. Of course it was. In fact, it still is. Find your network offline If you haven’t looked into your local chamber of commerce, now is the time to start. You, your site, and your business don’t exist in a silo, and your local chamber of commerce can help you build connections to network in your community. Talk to other chamber members to discuss what has and hasn’t worked for their business. You can find a mentor and learn what sort of advertising works best in your area. Talking to other local business owners gives you an advantage that is harder to come by on social media: local word-of-mouth. According to research done by the team at Convince and Convert, Americans value word of mouth recommendations from friends and family a whopping 41% more than social media recommendations. By building relationships with other local entrepreneurs you can find opportunities for joint ventures, and when one of their customers has a need they can’t address, they can refer them to you. Build a network of the right customers and fellow entrepreneurs Identifying your audience doesn’t have to be a solo task, use the power of community to help. Establish your business on the right social media channel, use it to find customers, and expand your reach into the audiences of other businesses by networking offline. What other tips and tricks do you have to help identify audiences and prospective customers? We’d love to hear them, and we’re sure other entrepreneurs and side-hustlers would, too. Let us know in the comments! It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post How to Build a Network and Find Customers by Being Social appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Can Your New Business Idea Actually Turn a Profit?

Phase 1: Collect ideas. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit.   This reasoning only works if you’re a mythical creature – and maybe not even then. Instead, you need to accept that turning that idea into a profitable business takes time, and careful planning. For now, don’t think about the end, or the never-ending doubt, start small so you can fail fast, find the right customers, and focus on helping those customers. Keeping your head down now can help build revenue organically, and position your business to succeed in the long term. Let’s create a plan that connects your new business idea with the customers that actually want to buy from you. Online success starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. Start small and be prepared to fail fast   Standing out requires experimentation, so a good plan builds in enough flexibility to let some of those experiments fail. The key is to keep your investment small enough at the start so that one mistake, or even a few, doesn’t set you back too far. Keeping a day job and growing a side hustle lets you adapt quickly, without the pressure of needing to pay bills. Instead of trying to launch a new product to the masses right away, focus on developing your product or service for a niche. Find a way to be different than your competitors, buy a domain name, and build a website to bring your products or services into the world. Listen closely to customer feedback so you can continue to improve your products so they fit the needs of your target audience. Find the right customers for your products or services The right products can’t help your business turn a profit if you’re not getting those products into the hands of customers. You can’t target everyone in the world, so decide who to target with your website design and marketing. Be as specific as possible. It’s likely that the ideal brand image for your business targets customers who are a lot like you. Once you have a place for your business online, start finding offline opportunities to interact with customers. Attend trade shows, or local events, that get your products into the hands of the right people. Listen to their stories, and find the problems that they’re trying to solve with a product or service like yours. Then, after the event, use your learnings to tweak your marketing strategy and website messaging to keep speaking to the people who are right for your business. Remember that it’s not (all) about profit When money is tight and the pressure is on to keep your business alive, it’s easy to focus only on revenue. If you only focus on attracting new customers, and sucking as much profit out of them as possible, the long term health of your business is likely to suffer. Focusing on helping your customers, and positioning using your products or services as solutions to their problems, is better for building relationships that last. Those relationships between your business and your customers are what keep your business profitable, and growing. If customers see that you only care about profit, there’s no incentive to support you. You need profit to keep your business growing, but satisfied customers return more money, which you can use to keep helping those same customers.   Testing for profitability means you can invest with confidence   The old maxim that it takes money to make money is still true; to grow your business, you need to invest in the right tools and the right strategies that keep you moving in the right direction. Instead of throwing money blindly down the drain, or multiple drains, testing your business idea for profitability means you can invest in the right strategy more confidently. If you don’t test, that means you’re trying to run a business with your gut. For some people that works, but you don’t want to bet your new business on luck. A successful experiment, say creating a funny or bold video campaign, lets you regroup, invest more money in the next video, and promote it more heavily. With more firepower behind your marketing, more people see your business, and the more revenue you can build. Grow your idea into a profitable business without all of the doubt Get your new business idea into phase two and start testing its profitability with your audience. With the right plan to guide your growth, you can continue investing in your business without letting the doubt pile on your shoulders. Start small, find the right customers, and help them with their problems. It’s time to go to work. Work all night. Search for customers, hey! Online success starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. The post Can Your New Business Idea Actually Turn a Profit? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Power All of Your Marketing with the Story of Starting Your Business

Forget those businesses with a century of customer loyalty and tradition under their belt. They have it easy. You have to market your new business idea with your own merit. Until people are familiar with your business and your products, you can market to those new customers by telling the story of your business. Why did you start it in the first place? Why did your new products or services need to exist? This story can power all of your marketing. You can be jealous of that storied family business, with customers supporting some great-great-great-grandmother’s legacy for over a hundred years, or you can ignore it, and tell your own story instead. You’re just getting started, so tell your customers what made you get started. If they support you, they’ll be supporting you for what your business is doing right now. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. Why did you start your business? There’s a good chance that you had a moment when you discovered a problem without a solution. This is the moment you decided to do it yourself, and create a business that solves that problem for other people. It’s as simple as that. Design a marketing strategy around the story behind that moment, and how you progressed to turn that solution into a business. If you didn’t have that moment, maybe you were simply an expert in a related field and wanted to try to build a business on your own, the key is to focus on the problem. Once you find the problem, show that you’ve already discovered the solution: your business. If you wanted organic, homemade, locally sourced ice cream in your area, but couldn’t find it, how did your live change when you started producing the ice cream yourself. How was that first taste of homemade mint chip (the best flavor ever, of course)? Connect your story to your best customers The problem your business is trying to solve, the one you had, is the same problem of your customers. There’s a good chance they’re currently experiencing the same frustration that you experienced when struggling to find the solution. Your goal is to present your story through marketing to those same customers, and show that you understand. Instead of trying to focus on a whole audience of potential customers, though, start by focusing on your best customers. If you don’t have any customers yet, then focus on the ideal customer. This ideal customer is likely to be similar to you. Focusing on a smaller subset lets you fine tune your story, your professional website, and the rest of your marketing to speak to the right people in a powerful, valuable way. Where to start telling your story The place where you tell your story is just as important as the story that you’re telling. Not many people are apt to pay attention to ice cream while walking through waist-deep snow. The same goes for reaching your customers with the right message, at the right time. You have to find the channels where your customers spend most of their time, and then focus your marketing story for that specific channel. For example, if you’ve discovered that the majority of your target audience, your potential customers, researches about ice cream flavors on a review site like Yelp, then you should work to make sure your Yelp page reflects well on your business. Make sure all of the imagery, and text you display are cohesive with the story that you’re telling with the rest of your marketing. If your story is funny, your Yelp page shouldn’t be super serious. Consistency is important when talking to your audience. Your story doesn’t have to be new or exciting If that storied business can tout the same story for a century, why worry about presenting your business story as the “new, cutting edge?” The problem that your business solves might not be anything new, like really, really good ice cream, but you can still be original at the same time. Your story is not going to be exactly the same as anyone else’s. You can just tell it honestly. The more specific you can be about your struggles, the better. Did you go through multiple rounds of product development before releasing it to the public? Did you learn something that blew your mind about your industry? Did you discover that your favorite ice cream flavor to eat during the summer is actually peppermint stick? However you arrived at the solutions for your business, show customers that you’re unique, to show that your business, and your products, are just as unique.   Your business story is yours to tell the world When you’re just starting out, you don’t have a storied history, or legacy, to power all of your marketing. You rely on what you’re doing right now to help your customers. Tell them why you started your business in the first place, so customers can connect with the human story behind the products. We all have a story to tell. What’s yours? It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post How to Power All of Your Marketing with the Story of Starting Your Business appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is ICANN?

You might not have heard the acronym ICANN, but it’s imperative to keeping the Internet running as we know it. In this post, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about ICANN, and the vital role it plays within the worldwide web. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. What is ICANN? ICANN, which stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a non-profit organization that was established in the United States in 1998 to help maintain the security of the Internet, and allow it to be usable by all. Anytime you register a domain on the Internet, you go through a domain name registrar, who pays a small fee to ICANN to register your domain as part of the domain registration process. While ICANN doesn’t control what content goes on the Internet, meaning it cannot regulate Internet access or help to stop spam from occurring, it does help keep the web safe by developing and enforcing policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. These unique identifiers are the name and number that you type into the address bar when conducting a search for a given site. The address for that site has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. By helping to coordinate these unique identifiers all over the world, ICANN allows us to have a global Internet. In doing so, ICANN also helps promote competition on the web and plays a vital role in the expansion and evolution of the Internet. How is ICANN related to the Domain Name System? There is a system that exists to make the Internet accessible to human beings. This system, called the Domain Name System, or DNS, makes it easier for us to remember a web address, or IP address. An IP address is a complex series of numbers that each correlate to a different device, however, it would be quite difficult for a human to remember these long lists of numbers. The DNS steps in to convert these numbers to a series of letters instead. The IP address links this series of letters to the precise series of numbers. When this conversion is done, you can find a given website with its name, rather than a seemingly random series of numbers. The computers still communicate with each other and know the address by these numbers, but for humans, we just need to remember to Domain.com, for example. The DNS, therefore makes it much easier for people to use the Internet. It also prevents a domain from being tied to one specific computer, since it is easy to change a particular domain and IP address. When a change occurs,, it takes the entire Internet less than 48 hours to recognize the change because the ultra-flexible DNS infrastructure is constantly updating. A domain is comprised of two elements, including what comes before and after the dot. What comes to the right of the dot, such as a “com,” “org,” or “net,” is what is known as a top-level domain, or TLD. For each particular TLD, there is one company, or registry, that is in charge of all domains that end with that specific TLD. This registry has access to the full list of domains that are directly under that name, in addition to any IP address with which those names are associated. The part before the dot is likely the name of your company, or organization, and is the domain name that you register. This domain is used for your website, email, and more. The DNS, therefore, makes it possible for people to find particular websites on the Internet, through the information provided during the domain name registration process. Email and many other online uses are also based upon this system. Now you might be wondering where ICANN comes in… Domains are sold by registrars. There is no single registrar that rules over all domains, but rather a vast network. These registrars can charge whatever they want for a domain, but each registrar has to pay a set per-domain fee to the appropriate registry in which the domain is being registered. ICANN has contracts with each of these registries and runs an accreditation system for registrars. This system of checks and balances provides the stable domain name environment, which gives us an open Internet. What is ICANN’s role in IP addresses? The relationship between ICANN and IP addresses is similar to that of the domain names used by humans. Just as you cannot have two domains of the same name, there also cannot be identical IP addresses. ICANN does not run this system, but serves in an administrative role. It helps coordinate how IP addresses are handed out so no repetitions occur. ICANN also serves as the central repository for IP addresses. In this repository, ranges are supplied to regional registries, who then distribute them to network providers. What does ICANN have to do with root servers? There are thirteen root servers in all, meaning, more technically, that there are thirteen IP addresses where root servers can be found. These servers that have one of the thirteen IP addresses can be located in dozens of different physical areas of the web. However, all of these servers store a copy of the same file that acts as the main index of the Internet’s address books. Each top-level domain has an address listed where you can find that registry’s address book. Root servers are not consulted very frequently, since once it is known by computers on the network, the address of a top-level domain is retained. They only check back in occasionally to make sure that the address has not changed. However, root servers are still an important piece of the Internet and help to keep it functioning smoothly. The operators of the root servers are able to remain largely autonomous. However, they still need to work with each other and make sure the system stays up-to-date with ICANN and the changing Internet. What is ICANN’s primary purpose? The main role of ICANN is to make the Internet run smoothly all over the world. This is more commonly known as “universal resolvability.” This term means that you get the same results when you access the network, no matter where you are in the world. This gives us one Internet, rather than an experience that works differently depending on your location. How is ICANN structured? ICANN as a whole is actually made up of several different groups, which each represent a different section of the Internet. Each group contributes to any final decisions made by ICANN. These supporting organizations of ICANN represent IP addresses, domain names, and country code top-level domains. There are also four advisory committee teams that offer ICANN advice. These advisory committee groups represent government bodies and international treaty organizations, root server operators, Internet privacy and security, and the at-large community (referring to the average Internet user). Finally, there is a technical liaison group that works with organizations to provide basic protocols for Internet technologies.   All ICANN final decisions are made by its Board of Directors. The Board has 21 total members, 15 of whom have voting rights, while the remaining six are non-voting liaisons. Eight of the voting members are chosen by an independent nominating committee, while the rest are nominated by supporting organizations. ICANN also has a President and CEO, who direct the ICANN staff and its work. This staff is located all over the world in different countries and coordinates their efforts with supporting organizations and advisory committees. What is the ICANN decision-making process? Since ICANN has a pretty important job to do, you may be curious about how they go about making changes to the Internet. The supporting organizations suggest changes to the current network, or bring up any concerns that they or an advisory committee identifies. These changes are discussed, and eventually, a report is created and released for public review. When the suggested changes impact another group within the ICANN system, that group is given the opportunity to review the suggested changes and offer opinions on the matter. This group’s views are then released to the public, as well. Each of these reviews is put into a single report that is put before the ICANN Board of Directors, including a list of recommendations based on the feedback. The Board then goes over the list, and either approves or denies the changes. The Board can approve all changes, or approve some and deny others, or even perhaps deny the entire proposal. Often, the issue is sent back to one of the supporting organizations involved, with an explanation of what needs to be amended before the matter can be approved. The process repeats until every group involved, and the Board of Directors, can agree to a compromise or a final decision on the report is made. Who holds ICANN accountable? There are both external and internal accountabilities for ICANN. As far as external accountabilities are concerned, ICANN as an organization is incorporated under the law of the State of California. ICANN, therefore, must abide by United States’ law and can be taken to court by the U.S. judicial system. As a public non-profit organization, ICANN and its directors are also held legally responsible for upholding their duties under corporate law. ICANN also holds itself accountable through its bylaws, the global Board presence, an independent nominating advisory committee (which selects some Board members), senior staff who are annually elected by the Board, and dispute resolution procedures, including a Board reconsideration committee, an independent review panel, and an ombudsman. Keeping the Internet open ICANN serves a primary role in the efforts to keep the Internet open for all. It does this through its model of multi-stakeholder control, although some have expressed concerns about ICANN operating as an independent body, fearing that no single business, government, or individual should be in control of the Internet. It should be stated once more that ICANN’s role is not to regulate content that appears online, however, there are concerns about the content that may emerge when the DNS is controlled by international governments. There are additional concerns over how ICANN handles controversial content, and other matters, since domain-level takedowns could be viewed as violations of freedom of speech and/or freedom of the press. The processes ICANN has incorporated serve to ensure that the Internet remains open to all users, all over the world, on one connected network. ICANN helps to keep your website online As you can see, ICANN plays a pivotal role in maintaining the Internet as we know it and continues to mold and evolve the Internet of tomorrow. Anytime you register a domain, ICANN gets a small piece of the fee, and oversees your domain to help maintain the security of the web. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post What is ICANN? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What Is a 301 or 302 Redirect?

To help you (and the search engines) out, we can quickly explain to you the simple difference between a 301 and 302 redirect: A 301 redirect indicates that a page has permanently moved to a new location. Meanwhile, a 302 redirect says that the page has moved to a new location, but that it is only temporary. This post will answer these questions and more as we cover the differences between 301 and 302 redirects so you’ll know which to use when the time comes. What is a 301 Redirect? A 301 redirect is a redirect, or more specifically, a status code, that tells search engines and users that the page has permanently moved, and makes sure that they are sent to the correct page. As this is permanent, when a 301 redirect is used, it signifies that the content on the page has been moved forever. Users will be redirected to the new page, which has replaced the old one. The redirect will typically help change the URL of the page when it shows up in search engine results. If you’ve invested in building a website or starting an online store, you’ll want to pay close attention to the impact this can have on your site. You can think of a 301 redirect like a Change of Address form that you have to fill out with the Postal Service if you were to move. Just like your mail is rerouted from your old address to your new address, your web traffic will be sent from your old URL to the new URL. Thankfully, you won’t lose all of your hard work building up your old site in SERPs (search engine result page). All of your existing SEO value and link popularity for the old URL will be transferred to your new URL. What is a 302 Redirect? Whereas a 301 redirect is a permanent relocation of your URL, a 302 redirect is a temporary change that will redirect both users and search engines to the desired new location for a limited amount of time until the redirect is removed. This 302 redirect may be shown as a 302 found (HTTP 1.1) or moved temporarily (HTTP 1.0). A 302 redirect is much easier to do, as it can be done using a meta tag or in Javascript, rather than requiring the webmaster to access server files and spending the additional time that will be necessary to create a 301 redirect. Using a 302 redirect when you should have used a 301 redirect becomes an issue when search engines try to determine which page is of higher value. It is likely that the search engine will only list one version of the page in its search engine results, meaning the wrong page could wind up being the one that gets listed. This problem will compound over time as a chain of redirects can build upon older sites. What Do the 301 and 302 Numbers Signify? The numbers of these redirects refer to their HTTP status code. There are five classes of HTTP status codes within the official registry and the first digit of each status code identifies its response class. When a code begins with the number three, it signifies that the code belongs to the redirect class. But why does the status code matter? The code is important because of your “link juice.” This charming term refers to search engine equity that you have built up for a specific URL. When you need to let search engine crawlers know that your site or page has moved, you must properly redirect them to the new page. The “status” of your redirect will, therefore, be significant or else you will risk losing this “link juice” and essentially be starting from scratch, while potentially competing against your old page at the same time. When your URL is properly redirected, you will maintain your link juice and domain authority when you shift everything over to your new page, meaning you will maintain your search engine rankings and link power — aka, the juice. A 302 redirect does not pass the “juice” or keep your domain authority to its new location. It simply redirects the user to the new location for you so they do not view a broken link, a 404 page not found, or an error page. This helps with your user experience but it is rare that a 302 will be a better option over a 301 redirect. But when would that be? Let’s take a look at when you should use each. When Should You Use a 301 Redirect? When a webmaster mistakenly uses a 302 redirect when they should have used a 301 redirect it can cause issues for the website. Since search engines react to each redirect differently, you need to make sure you’ve set up the right one. Otherwise, the search engine may determine that one is a mistake, and stop sending traffic to the intended page if it chooses the wrong one. By knowing the differences between 301 and 302 redirects, you will be able to stop this from happening and help to optimize your website’s search engine optimization performance in the current, as well as making sure you don’t lose any of the SEO you built up on your previous page. There are several instances where it will be a better option to use a 301 redirect, which is a permanent redirect. Some examples include: When you want to transfer a domainWhen links to any outdated URLs need to be sent to a new page. For example: if you are merging two websites.You use several different URLs to access your site. You should select a single URL to be your preferred destination and use your 301 redirects to send traffic to your new website. You’ve permanently changed your website domain name and want to transition away from your old site as seamlessly as possible. You have launched your site in a new CMS and your URL structure has changedYou are converting your site from an http to an https. When a 301 redirect is set up, your new page will show up in search engine results with a 301 redirect. The 301 code tells search engines that you have moved your site permanently and all traffic will be redirected from your old content to new. The search engines can then direct search engine ranking and value signals toward the new URL because it will understand this location to be your new, permanent home. Despite this being the redirect that will be the better choice in the majority of scenarios, there are certain times where it would be a better option to use a 302 redirect. When Should You Use a 302 Redirect? Despite the fact that a 302 redirect does not distribute SEO, there are a few scenarios where it actually made sense to use one. This is a less common scenario, simply because it isn’t often you would temporarily move a webpage rather than permanently, but there are situations in which it is appropriate. An example of such a time would be when you need a redirect in an e-commerce setting. For instance, if you have a product that is no longer available for sale, such as an item that is seasonal or out of stock, you can create a 302 redirect and send users to the category page of your web store. Since they cannot order the product at that time, it makes sense to show them similar products that are currently available. The 302 tells search engines that the website is just offline temporarily, and the value of the page should remain intact rather than be passed on to another URL. Another reason webmasters may use a 302 redirect over a 301 is to avoid the Google aging delay (more on this in a minute) that is associated with a 301 redirect. However, this can become an issue for Google, because it eventually has to consider whether or not the webmaster actually meant to use a 301 redirect. Google tries to make these decisions because it wants to improve the search engine experience. Google also knows that webmasters have often used a 302 redirect when a 301 redirect was the more appropriate choice. This strategy can cause issues in not only the search engine ranking but also the continued indexing of the old URL and link popularity being split up between the old and new URLs. Another scenario for a 302 redirect would be appropriate if you are conducting A/B testing for a web page to test its functionality or design. This is actually a good practice to soft launch your website and see which version is more desirable or provides a better user experience. By using a 302 redirect, you can get client and user feedback on your new page without impacting your site ranking. The Google Aging Delay When you move a web page or entire website to a new location, you want users to still be able to find your site. You will then want to use a redirect to tell the user’s web browser to automatically forward them from the old location to the new one. And while you would hope that this would be an instant process and that Google or other search engines would follow the redirects right away, this sometimes isn’t the case. Moving a website can sometimes trigger what is known as a Google aging delay. If this occurs, the site will drop out of the search rankings for several months, even as much as up to a year, which can be rather catastrophic for certain companies. Summary Thankfully, Google doesn’t take people literally, and won’t penalize a webmaster from mistakenly using a 302 redirect when they meant to use a 301. Google checks, and if it determines that the user meant to use a 301, they will treat the redirect as such. However, it is much easier for you to make the right designation on the front end rather than guess and hope Google fixes it if you were wrong. There is also no guarantee that Google will make the correct designation, so hopefully, by reading through this post, you will be able to set up your redirect to the correct setting, which will usually be to a 301. Just remember. Permanent redirect = 301, while temporary = 302. The post What Is a 301 or 302 Redirect? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is a Subdomain?

You might think you have a firm grasp on what a subdomain is. After all, the name is rather obvious and a bit of a spoiler alert. But subdomains are filled with plenty of little intricacies that make them a unique member of the Internet ecosystem. And while you might feel confident about what a subdomain is, you might not be aware of everything you can use a subdomain for, or the challenges that come along with having a subdomain. For example, do you know the impact subdomains can have on your website’s search engine ranking? In this post, we’re going to dig into all things subdomains, so you can be much more confident about your subdomain knowledge than you were before. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. What is a subdomain? A subdomain is, as the name would suggest, an additional section of your main domain name. You create subdomains to help organize and navigate to different sections of your main website. Within your main domain, you can have as many subdomains as necessary to get to all of the different pages of your website. Here’s an example to give you a better visual. Let’s say you sell refrigerators at your main webpage, isellrefrigerators.com. If you sell your fancy food coolers online, you need to have an ecommerce store. This should be a part of your main website, which will then require a subdomain. The URL for your web store then becomes store.isellrefrigerators.com. Therefore, “store” is your subdomain, while “isellrefrigerators” is your main domain. The “.com” is your top level domain. You can actually use any text you’d like as your subdomain, but it’s in your best interest to make it something that’s easy for users to type and remember. Subdomains make internet life easier You should be quite thankful for the existence of subdomains, whether you’re a web browser or the person building a website. The DNS, or Domain Name System, exists to make our lives easier. Because of the DNS, we only need to remember the names of a subdomain, rather than a random string of numbers. The Domain Name System (DNS) is in place to create an Internet hierarchy to regulate the domains and subdomains. These rules say that the domains always go right to left. Therefore the “.com” in store.isellrefrigerators.com is the top level domain, “Isellrefrigerators” is the second level domain, and “store” is the subdomain. Companies make money by selling subdomains There are people and companies out there that have created a lucrative business model by selling subdomains. To do this, they buy attractive domain names and sell the registrations to the subdomains. Other platforms, like WordPress or WebsiteBuilder, use a similar business model by allowing users to create their own profiles, on their own unique subdomains, underneath the same root domain. That’s why every WordPress  site has both the unique name as well as the domain in the URL. How to use a subdomain While a subdomain is part of the main website, it’s considered a separate entity by search engines. People recognized this and decided to use subdomains to organize their website, without allowing  certain parts of the site to be indexed by Google. Companies use subdomains for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it’s to give a webpage a separate identity in search engine results while also keeping it a part of the main website. When testing out your new website One of the most common uses of subdomains is to use them as a testing ground for when you’re updating or creating a new version of your website. You can actually install a program like WordPress on your subdomain and use it as a completely separate entity from your main website. You can also test your updates and plugins on your subdomain to see how they perform before you publish them to your live site. When using subdomains as a testing ground, the subdomain will typically be something that web users won’t think to type in, since you don’t want them to see the content yet. They act as “hidden” pages where you can safely test new features before it is ready to go live. Create subdomains for specific users or clients Let’s say you are making a pitch to a client to create their new website. You can create a subdomain that is specifically intended for them to give an idea of what their new website might look like. This is hosted on your own main domain, while retaining ownership of the subdomain. You can then customize the site to your client’s needs. Another example is if a restaurant group opens a new location. You can then add the new restaurant to the parent site, and create a web page for the new location. This keeps the new restaurant under your overall umbrella, while giving it its own online identity. Cater to different niches of users There might be times when you need your web content to appeal to different types of users. For instance, if you have a lot of international visitors, you may need to translate your website into different languages. If so, you can create subdomains of your website so users can browse in their native language. It’s often easier (and more cost-effective) to create separate pages than to have one multilingual site. Sometimes, you may also need to cater your web content to different regions. The best example of this is Craigslist, which has separate subdomains for different regions. The websites are optimized for each specific region, but are all hosted on a master domain. Detach your blog from your main website It can sometimes be a good idea to break your blog off from your main site onto a subdomain. Maybe your blog following has grown and is slowing down your main site, or maybe because you want to switch up your blog design. You can also change your blog to a different CMS. But overall, you might want to move your blog because it serves a different purpose than your main domain. Depending on what your main domain does, it might make sense to move your blog to a subdomain so they can exist separately, while still being tied together under your main domain. Move your ecommerce site Likewise, you may want to get your ecommerce page off of your main domain for the same sort of reasons. The goal of your main site may not be to make sales, and if you have a lot of traffic, or tons of products, it can slow down your pages, creating a poor user experience. Switching to a subdomain helps things move more smoothly and make your ecommerce site more accessible to your customers. Create a separate site for mobile A subdomain can also be utilized to provide a more mobile-friendly experience for your site visitors. Search engines like Google can recognize the type of device a searcher is using, and will serve the version of your website that gives them the best user experience. You can create separate versions of your website that cater to mobile, and even more specifically, to each screen size. This adaptive approach gives users a unique experience, catered specifically to the type of device they’re currently using. Each of these different layouts have their own specific subdomain. Providing a mobile-friendly subdomain is a must in today’s world, where more users are conducting searches on smartphones than on other devices. Subdomains vs. subdirectories Subdirectories are another similar form of subfolders that can be used as extensions of your main root domain. While a subdomain typically comes before the main domain in your URL, a subdirectory would come after. Using our earlier example, isellrefrigerators.com, if you were to add the store as a subdirectory instead of a subdomain, it would appear as isellrefrigerators.com/store. There is much debate over whether subdomains or subdirectories are better when it comes to organizing your website and your many subfolders, especially in regards to search engine optimization. Let’s quickly look at some of the pros and cons of each. Hosting fees Because subdomains are regarded as separate websites by Google, they also need to be hosted on separate hosting plans. This means that you will need to pay a separate hosting fee for each subdomain. Hopefully, you have a web registrar that offers discounts for multiple hosting accounts, otherwise, this can grow to be quite costly. Meanwhile, you only have to pay one hosting fee when you use subdirectories. The amount of your hosting fee will depend on the overall size of your website, as well as how much speed is required for loading content. Customization With a subdomain, you can customize your website content to cater to different regions, users, and products. If you need unique content for each of your different subdomains, this can be a valuable feature. It also helps to optimize each subdomain for local search results. However, if you don’t really need to create such highly-customized content, you may be better off using a subdirectory. This may be much easier to manage, and doesn’t include the extra hosting fees.  Whether a subdomain or subdirectory is a better choice here depends on your specific website needs. Which is better for SEO? It used to be thought that subdomains and subdirectories were equals when it came to their impact on SEO. In fact, in 2012 Google spokesperson, Matt Cutts, said there were “roughly equivalent,” adding that Google saw them as one domain. However, this thinking appears to be shifting. Search engines now keep different metrics for domains than they do for subdomains. For that reason, it is better for the webmaster to place their link-worthy content (ex: blogs) in subdirectories rather than in subdomains. Therefore, isellrefrigerators.com/blog would be a better option than blog.isellrefrigerators.com. An exception for this is when you require language-specific websites, in which cases using subdomains is still the better option. Subdomains were previously preferred by webmasters because they were able to stuff subdomains with the keywords that they wanted to target in rankings. The goal was to load the search engine results pages (SERPs) with the given keyword using their main domain and subdomain pages. However, Google caught onto this loophole and began to crack down on the practice. Now, when they make the connection, Google consolidates the search results and displays just one domain to the given search result. Stuffing subdomains with keywords to attempt this strategy can now lead to penalization by Google. The right choice for your website needs Whether you choose to use a subdomain or subdirectory comes down to what your website needs to accomplish. Overall, search engine rankings are determined by quality content more than anything. A subdomain can be an effective tool to help you organize your website more efficiently, and when used correctly, will not negatively impact your website’s SEO. However, subdomains may be best used when you want the content to be private and not for your public sites. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post What is a Subdomain? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Craft a Brand Image That Doesn’t Feel Like a Crafted Brand Image

You can ruin a brand image the same way you can ruin a road trip: overplanning. A good road trips should have the right crew, a destination, and a loose plan to get there. They also have a mind of their own. The great trip plans allow room for the road to take the reins once you’ve started. Crafting your brand image, or brand identity, is the same way. You should know your target audience, know the channels to use to talk to those customers, and have a loose plan on what to say when you start talking. Like a road trip, don’t overthink it. You know your business, and you have the confidence to let it grow into whatever brand it needs to be to speak to your true customers. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. Who do you want to talk with every day? A good business interacts with their customers, building relationships instead of transactions or revenue. If you love your products, and could speak about your products for hours, find the customers that want to talk for hours about your products right there with you. If you haven’t started selling anything yet, write down your dream customer, and be as specific as possible. What do they like, what don’t they like, what problems do they have, and how do they spend their time? If you have customers, talk to them. Find out why they purchased from your business or like your products. Chances are, your ideal customers may think a lot like you – they just don’t know about your business yet. Where are you going to go with these customers? Your ideal audience filled with customers is somewhere on the internet, having conversations. Your goal is to find out where the most customers are talking, and where they’re looking for solutions to their problems. Your products are the solution, so you need to start involving yourself in these conversations so you can help customers solve their problem faster.   There’s a good chance your customers are spending a majority of their time online reading blogs, or on social media, or reading blogs. Secure a professional domain and build a website to house content that helps customers solve their problems. Build social media profiles and start talking to potential customers. Keep the focus off of your business, and on helping your customer. Speak to your target audience like a friend The most common hang up about reaching out to customers, or starting a blog and writing content, is the fear of what to say once you get there, or how to say it. It depends on your target audience. Be respectful and inviting, and when possible, let the customer do most of the talking. It’s alright for your business to stand for something, and if it does have a perspective, share it. If you want dial up the personality, then match it to your audience. If your business is serious and no-nonsense, like a law firm, speak in a more academic tone. If you’re designing craft brews or brewing high-end, artisanal coffee, you can take a more creative approach. When using humor, make sure to keep it respectful and helpful. Be yourself and let it come naturally. Focus on your customer, not your brand image Like letting the road take control of where you point your road trip, your brand image can develop naturally as you focus on helping your customers. Once you have the right target audience for your business, and you’re using the right channels to speak to those customers, the rest is about the customer. No matter what kind of brand image you’re creating, trust is the most important metric. Trust is what turns website visitors into customers, and customer into loyal, repeat customers. A trusted brand means customers know you’re there to help them with their problems, and not focused on yourself. The highest level of trust can even lead to a higher frequency of referrals, spreading your business across the internet, without any extra work  or budget on your part. Where we’re going we don’t need roads You could map out an exact brand image that attempts to present your business as the perfect solution to your customer problems. There’s only one problem: nobody’s perfect. Instead, plan ahead so you know the target audience, the channels to use, and an idea of what to say, but stay focused on helping your customers. If your main focus is helping your customers, your brand builds trust – naturally. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post How to Craft a Brand Image That Doesn’t Feel Like a Crafted Brand Image appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Test Your New Business Idea Out in the World Instead of a Vacuum

Nothing happens in a vacuum. Nobody sits in the corner of a room meditating, blinds closed, lights off, and actually finds their next big business idea.  The best ideas come from real life, and once you find the right one, you can test it before investing all of your cash, using all of the resources around you. Even your family and friends can come in handy. Don’t listen to those that say “everything’s been done.” There’s still plenty more to do, and why not do it yourself. It’s time to get started by testing your new business idea. It’s time to share it with the world. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. Research your niche carefully to find what makes you different And speaking of vacuums. James Dyson invented a vacuum cleaner that used a ball to turn, rather than mimicking the same square design throughout the vacuum industry. He looked at his target market, saw a gap, and filled it. Either that, or he tried turning a vacuum one time and said, “this is ridiculous, there has to be a better way.” You can do the same with your business, and you may have even had a similar moment. Make a list of potential competitors for your products or services. What are they doing, and how would you do it differently? Where did they start and where are they headed? Even if you can’t reinvent the industry, your original idea can still stand out with the right execution: by showing off how you’re different.   Share the idea with people you trust and respect Sometimes ideas sound really cool until you see them out in the world for the first time, untested. That’s why it helps to have a few trusted friends or family members with whom you can share your ideas. It’s important to get honest feedback though, and not a sweet, “how nice of you to try,” response. You’ll want that honest aunt who can hit you right between the eyes with the truth. It helps to present your idea properly. Three beers in at the bar with a buddy is not the time to bring it up. Instead, make it professional and set a meeting. Explain your product or service as simply and quickly as possible. State the problem, then offer the solution. If you can’t explain the business or product to your six-year-old nephew, the idea might not be ready. Get your idea in front of beta testers The best way to see if your new business idea can appeal to customers is to show it to potential customers. Create a website with a professional domain name. It should be simple, and present the same problem/solution, explanation that you used with your friends. Only your website should then go one step further and convince website visitors to buy. Depending on your product or service, you may be able to produce a limited run series as a beta test. Explain clearly that it’s a beta test, as early adopters can offer criticism that helps you get better. They’re also more likely to forgive mistakes, as they accept that the product is still in development. Or, try using a crowdsourcing option that lets customers put down their money, and then wait for the product to be created after you’ve hit your fundraising goal. It all comes down to you and your gut Even if your family and friends, trusted business partners, and the market all tell you to go for it, or even if they tell you you’re crazy (maybe especially then), you’ll have to trust your gut to make the final call. Would you buy this with your own money? Does it solve a problem that no other business cares to solve? Now that you can create a website with your products and gauge interest before investing too much in a single idea, that risk is somewhat lower. Rather than setting up an expensive brick and mortar storefront, you can create a virtual one, or a few, and listen to what your customers actually need before investing. Clean out your self doubts and share your new idea If you talk about vacuums long enough, someone is going to make a cleaning pun; it sucks, but it happens (yikes). Rather than trying to test your new business idea inside your head with your superior logic skills, share your new idea with the people you trust, research the market, and then put it out into the world.   It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post Test Your New Business Idea Out in the World Instead of a Vacuum appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Safely Move Your Small Business Into the Cloud

Having your head in the clouds used to be an insult (unless you were John Lennon). Now, smart businesses rely on cloud services to keep tools up to date with the latest technology, share documents with remote employees, and increase data security. You don’t need to build your business its own server in your garage or hire an entire IT team to handle your data. There are now shared productivity tools available that make moving your business on the cloud safe and easy. Collaborate from anywhere with the productivity tools you already love, and establish your business on Domain.com. Keep your technology up to date Imagine running a business with dial-up internet, floppy disks, and a CB radio. All three of your customers would still complain about your response time. When your business uses the latest technology, you become better equipped to compete with other business and satisfy your customers. It also helps your team become more productive. Cloud-based applications automatically update on your computer, rather than waiting for you to download them again, or upload new programs from a CD. With tools like Microsoft Office 365, your team can work like the largest companies, which also helps to legitimize your business. It’s hard to imagine that an online business owner traveling to the library to update products can fulfill an order in a timely fashion. Faster tools mean you can stay on time with client meetings, customer scheduling, and product fulfilment. Upload to the cloud to share documents around the world As the internet changes the way customers buy from a business, it also changes the way we work. Rather than requiring face-to-face interaction for successful collaboration, tools like video meetings and online document storage mean that your remote team members can work like they’re in the office. It’s time to get your documents and projects online. Careful organization is important. Instead of throwing all of your files into one giant folder, create a system that lets you retrieve a document without digging for it. Create folders for each department within your business, like sales or customer service, and establish best practices for naming documents. You don’t want six documents named “Important – Marketing Budget.” Then, choose your cloud-based tool and start uploading. Make your business and customers safer online Let’s say you like to control all of your data yourself; you like to point to that server in your garage and say, “all of my customer data is safe and sound, right there.” What if your system fails? Especially if all of your data is stored on a single computer, not a homemade server like in Silicon Valley, your data is at risk. Do you have a second computer tied into the first to serve as a backup? Or a second server in a second garage? Cloud-based services are safer because they create backups for the backups, meaning your data can’t get copied over or destroyed by one physical accident. These cloud sharing tools also have security teams focused on protecting your data. Even if hackers target your business, they’re no longer just guessing your password (it better not be password1234), but rather facing a giant security team that’s ready to fight back. Getting to the cloud is easier than it seems You’re ready to get your business on the cloud, but what does that really mean? It’s as simple as choosing a tool, syncing it to your domain name, and choosing which files to upload. These tools are simple and easy to set up, with no coding or messing with data servers. For a small business, cost is just as important as ease of use. Cloud-based tools also scale with your business, which means you can start using them at a lower price, then add tools or services as the needs of your business increase. Start with a professional email address paired with your domain, and work up to video meetings, online bookkeeping, or private social networking tools.   A business in the cloud is safer and more reliable Keeping your business and customer data safe, or accessing shared documents anywhere, is no longer just for dreamers. Moving your small business into the cloud means your team can keep their tools up to date with the latest technology, share documents even with remote employees, and increase the security of your data. Use a shared productivity tool like Microsoft Office 365 to help make your business safer and more efficient. Collaborate from anywhere with the productivity tools you already love, and establish your business on Domain.com. The post How to Safely Move Your Small Business Into the Cloud appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is a Second Level Domain?

In simple terms, a second level domain is the name just to the left of the domain extension, the .com or .net. The website example.com was reserved for explaining the relationship between top-level domains (TLDs) and second level domains (SLDs). Here, the word “example” – directly to the left of the final dot – is the second level domain. In the website Domain.com, the word “Domain” is the SLD. The SLD is the first point of contact internet users have with your website. It’s the most memorable part of a URL and therefore the most important. Later, we’ll get into all of the different ways you can take advantage of an SLD. Many people are confused about the term second level domain. They don’t know where it’s located within the overall domain name, or why it matters in the first place. If you understand the full capability of a second level domain, you not only have an easier time navigating the vast expanse of the internet, but can also make your personal website more visible. To fully understand the significance of that placement, and how to leverage second level domains in beneficial ways, it requires an understanding of the purpose of a domain name.   Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com. What is a domain name? In the most basic sense, a website domain name is the address of a website online, just like your home address. If you want people to find your home, you give them a combination of letters and numbers that allow people to pinpoint your location. Domain names work in the exact same way. If the internet is a massive neighborhood, and websites are homes, domain names are the addresses printed on curbs or  houses. Domain names are also unique; there are no two that are identical, on the internet. While the same address might exist for two homes that exist in two neighboring counties, the internet is basically one big, cohesive neighborhood. Because there is no duplication of domain names, each domain name is both special and valuable. Components of a domain name Domain names, like the one currently in the search bar of this webpage, are made up of several components. Each element of this alphanumeric string is used to help organize the web address so both computers and internet users can easily track down websites. Each web address that exists on the internet adheres to this organizational structure. Once you understand how the structure of a domain name works, it’s  easier to understand how second level domains are important. They serve an invaluable function, are often the most memorable element of a web address, and are often highly sought after. URL Everyone has heard the abbreviation “URL,” but what does it actually mean? It stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and it’s the name for the entire string of letters and symbols in a web address. In other words, each individual element of a web address is part of the overall URL. Again, think of your street address. In its entirety it leads to your home, but it can also be broken down into parts. It includes the name of your street, your zip code, the name of your city, and the numbers that correspond to your house or your apartment. Only in its entirety can your street address lead to a precise location. Similarly, only the entire URL can lead to a web address. It is the composite of all of the individual elements that help web servers direct your computer to a website. Transfer protocol The transfer protocol can be found at the very beginning of a URL. In most cases, it’s represented as https://, and is also called the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This informs the website how the data from a given webpage should be transferred onto your browser. Often, you will see websites that drop the “s” and begin with simply http://. These websites are less secure than https:// website. The “s” indicates a security layer, which encrypts the information that you enter into the website. Without that highly important little letter, it’s possible the information you input in the website can be accessed by internet users acting in bad faith. Top level domain In the most basic terms, a top level domain (TLD) – also called a domain name extension – is the letter combination that concludes a web address. In the hierarchy of web addresses, top level domains are the most critical. Of all TLDs, the most famous is .com. While it’s also the most popular, there are new TLDs being invented all the time, are becoming increasingly customizable, and can be altered to fit the needs of an individual website. Some of the newest include .blog and .me. Directories and folders When you first click onto a website, you’ll notice that the final stretch of URL text is usually the TLD. However, if you click on a link within the website, another batch of text will often appear. This is called a directory or folder. It corresponds to specific pages within a website. If a website is like a home, directories and folders are the different rooms within it. Second level domain example As explained before by using “example.com” – the word “example” is a second level domain. The second level domain is important because: The SLD is where you place your brand. If you’re a business, company or organization, it’s best to place your brand name within your SLD. If your desired SLD is already registered, learn   how to track down domain name owners, so you can attempt to purchase the pre-existing SLD.If you set up an email address with your business website, like Gmail for Work, your SLD is the most prominent part of that address. It’s important to make sure you pick something that is both memorable and easy to type.In many ways, your SLD is the identity of your website. It should correspond to the services you offer.  It distinguishes your website from others, and therefore, is worthy of careful forethought. Reserved second level domains The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) reserved three domain names to be used as examples for anyone who wants to illustrate the various elements of a domain name. In all likelihood, they will never be made publicly available and will remain in their current state. These three reserved domains are as follows: example.orgexample.netexample.com Second level domain do’s and don’ts Before you register your dream second level domain, there are a few things you should keep in mind. These quick tips can help you retain ownership of your site and make sure that you generate as much traffic as possible. Remember to renew your registration. When you first register your domain, you have the option to register it for up to 10 years. It’s impossible to register it indefinitely. Make sure that you’ve secured it for the amount of time you need, and renew it when that time is up. If there is any gap between the time your ownership expires and the time you seek to renew, someone else may be able to legally acquire the domain. To avoid any issues, it’s best to set your account to auto-renew within your account management dashboard.Avoid using numbers, abbreviations, or dashes in your business name. While it’s possible, they don’t make for a website name that’s easy to remember. Use a second level domain to get your business online Second level domains are perhaps the most important part of your domain name, so make sure you take your time when selecting one! Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com. The post What is a Second Level Domain? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Boost Productivity with a Remote Team Through Centralized Tools

When you were just starting your business, you knew what the whole team was working on, because you were the whole team. As your business grows and you add more talent to your staff, you need a way to keep track of deadlines. Especially if your team works remotely, the tools you use become more important for keeping everyone on the same page. With everyone working with the same tools, team members can align toward the same goal, know what other team members are working on, and hit the same deadlines more efficiently, all without being in the same room. It’s time to use them to get things done. When things get done your team is happy, and your business keeps growing.   Collaborate from anywhere with the productivity tools you already love, and establish your business on Domain.com. Focus your team to work towards the same goal One of the problems with a team spread across the internet is the confusion. When nobody knows what each other is working on, it’s nearly impossible to set deadlines that you and your team can actually hit. A shared marketing calendar, shared with the whole team, keeps your business focused. If each team member notes their current projects and related roadblocks, you can swoop in where you’re most needed. Working with a shared solution like Microsoft 365 means you tie in your calendar with shared files or documents to keep projects organized. It also helps to know who’s on vacation, taking a personal day, and of course, remembering major holidays. No more repeating the same mistakes again and again The most frustrating part of working remotely is wasting time, and nothing wastes time more than working on the same thing as someone else. If two team members are creating the same work, both become discouraged when they realize they could have accomplished something else. Sharing your documents and files with each other prevents this. With cloud-based document sharing tools, files automatically sync so you can see what each team member is working on in real time. Keeping everything in the same place also means you can keep working, rather than wait for someone else to send you the file that you need to finish your to do list. Work together like you’re all local The internet has changed the meaning of a typical work day. Now your team members can work anywhere they want, but it’s up to you to make sure they’re not working on whatever they want. Centralized tools can help that, and make them feel like their working in the same room. With close collaboration and the sharing of ideas, your business gets better work from the team. Video calls helps your team stay together, as if they were meeting in the same room. The face to face interaction removes the chance of confusing tone in an email, so your team knows the importance of hitting a deadline without feeling overmanaged. Set up a weekly video meeting with your team, and individuals, so everyone can stay on the same page with your business. Centralized tools can bring a remote team closer together Now that your team is spread far and wide across the country, or the world, the tools you use are the thread that hold your business together. Once team members can work towards the same goal, see what the rest of the team is working on, and efficiently make all their deadlines, your business stays on the right track. Even without being in the same room, your team can come together to complete the essential tasks that grow your business. Collaborate from anywhere with the productivity tools you already love, and establish your business on Domain.com. The post How to Boost Productivity with a Remote Team Through Centralized Tools appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is DNS?

One of the most fundamental aspects of the internet is the Domain Name System (DNS). Despite its vital importance to the overall function of the web, few people realize that they’re using it regularly, not just when they want to register a domain name, but every single time they use their computer or smartphone device. So, for all of you prospective first-time website owners, here are some basic terms to understand that can help get the ball rolling. Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com.    IP addresses What is an IP address? Computers on the web correspond with each other using Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. These IP addresses are a string of numerical digits and periods, either 32-bit or 128-bit, which look like: 174.199.239.174. These have two primary functions: An IP address represents a computer’s online address so that it can be located or locate other computers.An IP address allows for the host or the network identification. Computers are hardwired to obey a list of built-in networking commands, or protocols, to connect to the internet and exchange information. The Internet Protocol was intended to address, dispense, and route online requests in a precise fashion, paired with a return address so those requests could be fulfilled. When a computer goes online, the first thing it does is connect indirectly to an internet web browser via a network already connected to the internet. This gives you access to the web, using  your Internet service provider (ISP), work network, or wireless network. The Domain Name System During the internet’s formative years, IP addresses were ingenious creations, allowing computer scientists to identify individual computers, and to communicate between them. While this worked quite well when the internet was composed of just a few computers, as more devices and people joined the rapidly growing network, this method, understandably, grew overly complicated. As you might imagine, if this was difficult for computer scientists, asking introductory users to memorize multiple strings of 12 random digits was impractical, if not impossible. While it would have been possible to create a gigantic IP phone book of sorts, each with the specific computer and IP address, this too seemed an inefficient solution. So, to alleviate this problem, computer scientists proposed the creation of a domain name system. The root idea underlying the concept of DNS was that humans have an easier time remembering words than numerical strings. Therefore, it would be much simpler to have a nickname for each IP address, which we now call, a domain name. To facilitate this process, each domain name would be: A unique, one-of-a-kind, name linked to a specific IP address.Registered, maintained, and paid for by the owner.Added to an extensive directory to be regulated and overseen. This proposed solution was widely embraced, and the domain name system was born.    What is the DNS server? When asking, “what is the DNS database,” it is essential to understand how DNS resolution functions. DNS resolution occurs when a hostname, such as google.com, is translated into an IP address. This DNS query must pass through four different types of DNS servers in order to locate a domain name: DNS recursor – This high-end, high-performance server is the librarian of the domain name system. It helps you to locate the specific domain name amongst that vast array of billions of other names. This web server receives queries from applications, and then makes further requests to help find the domain name.Root name server – The root server is the initial phase of resolving domain names into IP addresses. It is akin to the Dewey Decimal System, which indexes and categorizes names, acting as a reference point that sends the query to a more specific location.  Top Level Domain name server – The TLD server helps to continue to narrow down the domain name into a specific category. For the purpose of the library analogy, this would be like going to the horror section. For hosts, it is the last portion of the domain name. As an example, the .com in Domain.com is the TLD.Authoritative name server – This is the terminal web server in a DNS query, retrieving the specific name and matching IP address. It translates this IP address, and sends it back to the DNS recursor, which in turn, fulfills the query for the user. The DNS directory These days, there are more than a quarter trillion registered domain names around the world. Because of its sheer size and scope, the DNS directory is not all stored on one mega server; instead, it is stored on various domain servers that communicate and update each other constantly. It’s important to note that each domain name can be linked to more than a single IP address. Some websites might have dozens, if not hundreds, of IP addresses that link to a single domain name. If the DNS directory were all in one single place, it would not only be more vulnerable to attack from hackers or malicious threats, but it would also make the resolution process take infinitely longer to get a response since you, and millions of others, would be searching through billions of names simultaneously. To facilitate this process and prevent slowdowns, two main things occur: DNS information is split up and shared between hundreds of authoritative nameserversDNS queries are cached locally, so if you regularly use a site, like Facebook, that DNS information is saved on your computer so that your computer does not have to search all over again for that DNS information. Why domain names matter If you are starting a business and want to have a website tied to it, it’s essential that you register a domain name within the domain name system. Put serious thought into selecting a name that provides the most benefit for building your brand and generating traffic. Benefits of selecting the right domain names include: Advertising – A domain name is essential if you wish to have sponsors or advertisements on your website, which helps build brand authority, and generate additional revenue. Branding – A domain name is the first step to building your brand and encouraging customers to subconsciously tie in the name with your brand. A website and domain name give you the opportunity to say who you are and what you bring to the table.   Establishing credibility – An internet presence is vital in today’s economy. Websites are used as initial screening tools to ensure that the business, and products they sell, is credible. When you have a domain name, especially a premium domain name, you can send prospective business to a website that confirms your credibility, so a potential customer will do business with you and trust you with their personal information. Forming subliminal links – Good domain names should be easy to recall. Typically, it helps if they’re short and memorable. These names should relate  to your goods and services so people naturally associate your name with your industry. Grants you a professional email – Having your own domain name lets you connect a domain with an email addresses, like Gmail for work or Microsoft Office 365, lending further professionalism and credibility to your communications. Search Results – A relevant domain name helps improve your search results. If you want to sell racing drones, for example, the domain name everythingracingdrones.com, will naturally rank higher, with the keyword as part of the name. Domain Name System registration   The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created to “coordinate the numerical spaces of the internet, and ensure the network’s stable and secure operation.” Domain registrars work with ICANN to officially register and link domain names with IP addresses. Domain.com is a registrar and can fulfill the registration process, since ICANN has accredited us and granted this privilege. So, if you want to create a domain name, Domain.com is where that process begins. You should be aware of the fact that registering a domain name does not make you the lifetime owner of that name; rather, you rent out that name for a given period of time. This typically consists of a rental period that lasts anywhere from a year to multiple years. Once that time comes to a close, you have the first exclusive option to renew your registration for an additional period. If your name expires without renewing, someone else could potentially swoop in and nab the name. The DNS registration process Once you have found the ideal name, and made sure that it’s available, you may then register your chosen domain name on Domain.com. To register, you need to submit the following: The specific domain name.The chosen top-level domain.Your contact info including first name, last name, home address, email address, contact number.The terms and length of registration.Your payment and billing information. Once you have filled out all of this information and hit submit, Domain.com sends a registration request and files your domain name with ICANN. DNS backordering As a final note, if a name you desire is already taken, Domain.com gives you the option to submit a backorder request on that name. This backorder request pins you to that desired name, so when the name expires and reverts for sale to the general public, you will be amongst the first alerted of the news. This gives you the opportunity to snag the name. The Domain Name System helps your business get found online The DNS has been hugely important for the facilitation and categorization of the internet. It makes the world wide web go round and allows internet users to search the name of the website rather than their specific IP address. Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com. The post What is DNS? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

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