The 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.

What is an IP Address?

One of the most crucial progress points for the internet was the creation of Internet Protocols (IPs) and IP addresses. In all likelihood, these are terms you’ve heard multiple times, regarding computers and networks, without taking the time to dig into what they mean or how they work. If that is you, don’t fret. Most computer users wouldn’t be able to provide an in-depth definition either. Find out below how they work and how they affect your business online. Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com. Internet protocols A computer is hardwired to obey a list of built-in commands, rules, and standards, known as protocols, to communicate and identify with other computers, or connect to the internet. One such protocol is known as the Internet Protocol. This is accountable for: Addressing online requests Delivering online requests Routing online requests With every request, the Internet Protocol sends an electronic source address, known as your IP address, so the requested information can appear on the screen. IP address and letters At their essence, IP addresses signify where your current device exists on the internet. Every computational device on this network uses a distinctive identifier or unique number, which is required to send messages to computers that exist outside your local network. If you wish to send a letter to your sweetheart by mail, you have to write their name and address on the center of the envelope, with your name and address on the upper left-hand side of the envelope. These two bits of information act in the same way online, with IP addresses. These serve dual facilitative purposes: The destination address – Signals to the mail service where you want the letter to go, and to whom it should be given. The return address – Signals to the receiver the location to which they may address their reply. It also signals to the mail service where to return the letter if it cannot be delivered or received. IP addresses You won’t find two computers connected to the internet using the same IP address. But unlike physical addresses, a computer’s IP address is not geographically based or linked. Instead, its location is based on a string of numerical digits and dots that are known as an IP address. These ordinal addresses signal to the devices responsible for passing along the information, letting them know two things: Who is the one sending information? To whom are they sending these commands? Sending a message via the internet without this source IP address would be similar to sending out an SOS emergency signal, while lost at sea, without including your GPS location. Even if emergency services receive the distress beacon, there is little they can do since the ocean is so vast and we are so small. In a sea of billions of messages and other forms of data being sent out daily, your specific dispatch would be useless. States of IP addresses An IP address can appear in one of two states, dynamic or static. Dynamic IP address – The vast majority of IP addresses most commonly used are in a dynamic state. This means the IP address is neither fixed nor owned; it is temporarily leased out through a leasing system known as the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and internet service providers. These lease requests and grants happen rapidly, and in an automated fashion, so when one lease expires, your computer instantly requests a new one. Although a rare occurrence, if two computers are assigned the same IP address, one connects to a different IP address immediately. Static IP address – A static address can only be given by configuring and editing your computer’s network settings. This is not a common method and is only advised for people well versed in TCP and IP. The two types of IP address systems At their most basic, computers communicate commands or protocols via binary code, which is simply a series of 1s and 0s, that are then transmitted and converted into a series of electrical impulses. These binary coded IP addresses act as a passport through the internet, granting access and serving as identification to foreign computers. The most common default IP address looks like this: 192.168.1.1. This figure would be pronounced, “one nine two dot one six eight dot one dot one.” IPv4 32 bit binary address Before the internet began to flourish, the vast majority of networks were private from others around the world. In the beginning, the IP addresses used by computers were known as IP Version 4 (IPv4) and look like the figure above. At the time, there were more than enough possible combinations of unique binary sequences. A standard IPv4 address consists of thirty-two 1s and 0s There are 232 possible combinations, the limit of which is a represented as the figure 232 232 = 4,294,967,296 unique available addresses At a time when the internet was in its infancy, this number seemed plenty big enough. But, by the late 90’s, computer scientists realized that a possible cap to addresses lurked on the horizon. Over time, this bottleneck worsened since internet use is now practically commonplace around the globe, and because most users have multiple devices that each require an unique IP address. IPv6 128 bit binary address One of the solutions for this foreseen IP address drought was to introduce a far more complex binary sequence in the form of 128 bit IP. This looked like eight groups of hexadecimal numbers separated by colons. Hexadecimal numbers are a relatively complicated numerical system used to represent larger numbers. While you do not need to know the ins and outs of what they mean, you should be aware that they use letters as symbols to represent larger numbers. So an IPv6 would look like: F890:0000:0100:0900:0202:B3GF:E10E:1026 AN IPv6 is represented by 128 1s and 0s There are 2128 possible combinations, which means the limit to this figure is represented by 2128 2128 = 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 unique available addresses IPs and the DNS While IPs were exceedingly useful tools for allowing computers to communicate within a network, they weren’t exactly human-friendly. For machines, random digital sequences are their love language; for human brains, however, memorization of large and complex numbers is not so simple a feat for even the smartest of our kind. This became even more substantial a task as more computers joined the burgeoning network. Attempting to organize these unique IP addresses as one would a phone book wasn’t economical. The solution computer scientists offered up was the Domain Name System, wherein synonyms (domain names) would serve as one of a kind cognomen for an IP address.   Each domain name would be added to a domain name system, which would be regulated by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Each domain name would be unique and associated with an IP address. Each domain name would be rented for a temporary time period, which could be renewed. A domain name would look like apple.com, with apple functioning as the domain and .com acting as its paired top-level domain. Top-level domains A top-level domain is regularly referred to as a domain name extension and is what is entered directly after the domain name. Initially, 6 TLDs were created for specific purposes. Understanding what a domain name extension is and the different types help you choose the right one for your website. The most common options are listed below: .com – Commercial entities and businesses.gov – Governmental functions, places, and personnel.mil – Military personnel, including the four branches of the military and coast guard.org – Organizations and non-profit entities.edu – Educational institutions that are accredited.net – Network operators and Internets service providers Over time, some of these TLDs remained rigid, while others opened up and turned into general namespaces. As with 32 bit IPs, these original TLDs offered an expansive list of available domain names in the beginning, but grew limited over time. As a result, more generic top-level domains (gTLDs) were added to the growing network. Presently, Domain.com offers more than 300 gTLDs. IPs and the Domain Name System servers When covering IP addresses, it’s important to know what is the DNS. DNS resolution is the process for when a domain name gets translated by your computer into an IP address. For this to occur, a DNS query must be sent out by the computer, which  then funnels through four separate DNS servers on the journey to its target goal. These four stages are: DNS recursor – A web server receives all requests from applications and begins the search for the proper address. Using the information available, the DNS recursor sorts this query and sends it along its proper path.  Root name server – The first phase of name conversion into IP address.Top Level Domain name server – This server moves the process along, sorting according to the domain’s extension.Authoritative name server – The final stop of this request, this locates the domain’s linked IP address, translates it, returns the message to the recursor, and then completes its command. Domain names and business There may be some of you reading this who have yet to register a domain name and create a website for your business. For small businesses especially, having a website helps you in three key ways: People’s shopping habits have changed – With the rise of Amazon and e-commerce, shoppers are choosing the convenience of shopping from their couch at increasing rates.  Malls are dying, and while foot traffic and window shopping once might have been the lifeblood of a small retail store, that is no longer the case. Now, the lifeblood is virtual foot traffic.People’s searching habits have changed – Many consumers have embraced social polling and reviewing models of websites, such as Yelp, Facebook and Reddit. By having a social presence, you have the opportunity to display who you are and what good or service your business provides. You get to make the first impression to hopefully entice curious customers to sample your product or service.If they do not know about you, they will choose someone else – If you don’t have a website, it could mean lost business. You are forgoing the various opportunities to get your business name out there on the web. Millennials, especially, expect a legitimate business to have a website, and might be turned off by the lack of one. As an accredited domain provider, Domain.com offers top-level domains, web hosting, website builders, and email productivity tools to help you get your idea or your business online. Learn how IP addresses help your business on the internet IP addresses are the passports assigned to every device that connects to the internet. They aid in command resolution, addressing, and sourcing of data. The translation of IP addresses into domain names fundamentally altered the nature of the internet and helped open the floodgates. If you have any questions about IPs, web hosting, premium domain names, or any other web-related topic, our experts at domain.com standby ready to assist. Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com. The post What is an IP Address? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is a Top-Level Domain?

Running a successful business today requires establishing a successful online presence that expands your business beyond the brick and mortar store. More and more shoppers are looking online to fulfill all of their needs, and if your business isn’t there, you could be missing out on revenue and repeat customers.  Simply registering a domain name is no guarantee of success. It helps to instead understand website domain names are, how they work, the different types of domain names available, and how this technology  plays into your decision of selecting that perfect domain name. Let’s begin with the question, “What is a top-level domain?” Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com. The early days of computers To understand Top-Level Domains (TLDs), you first need to know how domains function with IP addresses. Think of it like this: every device that connects to the web has an IP address, or a unique electronic signature that distinguishes one device from another. A domain name is the specific text entered after the protocol sign (http://) of a web address. For example, in http://google.com/search/, the domain name is “Google.” While you’re probably familiar with more prominent domain names, many don’t realize that those names denote the website’s IP address. In fact, each device that connects to the web has an IP signature. When computers were first created, computer scientists invented an ingenious method of communication using numerical strings of 32-bit or 128-bit digits, known as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. These IP addresses served two purposes: Network or host identification.Computer terminal location. Computers were programmed to follow these sets of protocols in order to locate and communicate with another computer, or to connect to the web. These protocols facilitate this communication, and make it easier for computers to find each other, and send or request information. The DNS In the early days, this numerical system was passable, since there were few computers present on the network. However, as you might imagine, tracking which IP address went to which computer became exponentially more difficult as more computers and systems were added. Organizing and managing these IP addresses wasn’t a feasible or efficient method, since you had to know the exact IP address of any desired website or computer. To simplify this complicated system, computer scientists created the Domain Name System (DNS). While computers work great with numbers, humans tend to prefer words. We are infinitely better at remembering and categorizing names, as opposed to seemingly random digital sequences. Knowing this, the Domain Name System was proposed as a remedy for the IP address dilemma. This system allows the owner of an IP address to link that numerical string to an unique domain name. So, instead of having to remember, “74.125.224.72,” you can simply type in Google.com. This system was met with resounding enthusiasm. In one fell swoop it improved the following: Made the system easier to navigate.Helped distinguish, organize, track, and monitor IP addresses.Increased the ability to browse and use  the internet. As a result, in less than three decades the DNS database added billions of names. How the DNS works: The DNS database lists all domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. Any time a domain name is entered, the DNS converts that domain name via the DNS server. This server is not one single megaserver, but rather, a sea of servers all over the world, which act in harmony to distinguish one IP address from another. When a search occurs it filters through the following: The DNS recursor The root name server The top-level domain name serverThe authoritative name server As this occurs, there is a system hierarchy and protocol order that facilitates a search through the servers. A top-level domain (TLD) is the highest level in this hierarchical Domain Name System. The original top-level domains At their essence, a TLD, also known as a domain extension, is what follows the domain name in a query. The .com in google.com is the top-level domain. These extensions were proposed as methods to help further distinguish and categorize domains. In the early days of the internet, the system was much more rigidly categorized according to these TLDs. A top-level domain was intended to help classify a feature of a website, such as its purpose, the owner, or the geographical origin. It also multiplied the number of available domain names, since cars.com is not the same as cars.org. To this effect, six original top-level domain names were created. Now that you understand what domain name extensions are, and know how they work, here are some of the most common options available: .Com – Short for commercial, dot-coms are the most popular top-level domain in use today. As their names imply, they were initially intended to distinguish commercial organizations. The first three .coms were: Symbolics.com BBN.com Thnk.com In the early days, .coms were restricted to commercial entities, but by the 90’s these restrictions were lifted, opening the registration floodgates. As the internet continued to grow in use and popularity, dot-coms quickly became the most commonly used top-level domain. .Net – Short for network, dot-nets were made for network technology companies like infrastructure companies or internet service providers (ISPs). When they were first introduced, only one domain used the dot-net TLD, Nordu.net, which connected Nordic national research and educational networks. Similar to .coms, the restrictions on .net was not rigidly imposed, which led it to eventually morph into a “general purpose namespace.” .Edu – As you likely know, .edu  is a top-level domain meant for American educational institutions, such as colleges or secondary schools. The first three .edus were:University of California Berkeley – Berkeley.eduCarnegie Mellon University – Cmu.eduPurdue University – Purdue.edu Unlike dot-nets or dot-coms, the dot-edu TLD restriction has been rigidly upheld, meaning you have to be an accredited and registered educational body. While it used to be simply four-year post-secondary institutions, it is now limited to accredited American postsecondary educational institutions. .Org – Originally created for organizations which served as nonprofits, with the first being the Mitre Corporation at Mitre.org. This too became a general namespace TLD used by both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. .Mil – Created and used by the American military. Dot-mils are top-level domain extensions that are restricted to U.S. military branches:United States ArmyUnited States NavyUnited States Marine CorpsUnited States Air ForceUnited States Coast Guard As a note, countries outside of America that wish to use .mil, first have to use their country code to distinguish them from the American military branches. .Gov – Short for the government, dot-govs, similar to dot-mils, are restricted to American federal governmental agencies and personal use. Dot-govs are used by federal governmental agencies, programs, cities, states, counties, and towns. Country code top-level domains Although the internet was created for American governmental use, it was quickly opened to the public, as well as the rest of the world. Since many of these top-level domains were restricted to the American government or military, country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) were added to help distinguish one country from another. Such two-letter country codes are: .au – Australia .ca – Canada .mx – Mexico .uk – Great Britain Generic top-level domain Over time, more top-level domains were added to the original list. Presently, there are 21 generic top-level domains at the peak of the domain name system hierarchy. These 21 generic TLDs can be split into four categories: Generic – Domains that are used for general reasons..com.info.net.orgGeneric restricted – Domains that must be used for their intended purposes .biz.name.proInfrastructure – Meant solely for aiding the DNS infrastructure. The only TLD within this subcategory is .arpa. Sponsored domains – These can only be utilized by companies or entities tied to these industries including: .aero.asia.cat.coop.edu .gov.int.jobs.mil.mobi.tel.travel.xxx Generic TLDs Today, there are more than 1,500 generic extensions available for purchase and worthy of consideration. While your first inclination may be to try and use a .com, such a TLD can sometimes be costly, and many of the domain names linked to that TLD are already taken. The market is oversaturated with millions upon millions of websites. Finding a domain name with a popular TLD that is relevant and helpful to your business can be quite difficult. Because of this, it may be wise to consider purchasing a newer generic TLD. Benefits of this include: Availability – New domain extensions allow you the opportunity to use your company’s name, or use a word or phrase linked to your industry that would have been taken decades ago with the original TLDs.Cost – If a popular domain name is available, it may cost a lot of money. That same name with a generic TLD extension can cost considerably less money. Creative Names – New domain extensions allow you to be creative with your domain naming process. The domain name can be combined with the generic extension to create a full name, or a clever play on words, that helps the target audience remember the name. Rank on SERPs – Google’s search algorithm has been updated so that domains that do not use a main TLD are not ranked lower for that reason. You don’t need to worry about your rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) being affected by this newer gTLD. Registering a top-level domain In order to register a domain name with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), you must do so through a registrar’s service, such as Domain.com. You can check if if your perfect domain name and domain extension is available through domain search. You will need to submit the following information when registering: Your domain nameYour top-level domain extensionYour contact info: first name, last name, email address, phone number, and physical addressYour billing info After receiving this information, Domain.com submits this info to ICANN and the DNS. Once confirmed, you can quickly setup your domain and build a website. Top-level domains help customers find your business online The creation of the DNS opened the internet to the world, increasing its accessibility and usability. Top-level domains helped to further simplify and categorize the various domain names, and newer generic TLDs increased the number of possible domains. As a result, you can be assured that the perfect domain and top-level domain combination is out there, just waiting for you. Online success starts with a great domain; get yours today at Domain.com. The post What is a Top-Level Domain? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Why Your Email Address Should Match Your Domain Name

At a job interview, or a meeting with a client, you wouldn’t wear slacks and a Wolf Pack graphic t-shirt – no matter how cool that shirt is. The way you present yourself is important, and your email address is your first impression with  potential customers or partners. You want that email handle to be just as professional as your outfit or business card. With an email address that matches your domain name, you can present yourself as a professional, stand out among the competition, and help customers decide that you’re the right business to solve their problem. Once you present yourself the right way, the right clients and partners start to fill in around you, helping your business succeed – sort of like a wolf pack.    Secure your professional identity with an email address that matches your domain. Present yourself as a trusted professional Business cards and firm handshakes are valuable marketing, but the best also promote trust at the same time. Do you take all of these details seriously? When your target audience receives an email, the first detail they see is the “From Name.” This is like an online handshake, your first chance to convey that you care about your business. When you reach out with a generic email address, or one that doesn’t match your domain name, you put yourself at a disadvantage. Rather than focusing on getting customers to follow a link to your website, your first step then becomes building trust. You don’t want your “hotmail” email address causing doubt in the minds of customers. Does this email carry a virus? Instead, a professional email lets them focus on what you have to say. Stand out from your competitors right in the inbox Especially in niche markets, it’s these small details that help you break away from the competition. If you and your competitors are using the same generic email address, how can customers remember who to contact when they’re ready to buy? Even if everyone is using a professional email address, your domain name is what can get you recognized in the inbox.   When your customers repeatedly see your name, reflected in the email address of every message you send them, you build brand recognition. This keeps you top of mind, meaning you’re more likely the first business they think of when searching online. If you’re offering custom-tailored suits, your clients need to recognize your name. An email address connected to your domain name helps customers see your quality suits on the street, and then connect that name back to your website.   Are you the right business for your customers? It may not seem important, but customers use that generic or unprofessional email address as an indication of how much you’re going to care about solving their problems. If you haven’t invested in a professional email address, taking care of your business needs, are you serious enough to take care of their needs? Especially when your business is focused on details like the careful cut of a suit jacket, or the stitching on a pair of custom-made dress pants, your focus on the details of your business matters to your customers. The better you present yourself as a serious business through details like your email address, the more likely customers can trust that you’re the right business for them. How to get your email to match your domain You’ve decided to invest in an email address and present yourself as a professional. Now the issue is getting started. There are a few options when looking for a professional email address, but most choose between Gmail for Work, or Microsoft 365. These services also include tools to help your team become more productive, with cloud-based document sharing, central calendars, and more. For example, if you have a custom domain name with Domain.com, and choose Microsoft 365 as your email tool of choice, the first step is to login to your domain dashboard. Then, select the domain name you wish to add your email to, and, on the next page, go to the Office 365 tab on the left hand navigation. Follow the prompts on the screen to finish setting up your email account. This connects your two accounts together, simply and easily. Learn more about connecting professional email to your Domain.com account here. Establish a connection between email and your website   Every part of your business should be as professional as your outfit and business card – even your email address. Match your email address to your domain name to present yourself as a professional, stand out among the competition, and help customers decide that you’re the right business to solve their problem. Save your personal email address, and your Wolf Pack t-shirt, for the weekend. Secure your professional identity with an email address that matches your domain. The post Why Your Email Address Should Match Your Domain Name appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Help Your Team Work Together Better With a Central Marketing Calendar

What should the team work on today? It’s a simple question that often leads to the confounding answer: it depends, what needs to get done? Whether your team is in-house or scattered throughout the globe, you can stay on the same page, and know what everyone is working on, by using a central marketing calendar. With the same calendar, you can keep tabs on current or upcoming campaigns, track the right goals, and prioritize work to meet the right deadlines. Then every morning after you open up your business, you’ll know the task that needs to be crossed off your list first, and what everyone else on the team is crossing off theirs. Collaborate from anywhere with the productivity tools you already love, and establish your business on Domain.com. What is a marketing calendar? Just like using one calendar to track time off during the holidays, a marketing calendar gives your entire team a view what’s happening and when. The goal is to keep track of how and when your business interacts with customers. A marketing calendar can record when new email marketing campaigns launch, a new banner ad is released, or a new product is unveiled to customers. A central calendar only works when your entire organization can see it. If everyone knows what’s happening, from your front-of-store cashiers to your warehouse staff, your business benefits. Ideas come from anywhere, and even little increases in efficiency, like a cashier preparing for a rush after the launch of a new product, can make your business better. List all of your team’s current tasks The first step to creating your central marketing calendar is for you, and your employees, to list all current and upcoming projects. Knowing what everyone is working on helps to keep your team from repeating the same work. This insight also increases collaboration, as one team member that finishes early can pitch in to help another complete their project. Nobody wants to repeat work, but seeing that a team member is currently blocked helps the rest of your organization come together and attack important issues. Make sure your team lists current blockages when noting their current projects. If one team member is waiting for the release of a new product before designing an email, you can provide mock ups of the product  to help them succeed. Line up your marketing deadlines Once you have all of your tasks listed, it’s time to prioritize. You can’t work on a year’s worth of projects at the same time, so a calendar helps put it all into perspective. Set a deadline for every campaign or task, and then align your deadlines on the calendar for the whole team to see. You might be able to track projects and campaigns in your head if they’re simple, but for multiple deadlines a calendar is a must. If you’re about to release a new project, you’ll want to create a series of emails that go out a week before the release, a few days before the release, and again the day the product is released. That means your team needs to hit their email design deadline at least a week ahead of the launch date. Create a calendar for your team of one When you’re the only one responsible for your marketing, without a team to back you up, or worry about, you need a calendar even more. Without carefully keeping track of your tasks, you could open up your business on the morning of a new product launch without ever emailing a single customer about it. Instead, hold yourself accountable just as you would hold your team accountable, tracking your current campaigns, tasks, and deadlines on a single calendar. This also lets you visually keep tabs on what is happening when, so you can manage your time more effectively and stay ahead with your marketing. Time management is vital, so you still have time for the day-to-day operation of your business. Calendar together to promote working together What needs to get done to help your team succeed and your business grow? With a central marketing calendar, the answer is easy to find. No matter if your team is in-house, remote, or currently a team of one, tracking your current marketing campaigns, tasks, and goals helps to get things done. Build a calendar and help collaboration carry your business to success. Collaborate from anywhere with the productivity tools you already love, and establish your business on Domain.com. The post Help Your Team Work Together Better With a Central Marketing Calendar appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Web Hosting for Blogs: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’re an individual or a small business, blogging is the ideal way to spread your ideas, share information, and build a community around your brand. By dedicating time and resources to building a website and a blog, you create a platform where billions of Internet users can directly interact with your content. When blogs develop a dedicated audience, they transform into immensely useful tools. Websites that generate traffic have an easier time attracting new customers, establishing themselves as authorities in their respective space, and creating business opportunities that would have been otherwise inaccessible. Popular blogs can also be monetized and serve as an additional source of income. Learn more about different hosting plans at Domain.com today. Personal blogs Personal blogs are incredibly dynamic. They can serve as resumes, a place to compile your ideas, or a training ground to develop your communication skills. With a personal blog, you create a workspace with complete control over what people see and what you share. Business blogs For small businesses, having a blog is nearly essential. If a company wants to grow, running a blog helps develop name recognition and can drastically boost visibility of your consumers. A blog can help drive sales, improve customer retention, and is an inexpensive way for a company to establish their image. What is web hosting? It’s best to think about web hosting as a storage and management service. When you start a blog or a website, the digital information doesn’t simply exist on your computer. It’s stored by a web hosting service, like Domain.com, which keeps your information safe and secure, while ensuring that your blog or website remains operational. Without web hosting, websites, and the Internet as we know it, would not exist. Data centers and servers Data centers are the physical location where your blog’s digital information is stored. Domain.com owns and operates a state-of-the-art data center, which was built by network certified engineers. These same engineers manage the data center and ensure that Domain.com’s servers–powerful computers that contain all of your blog’s information–remain safe from threats like humidity or fire. They also make sure the servers continue performing at the highest possible level. Why is web hosting important for your blog? When most people start a blog, they’re only thinking about content; they want to start posting and building a community as quickly as possible. In doing so, they skip the vital steps of ensuring that their blog is secure, owned by them, and will remain in their control for the long haul. Your website host is responsible for ensuring that your blog is running at a speed that accommodates traffic and is otherwise functioning as it should. When you sign up for a hosting plan, you’re essentially buying real estate for your blog in one of the data center servers, the place where your digital information will be stored and managed. Web hosting is the only way to ensure that your blog will remain safe on the Internet. When your blog’s digital information is under the supervision of a web host, the information is encrypted, monitored, and cared for by a highly trained support team. At Domain.com, that customer support team is available 24/7, via WebMail, Live Chat, or phone. Domain.com blog web hosting We’re incredibly proud of our affordable, world-class hosting services. We offer bloggers a range of options, all of which can be tailored to meet your website needs and expectations. Each hosting plan comes with a free SSL certificate–a safeguard which encrypts your website data, protecting it from unwelcome visitors–and only costs $3.75 per month to get started. Web hosting options for your blog For bloggers, Domain.com offers a variety of hosting options, each with unique benefits and capabilities. The web hosting plan you chose will largely determine the extent to which your blog is protected, the speed of your blog, and which platforms will be available to you. Linux hosting When you sign up for a hosting plan with Domain.com, you may notice the term “Linux.” This is an operating systems, a platform which uses a unique programming language, used to build your blog or website. Linux is the most popular web hosting operating system on the Internet. It’s less expensive than other options, and is known for pairing stability with security. Without getting too technical, it runs on programming languages like Perl, PHP, and MySQL. These are open source software languages favored by developers for the freedom they offer, and their low operational costs. For bloggers, Linux offers tools which make customization simple, and allow you to creatively engage with the design process. Shared hosting If you’re just starting out in the blogosphere, a shared hosting plan might be best. They require minimum technical knowledge, are highly affordable, and come with a free SSL Certificate. When you buy a shared hosting plan, your blog is stored on a server with other blogs and websites. All blogs and websites on that server share the same pool of resources. Shared hosting is like moving into a busy, safe, inexpensive neighborhood. The price is lowered because everyone in the neighborhood is contributing to the same set of resources. However, just like in a busy neighborhood, there are times when traffic picks up, and during those times everyone in the neighborhood might move a little slower until it clears. However, the difference in speed is typically negligible. When you sign up for a shared hosting plan with Domain.com, you are guaranteed unlimited website disk space, scalable bandwidth, at least 100 email addresses, free applications like WordPress (ideal for bloggers), and many other features. You also have unlimited access to our 24/7 customer support team. VPS hosting VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a step above shared hosting plans. When you buy a VPS hosting plan, you are essentially securing a mini-server within the larger server. If a shared server is a busy, safe, inexpensive neighborhood, a Virtual Private Server is like a gated community one district over. Bloggers with a VPS plan enjoy enhanced privacy, have greater control over their virtual space, and aren’t as affected by issues of traffic. The portion of the server you pay for is wholly dedicated to you and your blog. VPS hosting is ideal for bloggers who have either outgrown or plan to outgrow, their shared server. If your blog starts attracting significant traffic (somewhere above 5,000 visitors per day) your website speed will suffer on a shared server. If your blog is affiliated with a business, running a slow website introduces the risk of dissuading customers from engaging with your content. Domain.com offers world class VPS hosting at an affordable cost. If you’re having trouble deciding between shared hosting and VPS hosting options, know that upgrading later is a possibility. WordPress hosting If you’re only interested in blogging and don’t anticipate building out a full website, WordPress hosting is the ideal platform. It was tailor-made for bloggers (Domain.com even offers a free .blog domain name extension with a plan) and comes loaded with built-in features that allow you to easily customize your page. If you do choose a WordPress hosting plan, you will be restricted from setting up a non-WordPress site. However, the capabilities embedded within the WordPress platform are comprehensive and can satisfy the needs of all bloggers, from beginners to veterans. The package offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth, free domain registration, unlimited email accounts, free search engine marketing credits, and 24/7 support. If you aren’t satisfied with your WordPress hosting plan within 30 days, Domain.com will refund your hosting fees, no questions asked. WordPress hosted blogs enjoy a selection of popular handpicked themes, designed to make your blog visually attractive. Pre-installed plugins allow you to customize your blog with extra features and functionality. A customized control panel was designed to easily access frequently used tools and streamline the blog building process. WordPress starter plan The introductory plan comes with all of the features described above. If you care about speed, security, and ease-of-use, the WP Starter plan is the perfect way to blog on a budget. WordPress essential plan The WP Essential plan contains all of the options and functionality of the WP Starter plan, but comes with three distinguishing features. Blogs hosted with WP Essential live on reconfigured servers, which means less neighborhood traffic and greater website speeds. They come with a built-in firewall and automatic malware removal, a deluxe security bundle designed by the experts at SiteLock. The plan also  connects customers to a team of support agents capable of resolving all issues related to WP Essential. Choosing a hosting plan for your blog If you’ve looked over Domain.com’s web hosting options but still can’t decide which is the best for your blog, there are some questions you can ask yourself to narrow the field. How much website traffic do I expect? If you expect that your blog will generate significant traffic, VPS hosting and the WordPress Essential plan are both powerful options which can support heightened web traffic. Do I want multiple blogs or websites? Both the Deluxe and Ultra shared hosting plans permit unlimited domains to be created. Unlimited domains are also offered with the VPS hosting plan. How concerned am I about safety? While all of Domain.com’s hosting plans are safe and dependable, the VPS hosting plan and the WordPress Essential plan provide even more protection from potential web threats. Do I feel comfortable working on the backend? How comfortable are you with designing your own blog? WordPress Hosting offers handpicked themes and pre-installed plugins that make assembling a webpage both intuitive and simple. A domain name for your blog After you’ve picked a web hosting plan, the next step is to register a domain name. Since the year 2000, Domain.com has been a leading web registrar and has made it both easy and inexpensive for web users to secure domain names. Domain.com offers the lowest registration and renewal prices, as well as the highest registration discounts. The best way to think about a domain name is by comparing it to a street address. If you want to find someone’s house, you ask for a combination of letters and numbers that represent a specific location. In much the same way, a domain name is the Internet’s version of a street address. When you type in a specific name, your Internet browser runs a search for that address, locates it, and then takes you there. When people ask how to find your blog, you can simply provide your domain name that leads them to your website. Remember that when you sign up for WordPress Hosting, free domain registration is included, in addition to a free .blog domain extension. Registering a TLD TLD stands for Top Level Domain, also referred to as a domain extension. If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you know what they look like. The most recognizable and popular TLD in the world is .com, which is affixed to the end of most web addresses. While .com is the most common domain extension, there are hundreds of alternative options. Domain.com offers access to all major domain extensions, from the increasingly popular .me all the way to .blog and .healthcare. If you’re starting a blog for your business, it might be worth registering a TLD that fits the services you offer. Start a blog to start talking to your customers Whether you’re an individual, a small business, or a major corporation, starting a blog lets you connect with your customers in a new way and build a powerful relationship. Once you decided the right hosting plan for your blog, register a domain name and start producing connect that connects customers to your business. Learn more about different hosting plans at Domain.com today. The post Web Hosting for Blogs: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Comparing Web Hosting Packages – A Helpful Guide

Selecting a great web hosting package can be crucial to the overall success of your business, particularly if your business is run primarily online. We know that wading through the details can be daunting, so the team at Domain.com has put together a helpful guide to aid you in selecting a great package that will help your business grow without breaking your budget. We will begin with a brief overview of the most common types of web hosting packages available and help you compare them to find the best fit for you. Ready to get started online? Learn more about the available hosting packages at Domain.com. Shared web hosting Shared hosting is the most commonly used of all hosting services and it works in much the same way as renting a shared workspace. In a shared workspace people pay a membership fee in order to use an allotted space along with other shared office resources. Shared hosting services provide essentially the same format. Shared hosting services provide space on a server that is used by you and a few hundred others, who split the overall cost. VPS hosting If shared hosting is like a membership to a shared workspace, then VPS hosting is comparable to renting a suite for your business in an office building. In this case, instead of having hundreds or even thousands of cohabiters, you only share your space with about 20 others. Additionally, your server space is partitioned off from the others utilizing the shared service. This allows for additional: Flexibility Customizability Reliability Increased scalability These are all advantages that VPS offers over traditional shared hosting, but one disadvantage is that these benefits also come with a higher price. Dedicated hosting Dedicated hosting is designed for companies with a need or a desire to have their own dedicated hosting server. To follow the office space theme above, dedicated hosting is like leasing out an entire office building for your company. This dedicated server offers advantages over both shared hosting and VPS hosting including: Increased security and reliability Complete autonomy for customizing hosting space Expanded access to customer service and technical support A dedicated server is generally only needed for larger businesses who do a significant portion of their business online. The cost is much higher than the aforementioned options, often making it prohibitive for smaller businesses, but the service is much stronger as well Cloud hosting Cloud hosting is the latest and greatest addition to the world of hosting services. It combines many of the most advantageous aspects of the other hosting types into one that is affordable and easy to use for businesses of most sizes. This model uses resources from a myriad of computer hosts to provide clients the space they need, but only what they need, when they need it. By using this model, cloud hosting services provide a solution that is both flexible and affordable. Things to consider when comparing packages Now that you have a basic understanding of the different options available for your web hosting needs, we will go through the items you should consider when comparing different packages. We will discuss them all in further detail shortly. The size of your business Cost of the package Cost of any additional hardware or software Technical knowledge required Customer service and tech support Flexibility and Customizability Reliability Security Professional Management Scalability How large is your business? The size of your business is going to be the primary factor in determining your hosting needs. If you are operating a small to medium-sized business, you can strike dedicated hosting from your list of options right away. You simply do not need that much hosting space. Small to medium-sized businesses will want to take a look at: Shared Hosting VPS Hosting Cloud Hosting Small businesses If you are running a very small business, particularly as a first-time entrepreneur, then your first stop on this journey will likely be shared hosting. This is assuming that your business does not have any unique requirements that might necessitate some of the bells and whistles that other packages offer. Medium-sized businesses Medium-sized businesses can go a number of different ways here. If you are running a mercantile business that relies heavily on web traffic to generate leads and sales, you may want a little more juice in your hosting plan–go for either VPS hosting or cloud hosting. That being said, not all medium-sized businesses use their website as the primary vessel for generating sales. If, for instance, you operate your website as an element of your marketing funnel, and the actual service provided is physical in nature, then you may be able to utilize a shared hosting plan and enjoy the reduced cost. How much do hosting plans cost? Weighing the cost-to-benefit ratio of each plan is going to be the next step in determining the best hosting package for you. Here is a general breakdown of how much each type of plan costs with Domain.com, along with some insight into their billing structure. Shared hosting:      Average cost- $3.75-$13.75 per month As low as- $3.75 per month for the Starter plan Billed Annually VPS hosting:            Average cost- $41.60 per month As low as- $29.70 per month Scalable up to- $67.95 per month Billed monthly or annually Technical knowledge requirements Each type of hosting package will require a different level of technical knowledge on your part, in order to set it up properly. To give you an idea of what this looks like for each type: Shared hosting: Little to no technical knowledge required VPS hosting: Little to moderate technical knowledge required Dedicated hosting: Advanced technical knowledge required Cloud hosting: Little to moderate technical knowledge required This is an area where you may be able to save yourself some money every month. Understandably, packages that include the services of a technical manager cost more. If you happen to have the requisite knowledge to handle setup and maintenance yourself, congratulations. If not, choose a package that includes the services of a professional to take care of it for you. Flexibility and customizability In the hosting world, the terms flexibility and customizability are inextricably linked. Essentially, they refer to your ability to dictate the details of your website hosting environment. The rule of thumb here: the more you pay, the more customization allowed. Shared hosting: No customization possible VPS hosting: Some customization possible Dedicated hosting: Complete autonomy for customization Cloud hosting: Some customization possible Note the use of the word “possible” above. With shared hosting, customization is simply not possible, making it the least flexible type of hosting available. This is because any changes made to your hosting environment would have a direct effect on every other website hosted on the same server. Be sure to take your customization needs and wishes into account when choosing your package. Reliability When we speak of reliability we are referring to the potential for slowing or downtime to occur due to internal or external factors. Things that could affect the reliability of your web hosting service include: Bad neighbors: Unique to shared hosting, a bad neighbor is one that experiences unusually high traffic which puts excessive strain on the server. This often results in slowing or downtime for websites hosted on the same server. Faulty coding: Should another website hosted on the same server have faulty coding, your website may experience slowing or downtime. As you might guess, hosting options that have fewer “neighbors” hosted on their server are less susceptible to reliability issues. Shared hosting: Less reliability VPS hosting: Relatively reliable Dedicated hosting: Extremely reliable Cloud hosting: Reliable For many businesses, this is one of the most influential factors in selecting a hosting package. For businesses who operate primarily or entirely online, the reliability of the server hosting their website is absolutely crucial. Security For our purposes, the term “security” encompasses both physical and cybersecurity. Ultimately, the goal of either form is to protect both the data stored on the server that hosts your website and to allow your site to continue running smoothly. Physical security: Servers that are managed by a professional hosting company tend to have the highest level of physical security. This prevents anyone from physically breaking in and gaining access to your precious data or damaging the server that helps your business run. Cyber security: Again, it is recommended that you choose a hosting option with low susceptibility to cyber-attack. For instance, shared hosting plans and VPS hosting solutions tend to be more susceptible to cyber-attack, particularly of the DDoS variety, due to the number of “neighbors” hosted on the same server. For smaller companies, the consequences of a security breach tend to warrant less concern, and the risk is lower as well. However, larger companies that collect a lot of data, or uniquely valuable data, should place high priority on the security of their host server. Scalability The scalability of each hosting package may prove to be vital, particularly if you expect your company to experience high growth in the near future. The potential to scale varies with each hosting type and the pricing for this ought to be detailed clearly in the plan you choose. Shared hosting: Not scalable VPS hosting: Scalable Dedicated hosting: Very scalable Cloud hosting: Very scalable While most hosting options allow at least some degree of scalability, you will notice that shared hosting plans are the exception. It is simply not possible to scale with this type of website hosting, because the resources of the host server are shared openly between all websites hosted there. Any added demand will have a direct effect on the performance of every website on the server. Learn the right web hosting package for your business When choosing the best hosting plan for your business, consider all of the variables, and choose the one that leads to the most successful for your business. With so many options and packages available, choosing one is easier once you understand the different components of each, and know what your business needs. Ready to get started online? Learn more about the available hosting packages at Domain.com. The post Comparing Web Hosting Packages – A Helpful Guide appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Types of Web Hosting: A Helpful Guide

Do you know what web hosting is and how it influences your site? If this is your first foray into the world of website building and hosting, then welcome! At Domain.com we are dedicated to assisting you with your web hosting needs from the start of your idea. We know that there is a lot to learn, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be difficult. We’re committed to making it simple. With our helpful guide, we will walk you through the basics of web hosting by examining the most popular solutions available today. Learn more about different hosting plans at Domain.com today. Shared web hosting Shared hosting is the most basic form of web hosting available. Purchasing a shared hosting plan is like renting a home with a few roommates; or in this case, up to a few thousand. When you purchase this type of plan, your business’ domain will be housed on a web server along with those of a few hundred to a few thousand other businesses. Generally, this works just fine as most of the web pages being housed on the server are relatively small and supported easily with little risk of site speed interference. Advantages Cost–As with any shared living situation, the most obvious advantage is splitting the cost of rent between multiple parties. When a hosting provider is able to split the cost of operating a single server between a couple of thousand clients, they’re able to offer very affordable rates. Beginner friendly—Generally, all your needs regarding setup will be accommodated under a shared hosting plan. This allows you the freedom to focus your attention on the development and web design aspects of your webpage instead. Disadvantages Unfortunately, when sharing living space (or any other resource) it is always possible that you will run into competition for said resource. This is precisely what can happen when using a shared host. Bad neighbors — the “bad neighbor effect” (yes, it is actually called that) is a phenomenon that occurs when one website on the shared server begins to hog resources, usually due to unusually high traffic or poor coding. This tends to result in slower loading speeds or operational downtime, which means it is more difficult to reach your website. Customer service –– obviously, when a bad neighbor situation arises, every other website owner on the server is going to hop on the customer service line pronto. Unfortunately, when there are so many mouths to feed it is difficult to accommodate them all efficiently. Additionally, the incentive for companies to do so is rather low, given that most websites are only yielding the company $5-$10 each. Inflexible –– Shared hosting does not allow you to customize your environment, since making changes to your own would affect every other website on the server. VPS hosting If shared hosting is comparable to sharing a house with roommates, then VPS hosting, which stands for Virtual Private Server, is a lot like renting your own apartment in an apartment complex. Advantages VPS offers a number of key advantages over simple shared hosting that make it far more desirable overall. Reliability – Reduces the number of websites per server from a few  thousand to about 20, decreasing the demand on the server. Resources are allocated evenly between websites. No single website is allowed to exceed its set share. Flexibility – VPS servers offer the ability to customize your environment since you are virtually partitioned from the other websites on the server. Scalability – Since you have a measured portion of the server’s resources dedicated to your website, it is a simple matter to increase the amount available to you. Disadvantages Cost — naturally, with added advantages comes added cost. The cost of VPS hosting ranges from around $20 per month at the lowest to $50 on average and is scalable all the way up to around $200. The disadvantages of using VPS hosting are few and negligible. Many marketers agree the increased capacity allowed to your website quickly covers the increase in cost from VPS hosting. Dedicated hosting Dedicated hosting is recommended for big companies with big websites and big needs. When you choose dedicated hosting, you enjoy a server dedicated strictly to running your website, and all its advantages. Advantages The advantages afforded by having a dedicated server are unique and significant in comparison to shared and VPS hosting. No bad neighbors — Since the server is dedicated strictly to you, you don’t have any neighbors at all. Reduced security risk — Without neighbors, there is far less risk of security issues. Total flexibility — Most hosting companies allow extensive customization with a dedicated hosting plan. You have full autonomy to choose your desired operating system, amount of memory, and various other hardware features. Customer service — As you would expect, big companies putting up big money for web hosting services net more attention on the customer service end. Disadvantages There are some distinct and rather consequential disadvantages to hosting your website on a dedicated server. We’ll start with the obvious and go from there. Cost — The pricing jumps significantly with this type of package, ranging anywhere from $60 to $350 per month. Technical knowledge—Managing your own server requires a good bit of technical acumen, particularly if you are using a fully unmanaged service. Unmanaged service—Some services will require you to manage your server entirely on your own. In such cases, you will need someone with the know-how to: Install your operating system Install malware removal Provide security scanning Install other tools necessary to run a web server (there are a few) Security—By hosting your website on a dedicated server you are essentially putting all your eggs in one basket. Should the hardware fail, your website will experience downtime until your own technician can get it up and running again. Many web hosting providers will offer solutions to mitigate the negative aspects of using a dedicated server. For instance, your hosting provider may offer you the option to hire a service manager with the technical knowledge to take care of installation needs and oversee security. Of course, this comes with additional cost. However, it is expected that a company large enough to require such services will be able to absorb the additional cost. Cloud hosting Cloud hosting was developed as an innovative way to pull all the juice you need to run your website from a host of different computers, as opposed to a single server. It holds a lot of similarities to VPS hosting, so much so that many hosting companies refer to it as Cloud VPS. Advantages Cloud hosting offers incredible advantages over other options by combining a lot of their best features into one package. Some of these include the following, which we will cover further below: Scalability Setup Advantageous billing structure Security Scalability Increased scalability may be the single largest perk that cloud hosting offers over the others, particularly its cousin VPS. With traditional VPS, you can scale up, but only to the extent allowed by the capacity of the single server that houses your unit. A cloud-based system, on the other hand, allows you to scale much further by combining the power of a multitude of computers. These networks form a virtual server that allocates resources based on need, so your potential for scalability is effectively endless. Setup An advantage that cloud shares with VPS and shared servers is that setup is essentially handled for you by whoever manages the host servers. The technical knowledge required to run a dedicated server is not required. Billing Structure Cloud-based services are billed differently than other services as well. As you will notice, every other type of package comes with a set price for a set amount of web resources. You will be charged the full amount for the number of resources allocated to you whether you use them or not. This is not the case with cloud-based servers. In this case, the price is incurred as the resources are allocated; based on need. You will only be charged for the resources you actually use. Security Cloud hosting is also remarkably resilient against cyber-attacks, particularly of the DDoS variety. This type of attack is designed to overwhelm a server by sending huge numbers of requests at the same time. A cloud system is able to distribute these requests throughout the network and minimize their impact to keep your website up and running. Disadvantages Frankly, there are hardly any disadvantages to speak of. It is true that traffic spikes and the subsequent increase in resource consumption can make predicting cost a little tricky. However, this tends to be a rather minor concern since increased traffic tends to increase revenue, allowing a business to absorb the additional cost. Self service hosting Self-service web hosting is precisely what it sounds like. Should you choose to undertake a fully self-sufficient hosting operation, you will be responsible for providing all of the following, and more. Power Cooling Physical security Internet uplink Server hardware Server software Data storage Backup procedures Bandwidth Systems administrator Cyber security Advantages The advantages of hosting your operation on this type of system are numerous. You have full autonomy over: Cost Customizability Security Scalability Configuration Essentially, you have a system that is customized and optimized to fit your needs. The only limits to what you can do are dictated by your budget and your technical expertise. Disadvantages The disadvantages to operating your own in-house hosting system should be pretty obvious. You are solely responsible for the up-front costs, as well as any additional costs which can rise dramatically should any of the following occur: Hardware malfunction Software malfunction Security breach Power failure Cooling failure This type of hosting is generally well beyond the scope of what is necessary to run an online business, especially a small one. There are a select few, though, that are both large enough and run their businesses entirely online, who might opt for this type of hosting system (for example, Amazon). However, the cost and level of effort necessary for the upkeep of a system like this will likely make this option prohibitive. Reseller hosting Reseller hosting is specific to those who wish to turn a profit by providing hosting services to others. In effect, they are shared hosting accounts with additional tools built-in to sweeten the pot and help resell host space. Some of these tools included in reseller web hosting include: Website templates — Help business owners who may be new to website building. Technical support — Built-in tech support allows better access to IT services than traditional shared host services, which are often lacking. Private name servers — Used to give the appearance of authority by making your company seem larger. Advantages For the person(s) attempting to resell premium hosting space, the main advantage is profit. However, there are a couple of other advantages for those purchasing resold hosting space. Access to the tools listed above, particularly website templates and tech support, dramatically increase one’s ability to navigate a web buildout without acquiring a lot of technical knowledge. In short, it saves time and resources that can be used elsewhere. Disadvantages The disadvantages are essentially the same as those you would encounter using shared hosting services. There is the potential for: Security issues Slowing or downtime due to bad neighbors hogging web resources Lack of flexibility and customizability Fortunately, with features such as built-in tech support, many of these issues can be resolved in a more efficient manner. This makes resold space worth the consideration, especially if you have been burned in the past and are looking to make a change while staying within your existing budget. Choose the right type of hosting for your business idea While there are a few variations on hosting solutions that are available, most are built around the models explained above. At Domain.com, we aim to help you find the best solution to fit your needs and your budget. This is why we offer a wide array of web hosting packages at competitive prices. Learn more about different hosting plans at Domain.com today. The post Types of Web Hosting: A Helpful Guide appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Transferring Domain Name Ownership: Everything You Need to Know

There are a number of reasons to transfer a domain name to another registrar. Perhaps your current registrar doesn’t offer all of the features you need, or they’re offered at a price that simply doesn’t fit your budget. Regardless of the reason you find yourself here, all the information you need to complete a domain name transfer can be found below. The process is simple and relatively quick. Read up on all the information provided below and you will be back to business as usual in no time. Online success starts with a great domain. Find yours today at Domain.com. What does it mean to transfer a domain Name? Transferring a domain name means changing the registrar with which your domain name is registered. If you have already tracked down and purchased that perfect domain name for your business or project, but find yourself displeased with the level of service provided by your current registrar, don’t worry. Transferring your domain to a registrar that better suits your needs is a relatively simple process. Why do people transfer domain names? There are plenty of reasons one might become disgruntled with one’s current registrar and choose to switch to another. After all, not all registrars are created equal. Most will offer packages that include different features, with different prices and different levels of reliability. Some offer superior customer support, while other user interfaces are easier to navigate. Features Most registrars offer a unique set of services and features included with your subscription. Some of these include privacy protection, web hosting, or email. However, not all providers offer all of the features you may need. Here are some important considerations when transferring a domain name: Provider: It’s important to consider the source of the services and features offered by a given registrar. Some, like Domain.com, offer all of their own services with seamless integration—including email and web hosting. Other registrars may outsource some of these services to third-party providers and use clunky integrations that slow your business down. User friendliness: Ease of use is a primary concern when considering the purchase of any good or service, and domain name registration is no different. In this case, you will want to know that the features offered to you are simple to implement. Domain.com offers a number of user-friendly tools that make tasks like domain management simple for you. Other registrars may not offer these, which may require a significant amount of effort on your end. Customer support: As with any endeavor, it is possible that you will run into a hiccup and have questions that need answering. You want to know that there is someone available on the other end of the customer service line to answer your questions when you need them. We at domain.com pride ourselves on our ability to offer quality live support whenever you may need it. Price Every registrar has a different formula for pricing the services they offer. At Domain.com, our transfer fee includes a one year registration. Some offer all-inclusive services that may provide more bang for your buck, as all of the features you want are offered at a discounted rate. Others require you to purchase a base service at a lower rate, and then charge for additional features that you may still need. It is also possible that they offer a low price for the first year of service, only to charge more to renew. This kind of thing has been known to leave customers disgruntled, so be sure to check pricing structure to make sure that you are not being overcharged for services you want or need. If you are unhappy with the pricing structure of your current registrar, it may be time to make a change and start the transfer process. How long does it take to initiate a transfer? Here is a bit of good news for you: completing a domain name transfer does not take long at all. If you take the time to sit down and stay on top of it, the steps you need to take can be completed in an hour or two. We recommend the process be completed in one sitting, when possible, for security purposes. How long to complete the process? Once you have fulfilled all requirements on your end, the rest of the transfer process is completed in 5-7 business days, under normal circumstances. Why transfer to domain.com? Domain.com is one of the leading registrars in the industry for a reason. We offer the ability to easily manage your domains from a single, user-friendly platform. We also offer a comprehensive set of features for all of your needs under a straightforward pricing structure, with fantastic customer service to boot. Ease of management Domain.com lets you easily manage all of your existing domains by using our Dashboard. As the name suggests, it is a single user interface that allows you to manage all domains registered with us in one centralized location. There is no need to navigate between pages for each individual domain. Manage hosting and domains together If your domain name is operational, that means you have a host. Not only does Domain.com offer a plethora of hosting options, but we offer you the ability to manage both your domains and your hosting needs all in one place. This makes your experience seamless and convenient. Automatic domain renewal As you probably already know, your claim on a domain name has an expiration date. In the likely event that you want to keep your domain name longer than the term specified during your original purchase, then you will need to renew your subscription. Otherwise, your claim will expire, and your domain will become available for purchase by another party. Domain.com offers an automatic domain renewal feature that helps you keep track of expiration dates, and gives you the option to renew automatically. Just set your profile to renew automatically, and Domain.com will take you through the process automatically when the time comes. Savings Domain.com offers some of the most competitive pricing available in the industry. By offering features and services at competitive and affordable prices Domain.com is able to offer substantial savings over many of the other registrars around. Customer support Domain.com offers some of the strongest and most reliable customer support available. If you’re the type that likes to pose your questions to a real human operator, we’re standing by, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to give you a hand. If you prefer to pose your queries in a different manner, but with the same level of responsiveness, Domain.com also offers you the ability to live chat with customer service through the chat feature built into their website. Regardless of your preferred method of communication, Domain.com has an option for you. What do I need to transfer to domain.com? There are four things that need to happen to facilitate a successful transfer to Domain.com. Domains must be valid and already registered with another registrar The registered domain names must be registered for at least 60 days and in unlocked status Transfers will succeed only if the Admin Contact is up-to-date You must obtain an authorization code to transfer to Domain.com How to prepare with your current registrar There are a number of steps you will need to take with your current registrar in order to complete your transfer. With your current registrar, you will need to: Unlock your domain Disable privacy settings Update your contact information so Domain.com can send confirmation emails Obtain your transfer authorization code Make sure your domain has been registered for at least 60 days, or opt out (more on that later) Ensure that your domain is not currently involved in any legal dispute, which could result in a registry lock Contact your current provider in person in order to have your authorization code released to you. Some registrars do this for security purposes. Opt out of 60 day lock It is standard practice for a domain to be locked for 60 days after it is registered or transferred. During this period, you will be barred from updating the name or company name associated with the domain, changing the registrant email address, or enabling/disabling privacy settings. However, there is an option to opt out of this. By default, this option will not be checked, so if you are planning to transfer the domain, you will need to log in and manually opt out of this 60-day lock. Can domains be altered during transfer? In a word, no. If the transfer process has yet to be completed, then it cannot be changed. You will not be able to: Update nameservers Change the WHOIS registration information Renew the domain subscription In order to make any changes during this stage of the process, you need to contact the current hosting provider with a request to cancel the transfer. Otherwise, you must simply wait until the transfer process is complete (typically about 5 days) before making the desired changes. How to transfer to Domain.com step by step From GoDaddy.com Unlock your domain: Log in to your GoDaddy Account Manager In the My Products section, click Domain Manager Use the checkbox(es) to select the domain name(s) you want to modify Above your list of domains, click locking To unlock the domain, clear the lock domains checkbox Click OK Click OK again To transfer your domain to Domain.com, you will need your authorization code. Here are directions on how to find your authorization code. Retrieve authorization code: Log in to your GoDaddy Account Manager In the My Products section, click Domain Manager Click the domain for which you want to retrieve the authorization code In the Authorization Code field, click the Send by Email Hyperlink Click OK Click OK again Confirm your transfer via email After you submit your transfer request to Domain.com, we send you an email to confirm your transfer. Within this email, we provide a link to your account so you can log in and enter the authorization code from your current registrar. Done! If your domain is unlocked and the authorization code is correct, your transfer should complete within 5 days, barring and Registrar conflicts. At times, current registrars send emails to confirm registrar transfers. If you receive an email confirmation from your current registrar, please approve the transfer and your domain should transfer immediately to Domain.com. If you have any questions during this process, please contact our Transfer Specialists at 800-403-3568. Transfer your domain name and start building your online presence Transferring a domain name to Domain.com does not have to be a time-consuming affair. Our goal is to make it as painless as possible. You can save yourself time and hassle by adhering to the recommendations outlined above and assisting your buyer with their responsibilities throughout the process. Keep in mind that you always want to protect yourself from liability. Once the process is complete, be sure to conduct the transfer with this security in mind to ensure you receive the funds you’re due. If you do it right, your domain name transfer to Domain.com should go off without a hitch! Online success starts with a great domain. Find yours today at Domain.com. The post Transferring Domain Name Ownership: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Change Your Website Domain Name

According to Business Insider, more than two in three Americans will make an online purchase at some point in 2018. Of these online shoppers, a significant minority are making multiple purchases throughout the year. With the continued dominance and growth of Amazon, those numbers are only going to continue trending upwards. As a result, owning a website is vital for a business’ continued survival, let alone success. If you do wish to create a website for your business, or blog, you must first register a domain name. Choosing the right domain name gives your site a distinctive identity that distinguishes it from the millions of other websites already up and running since no two people can register under the same exact domain name. Now, some people have already registered a domain name, but become disgruntled because the name is not quite right. In such cases, such dissatisfied customers do have an option to transfer or change their domain name. That said, before you can begin your search for that perfect domain name, or change your current domain name, it is crucial that you first understand how domains and domain names work. Having a grasp on the ins and outs of domain names will aid you in your quest for finding the right one; one that does not require any changing. After, we will discuss why having a strong domain name is important. Online success starts with a great domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. What is a website? For those that have never owned a website, you may just automatically assume that a domain name, and a website are interchangeable words all meaning the same thing. They are distinctly different parts of the same whole, so, buying a domain name does not mean that you also have a website. There are still major differences between a website and a domain name. A website is an online storefront, similar to a physical brick and mortar store. After searching your name in a web browser, prospective shoppers enter the website, peruse the page, interact with the various features, and then possibly make a purchase, or subscribe to a service. A website is made up of various files, web pages, images, video, sound, music, and other data. Just like you would need an address to locate a physical store, a website needs a virtual web address in order to distinguish it from the millions of other online locales. What is a domain name? When computer scientists were creating the fledgling World Wide Web, the very first computers would communicate with each other using an Internet Protocol address; 32-bit or 128-bit numbers that functioned as that computer’s virtual address. These numbers served dual purposes: locating a web address, and distinguishing and identifying web addresses. This brilliant IP system worked fairly well in a small setting between a handful of computers, but even then, keeping track of these random sequences of numbers and dots was not an easy task, especially if you wished to memorize an IP address. This would naturally become even more complicated when additional IP addresses were added to the network. As it was, scaling was an unsustainable model, much in part due to the limitations of human memory. Even creating a gigantic IP phone book of sorts would not be an efficient solution in and of itself. To remedy this issue, computer scientists created an IP registration system wherein the IP address was registered and linked to a unique name. This name functioned as a natural and easy substitute  of the numerical address. Once typed in, these names would automatically translate to that IP address. Today, these virtual shortcuts are what we refer to as domain names. Top-level domains A top-level domain, also known as a domain name extension, is what gets typed in after the period but before the slashes. For google.com, the .com is the top-level domain. Originally designed for specific purposes, seven TLDs were created: .com, .edu, .gov, .int, .net, .mil, and .org. Although some of these TLDs maintained their rigid function, others, such as .org or .com, became widely used. These extensions opened up a vast array of possible combinations for a domain name, as you could register both business.com or business.org. Over time, even these original TLDs limited how many domain names could be created. To fix that, hundreds of new domain extensions have been added, called new top-level domains (nTLDs), as they are released. This increased the number of available names and gave businesses an opportunity to be creative or imaginative with domain endings such as the social media music site, music.ly. Why you might want to change your domain name Before we discuss how to change your website domain name, it is wise to consider the merits or reasons behind such a mindset. Changing domain names is not something you should do on a whim. When changing your domain name, be sure to take plenty of time to consider the reasons and thoroughly weigh the pros and cons. The following reasons may apply: You don’t like your old domain name: Tastes in humor change, so your domain name may end up not as clever or funny as it previously seemed.. Industries shift. Perhaps you have a domain name that is no longer relevant or helpful in  distinguishing your product in the marketplace. If you no longer like your domain name and want to change it, first think it through. Changing could mean losing traffic or search rankings that have previously built up. The domain name wasn’t gaining traction: Perhaps your domain has not accumulated the traffic or positive feedback from your customers as expected.  na It has not blown up like you thought it would. Since your sunk cost is fairly low, you could change it and see if something else sticks better in the minds of your customers. Your business name changed: If you have changed the name of your company, switched industries, or pivoted the business in such a way that the name is no longer relevant or applicable, then you are practically forced to change your name. If you want your brand to succeed, you have to send a clear and consistent message to customers and the first way to do that would be changing the domain name. You want to change the extension: Maybe you bought a domain name with a lesser known extension because your desired one was unavailable. Perhaps you wish to get a more mainstream TLD. If that name is now available with a better extension, a domain change can be worth the price of making the switch. How to change your domain name on Website Builder There are a few steps when it comes to changing your domain name on Domain.com: Log in to your Domain.com, hosting account. Go to the Domain Control Panel settings. Click on the Website Builder Icon. Right next to the Domain name you wish to change, click on Options. A menu will drop down, click on Change Domain. A popup will appear, hit choose your domain and then apply. Select the domain you would like to use for the website and then hit apply. The Website Builder editor will open up, allowing you to make revisions to the site. After making the changes in settings, hit Save and Publish your site. A popup will appear asking, “Are you sure?” Hit Yes. Congratulations you have successfully changed your domain name and your website is now live. How to setup a 301 redirect page If you are switching to a new domain, you want to make sure that you redirect visitors to your new site instead of being on your old one. In order to do that, you must setup a 301 redirect page. The purpose is to redirect search engines and site visitors to your new website so you don’t lose traffic or visibility when you make the switch. To set up a 301 redirect page, follow these instructions below: Log in to your Domain.com, hosting account. Go to the Domain settings in your cPanel. Click redirect from the sub menu. Fill in the information provided on the form. Enter in the previous address and the new address you want to redirect to. Click add this redirect Go back to the main page and verify that your redirect page has been saved. If your site is not on Website Builder, the process will be a bit more complicated. In order to redirect your visitors without sacrificing your traffic, you will either have to bring all your files over, build a completely new site under your new domain, or do a redirect from the old domain to the new one. Why domain names matter Besides the obvious benefit of locating your website, domain names are important for several reasons. Picking the right name so you don’t have to change it later on will save you money and time invested in building up your base. Finding the right domain will: Establish credibility A domain name lends a feeling of legitimacy to a business, especially to strangers. These days, many customers will not be interested or have trouble trusting a company that does not have a website. If you have a domain and a website, you signal to people that you are serious and easy to reach. Whereas, if you utilize some free web hosting site, customers will feel wary about providing you with their credit card or personal information. Act as an initial screening function The domain and the website function together as an initial screening filter for customers. A relevant domain name will likely pique a customer’s interest, while an irrelevant domain name could be a turnoff. For example, if someone is looking for winter gear, a domain name of supplystore.com might be less effective than a domain name that has relevant keywords in the name, like wintergear.com. Increase walk-ins If you register a domain name that pairs with whatever good or service you are selling, you are far more likely to draw in people who were browsing or simply typing in general keywords. Just like how an attractive storefront will draw in a passerby, a relevant domain name will similarly land virtual web surfers. Although the domain name is not available, if you were selling cars, no name would be more ideal than cars.com, since that is the most likely thing to be typed in by someone who wants a car, but doesn’t know where to begin their search. Help with brand recall If you manage to cleverly link your domain name with your specific good or service, your customers will have an easier time remembering the name. This, in turn, will simplify the process of frequenting your website and increasing the likelihood that yours will be the first name that comes to mind. Consider Google; they have successfully established their brand and linked it intrinsically to their search function that now “to Google” is a phrase in itself, synonymous with the phrase “to search.” Provide multiple revenue options If you have a physical location where you do the majority of your selling, having a domain and website is important since it gives you an alternative revenue route. This makes it simple and convenient for loyal customers to continue buying your goods or services, and as mentioned, brings in alternative customers who might never hear of or walk by your physical store. Diversifying your revenue streams gives you an opportunity to continue to grow your business. Give your internet presence flexibility In the past, moving locations could ruin a successful business, even if it meant only moving a few blocks away, since people had associated that physical location with your business. Such a move became even more damaging when moving a considerable distance, since you would effectively lose all the years building up your business reputation at that location. Now, when you own a domain name, you can change offices, leave the state, or even the country, and that domain name will follow wherever you go. This allows you to keep customers even if you now live thousands of miles away. Signals that you embrace progress Similar to establishing credibility, owning a domain signals to potential customers that you’re a forward thinker. You have not only adapted to the digital age, but embraced it. It implicitly tells customers that you welcome technological progress and are savvy enough to use such change to your business’ advantage. Imagine a computer repair store that didn’t have a domain name (the irony!). Whether true or not, a customer might think that the company without a domain and website may be selling a product or service that is out of date. Change your domain name to suit your business needs Having a domain name is important if you want to establish credibility with customers in the online space. It’s an easy way to signal to shoppers what you’re selling and to gain a foothold in the online market. The edge you gain through landing that perfect domain name is well worth the time and money investments required. Unfortunately, some people wind up with a domain name that accomplishes none of those things. As a result, they are forced to change the name. Fortunately, this process is simple: follow the steps listed above and your website will be up and running in no time. Online success starts with a great domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post How to Change Your Website Domain Name appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Maintain Your Side Hustle Without Hurting Your Day Job

Wake up. Traffic. Work. Traffic. TV. Bed. Wake up. Traffic. Work. Traffic. TV. Bed. Wake– Exhausted yet? Somewhere in between all that work and traffic, you need to turn your side hustle into a full time gig–without falling asleep at your desk. You don’t need to turn into a vampire, stay up all night, and put in a full eight hours of work just to get your side hustle off the ground. Instead, design your new business around simple goals, commit to a strict schedule, and then find the hidden pockets of time that let you get it done. If you want your work to be fueled by passion, and live a life where the traffic you worry about is the traffic heading to your website, then it’s time to plan your way to success. Online success starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. Let your side hustle work without you If the biggest roadblock to side hustle success is your lack of time, then it’s time to step out of the way. With a little work up front, a website can expand your brand, attract new clients or customers, and grow revenue, all while you’re busy at your day job. Narrow down the focus of your target audience as tightly as possible, and design a brand that resonates with those customers. Register a domain name that stands out so it can be remembered, and easily found in an online search. Then design your website so it tells visitors what your business is about, and pushes them to a single goal: becoming a valued customer. Find a schedule that works and chain yourself to it Even with the perfect domain and website design, you’re still going to need to work–hard, and often. You have two options: spread a thin level of focus across many projects and get a little work done on each, or block out time to focus deeply on one task at a time. Just a hint, with the first option, the anxiety about not getting enough done wears you out faster than the work itself. Instead, lock yourself to a strict schedule that maximizes the time. Find two hours each day, and commit to working on your side hustle. During that time, avoid social media, texting, or unnecessary emails–it’s radio silence unless it’s for your business. If all you can spare is an hour, that’s fine too. It’s not about how much you can get done in a single sitting, but rather, an accumulation of dedication. Keep working, every night, and those two measly hours start to add up. There is plenty of time in your day, if you search for it When you’re lying in bed or sitting on the couch, your brain turns into a wizard of persuasion, feeding you reason after reason to slack. Yes, you’re busy. Still, there’s plenty of time in your day to carve out a spot for your side hustle, as long as you’re willing to sacrifice, just a little. Inside the busy schedule in the first line of this post, those TV time slots can be replaced with your side hustle. Binge-watching is great, and you won’t be able to talk about recent episodes with your coworkers, but the side hustle is more important. While you’re stuck in traffic, take phone calls and network with new business partners or brands. If you think you can’t move forward because of lack of money, do everything else you can, over prepare, and then start shopping your idea around to potential partners. What are you willing to give to your side hustle? The most successful people all say the same thing about what it takes to succeed: focus. If you give all your extra focus to your side hustle, whenever you’re not working your day job, your business starts to take shape. The same rule of focus is the reason a strict schedule is better than spreading your attention across multiple tasks. During the reserved side hustle time, you achieve the level of deep concentration required to give the task your all. If you give everything during that time, and stay consistent with your schedule, your hard work can pay off. An overnight success takes years of dedicated work It’s your life, and your busy schedule, so why not shape each day into one that leads to success. Your exhausted now, but a tight schedule can help relieve the mental strain wearing you down. With a dedicated plan that lets you work passionately at your side hustle, perform at your day job, and finally get some sleep, you have all you need to succeed. It all starts with a great domain. Find one for your side hustle at Domain.com. The post How to Maintain Your Side Hustle Without Hurting Your Day Job appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is Web Hosting: Web Hosting Defined

Smart businesses are shifting more and more online, changing from a local business to a world wide business serving customers all over. It’s helpful to understand the different aspects of web hosting before making a choice that will affect the growth of your business down the road. Use the helpful guide below to help your brick and mortar business establish a presence online, and take advantage of the mass exodus of customers looking to shop on the Internet instead of in person. Learn more about different hosting plans at Domain.com today. Websites 101 Before defining web hosting, it is crucial that you first understand the definition of a website. A website is composed of interlinked web pages that are publicly accessible and listed under the same domain name. A website and domain name are different, and it’s important you understand these differences before getting started. These public sites can be viewed by just about anyone on earth with a phone, laptop, or tablet—and, of course, internet access. Websites can be owned by a person, a company, a group, or governmental organization; and these sites can serve a multitude of different functions. Altogether they make up the World Wide Web (WWW). The three parts of a website There are three critical components to any website. They are the domain name, site files, and web hosting servers. Domain names Computers communicate with one another by using numbers known as IP addresses in a similar way to how you might use an address to find where someone lives or a phone directory to give them a call. Because a human’s memory  is limited, especially when memorizing large series of random digits, the DNS (Domain Name System) was created to act like a phone book, which would list these IP addresses and the Domain Name registered to that address. Site files These are the web pages your potential customers actually see when visiting your site. It includes photos, media files, graphics, scripts, and other .html data. This data tells web hosting servers how the page should look. These servers translate the files and then obey the right commands to display the desired website design and format. Web hosting servers The physical location of your storefront is not the business itself, if you move, the business moves with you. If you set up shop elsewhere, the new storefront would still be the same business. The same goes for your web hosting. The simplest web hosting definition is that these web hosting servers are the rental space for your virtual store. All the saved files, data, and information that make up a website need to be securely stored somewhere. Without the hosting services, your files would have no place to exist, so your site would work about as well as a discontinued telephone number. What are the types of web hosting? When you ask the question, “what is web hosting,” it is important that you know the five primary types of web hosting. They are website builder, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, and cloud hosting. Website builder Website builder services are a type of hosting service made for those people who do not have the technical knowledge to build a website on their own. Perfect for beginners, a website builder is the easiest way to sort out hosting, since everything comes bundled as a part of the plan. Here at Domain.com, our package includes deluxe web hosting, a free domain name, our Drag and Drop Site Builder, and Gmail for work. Our Drag and Drop builder lets you personalize your own website by simply pointing and clicking. It is easy to pick a background image and color scheme, add logos, create content, features, and design additional pages. Whether you want to start a blog, a wedding website, or an online store, a website builder is a fast, cheap and easy form of web hosting. We also offer Simple Scripts which is our assortment of quick-to-install applications designed to optimize and improve your website. Shared web hosting Shared web hosting is the cheapest type of hosting available since you share a server with several other websites in order to split the cost. If you are a small business with a limited budget and not expecting heavy traffic, shared hosting is a useful method of cutting unnecessary costs. It should be noted that since these servers are shared, there may be website performance issues if one of the shared sites garners a lot of traffic. Dedicated web hosting Dedicated web hosting services are when you are the only owner and user of a server. Because of this, your website and its performance will not be altered by another website. This service is more expensive, but it provides better tech resources than you would receive with shared hosting. Also, security will not be affected by traffic from another site. It is perfect for online businesses or stores experiencing robust, growing sales numbers. It is also ideal for those who need a lot of disk space, such as if you have an extensive email database. The Slashdot Effect or Reddit’s “Hug of Death” Once referred to as the Slashdot Effect, and now more often called Reddit’s “Hug of Death,” occurs, “When a large and highly trafficked website links to a smaller website and causes a massive increase in traffic. This overloads the smaller site, causing it to slow down or even temporarily become unavailable.” Few things can be more disastrous than your website crashing from an inability to handle heavy traffic—especially since it could possibly drive away one-off visitors. This is especially true if you are receiving a spike of traffic from the Slashdot Effect. While such viral traffic is unpredictable, you do yourself a disservice if your site is not ready to handle at least a modest spike of visitors. VPS web hosting VPS Hosting stands for Virtual Private Server. This hosting service is a solid pricing middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. You share a server but have your own definite area, leaving you less vulnerable to slowdowns from other sites sharing this private server. Companies who need an upgrade in their site’s bandwidth due to increased traffic are ideal users of VPS Web hosting. VPS offer better security, reliability, and ease of use without a large increase in cost. On top of that, VPS offers web hosting flexibility, as you can install your own operating system and add, remove, or modify software applications at your discretion. For a reasonable price, you get a completely customized hosting experience. Cloud hosting Cloud hosting is when aspects of your website are shared across several different servers, which together function as “the cloud.” With cloud hosting, a faulty web server issue is not really a problem since another server can take its place and keep the site running. Cloud hosting is ideal for people who expect large volumes of traffic and do not want any bandwidth problems. Perfect for a site that projects continued growth and regular traffic surges. There are two other options for hosting, but each has complications: Collocated hosting Some massive websites with access to their own coders or IT team will use collocated hosting, wherein they buy their own server and simply use a web host’s space to keep the server. These websites are in charge of server maintenance and have the option to install any desired applications or scripts. Personal hosting Although it is possible to host a website on your own computer, we would never advise it, as it is far more a hassle than it would ever be worth. Know your hosting needs Before you select a type of web hosting service, it is essential that you know what will be required from your website. First, answer these questions: What type of website are you creating? Is it a WordPress blog? A virtual storefront? Do you need e-commerce features? Do you need a particular type of shopping cart software? Do you need the ability to handle business transactions on the site? Do you require technical support? How much traffic do you expect? How much growth do you expect? Do you require a type of script support? Do you need to utilize Windows applications or distinct software? Where do you see your company and website in six months? A year? Three years? Comparing our web hosting plans While we offer a host of different features with our web host plans, the key features of these plans are: Email addresses POP3 (Normal inboxes), where the server grants you space to store emails. Webmail Anti-Spam Filter Email Anti-Virus Email Forwarding Auto-responder Disk space How much space you have for your website’s files. At Domain.com, all three of our web hosting plans come with unlimited* disk space. *”There is no cap on the disk space we provide to deliver the content of your website. As long as you are fully compliant with our Terms of Service and utilize storage for the normal operation of your Domain.com website, you will have access to unlimited space.” Bandwidth The term that describes the amount of traffic and data your site can handle, is bandwidth . The higher the bandwidth of your web hosting plan, the more traffic your site can handle without crashing. At Domain.com, “We have no set limits when it comes to bandwidth—which is the amount of traffic and data that flows between your website and the rest of the internet—and our architecture was built to support more than 99.5% of our customers’ bandwidth demands.” Pairing domain registration and web hosting Although it is more than possible to have your domain registered elsewhere, the optimal solution is to keep your website hosting and domain registration in one place. This is advantageous for several reasons such as: Bundle your costs – Domain registration and web hosting both cost money to maintain and operate. By keeping these services bundled, you centralize your costs, lower your overall rates, and have an easier time paying your bills. Link websites and domains – When you utilize Domain.com’s services for both domain registration and web hosting, linking your domain to your website is easy.. Ease of use – Bundling services allows you to oversee, manage, or change any aspect of your web hosting or domain in one, easy-to-reach location. Infrastructure matters One aspect many forget to consider is how vital hosting infrastructure is for website hosting. Infrastructure limits the safety, dependability, and speed of your website. Domain.com offers: Dependability – Our servers undergo ceaseless temperature and humidity monitoring. Fully redundant power and HVAC powered by dual independent power grids. Our locations have the very best in fire-threat detection and suppression systems, paired with seismically braced cabinets and racks. Safety – We offer 24/7 video monitoring, critical monitoring and secured access to the data center. All of our cabinets, cages, and suites are locked and secured. Immune to typical failure conditions Flexible space option, scalable for growth Redundancy – We offer full network redundancy with data backups and reliable data storage. Engineering & Design – We have the very best, state-of-the-art data centers, with multi-homed, redundant network connections. We use the best-of-breed, router, server, and firewall equipment and we never stop trying to optimize our network. Understand web hosting and start growing your business online Web hosting is often an overlooked component of a website’s ability to succeed or fail. Understanding your web hosting needs is a critical aspect of getting your website off the ground. Learn more about different hosting plans at Domain.com today. The post What is Web Hosting: Web Hosting Defined appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Find a Domain Name Owner

Are you trying to learn how to find a domain name owner, but don’t know where to start? If you want to find the owner of a domain name, it’s essential to first understand the meaning of a domain name. It’s helpful to think of the relationship between a domain name and a website in the same way you think of your home address. When you look up a website, you enter the domain name (the address) so that you can be delivered to a specific website. In order to find a single website, you need an exact domain name. Domain.com has over 300 domain extensions to choose from to help set your website apart from the rest. It all starts with a great domain.   TLDs Every web address on the internet concludes with a string of letters called domain name extensions or TLDs. TLD is an abbreviation that stands for Top Level Domain. There are hundreds of TLDs in existence, and more are added regularly. The most famous, and the one used for the vast majority of websites, is .com. It’s possible for virtually anyone to sign up for a .com TLD if the domain name is available, but other extensions are more restricted. For example, if you want to sign up for .museum, which designates museums, museum organizations, and individuals within the museum profession, you must be able to furnish proof that you’re a museum or an affiliate. When you’re looking for a domain name owner, it’s vital to know which TLD is associated with the web address. Running a search with a .net TLD instead of .com can potentially direct you to an entirely different website. Who owns a domain? Domain names are owned by whoever first registered the web address with an accredited registrar, such as Domain.com. In order for that person to maintain ownership, they have to pay registration fees and ensure that all of their contact details are up to date. Once a person has legally registered for a domain name, and has given all of the relevant personal information to an accredited registrar, that individual owns the rights to that web address. They are in sole possession of that web address and have the right to sell it at any time. The owner can transfer domain name ownership to a new user if they care to do so. Length of domain ownership Typically, the standard domain ownership period is two years. However, depending on extensions, it’s possible to register a domain name for up to 10 years. Renewal is also an option for people who don’t want to commit to a multi-year deal. Domain owners pay an annual fee, which varies based on the TLD they’ve chosen. Since the year 2000, Domain.com has offered some of the most affordable TLD registration and renewal fees available. Why look up a domain owner? There are many reasons someone would want to look up a domain owner. Often, it’s because the owner can furnish information about the domain and website that no one else can. It’s also common for domain owners to search themselves in order to confirm that their website is being accurately represented online. Other reasons to look up a domain owner: Make a purchase: Most often, a person looking up the owner of a domain is interested in purchasing that domain name. There are hundreds of millions that are registered, and for many individuals and business, their ideal domain has already been claimed by someone else. Sometimes, the process of purchasing a pre-existing domain is as simple as making contact with the domain owner and striking a deal. Often, it’s much more complicated, but it all depends on the domain name owner, any plans they may have for the website, and their willingness to negotiate. Ask about products or services: Sometimes, a website might not provide all of the necessary information related to its products or services. In cases like these, the domain owner may be able to fill in the gaps or answer questions that might not be answered on the website. Verify authenticity: Before conducting business through a website, it’s important to make sure that the website is exactly what it claims to be. The internet is a hotbed of misinformation, and it’s surprisingly easy for websites to misrepresent themselves, either intentionally or otherwise.Researching the domain owner can help verify that a website is legitimate, which can offer peace of mind to parties seeking to engage in financial transactions. Similarly, confirming the legitimacy of a website can make it easier to trust whatever information may be offered. Report a technical problem: If a website is malfunctioning and there are no obvious ways to report the problem, it can help to contact the owner directly. The owner is invested in the website’s upkeep, and will often be grateful to have been alerted of an issue. Confirm your own information: If you own a domain, it’s important to verify that your website’s information is being accurately represented in searches. There are hundreds of millions of registered domains, and information errors are virtually guaranteed. If you plan to sell your domain at some point, ensuring that your personal data is up to date can help potential buyers get in touch with you. Finding a domain name owner If you know a website’s domain name, there are a few ways to discover the identity of the owner. In most cases, the easiest way to find a domain name owner is by searching WHOIS databases. If a WHOIS search fails, there are several other strategies for identifying a domain name owner. WHOIS databases These are free, publicly available search tools that contain almost every single website and domain name. WHOIS services work in conjunction with registrars like Domain.com, collecting all of the information related to the purchase, sale, and transfer of domain names. WHOIS services and ICANN There are various WHOIS databases and all of them are coordinated through Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a nonprofit that ensures the maintenance and security of domain names, websites, and other internet namespaces. Since 1998, they’ve coordinated a central registry that contains all recorded domains. How WHOIS works WHOIS was constructed to be as simple as possible. The Internet contains an overwhelming amount of information and ICANN has remained committed to ensuring that domain ownership remains transparent. When you run a search on a WHOIS database, the website taps into ICANN’s central registry and pulls all of the information, present and historical, related to the domain that you’ve searched. You should be able to easily find essential information about the owner, such as their name, contact information, any past ownership, and the domain’s expiration date. Some WHOIS databases will go even further and furnish website statistics such as traffic and performance as well as other domains that a given owner might possess. WHOIS limitations While ICANN and WHOIS attempt to be as comprehensive as possible, it’s possible, even legal, to mask some of the most essential ownership information. The most common method used by domain owners is a tactic called proxy registration. In these cases, owners have paid or struck deals with companies or organizations to act as the registrants on record. When you search for a domain that has been masked by a proxy registrant, the information reported will provide no helpful clues as to who the real owner is. However, if you are determined to find the real owner of a website and have discovered a proxy registrant, there are research techniques you can use to acquire the information. After you’ve pulled up the domain on WHOIS, check the ownership history. Sometimes, it’s possible to see when the transfer from owner to proxy occurred and thereby identify the original owner. If you encounter other privacy settings, look for information that predates those settings. If the owner has registered other websites, look them up on WHOIS and see if they contain any updated contact information. In other cases, domain owners may have failed to update their contact information. Unless the updated contact information somehow interferes with the ability of the domain registrar to collect their annual fee, this misinformation tends to linger, sometimes indefinitely. Other methods for searching domain ownership If you attempt to find a domain name owner through the WHOIS databases but fail to uncover the desired information, there are a few other research methods you should try before giving up. Carefully inspect the website Even if the domain name owner has hidden their information on the WHOIS database, the website itself might be able to furnish contact information. Scroll around, paying particular attention to the top and bottom of the page, searching for links that read “contact information,” or something similar. Even if it doesn’t connect you directly to the owner, they might point you in the direction of someone who knows. Social media Scan any and all social media accounts associated with the domain name or website you’re looking into. Consider resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Again, look for any reference to “contact information” or email addresses that might be visible. Negotiating with a domain name owner If you’ve consulted WHOIS databases or otherwise discovered the identity of the domain name owner, the next step for those looking to purchase a domain name is to negotiate with the owner. It’s important to remember that as long as an owner’s domain registration hasn’t expired, they retain complete control over the name and can either sell it or keep it, as desired. Sometimes, even if you’ve discovered the perfect domain name, the owner might be unwilling to put it up for sale. Circumstances like these arise rather frequently; for that reason, it’s important to keep an open mind and be willing to entertain the idea of registering an alternative name. Send an email or otherwise get in contact with the owner by using the information you’ve acquired through research. Reach out with a positive attitude. Even if there won’t be any face-to-face negotiations, it’s important to be friendly. Once you agree to the deal, exchange payment for ownership. How to secure domain privacy If you’ve managed to secure a domain name, but haven’t registered it for domain privacy, your private information will be available to anyone who conducts a WHOIS database search. If you’re not comfortable with having your information so readily accessible, but are set on domain ownership, Domain.com offers Domain Privacy registration for several TLD domain extensions. If you register for Domain privacy, a WHOIS database search for your domain will report Domain.com’s information instead of your personal information. In effect, Domain.com will mask all of the personal details that you don’t want to be shared with the public. Registering for Domain Privacy does not mean that you sacrifice any control over your domain–you retain total ownership. Unfortunately, not all TLDs qualify for Domain Extension privacy. Domain Privacy is only available to .com, .co, .net, .org, .tv, .info, and .mobi domain extensions. Why domain names are important Now that we’ve covered how to find the owner of a domain name, it’s necessary to understand why domain names are important in the first place. Domain names are there to help websites be located and categorized. However, for companies and individuals, domain names can be the difference between a thriving web presence and one that has trouble getting off the ground. When you’re the owner of a domain name, your business or personal website gains credibility. Many internet users are rightfully skeptical of unknown websites, and when your domain name is tailored to your business, it gives your company a sense of trustworthiness that it might not have otherwise. If a company’s domain name is related to the services they provide, it becomes easier for internet users to find them, even if they haven’t heard of the company before. People who use a search engine to look up services or goods will have a higher chance of being directed to the company’s website, especially if the content on that website has been optimized for search engines. Domain.com has over 300 domain extensions to choose from to help set your website apart from the rest. It all starts with a great domain.   The post How to Find a Domain Name Owner appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Pages

Recommended Content