The Domain.com Blog

Why Having a Domain Name is Important

Whether you own an existing business or have an idea for a startup, you need a strong online presence. Usually, the first thing your potential customer will do when searching out your product or service is to conduct a web search, and if your website is relatively easy to find and navigate, you’ll greatly increase your chances of a sale. With the majority of shopping happening on the internet, the dynamic of marketing has changed significantly, and one of the most effective and lasting methods of reaching potential customers is through a well-developed and maintained website. From a marketing standpoint, you can create a lasting brand image with the right domain name. Online success starts with a great domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. Benefits of a strong domain name Deciding and registering a domain name should not be done in haste. It is a valuable marketing and search tool that should successfully lead customers to your site. Careful deliberation and research should be applied, as it might be the most important decision you make when carving out your slice of the online market. A strong domain name: Adds professional credibility to your business and separates you from the millions of get-rich-quick-scheme websites out there. Provides visibility for your brand. Much like a storefront window, a good domain will create awareness and attract customers. Establishes your business as tech-savvy and forward-thinking. Whether you actually sell products online or not, it is crucial to your reputation to claim your territory online. Creates mobility for your internet presence. If you decide to change web hosting services, relocate to a different country, or shift to using your own in-house server, your domain name stays with you, allowing you to continue to build your brand without having to start all over. Increases your search engine ranking. As you build your business and develop your website with quality content, your domain name will become more and more recognizable in search engines like Google, which draws more customers in your direction. Will provide your brand with marketability around the world, or you can choose to focus specifically in a local region. As opposed to traditional marketing—as long as you keep current with the low annual fees—your domain name will not expire. How to decide on a domain name Your brand says everything about you, your values, your identity, and what you promise to deliver. Why should your domain name be any different? Before choosing one, it’s important that you educate yourself on the different styles and types of domain names out there so you can make the best decision for your needs. A new startup business should select a domain name that parallels—or even better, matches—the company name to direct customers to your site without any confusion. This is a great opportunity to choose a name for your business that is unique and available as a domain before announcing yourself to the world. If you already own an existing business and your company name or certain keywords you wish to use are not available, a little creativity might be needed to select a domain name. We’ll get into that later in this article. Length of domain name It is always better to have a domain name that is short and easy to remember. Ideally, the length should be between 6-10 letters, with 8 being the sweet spot. Simple, concise, and typeable should be the rule over longer, more descriptive names. The longer the domain, the more opportunity there is for a misspelling when typing. Also, when combining words in a domain, beware of letters that don’t normally link together or are confusing, like expertsexchange.com for the site Experts Exchange. Not ideal. Avoid using hyphens and numbers as they can complicate and frustrate users. Always remember: simple is best. Keywords Keywords are words related to the product or service used in a domain name. For instance, best-vacuum-cleaners.com. This is also known as an Exact Match Domain (EMD). Although most people assume using keywords or EMDs will drive traffic to their website, Google has changed their algorithm in the past few years to downplay the strict use of keywords and now rewards sites with a strong sense of branding instead. It is Google’s way of weeding out the “noise.” However, using keywords in a domain isn’t always bad. From a marketing standpoint, you know exactly what they sell at best-vacuum-cleaners.com, but beware that you could be looked upon as a spam. This could negatively affect your Google ranking. You are much better off creating a strong brand image and backing it up with useful and original web content to foster a trusted online presence. Top-level generic domains (gTLDs) and new top-level domains (nTLDs) gTLDs and nTLDs are the extensions within your domain name. Far and away the most popular and most effective TLD is .com. It is universally recognizable, easy to remember, and most trusted by web surfers. The most common gTLDs are: .com .net .org (non-profit organizations) Some TLDs have certain restrictions associated with them. For instance, .biz, .name, and .pro are only assigned to credentialed professionals or businesses. Sponsored TLDs are overseen by a sponsor who establishes the rules of eligibility for the specified community. Some sponsored TLDs Domain.com offers include: .aero: dedicated to members of the aviation community, sponsored by SITA .coop: dedicated to cooperative associations, sponsored by DotCooperation LLC .mobi: dedicated to providers of mobile products and services, sponsored by dotMobi .museum: dedicated to museums, sponsored by the Museum Domain Management Association .jobs: dedicated human resource managers, sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management New Top-level domains are released every week and help to fill in the gap from a limited availability of gTLDs. They also help users looking to specifically target a niche market or geographic location. For instance, Domain.com offers domain name extensions: .coupons .marketing .restaurant .properties .deals .tech .club .wedding .chat .reviews .tours .yoga These nTLDs can be very useful to create a domain name that quickly and creatively describes your brand or industry. The possibilities are seemingly endless, but now is the time to capitalize on a creative extension since, as with .com, they won’t be available forever. Country code TLD (ccTLD) A country-specific TLD can be useful if you conduct your business within a certain country. If you have a moving company in London, for instance, a domain name like bigbenmovers.uk will prompt Google to target searches locally in the U.K. directly to your site. A ccTLD narrows the focus of your business to a geo-specific region. Premium domains For the most part, a .com address is ideal, but if your desired domain name is not available, don’t despair. Your dream domain might still be available, but it will probably cost you. A current operating business may be using the domain, but oftentimes, domains are purchased and never used, the company has gone out of business, or the domain was snatched up as an investment and is for sale. These are known as Premium Domains. If you are convinced that your business must have a certain unavailable domain name to succeed, investing in a premium domain name upfront could pay off in the long run. Benefits of a premium domain Simple, short, and sweet: Since just about all of the common words and phrases are already registered as a domain, going premium might be your only hope to brand your company using a succinct or catchy domain name. Credibility: A highly valued domain will instantly thrust your site into the realm of the top players in your industry, and establish trust with the public that could otherwise take years to develop. Attract more commerce: With a simple and direct premium domain name, such as petinsurance.com (taken by Nationwide Insurance) or visitparis.com, people looking for your product or service can bypass a Google search and simply type the address into the search bar and be sent directly to your site. Highly esteemed: Most premium domains have been around for a long time, and have accrued a ton of backlinks, which drive consumers with referrals from other sites to your own. This also has a big impact on the site’s SEO ranking. A solid investment: If your business grows like you hope it will, the value of your premium domain name will also increase. Therefore, it becomes a very desirable asset if you choose to sell it down the road. The cost of a premium domain name will vary based on several factors, but consider taking a long-term view on its value when formulating your brand. Investing in premium domains There are many professional investors who specialize in premium domain names and will resell them later when their value increases. If you see an opportunity to capitalize on the perfect domain name, or several, this could be your chance to start investing. After all, some domain names have skyrocketed in value over the years because of their simplicity, credibility, backlinks, and other valuable advantages. Here is a look at some of the most highly valued domain names and what they were sold for: Insurance.com – $35.6 million VacationRentals.com — $35 million PrivateJet.com – $30.18 million Internet.com – $18 million 360.com – $17 million If you think that’s something, consider that the domain name cars.com was valued at a staggering $872 million when the company was sold for a total of $2.5 billion just a couple of years ago. So, if you have an inkling for the next up-and-coming domain name, jump on it before someone else does! Domain name alternatives If your business is not in a place to take on the expense of a premium domain name or if your domain name is already taken, there are many other options you can consider. Choose a slightly alternate version or an abbreviated version of your desired name. Get creative, but don’t settle for too long a name or anything that could be confusing or unrelated to your business or brand. Use a different domain extension. According to Google, there is no preference given to .com addresses over any other extension. If your business reflects a certain nTLD and will create a memorable web address, go for it! Use a slogan instead of the company name. As long as it’s succinct, recognizable, and will reflect your brand, this could be a good way to generate marketing. Find a domain name your customers will remember A strong domain name is important for any size business, at any stage of development. It will entice consumers with a snappy slogan or unique title, it should promote a sense of professionalism and satisfaction, and it should separate your business from others in your industry. Think of it like you’re deciding on a company logo, because the two should go hand-in-hand. Your domain name must be a reflection of your brand, simple, and memorable. Online success starts with a great domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The post Why Having a Domain Name is Important appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Why You Should Secure Misspellings and Alternatives of Your Domain Name

Helo. Strt aticle. Kep reeding. When a customer misspells your domain name, will they still make it to your website? Instead of hoping each customer is an expert speller, you can buy misspellings of your domain name to keep search traffic heading in your direction. If you’re just starting to get your idea online, buying every misspelling or variation of your domain name may be unreasonable. Instead, find out the alternative domain names that will help you get started, so that when customers stumble over their keyboard they’ll be guided back to the right place – your business. 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 most common misspellings and alternatives When talking with friends and family about your new domain name idea, did you ask them to spell it? The spelling they use on the first attempt is one that many of your customers will also try. Another test to perform yourself is to type the name as fast as possible and see if any extra letters end up in the URL. If there’s an alternative or regional spelling of your name, that may be another name to add to your domain roster. For example, the owners of ketchup.com could also own catsup.com, as both are accepted spellings of the same word. Each path you connect to your website creates another avenue for traffic to arrive at your site. Include relevant domain extensions on your list The domain extension you chose, whether it’s .com, .net, or something else, is not the only one that will work for your business. New domain extensions, nTLDs, are added every week, so finding an alternative that will work for your industry, products, and audience is only limited by your creativity. If your new craft beer and used bookstore has recently launched a web presence at bookbar.com, there are a handful of available domain names that will add to your traffic growth and establish a creative voice for your brand at the same time. Your new domains could include readbooks.bar, drinkbeer.books, and many more – the list could stretch on happily ever after. Find out what your customers are typing in The surest way to catch customers typing in the wrong domain name is to find out what they’re typing in instead. Tools like Google analytics or Keyword Planner can help you track down the most common search terms and keywords used by your potential customers. Then you can use these phrases to create alternative domains that point this traffic to your site. If your customers are searching for bookbar.com, there’s a chance they’ll type in booksbar.com, bookandbar.com, instead by accident. Find the top searches, then redirect these domains towards your site. You don’t need all of the domains right away, but starting with the three or five most popular will help you retain more traffic. Hide those misspellings & mistakes from the world Don’t worry about leaving misspellings of your domain name all across the internet. Securing these alternatives sweeps your audience’s mistakes under the rug, rather than discouraging them with an error message and causing them to give up. A quick redirect means that nobody needs to feel guilty about anything. Buying a misspelling and adding a redirect means that when your customer types in the wrong name, their URL will change to the correct domain name almost instantly. When your customer sees the correct domain name popup, their error could make the memory of the correct name even stronger for their next visit. Make it easier for customers to find your website The success of your business depends on getting customers to the right place, even if they misspell your domain name. Adding alternatives and misspellings of your domain to your portfolio will keep search traffic heading your way, even when your potential customers make a mistake. 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 Why You Should Secure Misspellings and Alternatives of Your Domain Name appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Domain Name Expirations: What You Need to Know

Website Domain names are the primary address a person or a business reserves to establish and distinguish themselves on the worldwide web. This name acts as a billboard, alerting potential customers of who you are, where you are, and what goods or services you provide. A website without a domain name cannot be found since it is not only the storefront sign, but also the doorway into the shop. So, do domain names expire? Selecting the perfect domain name for your business can be a lengthy process that costs a good amount of your time, effort, and money. But once it’s yours, it’s yours until it expires. So, imagine this process: you get your domain name and link it to your website. You then spend months, if not years, building your brand around it. If successful, people begin to associate your product or service with the domain name. That domain is now an integral part of your business and the way people find you on the internet. Then, you log in one morning and receive a message that your domain has expired. All the hard work, all the time and money invested in building your brand around your domain name and domain name extension is simply not associated with your brand anymore. At this point, your domain name is up for grabs and available to the highest bidder. One of the scariest things that can happen to any website owner is discovering that their domain name expired. This business tragedy can and does occur more often than you might think, and it can be absolutely crippling. Not only does someone else get to inherit all the goodwill you have instilled and associated with that brand, but now you have to rebuild and rebrand from the ground up. While there is something to be said for resilience, it is best to save yourself the worry and stress over losing your domain name because it expired. Below, we will discuss the reasons why your domain might expire without your knowledge and then what happens when a domain does expire. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. Reasons domain names might expire It is all too easy to overlook the fact that a domain name registration is a temporary thing. Even though at the time, the domain name is yours, and could be for years, there is still a chance for that domain to pass out of your control. There are a variety of ways this might occur: Renewal reminder notices: If you have switched off renewal reminder notices, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. While auto emails and notifications can clutter your inbox, they can also be lifesaving. Even if you manually switched off renewal reminders (for whatever reason), Domain.com will begin sending reminders by email to your listed email address approximately 30 days from the domain expiration date. We guarantee you will receive at least two reminders before the expiration date and one within five days after expiration. So, pay attention to your inbox, or alter your settings to flag the words, “expiration,” or “renewal,” to ensure you don’t miss these important reminders.   Auto-renew is not enabled: By going by your account information and switching your domain name to auto-renew, you save yourself from possibly forgetting. When auto-renew is in use, it will automatically renew your domain name prior to the expiration date, generally a day before expiration. This feature will continue to run and auto-renew unless changes are made or if there are issues with your billing information.   Outdated billing information: When you lose a credit card, or it expires naturally, it is easy to forget all of the sites, services, and subscriptions you have tied into that specific card and had previously set to auto-bill. In such cases, the last thing on your mind will be to update the billing information on a domain you rented a years ago and then set to auto-renew. If you do lose or obtain a new credit card, be sure to comb through your bills and see what will need to be updated with proper billing. With Domain.com, if your auto-renew runs into an issue with billing, we will try multiple times to send alerts and reminders that the payment was unsuccessful and that the billing must be updated in order to prevent the domain name from expiring. You may need to manually renew your domain if it is less than 15-days before expiration.   Multiple domain providers: The more you spread out your domains, the easier it is to forget about them or mix them up, especially if you have invested in a plethora of different website domain names. It is all too possible to have a domain name slip through the cracks and expire because they were scattered across registrars. At Domain.com, we suggest you consolidate your domains into one service. By doing so, you have all of your domains concentrated in one place and linked to one billing account. It makes it much easier to make payments, check domain name expiration dates, or make alterations from a centralized platform.   Contact email connected to domain: At Domain.com, we encourage you to begin using your brand new domain email address as your primary email source. This is a great thing, except when it comes to domain expirations. If you select your domain email in order to manage the domain name it is linked to, you create a dilemma in that if you forget the account’s password, you will be unable to enter the email in order to retrieve the forgotten password. Further, if the expiration date does pass, you will not be able to use that email during the renewal grace period. For this reason, you should think about adding a secondary email address to your account.   An expired organizational email address: A problem we encounter all too often with the process behind registering a domain name is that a person will use a work or school email account that requires them to still be actively involved with those organizations in order to access the email account, such as a work, or club email. So, if a person registers a domain name with such an email then graduates school or leaves their job, they will no longer have access to the email address associated with the domain name. In many cases, it will be impossible to be re-granted access to that email due to security issues or a deletion of the account as a whole. While it may still be possible to renew your domain without logging into the account, it makes life far harder on you and increases the likelihood that you miss a domain expiration alert.   Waited too long to renew: Even though they may have received ample renewal reminders or alerts, some people simply wait too long to renew their domain and pass the point where anything can be done to remedy the situation. On the day of expiration, be assured, you will lose the domain name ownership. What happens when a domain expires? There are a variety of steps that will occur during a domain name expiration: Step 1: Domain expiration alerts: Prior to domain name registration expiration, Domain.com will begin sending reminders to you via email. At least two alerts will be sent before expiration, and one within five days of expiration. Step 2: Domain name registration expires: If the domain has not been renewed by the owner prior to the expiry date, the domain’s status will be changed to what is called a Renewal Grace Period. Under this status, you can still renew the domain name without incurring additional fees for a grace period of thirty days. As early as one day after expiration, your domain name will be deactivated and replaced with a parking page indicating the domain name has expired, and other services you have associated with the domain name may no longer function. Step 3: Renewal grace period ends: Once this period ends, the expired domain name’s status is changed to Registrar Hold. During this thirty-day period, the original domain owner may pay a redemption fee as well as the renewal fee. Step 4: Registrar auction: While under the registrar hold status, the registrar tries to sell the domain name in an option auction to the highest bidder. If it does indeed sell, the highest bidder will then have to wait the full thirty days of the registrar hold before they own the domain name. If the original owner decides to renew during this period, the bidding fee is refunded and the original owner retains control of the domain name. If the original owner does not renew the domain name and the thirty days pass, the auction winner is transferred control of the domain name. Step 4b: Closeout sale: If the domain name is not purchased at auction or renewed by the original owner, a registrar will often list it as a closeout sale, where it can be bought for a cheaper ‘buy it now’ price, on top of the domain name registration fee. If a name is bought during a closeout sale, the registrar hold period remains applicable, which allows the original owner the opportunity to regain ownership within the thirty days. Step 5: Redemption period: After the registrar hold ends, and if the domain name has neither been purchased nor renewed, the domain name is released back to the registry. Upon release, the domain name is put under redemption period status, meaning it cannot be changed or deleted for thirty days. During this time period, the original owner can pay the redemption fee, plus the renewal fee in order to restore the website and the email. Step 6: End of registry grace period: If this grace period ends without the domain name being renewed, it will then be put under the status of pending delete. If no actions of restoration occur on the part of the original owner, registry or registrar, the domain will eventually be deleted. This deletion will then release that domain name back for general registration. Keep your domain name and website up and running Domain names play a crucial on the virtual marketplace. Choosing the right domain name is a time-consuming and important aspect of giving your business the tools to thrive. Such an investment is essential for success, which is why a domain name expiration can be a demoralizing and business-crippling issue, that is only made worse if a competitor manages to snatch up your domain name. All the time and effort spent on building that brand and linking it to the domain name might be all for naught. The best way to prevent this issue is to do everything in your power to prevent such a disaster from occurring in the first place. This includes regularly checking your email and spam folders for renewal notices, setting personal alerts of expiration, always ensuring that your domain’s billing info is up to date, and setting your account to auto-renew. If you take the right steps, you can save yourself a serious headache, so, do not be anything less than proactive when it comes to one of your domain names possibly expiring. With the right infrastructure in place, this should never be an issue! Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. The post Domain Name Expirations: What You Need to Know appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Types of Domain Names: A Helpful Guide

Long gone are the days of consumers shopping only at physical stores. With the help of the internet many retailers do most of their business online, and businesses not utilizing ecommerce are caught scrambling to create an online presence. By year’s end, economic forecasts expect American e-commerce sales to surpass a half trillion dollars with approximately three in four Americans making at least one online purchase per year. It would appear that the continued growth of e-commerce does not appear to be slowing down any time in the near future. It is expected that trends continue with more and more retailers and vendors responding to the migration of sales from physical retail to online retail, by placing a greater emphasis on their online marketplace. Because of this, just as you would see with a gold mining town’s Main Street, these virtual storefront spaces will be in greater demand and thus cost substantially more. So, if you are creating a website, one of the toughest and most crucial choices you will eventually have to make involves selecting the ideal website domain name. Picking the proper name, one that is available, within your budget, SEO applicable, and that helps to build your brand can make or break your business’ online performance. You likely already know this, but did you know that there is more than one type of domain name? Before you go about finding a domain name and domain name extension that is available and suits your brand, it is important that you discover all the different types and understand their application as a whole. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. What are domains? So, let’s start with what a website domain name is. At its essence, a domain name is what goes in between the protocol sign (HTTP://) and the first slash in a URL or web address. So, for the URL: https://www.domain.com/hosting/, the domain name would be: domain.com. What you might not notice or see nowadays is that this domain is a stand-in that represents the computer or website’s IP address. Every single device that uses the internet, is given an IP address. That IP address is a distinctive identifier ascribed to the device that cannot be used by a different device simultaneously. In order to form a rudimentary virtual address book, computer scientists created the Internet Protocol Address System. They assigned both computers and websites a unique 32-bit or 128-bit string of digits known as the IP Address that could distinguish them from others. While this initial system did work, it was still complicated for even computer scientists to communicate effectively, let alone for a less computer savvy person. Computer scientists then created the domain name system, whereby website owners could register a unique name that acted as a synonym or stand in for the IP address. The Domain Name System (DNS) The Domain Name System functions by converting the domain name into an IP address character set, via a Domain Name System server. This system is situated on millions of servers the world over but acts as a single unified database. Now, when you put the domain name in your search browser, the browser will then communicate with a name server in order to find the IP address that is matched to that name. If you have not previously requested a domain name that request will go through a server that sorts by the Domain Name System hierarchy, starting with top level extensions and then moving on down the line. Unsurprisingly, this made the worldwide web infinitely easier to navigate, which encouraged more people to utilize its services. Domain names accomplish three things: Create a lasting first impression: A domain URL is the very first thing a prospective customer will see and is their initial interaction with your brand. A unique or memorable domain name will speak to what they want and stick in their head. An unfitting domain, on the other hand, can turn off prospective customers. Define your brand: A domain name can be used to instantly speak to your brand, letting the customers know who you are and what you are selling. A relevant domain name can help key your customers in on your product, or a unique domain name can create a link that associates your name with your product. Optimize SEO: Search engine optimization utilizes keywords in order to help your SEO rankings. Exact match domains are not necessary, but it is helpful to use a domain that is close. Different types of domain names As mentioned, there is a hierarchy within the domain name registry that distinguishes domains from one another. Top-Level Domains (TLD) In 1985, The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) released six top-level domain names. These top-level domains (TLD) became known as domain name extensions and represent the highest level in the Domain Name System hierarchy. They include: .com: shorthand for commercial, .com was the first top-level domain in common use. While .com was initially created for use by commercial organizations, restrictions on this were not stringent. By the mid-1990’s, .com had become the most popular and commonly used type of top-level domain for businesses, websites, and email. .net: shorthand for network, .net was created expressly for institutes that partook in network technologies such as an internet service provider or an infrastructure company. Like with .com, the restrictions meant to limit .net to networking purposes, was never upheld and it became one of the more popular top-level domains, with many seeing it as a close second to using the .com top level domain. .edu: shorthand for education, .edu was made for education institutions. Although it was intended for universities everywhere, the TLD .edu became associated with only educational centers in America. Schools from other countries will use .edu in conjunction with their country-level domain, which we will discuss in the next section below. .org: shorthand for organization, .org was created for nonprofits. As we’ve seen with these other top-level domains, such intentions were often not upheld or enforced over time. These days, .ors is used as top-level domain by nonprofits, for-profit businesses, schools, and communities. .mil: shorthand for military, .mil was created expressly for U.S. military branches. Unlike the other different types of top-level domains, this restriction is still upheld. Now, it is quite common for .mil to use second and third-level domains in conjunction with the .mil TLD. .gov: shorthand for government, .gov, like .mil, was restricted for American federal governmental agencies and personnel use only. These days, .gov is used by governmental agencies, programs, cities, states, towns, counties, and native American tribes. Country code top-level domains (ccTLD) In order to distinguish one country from another, especially one that would like to use a top level domain such as .gov or .mil, two letter domains were established and became associated with countries or geographical locations; .uk and .au, for example, to represent England and Australia, respectively. When initially created it was intended for registration to a corresponding ccTLD to be limited to that countries residents, however, certain countries have let outside parties register domain names using their country code. Internationalized country code top-level domains (IDN ccTLD) This was a top-level name with an encoded format that lets non-Latin character sets or other special characters be used. Generic top-level domain (gTLD) Generic top-level domains function as a category of top-level domains within the DNS. As of now, there are currently 21 generic top-level domains within the root zone, which is the highest level of the domain name system structure. While there are over 1,500 gTLDs in use, these 21 make up the vast majority of all types of domain names. They include four sub-categories: Generic (.com, .net, .org, .info), domains that can be used for general purposes. Generic restricted (.pro, .biz, .name) domains that can only be used for their specific purposes. Sponsored (.edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .aero, .cat, .asia, .mobi, .coop, .travel, .tel, .jobs) domains that can only be used by businesses involved specifically with that industry. Infrastructure (.arpa) which was one of the original top-level domains used to help with the DNS infrastructure. Second-level domains Within the DNS hierarchy, second-level domains are domains that follow top-level domains. For example, in Nike.com, Nike is the second-level domain of the .com top-level domain. Quite often, second-level domains are the name of the business or vendor that registered the domain name with a registrar. The brand name, company name, or project name is the identifier for potential customers. On top of these general second level domains, there are also country code second-level domains (ccSLD). In such cases, the second-level domain will be found to the right of the period; for example, in a domain such as nike.co.ca, the country code top-level domain is .ca and the ccSLD is .co. Third-level domains Within the DNS hierarchy, third-level domains naturally follow second-level domains. They can be found to the left of SLD and are often referred to as the subdomain. Larger companies will often use third-level domains as identifiers that can distinguish between various departments. Generally speaking, “www” is the most common third-level domain. If a company does use multiple third-level domains, those are generally referring to a specific server within the company. Registration There are many different types of domain names out there waiting to be owned. But before you can do anything with one, you need to know how to register your domain name. If you have a domain name you want to use or check for availability, you must first register with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN assigns and categorizes different types of domain names and ensures that the process goes smoothly. In order to register a name with ICANN, you must use a domain name registrar. We at Domain.com are a registrar’s service that can help you launch a website or register a domain name. Once you have selected the right name and made sure that it was available for purchase, you will need to submit the following information that includes: Your contact info; including first and last name, payment info, billing info, physical address, phone number, and email address. Your desired domain name. The chosen domain name registration term. Understand domain names to choose one for your idea We can’t stress enough how important it is to find the right domain name for you or your business. The importance of having a good domain name can sometimes get thrown to the wayside but in reality, a domain is a root that grows the tree of your business. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. The post Types of Domain Names: A Helpful Guide appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Website vs Domain: What’s the Difference

Every day, thousands of businesses are either moving or expanding their business offerings into the virtual space. The dot-com boom not only changed the world of retail but also foreshadowed changing consumer trends as the world began to truly embrace technological change. As smartphones, laptops, and iPads became a part of daily life, businesses shifted their efforts into the online space in order to utilize such fantastic technologies. This mass movement to the online marketplace and the e-commerce boom which resulted from that exodus has changed customer expectations and behavior. The closing of shopping malls across America epitomizes the trend that people shop in person less, and prefer the convenience of shopping for practically anything on earth, at home, from the comfort of their couch. These days, if you own a business, it’s vital you create a website displaying your offered goods or services. Regardless of whether or not you fall under the e-commerce umbrella, customers now expect businesses to have their own website. Whether you are a plumber or a doctor, a website grants your business a form of legitimacy amongst many other things. If you have never previously crafted a website, it can be a daunting task trying to understand all of the various elements involved, especially for those who are not computer savvy. There are a ton of technical terms and it can seem overly complicated, but rest assured, it is not that difficult to comprehend. Today, we will focus on distinguishing the difference between a website and a domain. We will then discuss why both are important for your business and we’ll end with how you can start the process of domain name registration. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. What is a website? To distinguish between websites and domains, we will first dive into the former. A website is a collection of web pages and multimedia content, which may be accessed through a device such as a laptop, smartphone, or another device with access to an internet connection. A web page is the physical manifestation of these documents and is what appears on the screen when you click a link, enter a web address or query via a search engine. Web pages may display a variety of information and data, as well as sound, animation, text, color, and graphics. Websites can be multifunctional and may be used at their owner’s discretion. They can be used to represent governments, individuals, organizations, or corporations. They are generally meant for a specific task, be it selling a good or service, entertaining, social networking, or educating. Every one of these publicly accessible websites makes up the World Wide Web. When you receive a person’s web address, this generally leads you to their website home page. The home page acts as the welcoming screen and construes what the site is contributing in terms of goods, services, or information. From the home page, a person may click on links in order to travel to other pages of the website. Why People Visit Websites? When it comes to websites vs .domains, in most cases, people will go to a website for two main reasons: To do: Online visitors surf the web for a variety of motivations such as killing time, looking for entertainment, seeking to buy an item or service, communicating with others, interacting with social media, or paying a bill. To learn: We have access to the entirety of the world’s knowledge through a small device we carry in our pockets. People visiting websites may do so to find a movie time, clear up an argument, or locate the address of the nearest gas station. At its essence, a website is your way of communicating who your business is to consumers that you will likely never meet in person. When creating a website, it is important that you know your audience and cater your website towards them, towards what they want and need. A website is not only meant to attract people to whatever it is you are trying to sell but to help convince them that they need whatever that is. Therefore, it should be organized in such a way that it is pleasing to the eye, easy and intuitive to navigate, and clearly conveys what you are providing. What is a domain? Now, what is a website domain name? When thinking about websites vs. domains, it is essential that you remember that websites act as the online storefront that potential consumers will peruse, and that storefront is made up of a variety of things such as pictures, files, data, and pages. When a computer communicates with another computer, it does so in a similar manner to how we travel from place to place. We start at a beginning point, then follow roads and directions to that final destination address. Computers act the same and in order to reach that desired endpoint, they require an address system to distinguish one computer or server from another. In the early 80s, computer scientists, under the auspices of the American government and military, began constructing the world wide web. This computational network allowed computers to speak amongst each other and allowed the user to visit websites by physically entering their numerical address. The categorization system they created to assign unique 32-bit digits to each device or website was called the Internet Protocol Address System. Colloquially, we now call this the IP address. This system was a step forward, but not ideal, especially as more websites and computers were gaining access to the world wide web. In order to avoid having to memorize or compile a list of randomized digits comprising your favorite websites, computer scientists created the Domain Name System. Within this system, a website owner could register a name, if available, that could be used as a substitute for the IP address. After a domain name is acquired, you have the option to decide whether to use it for one or both email services or web services. You also have the option to simply rent the name and hold it like you would an investment. It should be mentioned that registering a domain does not also somehow create a website, rather it creates a name that can be tied to that eventual website and its IP address. Why domains and good domain names are important? If you are looking to create a website, you will need to register a domain and find a suitable domain name. Doing this accomplishes several things: Reinforces your branding: Odds are, you will employ a URL that includes your website’s name or some clever take on the name. This will be the first thing your potential customers see and has the potential to be the word that comes to mind when they think about your particular good or service. Makes the website easier to recall: Shorter and catchier is generally better, but even a longer yet unique domain name can help stick in a person’s head. Conveying what you are all about: A domain name should help you sell your good or service in a single word or phrase. This has the ability to encapsulate everything it is you provide and can help clue in consumers on what to expect from your website. SEO optimization: SEO relies on keywords for rankings. A good domain name should ping keywords that are associated with searches for your good or service. Top-level domains Since there are many types of domain names out there, and already millions of websites and registered domains, it is important you know about top-level domains. They include: .com: abbreviation of commercial, .com was made for commercial use and is the most commonly used top-level domain extension. .org: abbreviation of organization, .org was intended for nonprofits. Over time, it have been used by schools, nonprofits, and for-profits. .net: abbreviation of network, .net was made for internet service providers and network technology companies. Over time, it was adopted for commercial use. .edu: abbreviation of education, .edu was made for American institutions of higher education. .gov: abbreviation of government, .gov was made for American federal governmental personnel and agencies. It is now used by governmental agencies, on both the state and federal level. .mil: abbreviation of military, .mil was made for the various American military branches and their service members. Registering a domain vs. hosting a website If you wish to register a domain, you may do so through Domain.com. We act as a domain registrar on your behalf and check with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to see if your desired domain is available. If it is available, we will register the name with them. In order to facilitate this process, you will need to provide the following information: Your contact information: first name, last name, home address, phone number, and email address. Your payment information: credit card info, billing address Your desired domain name Your desired domain name extension Registration through Domain.com includes the following domain tools: URL Forwarding: Redirect traffic from one domain to another. Email Forwarding: Automatically forward emails to other valid email addresses. DNS Management: Retain total control over your DNS records. Transfer Lock: Protect your domain from unauthorized domain transfers Hosting a website differs from registering a domain in that hosting involves renting the space where the webpage will be hosted, while domain registration is the name or the location of that space. If you wish to host a website, you will first need to create one. This process may be done through a third party or on your own and generally involves: Selecting a website template Customizing the website with fonts, sounds, images, animation, text, and color Enhancing functionality by including tools and widgets such as picture galleries, music or video players, log in sheets, and maps Adding further pages Once a website is created, all the files and information needs to be stored somewhere, especially if you expect traffic to the site. A web host will carry all of your website’s content for potential internet visitors. Even though the site itself is digital, those files require storage on physical servers. Here at Domain.com, we offer web hosting services. We offer a variety of plans that are tailored for your need and expected traffic. Should I use Domain.com for foth domain registration and hosting? Websites and domains are very different things, but both are absolutely essential to your online success. In order for your online business to thrive, you will need both. You can use Domain.com to host your website and to register your domain. This benefits you for a variety of reasons: Keep it simple: While you can utilize separate services and employ different platforms to host your website or register your domain, it is much easier to bundle the services. In such cases, everything is consolidated, and changes can be made instantly all in one place, rather than jumping back and forth between platforms. Link domains and websites: When you use Domain.com for both services, we make the linking of the domain to a website a seamless and hassle-free process. Centralize expenses: Both of these services cost money. By registering and hosting through Domain.com you can keep track of your accounting and other information all in one place. Register a domain and then build a website for your business There are a variety of differences between a website and a domain, but both are vital components to creating a successful online presence. Your online success starts with a fantastic domain and an equally impressive website. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. The post Website vs Domain: What’s the Difference appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is a Domain Name Extension?

Prior to the early 1980’s, in order to visit a host on a network, the user would be required to type in an IP address, which is a numerical string of code consisting of digits and periods. Computers on this early network were able to communicate and locate one another using these numerical Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses. Since, at the time, there were not many computers on the internet, this system was manageable. With that said, it was still not easy nor efficient because you needed a way to keep track of every single IP address in the network. If you did not have the IP address, there was no way to visit or communicate with the desired website. An early internet user could not query a site, or go surfing the web as we do today, rather you were restricted to the sites that you already knew how to locate. Basically, it was equivalent to having a map of a foreign country, but that map only listed the directions to a handful of cities. This limited where you could go and made discovery outside of the context of the given directions impossible. Thankfully, computer scientists of the Internet Engineering Task Force gathered together and decided to simplify the system. These internet pioneers created what we now know as the website Domain Name System (DNS), a domain registration system that let complicated numerical IP addresses associate themselves with a specific domain name. So, instead of having to remember a difficult sequence of numbers, that looked similar to just about every other IP address, such as 75.839.021.73, a person would only have to remember a URL: Reddit.com. In conjunction with this new Domain Name System, the earliest forms of domain extensions, also known as Top-Level Domains (TLDs) were created in an attempt to categorize domain names into groups. You will recognize them as a websites final aspect, .com, .net, .org, etc. When first created, each extension served a specific purpose and indicated the function of the website. While that still is somewhat true, the system is no longer as rigid. These domain name extensions soon became an essential part of any domain name. Because of that, we will dive into what domain name extensions are, their purpose, and give you tips on picking an extension for your website. 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 original domain name extensions In January of 1985, the body of computer scientists responsible for this internet categorization, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), created the very first six top-level domains: .com, .net., .edu, .mil, .gov, and .org. Not long after, the very first two-character country code domain extensions were created such as .ca or .us. As a result, .int was also added and the list of the 7 top level domain names was set. .Com The com in dot-com is short for commercial. Dot-coms are by far the most used extension and were originally intended for domains registered to commercial organizations. In total, there were five dot-coms registered in 1985, and they were: Symbolics.com – March 15, 1985 BBN.com – April 24, 1985 Thnk.com – May 24, 1985 MCC.com – July 11, 1985 DEC.com – September 30, 1985 By 1987, there were 100 domains registered as dot-coms. This extension was first administered by the U.S. Department of Defense, who quickly subcontracted the safeguarding of the domain with SRI International. By the early 90’s, the National Science Foundation had taken over maintenance. They subcontracted Network Solutions (NSI) and authorized them to begin charging dot-com registrants an annual fee of $50, with $15 of that going to the U.S. Government and $35 going to NSI. Registrants were required to pay for two years, making the registration fee $100 total. By the mid-90s, although dot-com was created for commercial entities, there were no restrictions on who was able to register these extensions. With the popularization and mainstreaming of the internet, the dot-com domain became open to the public and soon grew to be the most popular top-level domain for networking, businesses, websites, and emails. .Edu The dot-edu domain extension was first created for educational institutions all over the world, but while American educational institutes adapted the .edu, non-U.S. educational institutions used a country-level domain instead. The first five .edu TLDs were registered on April 24 of 1985. They were: University of California Berkeley – Berkeley.edu Carnegie Mellon University – Cmu.edu Purdue University – Purdue.edu Rice University – Rice.edu University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA.edu In 1993, registration to a .edu was limited to four-year post-secondary educational institutions. This was made even stricter in 2001, restricting .edu registration to accredited American postsecondary educational institutions. .Net The dot-net domain extension is derived from the word network. Originally, it was meant for organizations that participated in networking technologies like infrastructure companies and internet service providers. In 1985, only one domain was registered to the dot-net extension, it was NORDUnet which looked like Nordu.net. This was created to connect Nordic educational networks with national research for the purpose of exchanging informative and explorative work within the network and worldwide. While dot-net was created for networking purposes, these restrictions were not enforced, and this extension overtime became a “general purpose namespace.” Today, it is still widely used in the advertising sector and by network operators with many seeing it as a viable substitute for dot-coms. .Gov The dot-gov name is derived from the word government, meaning that it is restricted for American governmental bodies. Since the internet began as a U.S. federal government-sponsored research network, they limited the .gov designation to only U.S. governmental federal agencies. Agencies beneath the cabinet level needed to use subdomains of the parent agency. Over time, dot-gov became standard protocol for any governmental departments, agencies, programs, federally recognized tribes, U.S. territories, cities, towns, counties, and parishes. If other countries want to use .gov or something similar, they must use a second-level domain. For example, the United Kingdom is registered as .gov.uk .Mil The dot-mil name is derived from the word military. Like with .gov, dot-mil is a domain name extension that is limited to the United States’ military branches. The DOD (department of defense) uses dot-gov as its homepage and then employs three second-level domains within the dot-mil extension for DOD, Pentagon, and defense. Other countries must use second-level domains as well. Canada, for example, uses norad.mil for the jointly operated North American Aerospace Defense Command. .Org The dot-org name is derived from the word organization and was first intended for non-profits. However, this constraint was not rigidly enforced and was eventually lifted. In July of 1985, the Mitre Corporation became the first group to register a dot-org with mitre.org. The domain was originally intended for non-profit entities, but this restriction was not enforced and has been removed. Presently, the domain is open and is regularly used by open-source projects, communities, for-profit entities, and schools. ICANN The seven top-level domains remained as the only options for extensions for nearly thirteen years. It was not until September of 1998 that the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers was established in order to manage the assignment and categorization of website domain names. By 2000, ICANN announced to the world that it would offer seven newly available Top Level Domains: .name, .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, and .pro. In order to further delineate the difference between the top extensions, ICANN designated that each top-level domain has a different registry, which is managed by a group monitored by and answerable to ICANN. Extensions can be further separated by generic top-level domains, country code top-level domains, and infrastructure top-level domain. Generic top-level domains Generic top-level domains are the most commonly used extensions. Generic top-level domains are further divided into three categories, restricted, unrestricted and sponsored. Restricted – These top-level domains are restricted to credentialed professionals, business, or individuals. They include .biz, .name, and .pro. Unrestricted – Unrestricted top-level domains are able to be purchased by anyone and as the name implies carry no restrictions on who or what may register. The most popular unrestricted TLDs are .com, .net. org and .info. Sponsored – A specialized TLD, which has a sponsor that oversees the community represented by the extension. Such communities are generally based on professional, technical, ethnic, or geographical makeup. The most popular sponsored TLDs are .aero, .asia, .cat, .edu, .gov, .int, .jobs, .mil, .mobil, .museum, .tel, and .travel. Country code top-level domains These extensions are reserved for sovereign states, countries, or dependent territories. Such ccTLDs consist of two letters and will look like .ca (Canada), .uk (Great Britain), .fr (France). They have little relevance to most individuals attempting to select the proper extension for their business. Infrastructure top-level domain This domain was originally restricted to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and was used mainly for reasons of technical infrastructure. It was the original domain installed in the Domain Name System and was first meant to simply be a short-term domain. Over time the acronym changed to Address and Routing Parameter Area. Reasons to consider using a new domain extension Today there are hundreds of available generic extensions.  Because millions upon millions of websites are already up and running, it might be quite difficult to land a domain name extension that is applicable, relevant, and helpful to your business’ future success. There are a variety of reasons why it might be wise to use a newer generic domain extension. Obtainability – Odds are, there is a very good chance that your company’s name plus dot-com is already taken, especially if you want to use a general name such as deliciousbakedgoods.com. In order to land that dot-com, you might have to purposely misspell the company’s name, leave out letters, or make different alterations that do not necessarily help build your brand. New domain extensions give you the option to retain your company’s name and to use an extension that applies to the business. Writers can use dot-press, photographers can use dot-photography, and tech companies can use dot-tech. Price – dot-com domains, even in the unlikely event that they are available, can cost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. That same name, or even better, more applicable names, without the dot-com, can cost significantly less. The cost of purchasing a slightly relevant dot-com may not be worth having a more relevant name that ends in a newer domain extension. Clever naming – New domain extensions allow companies to cleverly combine the name with the extension. For example, musical.ly, an American video social network app for video creation and live broadcasting, were able to utilize the extension in an applicable and easy to remember manner. Google’s algorithm – Google’s search engine algorithm does not punish websites for not using a generic top-level domain. They treat new gTLDs in a similar manner to original gTLDs. Beating the rush – Since new domain extensions are still a rather early concept and practice, there are still very popular names or ideas that are available that would never be for dot-coms. That said, the popularization of new domain extensions has led to an increased demand that is only expected to continue growing. Grabbing that perfect new gTLD can save you money and prevent other competitors from snagging it. The price of purchasing a domain name  off another owner is far more expensive than simply the cost of registering a new available domain name. Great for local businesses – If you have a local business and want to be associated with that location, you can help build your branding and local image by claiming a new extension. For example, biketours.la might be a perfect name for a bike rental company that is in Los Angeles. Choose the right domain extension for your business There are several things that must be considered when selecting the right domain name. A thorough understanding of domain name extensions can help make this process infinitely better. 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 What is a Domain Name Extension? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Establish Authority with a Professional Email Handle and Custom Domain

An email from jerryhotpants@yahoo.com lands in your inbox. It asks, “Who’s ready for a financial planning consultation?” Even if Jerry really does have the hottest pants in all the land, I’d hesitate before handing over my retirement savings. Something as simple an email address makes a big impact on how people perceive your business. Since a free email address promotes yahoo or gmail instead of your custom domain, customers aren’t likely to take your company seriously. If you haven’t invested in a professional email address, it looks like you don’t take your own company seriously either. Put a well-dressed foot forward with a professional email address paired with your domain name to establish trust and grow your business at the same time. Domain makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. Make it easy for your customers to trust you Hotpants runs a real business, but who would know? When a professional email address is linked to a real website, customers can see that your company exists outside of the inbox. This leads to more trust that your email contains value, and a better chance of a clicked link that points back to your website. When customers head to your website in trust they shop with trust, which makes them more likely to purchase from you. If Hotpants sent me an email with a From Name such as ‘Jerry@retireearly.com’ instead, then I’d be interested. Not only do I recognize the website he’s connected with, the email handle also reminds me how his company proposes to help me. Make the connection to your website and brand stronger A Hotmail or Yahoo email handle does nothing to build a connection back to your brand in the eyes of a customer. When your email pops up in their inbox, the From Name helps you lead with your own brand name, not the name of a common internet company. With a professional email address, every email you send and every time your email appears on a business card, speaking credit, or flyer, your customers are seeing an advertisement for your brand. As your audience becomes accustomed to seeing your name, you stay top of mind. This means the next time they think of their problem, your products will come to mind as the solution before your competitors. Steer your emails away from the spam folder When your email address is full of letters and symbols your audience’s inbox becomes harder to reach. The inbox of your potential customer is designed to reject incoming emails that look suspicious or at least send them to the spam folder. That means emails sent without a professional email handle may not even be reaching your customers. Since email marketing is so powerful, getting your emails to the inbox and opened is an important priority. Customers that signed up to your email list have shown their interest in hearing from you, and may even need to hear from you if it concerns their recently purchased products. Using a professional email address will make sure your business is communicating loud and clear. Even the small details matter to your business Your email address may seem like a small, insignificant detail that matters little to your customers. Even these small details can make a big impression, however, as looking like a professional is about the total package, not just a single aspect of your online brand. Using a personal email account when talking to your customers makes them think that you’re holding back from your business, and them, as if you’re not going to be fully committed to helping solve their problem. Instead of letting your customer’s imagination run wild, it’s much simpler to add a G Suite for Business account to your marketing tool belt. For a few dollars a month you can legitimize your email address, and also better collaborate with your team on spreadsheets, documents, or presentations, all stored in the Google cloud. Talk to potential customers like a professional Even if jerryhotpants@yahoo.com is the smartest financial planner around, customers would need a lot of convincing before handing over their hard-earned savings. Instead of looking like a novice, lead with a professional email that establishes trust in your business and connects back to your website. Domain makes it easy to add G Suite for Business to your domain name. The post Establish Authority with a Professional Email Handle and Custom Domain appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Know if Your Great Idea is Ready to be a Business

This is going to be the greatest blog post you have ever read. Maybe. Confidence in your idea is important, but everyone has their doubts. You could start promoting your business right away, but it often helps to ask yourself a few questions before sharing your idea with the world. Run your idea through the questions below to make sure it’s ready. If it passes the test, get your idea online with a domain. Online success starts with a great domain. If you have a great idea, choose a domain and get your business online. Are you solving a problem that needs solving? Some ideas aim to solve a big problem in the world, like battling our current dependence on gas-driven cars by re-inventing the electric car, while others target much smaller problems, like keeping warm while reaching for the phone. Laugh if you want, but my father still wears his Snuggie. Often times the simpler the solution to a problem, the better. If you need customers to buy multiple products, all with complicated instructions, just to solve a simple problem, you have more product development ahead of you. It could be as simple as a backwards bathrobe or a car powered by the sun. Will you be able to make a profit (and maybe a living)? Every entrepreneur wants their idea to be a success, but they also want that success to happen to them. Without a profit there’s no chance to go full time and give your idea the focus it may need to scale. Even nonprofit organizations need to keep the lights on with a steady stream of donations. Carefully look at your margins before launching your idea to double check that your business can stay in the black. Is the price reasonable, and does it allow you to build a profit that you can reinvest into the business to help it grow? Compare competitors to make sure the price won’t scare customers away and work to keep your costs down along with that price. Can the idea grow into a scalable business? After you’ve started selling to an initial audience, where can your idea go from there? Checking to make sure your business can scale beyond your garage will make sure you’re not investing in a dead end with no growth potential. The easiest way to scale your business is to plan for it to run without you. Your business needs you now, but the sooner the reins pass to qualified staff, the sooner you can focus on expanding. If Steve Jobs didn’t start letting other software designers build his products, his vision would have never left the garage. Create a plan that lets you step away from the day to day and start thinking bigger about the future of your brand. Follow your instincts and take a gamble The internet is so valuable for small business owners and entrepreneurs because it allows them to test an idea without too big an investment. If you’re confident the world needs your idea, then put it online. A domain is a simple way to get started online to test the waters. Once you’ve purchased a domain, create a simple marketing strategy and closely monitor your traffic. Even a simple content marketing strategy and social media platforms can start to grow your idea without an investment in marketing dollars. If you’re struggling to find anyone interested in your product or services, you may need to reevaluate your initial idea. Let your audience see your confidence Confidence in your business is important, but it helps to make sure you’ve strengthened its weak spots before someone comes along looking to poke holes in it. Before you start promoting your business, even if you think it’s the greatest idea ever created, ask yourself a few questions to make sure it’s ready to be shared with the world. Online success starts with a great domain. If you have an idea, choose a domain and get your business online. The post How to Know if Your Great Idea is Ready to be a Business appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Use Subdomains to Make Your Website Work Harder

In an age where online book sales make opening a brick and mortar bookstore sound crazy, some entrepreneurs are still thriving. How? By drawing customers through their front door for more than one reason, such as a craft beer or wine bar, or a selection of premium coffee and espresso, on top of a great selection of titles. Giving customers two reasons for coming to their business means these entrepreneurs have doubled their chances at finding new customers. You can use subdomains to do the same for your business online, building two unique traffic funnels on the same website. Learn more about subdomains below to figure out how they can help both your website design and marketing strategy at the same time, growing your business twice as fast. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. What is a subdomain? Subdomains allow you to create different websites alongside your primary website with each contributing traffic to your overall metrics. These websites could be anything from an ecommerce store, a blog, different landing pages for special new products or projects, and so much more. When you’re shopping online and land on a company’s website, the domain in the address bar, for example, brand.com, is the primary domain. Then, when you click the ‘Shop’ tab on their website, or head to their blog, you may likely end up on a subdomain, such as shop.brand.com, or blog.brand.com. Boost your website’s search engine rank The power of subdomains is two-fold: search engines recognize subdomains as a separate domain, and they allow you to create backlinks back to your primary domain. This means you your website’s search ranking will increase in two different ways, increasing traffic to your website. If your business is targeting two different keywords that relate to two different target audiences, your primary domain can start ranking for both by creating two subdomains, each one targeting a different customer base. Since both subdomains point back to your primary domain name, your website will start ranking higher in search results for both keywords, but the specific subdomains will help keep your focus on targeting traffic for one audience at a time. Expand your business’ brand and revenue streams Like the businesses creating two different revenue streams, one for books and another for wine, creating multiple platforms using subdomains lets you expand your business’ online revenue streams. If you have two different categories of products, you could create a different subdomain for each. This allows you to target two different audiences looking for different products, but establish yourself as an authority for both. If you’re running a landscaping business that also offers a property management service, one subdomain, could attract your customers looking to maintain their home while they’re away, while the other can focus on landscaping projects. Though there is some customer overlap, you can target these different customers more effectively if you separate them. Since each subdomain will be more sharply focused on each customer segment, each can become more effective at conversion. Subdomains vs subdirectories While subdomains can be an effective tool for your website design or marketing strategies, they’re not the only one available. Subdirectories work in nearly the same way, but have a different look, so while some SEO experts say subdomains lead to better search ranking, there is still much debate. The choice is ultimately up to you and your needs. For example, Domain.com is using a subdirectory for its small business marketing services page, using domain.com/full-service as the URL. If you wanted to keep your domain name front and center to focus on your brand, then your landscaping business could use the URL landscape.com/blog, instead of blog.landscape.com to tell customers about your latest news. Grow your business from two different angles Starting a new business brings risk, so why use only one angle to draw customers through your front door? Like those crazy entrepreneurs starting brick and mortar bookstores with a bar attached, you can use subdomains on your website to create two chances for drawing in new potential customers. With more customers coming to your business, you set yourself up to potentially start to doubling your revenue. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. The post How to Use Subdomains to Make Your Website Work Harder appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

A Glossary of Domain Terms

It’s hard to keep track of all the moving pieces and details of owning, registering, and maintaining a domain name. Since the right domain name is essential to getting your business online and spreading your brand around the world, we’ve created this Glossary of Domain Terms to kickstart your understanding of everything domain names. If you want to learn more about owning, registering and maintaining a domain name, check out our starter guide, Everything You Need to Know About Domain Names, and start finding a home for your business online. 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.   A A Record – This setting is used to point a domain name to a specific IP address. C Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) – These are two-letter domain names that are associated with a specific country, such as .US for the United States or .CA for Canada. Cybersquatting – The process of registering a domain with the intent of preventing someone else from doing it, in the hopes to block them, steal traffic, or sell the domain to the other party at an inflated price. D Domain Name – The name of your website, which follows the ‘www.’ in the URL, and also what follows the @ symbol in an email address. For example, in ‘www.Domain.com’ the ‘Domain.com’ is the actual domain name. Domain Name System (DNS) – The system that translates the numbers of an IP address into an easy-to-read domain name. Domain Flipping – The process of buying a domain name and selling it quickly for a profit. Domain Privacy – A feature often provided by domain registrars that hides the domain name owner information from the search results of a WHOIS inquiry. E Extension – The last letters of a domain name, such as .COM, that indicates the registry the domain is associated with, and as in the case of ccTLDs, the country G Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) – The most common domain names, such as .COM, or .NET. Grace Period – The period after a domain name registration expires, but can still be renewed by the registrant, and before the domain is offered up for general sale. I Internet Protocol (IP) Address – The string of unique numbers used to label a specific computer or computer server, which can then be renamed into a domain name. International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – The organization that coordinates the Internet’s naming system and regulates the domain industry. M Misspelled Domain Name – Purchasing different, even incorrect spellings, of a domain name ensures that the audience looking for your business or brand online find your website, even if they type in your domain name with a few errors. N New Top-Level Domain (nTLD) – TLD stands for “Top-Level Domain” and the “n” stands for “new.” A TLD is a string of characters that follow your domain name. For example, in the domain “myawesomedomain.com” the TLD, or domain extension, is .COM. nTLDs are newer to the market, and include extensions such as .club, .design, and .news. Nameserver – A web server that stands in as a resource directory, sometimes for another server. P Parking – The process of pointing a domain name to a page that is acting as a placeholder, used either as a space to advertise the sale of the domain or as a standby page before the owner starts using the domain name. Premium Domain – A high-value domain name that has been previously registered, often because they contain valuable SEO keywords. Premium domain names have a stronger branding potential, are often easy to remember, and attract more website traffic than standard domain names. R Redirect – If a domain name is no longer being used, but is still registered, an owner can push any incoming traffic to a new, connected domain name instead. Redemption Period – After a domain name registration expires, and after the grace period, when the previous owner can still renew the domain, but usually at a higher price. Registrant – The owner of a domain name, or corporation in control of the registration of the domain, either of which is listed on the domain name’s name record. Registrar – An accredited business or organization who sells domain registration services to the public. Registry – The overriding organization that maintains and controls top-level domains (TLDs), who most often work with a registrar to provide domains to the public, rather than directly. Renewal – The process of re-registering a domain name for another year without giving up ownership Reseller – An individual agent or affiliate of a specific registrar who sells domain name services. Reverse Domain Hijacking – The process of trying to obtain a legitimately owned domain by using false claims to contest ownership. S Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The practice of tweaking and optimizing your website settings, or the content on a page to increase exposure to search engine robot crawls with the intent of appearing higher on the search engine results page. Second-Level Domain (2LD) – A domain name that is located below another domain name, for example, .com.us, with the .com being the second-level to the .US domain name. Subdomain – A separate address located under a domain name, such as store.brand.com. T Top-Level Domain (TLD) – The last segment of a domain name, or the part that comes after the dot. Examples are .com, .net, .org, and .club. Transfer – Moving a domain name from one registrar to another without giving up ownership. U Universal Resource Locator (URL) – This is the string of numbers and symbols located in the address bar at the top of your web browser, which includes all of the information your computer needs to find the right page, image, or document on a website. W WHOIS – A system that makes it possible to search the owner information of a registered domain name, as well as other details such as contact information.   Want to learn more? Our starter guide, Everything You Need to Know About Domain Names, helps you start finding a home for your business online. Quote: 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 A Glossary of Domain Terms appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Everything You Need to Know About Domain Names – A Quick Start Guide

You have the right idea for a business, and the first step to starting your online journey is finding the right domain name. Once you discover which option best works for you and your business, you can start establishing your brand online. We’ve gathered all of the essential information you need to find a domain name that stands out, looks professional, and attracts the right audience. Bookmark this page to keep this as a resource for growing your business in the future. Ready to get started? Domain.com makes it easy and inexpensive to get the domain name you want, fast.   Domain name vs. URL, what’s the difference? A domain name secures your brand’s piece of real estate on the internet, while the universal resource locator, or URL, includes more information like the specific location of documents or pages within your website. Find out how they work together to display your website. Learn the difference What is a domain extension or top-level domain (TLD)? In the domain name Domain.com, the letters after ‘Domain’ represent the domain extension. The .COM, .NET, or .ORG letters signals the right location of the website you’re requesting. Understand TLDs How to choose a domain name How do you choose a domain name that is relevant to your business or brand, but is also catchy, short, easy to spell, and easy to say? Find your domain name How to buy a domain name Find a registrar, like Domain.com, for access to all of the major TLDs available, and choose the one that helps you take the first step on your online journey. Find out what to expect when you start searching for yours. Is it time to get online? The difference between new domains vs existing domains Whether you’re buying a new domain name, additional TLDs, or purchasing an existing domain, Domain.com is here to help. Learn the differences, the benefits of each, and the common mistakes to avoid. New vs expired domain names  What if your domain is already taken? Find out your options for securing an alternative domain, or learn how to find the owner of the domain that’s perfect for your business. Learn your next move I bought a domain name, now what? Once you’ve secured your place online, it’s time to start establishing your brand and attracting an audience from around the world. What’s step 2? How to maintain your new domain Once you’ve secured a domain to showcase your business with the world, you need to start maintaining it. Use this guide to keep your website attracting an audience. Keep your domain running It all starts with the right domain Researching the many domain name options helps you find the right domain name for your business. Read the in-depth articles above to learn how to find a domain name that stands out, looks professional, and attracts the right audience. Ready to get started? Domain.com makes it easy and inexpensive to get the domain name you want, fast.   The post Everything You Need to Know About Domain Names – A Quick Start Guide appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Should You Invest in a Premium Website Domain Name?

Soft cover or hardcover? It’s every book nerd’s classic dilemma. The choice is yours, but given the choice, I’d skip the paperback. Any worthy investment will consider the long term, such as a hardcover that sticks around after decades of rereads, while the soft cover disintegrates. If you don’t believe me, I have a few titles older than my grandmother for you to borrow. Your domain name is a similar investment. Your business could be successful with a second rate domain name, but a premium domain name bumps up your business in quality, trust and traffic. That long term thinking may in fact separate your business idea from your competition, because on the Internet, nothing is as powerful as a premium domain name. Hit the books and learn the secrets behind a premium domain name, below. Don’t settle for a second rate domain name, start your business with a head start and invest in a Premium Domain from Domain.com. Premium domain names help you stand out Your main goal for setting up a website is to spread word of your business and products far and wide across the internet. Investing in a premium domain name will create a more memorable brand around your website and business. The easier it is for customers to remember your domain name, the more likely they are to type it into the search bar. If your business is looking to stand out as a leader in your industry, your domain can also help boost your credibility. Instead of spending money advertising a domain name for your landscape business such as MyGardenSupplyStore.net, a premium domain like BetterGardens.com will establish you as a thought leader. This will make it easier for your customers to come to you. Get a head start building traffic to your site Since premium domain names are more memorable, your business will get a head start when trying to build traffic to your site. Premium domains often have popular search keywords included in the name, which means your potential customers may already be typing in your domain and looking for a business just like yours. As premium domain names draw more value, sometimes the name you want to buy has already been owned by a similar business that no longer needs it. This means your domain name may already have traffic from around the internet pointing towards it, and have a higher rank with search engines than a new domain fresh out of the box. Leveraging this established traffic will help you boost your business ahead of the competition even faster. An investment for the long term Like a library full of hardcover books, your premium domain has a lasting value that stands up on its on. When investing in a premium domain name, even though it may have a higher price, the resale value will be higher than a domain that no other business will be interested in. As your business builds search equity and traffic for the premium domain name, its value increases with it. If you later decide to sell your business or pivot into a different market and no longer need your premium domain name, it becomes a saleable asset that can help you come out with capital for your next business idea. You don’t need to go premium right away Since premium domain names are so valuable to businesses and brands all over the world, they’re often sold with a price tag that reflects its worth. You may wish to have the perfect domain name at the start, but if your business is still just getting off the ground, you can hold off and upgrade to a .com later when you have more cash flow. The URL Facebook.com, for example, used to be TheFacebook.com. After the company received their initial traction, they were able to upgrade to a better domain. Putting all your capital into your domain name may not be the best choice if you’re still trying to get your initial idea off the ground. A less expensive domain name can get you started. Invest in the long term for your new business idea If you invest in a premium domain name with a look to the long term, your new idea could take you anywhere you want to go, growing in value alongside with your business. Use a premium domain to bump up your brand’s trust and traffic, because on the Internet, nothing is as powerful as a premium domain name. Don’t settle for a second rate domain name, start your business with a head start and invest in a Premium Domain from Domain.com. The post Should You Invest in a Premium Website Domain Name? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How Domain Names Are Registered: A Helpful Guide

Computers on the world wide web communicate with one another using a digital language consisting solely of numerical digits and periods. These strings of numbers are a computer’s virtual address through which other computers may locate that computer and communicate with it. Commonly, they are known as the IP (internet protocol) addresses. While IP registrations did simplify and categorize this process of communication, computer scientists in the 80’s agreed that it would be much easier if we could simply type in the name that served as a stand-in for the number, but was directly tied to that IP address; thus, the website domain was born. Without a website domain name system, we would need a massive internet phone book or have to memorize our favorite IP addresses. Now, if you are looking to create a business selling rare Nike Sneakers, the first step would be to build a website around this service. You would begin this by registering some name like, “Sneakerheads.com.” Now, if someone had not already registered that domain name, you would have the option to buy it. However, if it were taken, you would either have to go back to the drawing board and think of a new name or find the owner of “Sneakerheads.com” and try to purchase it from them. These days, some of the most popular domain names include, Amazon.com, Google.com, Instagram.com, Tumblr.com, and others. By typing in their name to the search bar, you get delivered to that company’s website IP address; but if you wanted to, you could also simply type in their IP address into the search bar, and that would work just as well. As you might imagine, the former is considerably easier than the latter. Because of this, if you are a starting a business or looking to create a website, it is vital that you register a domain name. Although It is a relatively simple process, it still requires some forethought and consideration to ensure you have a creative domain name for your business. We hope this step-by-step guide will help you as you register your domain name. But first, let’s dive into some of the benefits of having a domain name and the types of domains you can choose from. 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.   What’s a domain name? Back in the 90’s, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were in the midst of working on the search engine that would eventually change the world. We know this search engine as Google, the king of internet search engines. At the time, the Stanford Graduate students had named it BackRub, a play on words about how a search engine searched through backlinks… Luckily, they realized that this name would not help their company succeed. Instead, they went with a misspelling of the mathematical shorthand term for a googolplex, which is 10 to the power of a googol, or 10100. They landed on Google. And it stuck; so much so that it is now a verb, “Google it.” Could you imagine telling someone to “BackRub which Scientists won the Nobel Prize more than one time?” One of the advantages of completely coming up with a new word is that, if successful, your product is the first thing that comes to mind. Consider Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all made up words or amalgamations of words, but now inextricably linked to their services rendered. A good domain name accomplishes this. Choosing the right domain name, one that is SEO-friendly, can help build your brand’s authority, increase your online presence and traffic, and really make or break your company. Naturally, coming up with a name that is not only available but also a good fit is a tricky thing. There are a variety of benefits to having a domain name: Credibility – a domain name grants a business standing as an actual business and not some sort of scam. A company without a domain name will be looked at suspiciously these days, so even those people who like to “go old school” and avoid the internet, might lose customers because of fears about the business’ legitimacy. Changing Web Hosts – If you ever have to change the physical location of your web site’s files, also known as the web host, that domain name would leave with you. So if you already had customers who regularly used your site and it was called “www.fastcars.com”, they would not be affected by the site migration. Sponsors and advertisers– If you desire to utilize sponsors for your website, a domain name again gives your website inherent credence and legitimacy. Linking the name with the service– A domain name which perfectly describes your brand or business, or is intimately tied into your name makes it easier for customers to return without needing a reminder. Choosing a Top-Level Domain When searching for a website, you have the option to either enter the domain name or the IP address into the search bar at the top of the search engine. Both of these will get you to your intended destination. In order to facilitate the categorization and grouping of domains into similar clusters, seven top-level domains, also known as extensions, were set apart. These extensions help to identify what the website is linked with, such as its purpose, the geographical area of origin, or the organization that owns it. Each top-level domain has a different registry that is managed by a specific group beneath the backing of ICANN. According to ICANN, there are four categories of top-level domains: Generic top-level domains – The most common and regular top-level domains. As long as a domain name is available, generic top-level domains can be registered by the vast majority of the general public. Sponsored top-level domains – Sponsored top-level domains supervised by private organizations. Country-code top-level domain – The country-code top-level domain labels a specific country and consists of two letters. Canada, for example, is .ca Infrastructure top-level domain – This grouping only consists of one TLD which is Address and Routing Parameter Area (ARPA), which is managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) The seven most common top-level domain extensions are: .com – Abbreviated for commercial and commerce. Dotcoms are the most popular extensions used today regardless of the size of the business. We, as you likely noticed, are a registered .com. .edu – The domain extension for educational universities, UCLA.edu .gov – Domain name for governmental agents, officials, or agencies. .Int – Domain for international organizations. .mil – The domain for the American military and armed services. .net – The second most popular extension is mostly used by network providers such as coxcable.net. .org – An organization’s domain name, such American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).org. There are other top-level domains, which are considered to be unsponsored. They include: .biz – This TLD can be used for businesses in place of using a .com. .info – May be used for informational sites. .mobi – Typically employed for websites that revolve around mobile devices. .name – for families and individuals .travel – reserved for hoteliers, travel agents, airlines, and tourism bureaus. Domain name registration Obtaining a domain name requires you to register the name you desire with a nonprofit organization known as ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN’s charter states that it is, “Responsible for coordinating and numerical spaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.” In order to register a domain name, you must enlist the help of a domain name registrar, which is why you are here! Domain name registrars like Domain.com have services through which you may register and then purchase a domain name. We have received accreditation through ICANN and have years of experience in helping businesses launch their websites and the process of domain name purchase and renewals are made simple through our services. The registration process Upon choosing, checking for availability, and figuring out the cost of your domain name, you will have to submit your desired domain name to Domain.com. You will then have to submit the following information: Your chosen domain name. The registrant’s contact info: first and last name, email address, physical address, phone number, administrative contact information and billing contact information. The chosen domain registration term. Your payment and billing information. Upon submitting this information, we will begin the registration process for your domain name. We will submit the domain name request as well as your contact information. Then, we will file this contact information with WHOIS. WHOIS is not an acronym, rather it is a system that queries, “who is” accountable for an IP address or domain name. According to ICANN, “Every year, millions of individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments register domain names. Each one must provide contact information which may include: name, address, email, phone number, and administrative and technical contacts.” This information is collected and stored in the WHOIS database. Domain name registration is not domain name ownership It should be noted that simply registering a domain name does not give you the rights to it forever. Domain name registrations follow something more akin to a subscription model where you can basically rent the domain name for a period of time, be it one year or multiple years. Once this time period is up, you have the option to renew the domain name registration or to let it simply expire. If it does expire without renewal, that name is now up for grabs. Therefore, it is vital that you renew your domain name registration or all the work that went into building the brand and the website might all be for nothing. Domain name registration and copyright infringement One thing to consider prior to registration is whether or not there are any conflicts with trademarks or any form of copyright infringement. The best method for verifying the availability is by searching through a trademark database, which gives you all the pending or registered trademarks. ICANN is responsible for regulating and enforcing domain name copyright issues, and they can take away your domain name if they find you to be in violation of any of the following things: You do not actually run a business registered under that name. Your company purposefully chose a name that is analogous to a different trademark or domain name, and that could lead to consumer confusion. You created the name with plans to peddle that domain to a competitor for monetary gain. No one in the company carries a name that is the same as or similar to the registered name. Domain name pre-registration Competition for a nTLD (new Top-Level domain name) can be fierce, but pre-registering a domain name gives you the best shot at securing your desired domain as soon as the General Availability period begins. The General Availability period happens when a TLD has completed its launch and is now open to the public for purchase on a first come, first served basis. When you pre-register a domain name, we add your domain request to a list that will be immediately submitted to the registry the as soon as General Availability begins. Once General Availability begins for that particular TLD (Top-Level Domain), you will be notified via email as to whether or not we were able to successfully register your domain of choice. Learn how to register a domain name of your own We hope this guide to registering your domain name was helpful and that we have successfully pointed you in the right direction. With all said and done, domain names are extremely important; they can help you grow your business and establish your brand. We encourage you to spend a sufficient amount of time researching your options and thinking through your domain name possibilities before making a purchase. 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 Domain Names Are Registered: A Helpful Guide appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Creative Domain Names to Inspire Your Search

There are a number of essential steps one must take when beginning their journey into the world of launching a business. They are faced with a variety of tough decisions that could make or break the business, or at the very least, hinder its future success. One such choice that seems to be commonly overlooked by many fledgling business owners is the selection of the company’s domain name. Selecting and registering a domain name for your company is extremely important. While this is a seemingly small decision that many think can be pushed aside until one has the time, this delay fails to recognize how integral an optimal domain name can be for the success of one’s online presence. A creative domain name can create brand authority, customer retention, and help one product stand out in a sea of competitors offering a similar product or service. This is a process that should not be taken lightly; it is not something that can wait until the last minute because if you do rush it, you may end up being stuck with a boring name that hinders more than helps. So, when thinking of a domain name, you need to invest the time, and you need to get creative. Below we will discuss the benefits of a creative domain name, share some tips on how you can get creative, and hopefully help to give your online business the edge it needs to not only succeed but thrive. 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.   What is a domain name? Before we begin, it is vital that you know the basics of how domains function with websites. If this is your first online business, odds are this is the first time you have had to consider how websites function on the worldwide web. Computers on the web locate and communicate with each other using a series of digits and periods known as Internet Protocol Addresses. This IP address is unique to every computer and website, and to find another computer or website, one would have to type in this unique numerical address. For the layman, a good way to mentally picture a website is as a digital storefront; an amalgamation of files, data, pictures, and pages, which result in the final product you see on your screen when you type in NYTimes.com. Like an actual store, say a Starbucks or a Costco, these web pages have a virtual address (the IP) which helps distinguish them from the billions of other web pages. As you might imagine, while this would not be an issue for the computer, at best, it is an inefficient method for human navigation, since there is simply no way we humans could memorize all the IP addresses of every website. Even having an online phone book of sorts would be painfully inconvenient. Computer scientists recognized that this was not the best method for navigating the web, so they decided to create a shorthand of sorts, building the domain name system and fashioning a registry that linked any registered domain name with its unique IP address. To this day, typing either the IP address or the domain name into the search function will get you to your intended destination. This virtual shortcut made it so the web would be accessible to just about anyone. Computer scientists designated seven top-level domains to help differentiate web addresses, which we now refer to as extensions. These seven extensions are: .com – shortened for commerce and commercial. This extension is the most popular by far and as a result, used by both small and big businesses. However, this extension has the fewest available domain names to choose from. .net – the second most popular extension, generally used by network providers such as Timewarner.net. .org – organizations’ domain name, such as freethedolphins.org. .edu – the domain extension used by educational institutes and universities. .gov – domain name for governmental agencies, agents, or officials. .mil – American military domain. .Int – Domain for international organizations. Picking a creative domain name Before you start thinking about how much a domain name costs, there are a few steps you should follow first. Picking the perfect domain name should be the first step you take when it comes to planning for a successful online business. This name will function as your business’ online identity. So, a proper name will act as a reflection of your brand; it will answer who you are as a company, and it will hopefully indicate either the product or service you are offering to new customers. Thanks to the domain name registrar system, no two domain names can be identical, so, this is your opportunity to truly define who you are as a business. Therefore, picking the right name—a creative, catchy name—is vital. If you were buying a brick and mortar store, odds are you would put an incredible amount of time and research into the various options. You would scout each location, get estimates on how much traffic they attract, and find measurements on how the previous businesses have operated. You would weigh the pros and cons, and compare that to the costs associated with each location. Only after some serious time and thought went into the process would you then select the final resting spot of your business. Like opening a brick and mortar store, when selecting a domain name, you should treat what some view as a tedious process with the utmost respect. Do not do this haphazardly, instead invest the time to land the perfect domain name. While there are a variety of methods for brainstorming a creative domain name, as a general rule of thumb, there are two directions to choose from that you will want to consider before you get into the nitty-gritty. They are keyword rich domain names and brand-centric domain names. Keyword rich domain names Keyword rich domain names are domain names that place emphasis on certain SEO keywords or phrases that may be used to describe a business’ rendered product or service. Employing this strategy generally consists of creating lists of keywords or phrases that act as descriptors of the company or what it is you are selling. These descriptors should not only reflect what you offer but do so in such a way to distinguish you from your competitors. Keeping search engine optimization in mind is also wise, so look to use words or phrases people are randomly searching for your product, or something similar that someone might organically type into the search engine. Brand-centric domain names Brand-centric domain names are often meant for businesses that have previously established their name or brand within the market. At this point, customers know these brands, know what they are selling, and can likely remember their catchphrases or slogans. Brand-centric names include Amazon.com, Facebook.com, Adidas.com, and a whole host of other powerhouses. For a company like Staples, it would make sense for them to purchase the domain name, “Thatwaseasy.com” since they are recognized by that tagline. While brand-centric domain names are ideal for established brands, it is important to remember that each of these companies at some point began with humble roots. If you can come up with a creative brand-centric domain name, and want a customer to remember your brand, then that is definitely an option, but be sure to pick one that is unique and reflects your brand’s business. Tips for creative domain names When ruminating about creative domain names there are various steps you should take to simplify the process: The Brainstorming Session – Most businesses are not run by a single individual. If you have a team of people, bring together all that brain power to one spot and spend time bouncing ideas and keywords off each other. If you are a sole business owner, see if family or friends can aid you since they likely have spent enough time discussing your business with you to have an idea of what your goals and missions are. Write down the domain names of your competitors or companies in similar businesses within your space. Weigh the pros and cons of each name and discuss how effective they are at communicating their product or service. Be broad and be bold – Do not be shy with any idea you have even if it is only slightly relevant to your business. If you shoot down ideas immediately, your team might miss out on a great opportunity, for fear of rejection. Compile keywords – Create a list of all the keywords that are linked to your product or service. Use a whiteboard or a notepad and write down the most common words associated with your brand. If you want your customer to know you for a trait or keyword, emphasize that and play with possible iterations. Use a thesaurus or a dictionary – Using your keywords or buzzwords, you can utilize either a thesaurus or a dictionary to find synonyms or even more accurate versions of the word you are using. Amalgamations – Quite often, one of these keywords by themselves will already be taken, but if you can create a fusion of two words, you might have a better chance of finding an available domain name. Cleverly combining two keywords can help customers intuitively understand what your product is. Take Groupon for example, which combined the words coupon with group. Consider your location or company values – your domain name does not necessarily require your brand name in it, consider your company’s location or other aspects of your business that set you apart from your competitors. Misspellings – Often, your ideal word will already be taken. However, misspellings or dropping the vowels from the word might open up new avenues and also create a cleaner looking version of the domain name. Such names are often easier to type in and easier to remember because of their unique look. Easy to remember/easy to type – You might come up with a great name, one that you think perfectly defines who you are and what you are selling, but if it is not easy for new customers to remember or is a pain to type in to the search bar, you will lose potential customers. Ideally, you want a name that rolls off the tongue and is hard for people to forget. Ditch the .com Since many dotcoms have already been taken, many companies are using new creative domain name extensions besides the big seven. While there are some out there that will argue that it is worth it to pay more money for a dot-com address or to purchase a pre-existing domain, others are moving in the opposite direction. In the last few years, “.ly,” “.be,” and “.io” have grown in popularity and plenty of websites have cleverly incorporated those extensions in a creative way. For example, “list.ly” and “postach.io” are growing businesses that have uniquely combined the two to create a clean and memorable name. Find a domain name that feels inspired Creating a domain name that is not only clever and catchy but also available and within your budget range is no easy task. Regardless, it is a critical component of your online business, so it is crucial that you take the time and effort necessary to land on the right domain name. By doing so, you explore new avenues that may lead you to a domain name that sets your brand in motion. Your domain name can be regarded as your first impression on the internet. And just like first impressions, you want someone’s first encounter on your website to be perfect. Put the time and effort necessary into choosing your domain name—it’s important. 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 Creative Domain Names to Inspire Your Search appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What Is a Website Domain Name?

We are in the midst of the e-commerce boom, a radical mercantile exodus from brick and mortar stores into online vendors. Thanks much in part to the meteoric rise of Amazon. A once humble online book retailer, now the world’s largest corporation, Amazon’s modern-day Sear’s catalog allows consumers to buy just about anything they can dream of online and receive it in a matter of days. In the twenty-some-odd years since Amazon modernized the e-commerce practice, virtually every retailer has shadowed this move, forced to focus heavily on their online platform and sales, or else suffer a quick death, unable to compete with those who adapt to rapid trends. According to Business Insider, “Approximately 70% of Americans (230 million) will make an online purchase in 2018, contributing $474 billion to total retail sales, according to Statistica’s Digital Market Outlook.” What this study illustrates is that e-commerce now accounts for roughly ten percent of all retail within the United States, a staggering percentage that is only expected to grow at a rapid pace. This economic outlook is a warning to all businesses both old and new about how vital a business’ online presence is for its future success. If you are launching a company or thinking about diving into those waters, odds are you have tossed around names for the business or already have one in mind. Picking the right name, one that is original, easy to say, and easy to remember, is a tricky task. A task that is made more difficult because it is critical that the chosen name not only represents your product or brand but also distinguishes itself from various competitors within the marketplace. Landing on the ideal name consumes time and energy, and what many forget to account for when deliberating on their future business name is whether or not it is available as a website domain. If that desired domain name is unavailable, all your brainstorming may be for nothing, or you may have to pay a hefty price to the owner. To prevent this from happening, it is vital that you be well versed on domains, domain names, and domain name availability. Below, we will dive into the ins-and-outs of these crucial topics so interlinked with a company’s ability to succeed online. 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.   What is a domain? If you have not previously owned a website, or do not consider yourself to be computer savvy, you may find yourself at a loss when it comes to discussing these things with your web designers or web developers. It may seem overwhelming, but do not worry or feel discouraged. Domains are not as confusing as they appear. In order to dive in, it is crucial that you first know the difference between a website and a domain. A website is the virtual storefront prospective shoppers browse upon searching your name within their web browser. The digital layout of this online shop is composed of data, images, files, and pages that culminate in the product that appears on one’s monitor. A computer locating a website is not all that different from how we go somewhere new by following a map that leads us to the physical address. But for the computer to reach its intended destination, it must first know the route it must take as well as the terminal point. Just like how businesses and residential homes have addresses so that others may know where they are, internet websites also need some sort of codex or filing system to distinguish one website from another. That system is known as the Internet Protocol Address. An IP address has two main tasks: To identify and distinguish web addresses. To locate web addresses. IP addresses are either 32-bit or 128-bit strings of numbers separated by periods, like 142.421.3.5. Since human memories are limited, remembering these IP addresses would be basically impossible. To account for our limitations and to make it easier for internet users, computer scientists created the domain name system by creating a registry that ascribed a particular name to every possible numeric IP address. This creation of the domain system allowed the internet user to choose between two viable paths towards their intended destination. The first path available is the longer, more arduous route, which requires an input of the specific numerical sequence. The other path is made significantly more user-friendly by creating a virtual shortcut made by simply entering the intended domain name in a web browser. Top level domains In 1985, when the internet domain system was created, seven domains were designated as the top level domains. They include: .com – Com is short for commerce and is the domain regularly associated with a commercial website. The most valuable website for both small and big businesses alike are those registered in the .com domain. .edu – Edu is the domain used by an educational institute or university. For example, a student or teacher’s email address or the school’s web address might look something like Harvard.edu, Stanford.edu, or Yale.edu. .gov – This domain name is intended for any governmental agency, agent, office, or official. The White House’s official website is whitehouse.gov. .Int – Int is intended for an international organization. .Net – Generally used by network providers whose primary occupation is networking. For example, Cox.net is the home of Cox Cable’s website. .Org – The domain for any organization. .Mil – The domain for the United States Military. “.Com” is the most popular and highly sought after domain extension, and rounding out second and third are “.net” and “.org.” While these were the original seven, recently, there have been a wide array of new domain extensions made available. Therefore, increasing the availability of domain names to choose from. Domain Names Any company’s goal for their online presence is to maximize user interactions and garner as much internet traffic as possible in the smartest and most economical way. A memorable name can help a business do just that. Names tend to form lasting linguistic neural connotations that influence our feelings or perceptions of a person, place, or object. Because of this, nailing the businesses’ name is vital, and that name can act as a cornerstone of the brand’s identity, reminding the public of exactly what it is they are selling. A domain name is the name of the website and follows the @ symbol in an email address, or follows the www. in a website address. When asking someone how to find you online, you always tell them your domain name. Examples of domain names include Apple.com, Google.com, Facebook.com, Reddit.com, Twitter.com, Wikipedia.com, Youtube.com, etc. Domain names that go before top-level domain extensions must fall within the rules, procedures, and guidelines laid down by the DNS (Domain Name System). Such second-level and third-level domain names must be reserved by end-users, which is typically handled by domain name registrars. Any name registered with the DNS is considered an official name and cannot be used by an alternative party. Such names are case-insensitive, meaning that capitalization does not matter, although it is standard procedure for domain names to be written in lowercase. While one is not required to buy the same domain name as that of the name registered to the business, when it comes to search engine optimization, it is wise to choose an available name that is closely linked to the brand. Even if the names are not identical, it helps to have a guidepost for prospective customers who are searching your businesses’ name online. Domain names can be used for either or both an email account or a website address. The cost of a domain name will vary greatly depending on many different factors. However, once a domain name is purchased, you can choose whether or not to use it for an email account or for a website. You may hold onto it like you would a tract of land that was purchased as an investment. However, it is impossible to have a website or an email account for your business without first locking down that specific domain. This domain name registration does not instantly create a website, it only means that you have reserved that domain upon which you may now construct a website. So, if you start a business and come up with a great original name that has yet to be taken, you can register that domain name and copyright the name in order to protect it even though the actual business itself may still only be a fledgling idea. For example, Mark Davis, owner of the of the Oakland Raiders registered the domain name LasVegasRaiders.com and Vegasraiders.com over a decade prior in case the team was to move from Oakland to Vegas. Had he waited, someone else may have registered the domain name and then Mark would have been forced to buy it at a premium rate. Such an investment, what is known as a high-value domain, is quite common and worthy of consideration. High-value domains Because so many domain names are already registered, with more being added every day, the vast majority of the more marketable or generic names have already been taken. Names such as carinsurance.com or clothes.com are valued in the millions. Such optimized names, which are closely linked to the actual service, are known as high-value domains. And while it may cost a premium, there is something to be said about analyzing the cost-benefit of purchasing a high-quality domain name. High-value domain names accomplish the following: Brand Protection – By establishing yourself as the premium name, you can ward off competitors who might try and establish a domain name akin to yours. Such a name could drain away customers. Establishing Authority both offline and online – Utilizing a high-value domain for your website and company email address helps build credibility both in person or on the web. By establishing your company as the first, the original, such a name can grant you credibility and give the appearance that you have been successfully operating for quite some time. By owning such a name, a customer is more likely to innately trust your product or service, regardless of whether or not that credibility has been earned. Garnering more traffic – Premium domains naturally receive heavier traffic as a result of direct type-in or google referral traffic. Type-in traffic refers to a customer who is searching for a product directly into the search bar of a web browser without utilizing Google’s search engine. So, for example, a customer searching for a new bike might simply type in bikes.com into their browser. There, they will likely find a wide array of bikes which are available for purchase. Direct type-in traffic is the optimal type of traffic a site can receive, since it costs nothing in advertising, is highly targeted, and the inquirer is further along in the purchasing process than a casual window shopper. Thanks to their age and the number of backlinks accrued, premium domains also amass plenty of referral traffic thanks to links from other websites. Improve Visibility – High-value domain names are typically brief, to the point, and catchy. They are intuitive and easy to recall. By having such a name, you position yourself on the internet’s main street, rather than establishing a location off the beaten path. Such real estate often sells itself with little to no advertising due to natural traffic. Increase SEO – Premium domains are generally keyword-rich and filled with high-quality keywords which tend to increase your website’s search engine rankings. A website domain name is your piece of the internet Domains and domain names play a critical role in signaling to potential customers within the online marketplace as to what good or service you are selling. Selecting the perfect, creative domain name that is not only relevant but available will require a good bit of brainstorming and strategizing. This investment, however, is not only worth it but necessary for future success for your business in the digital world. 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 What Is a Website Domain Name? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

When to Buy a New Domain and When to Buy an Expired One

Your first thought when buying a car is always the same: new or used? The process of buying a domain name starts the same way. Do you want a brand new domain or an expired one with previously established traffic? The benefits and the drawbacks are similar, but choosing the right domain depends on your needs, your budget, and the competition within your industry. Learn how to make the right choice that further establishes your business online. 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 benefits of a brand new domain name Like that new car smell, a new domain name feels fresh and ready to get you down the road in style. Without any of the history of being previously owned, you don’t need to worry about inheriting a bad reputation for spam, or shady business dealings. Just like a new car though, new domain names have no miles on them, which means you need to build web traffic and build an audience from scratch. It also means that you’ll need to build all of the infrastructure yourself, such as a website, and social media pages to start building your marketing channels. If you’re looking for a domain name that gives you a leg up, you may instead want an expired one. An established domain name that’s already broken in Imagine buying a new car and finding out that the previous owner swapped in a new turbocharged engine. And racing stripes. If you purchase a reputable expired domain name, there’s a chance there’s already an audience, established backlinks, and incoming web traffic heading your way. This gives you a leg up when you put marketing spend towards your new business, making it easier to reach customers and convince them to buy. There’s still the downside of not knowing the full story behind your domain name when you purchase it second-hand. There may be a negative reputation from spam which you’ll have to overcome. Make sure to do your research on a domain name and then run a WhoIS search to try and find the owner. Make the choice that fits your business best Your business and your goals, both short term and long term, affects your decision whether to buy a new domain name or an expired one. Looking across your industry reveals your options. In a competitive market, having a starting with traffic and previous backlinks helps to start your business as an equal to established business instead of starting behind. If you don’t have many competitors, starting from scratch with a new domain name can still lead to success, as your levels of traffic soon builds to that of the other brands with the right strategy. If you’re looking to start slow and grow your business from the ground up by making all of the decisions yourself, you’ll likely need a new domain name. If you’re looking to get a head start and want to hit the ground running with web traffic that you can build on, then look for an established domain name. The right domain name helps you get started Some people like driving a new car off the lot, while others like to brush off a little dust and change the oil before hitting the road. Whether you buy a used domain name or a new one depends on what you need for your business. Do you need a domain with some previous web traffic or are you looking for a fresh start? The right choice helps establish your business online and help to reach the right customers. 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 When to Buy a New Domain and When to Buy an Expired One appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?

In today’s world, it’s rare that a company exists without a website. The internet is now the biggest railway that connects customers and businesses locally, domestically, and internationally. It’s common knowledge that a company’s presence and visibility on the internet can dramatically affect its chances of success. In which case, if you’re currently creating an internet presence for your company, building a website, or preparing for both, then you may want to know if the website domain name you’re after is available. You may also want to know how to register it, and most importantly how much it’s going to cost you. If that’s where you’re at, then look no further. We’re going to cover all of the above. 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.   What is a Domain? A domain—or domain name—is essentially the name of your website. It’s not always exclusive to the actual business name and even less so with the LLC or legal title. It exists on the Domain Name System (DNS) which is a universal system that assigns addresses to servers and web pages. It’s the middle of the URL (the name), what comes after the ‘www.’ and what you will see after the @ in an email address. Without domain names, recognizing addresses on the internet would be extremely difficult. Some experts go as far as to say that without the DNS, the internet would’ve never succeeded. Structure When registering a domain name, it is paramount you understand the way in which they are formatted. Without this understanding, it is possible that someone unknowingly registers the wrong type of domain. Unlike the English language, domain names read from right to left. TLDs (top-level domains) TLDs appear on the furthest right of the domain, effectively making them the beginning. The most common TLDs or premium domain names end in: .com .org .net .biz .edu SLDs (second-level domains) SLDs appear in the middle of the domain, directly on the left of the TLD. They are, in fact, the domain name itself. Machine Name At the furthest left, we have the machine name, which is what we call the end of the domain. You will typically associate the machine name with (www.). The SLD, TLD, and Machine Name are all separated by a period. Most of us on the internet have adopted the word ‘dot’ in substitution for ‘period,’ but they are one and the same. Lastly, it is vital that we differentiate a domain from a URL. They are not mutually exclusive. A URL is a larger address that can contain the page address, folder, machine title, and protocol. This, in turn, makes the domain name merely a part of the URL. We have provided a few examples below and bolded the domain names for reference. https://www.google.com/ https://www.facebook.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page Is it Important? Without a doubt. Think of registering a domain name like buying real estate on the internet. You are purchasing a piece of the pie that is exclusively yours, one that will hold an umbrella over all of the content you publish. If you register your domain, no one else can take it. It is placed in the DNS where it belongs solely to the person who purchased it until it expires and becomes public again. It is your first impression on the internet, your brand, and a tool that can be used for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. Any web developer will tell you that a domain name is a facet of a company’s internet presence that can directly influence its success. Registering a Domain Now that we have covered some basic grounds on domain names, let’s dive into registering a domain. It is important that you know, despite what type of domain you are looking for, the process is relatively simple. While there might be quite a few options available, the process is straightforward. Is it Available? As we stated previously, once you register your domain it becomes part of the DNS, meaning it is not available to anyone else. Likewise, if someone has previously registered the creative domain name you want, it is not going to be available to you. Ensuring that your sought-after domain name is available is the first part of the process. Other than just the website name, there is the TLD (the first or far right part of your domain name). The common ones are usually taken. Think .com, .org, .net, and so forth. Still, it’s not always the case. If appropriate to your circumstance, you may find a variation of your domain name with another TLD that is still available. Additionally, the ‘common’ TLDs are not the only thing offered. Today, there are GTLDs (generic top-level domains) that end in different terms. This could be .pro, .info, etc., and even new domain extensions your business can leverage to render your domain name instantly memorable to customers. Which TLD should I use? Technically, it doesn’t matter. The TLD will function exactly as it is supposed to—so long as it was registered properly. The .com TLD is the most common but if you want to variate, you can. There is no one TLD that is more efficient than the rest, nor is there one that comes more highly recommended than others. With that being said, the .com is what many suggest as your ‘safest bet.’ This, of course, depends on the type of business you are putting on the internet. Registration If you’re wondering about the full process of how to register a domain name, it’s important to note that every domain must go through ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). All domain names run through this corporation, as it was established to regulate them and optimize the internet’s efficiency. Registrars A domain name registrar is a company that provides a service, simplifying the registration process for domain names. Through these platforms—all of which have accreditation through ICANN—experienced professionals will act as your Sherpa, guiding you through the terrain of domain registration. From front to back, the process should be seamless. Be sure to research a registrar before utilizing their service. While many promise to be the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient option, customer reviews can tell a different story. This is the company that is going to be responsible for keeping track of your renewals, managing your domain, and ensuring that it is registered correctly. Be sure to do your due diligence. Pricing The cost of your domain name will depend on the registrar you choose. Each registrar has its own standard pricing, packages, renewal fees, and accessorial fees. Being that TLDs are the most common, they are going to have the most standardized pricing across the board. On average, it costs around $10-15 annually to purchase and hold a domain name. Regardless, there is a lot more to know when it comes to how much a domain name costs. Hidden Fees By analyzing the myriad of complaints filed against registrars, you will find that a vast majority of them regard fees the customer was unaware of. These typically come in the form of an auto-renew or transfer out charge. Usually, these are explained and detailed in a registrar’s ‘Terms of Service.’ Unfortunately, in today’s world, we rarely take the time to read the contracts we willingly agree to. These fees that accrue can be up to four times the amount of the original registration. Typically, the heftiest fee is the transfer out charge, as registrars want to dissuade their customers from running to their competition. With a quick Google search, you will find a large volume of complaints that pinpoint this tactic that registrars use to squeeze money out of clients that are jumping ship. In any case, we always advise you read and acknowledge the ‘Terms of Service’ issued by your registrar. While there may be fees in the contract you do not particularly agree with, you will be prepared for them if they are to arise in the future. Expiration Scams Another unethical tactic deployed by untrustworthy registrars is discounted pricing scams. By no means are we saying that every registrar who offers discounted pricing is running a scam, but we want to highlight that some platforms offer discounts if the domain is purchased for a longer period of time, and they do so with malintent. For example, let’s say you have paid them for a five-year contract, some registrars will then turn around and pay the registry for only a year, pocketing the rest of the money. They can even go as far as to implement a ‘no refund policy’ that, if the customer doesn’t catch in the agreement, will render their money lost if they want to leave. It is important to note that there are platforms which have been created to help customers identify if their expiration date matches what they paid for. Many of these are free. But Exactly How Much Do They Cost? As we stated previously, the myriad of packages, incentives, and overall pricing of domain names ranges greatly. To a novice, the first glance at purchasing a domain can be overwhelming. They might find themselves questioning whether or not a domain name can truly be purchased for one ‘low cost of $9.99.’ The answer is yes, it is possible, but it’s not always the case. A good rule of thumb when it comes to buying domain names is that inexpensive can be expensive. Sometimes a cheaper deal is too good to be true and the hidden fees blindside the customer. On the other hand, if your domain is available and you choose a reputable registrar, that cheap, inexpensive, and seemingly perfect package is absolutely worth it. Thus, we encourage you to do your due diligence and research the experiences certain customers have had with different packages offered by registrars. Take these packages and further execute a domain name price comparison between other registrars. Lastly, remember that the type of domain name registered is always going to influence the price. Take Domain.com’s pricing for example. It ranges from as little as $1.99 per year all the way through $649.99 per year depending on which domain you select. Each registrar will differ in their pricing, but the more you compare, the more consistencies you are going to discover. Aftermarket Domain When a domain name is unavailable, most customers pivot and return to the drawing board to decide on another. Some, however, find that there is great value in the specific name and wonder how they can obtain an aftermarket domain or a domain which has already been purchased. Today, both auction sites and domain brokers exist, meaning the person no longer has to track down a specific domain owner to make an offer. Aftermarket domains have become an industry in themselves, prompting internet entrepreneurs to purchase domains with the idea that they will be sought after in the future. They hold onto these domains until someone comes along to try and claim them. Branding, inbound links, potential traffic, and pure simplicity is what adds to the value of these domains. Some are valuable enough that they sell for around $100 and others are purchased for over $10million. With that being said, if you’re currently in this boat, then the average .com aftermarket domain should be somewhere between $9000 – $30,000. In which case, before continuing, unless what your after is extremely obscure, you are probably going to have to pay in the thousands for the specific domain name that you want. The cost of a domain depends on what you need Is it without a doubt that domain names are important to your business’s success on the internet (and in general). In today’s digital landscape, unless you are looking for an aftermarket domain and have zero flexibility in your name choice, then there is no reason the cost of your domain should drain your wallet. For a select few customers, the price is going to be high. For most of us, we should not expect to pay more than $20 annually. With that being said, remember to look for hidden fees, discount scams, and ensure that there is no sneaky language in the terms of the agreement. 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 Much Does a Domain Name Cost? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What is a Domain Extension and Which One Should You Choose?

Your business needs to put its best foot forward to reach all of the customers in your audience. With so many different domain extensions, or top-level domains (TLDs) available, how do you know that you’re choosing the right one? The right TLD depends on the kind of business, products or services you have, and how you’d like to differentiate yourself from the rest of the industry. Find out what TLDs work for your business, and learn to choose one that helps you grow. 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.   Different TLDs for different types of websites Like choosing from all of the types of cars available, the TLD for you is the one that best fits your needs. Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are some of the most common names you’ll see, such as .COM or .NET. Sponsored top-level domains (sTLDs) were designed for specific groups, such as colleges or government organizations, such as the TLD .GOV. Country code domain extensions (ccTLDs) are reserved for area-specific organizations and include .US or .CA. Your TLD should convey your products and services, but also needs to be available. Since .com is the most common, there’s a chance the domain name you want is already taken. This is where more unique domain extensions, like .biz, .club, and .tech come in handy. The domain extensions you’ll see most often There are hundreds of new domain extensions released every week, so you should be able to find an available domain name no matter what you’re selling. If you’d still like to use a common domain extension, it could help your company stand out as a leader within your industry. Some of the most common domain extensions you’ll see are: .COM – The most popular TLD around, this was originally designed for commercial businesses, but can now be used by any individual or organization on the internet. .BIZ – Designed to be used by businesses, many companies that tried registering a .COM domain name end up with a .BIZ domain extension after their first choice is already taken. .ORG – Most commonly used for nonprofit organizations, this domain extension has since grown to be nearly as ubiquitous as .COM, and may be used by anyone. .NET – Much like .ORG, this domain extension has extended into a catch-all TLD, but it was originally intended to be used as a tool for maintaining network infrastructure. .GOV – Unlike the domain extensions above, the .GOV TLD is still restricted, meaning only government organizations are permitted to use it. .MOBI – Often a company or organization registers their domain name with a .MOBI TLD if they’re showing a mobile-only version of their website. .US (or other country specific domains) – You’re likely to only see ccTLDs that match your home country. These are restricted, and may only be registered by a company or organization that resides within the same country. For example, only US companies may register a .US domain name. How to choose the right TLD for your domain name Like the color of your shirt, different domain extensions don’t change how your website functions on the internet, but simply change the way it looks. Many large businesses prefer a .COM domain extension to show that they’re successful enough to afford a premium domain, while other companies choose a niche-specific domain extension. For those companies representing a niche, domain extensions like .SPACE can help reassure your customers that you’re the expert that understands them. You can also use your niche TLD in a creative way to create a domain name that truly stands out. For example, using the domain name BrewBetter.beer for a craft brewery instead of BrewBetter.com. Choose the domain extension that best represents you No matter what domain extension you choose, you want the one that bests present your business to your customers and show that you’re the expert. There are so many domain extensions to choose from, so finding one that helps you stand out should be simple. 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 What is a Domain Extension and Which One Should You Choose? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Buy a Domain Name

Whether you’re a beginning blogger, a budding entrepreneur, or an established business, establishing an online presence usually starts with getting a domain name that supports your professional or personal website. You can purchase a domain name either by creating and registering an original name, or by buying and registering an existing domain name that’s up for sale. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. What’s in a (Domain) Name? A domain name is the first step toward securing a piece of online “real estate” that becomes the home of a website for business or personal use—a name that stands in for a website’s actual Internet Protocol, or IP address, which is simply a unique series of numbers. Millions of domain names are in use worldwide and more are constantly being generated and made unique through a growing list of extensions that include not only the famous .com and .net, but also more niche specific ones such as .church or .photo. A domain name points to the website it serves, so that the site can be found in searches. The cost of buying a domain name varies widely, depending on the kind of transaction involved. Web hosting providers may include a free domain name with a hosting service contract, or charge less than a dollar on a promotional hosting offer, while standard hosting rates and domain name registrars may run significantly higher. Depending on factors such as its search engine rankings or traffic statistics, an existing domain name can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars through a private sale or at an auction or domain marketplace. Besides the cost of the domain name itself, other costs can include fees for hosting, or for setting up or transferring a domain name from one host to another. Buying an Original Domain Name: Starting from Scratch For many users, creating a domain name is the first step in the journey toward building a consistent, reliable online identity—and that step generally involves brainstorming a catchy, original domain name or generating one with one of the many online domain name generators. With a name in mind, users can use name search tools or even a simple Google search to see if the name is available or if other names in use are close enough to cause confusion. “Buying” a domain name doesn’t necessarily mean making a one-time purchase and owning the name forever. A typical domain name purchase involving an original name actually means that buyers pay for the right to reserve the name exclusively for their own use. To buy rights to a domain name, a user has to register it either directly with a domain registrar or through a hosting provider for terms ranging from a year to several years. To keep rights to the name, a user must renew the registration when it expires or risk losing the name entirely. Creating an original domain name establishes a new and unique online identity for an individual or business, but it can take time and effort to yield traffic and visibility, especially if the new domain name is poorly optimized for relevant keywords. To reduce confusion, new domain name buyers are often advised to buy as many similar names as possible—even those with obvious misspellings that reflect mistakes people make when typing in a search bar. Buying an Existing Domain Name: Benefits, but Also Baggage In some cases, buying an existing domain name can be a better option than creating a new one. A domain name that’s been in circulation for some time can have more traction with search engines than a brand new one serving a website with no content or backlinks from other sites. Some domains that are up for purchase may already have content such as a complete homepage or an established blog, which saves the buyer the time and expense of building a new site from the ground up. These sites may also be making money or getting traffic, which gives the new owner an immediate boost. Domain names become available for sale for a variety of reasons. Some may have been purchased as original names but never used, while others may represent websites that were developed but abandoned when a business closed, or a user stopped maintaining the site and renewing the domain name. Some become available because of a practice called cybersquatting, in which marketers buy up large numbers of available domain names to take them out of circulation and then resell them for higher prices. Buyers can purchase an existing domain name in several ways. Domain name auctions make names available for bids that can begin at less than $10 and range into the thousands for an especially desirable, keyword rich name. Domain name marketplaces also list names that are either expired or placed up for sale by owners or domain name marketers, so that users simply find a name they want and pay the purchase price. It’s also possible to approach the owner of a domain name directly and offer to buy it in a private transaction. Buying an existing domain name brings benefits, but these domains may also come with baggage. Potential buyers need to do their due diligence to make sure that they’re buying a name that’s not associated with a website that has a dubious reputation, or one that’s infected with malware or filled with backlinks to bad sites. Purchasing an existing domain name gives a buyer outright ownership of the name. But, it still has to be registered under the new owner’s name with the appropriate fees paid to a registrar or hosting company, and the new owner becomes responsible for renewing the registration at the appropriate time. Your domain name sets the tone for your online presence, and finding the right one can take time and effort. But, with options ranging from entirely free to five figures or more, anyone on just about any budget can buy a domain name to launch a business or a brand. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. The post How to Buy a Domain Name appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Everything You Need to Know About Domain Management

Your domain name is the core component of your online presence—the address of a piece of online real estate that belongs only to you or your business. Choosing the right domain name and registering it are essential first steps for securing your company’s online home, but they’re not the only ones. To stay updated and secure, a domain needs ongoing management, whether it’s a single domain owned by a new entrepreneur or part of a large portfolio of domains owned by a large corporation. Every domain name owner needs to practice some form of domain management—and a wide range of domain management services and tools can help users with tasks ranging from keeping domains updated and secure to tracking performance with sophisticated analytics. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. What Is Domain Management? Domain management, or domain name management, refers to the ongoing tasks of keeping a personal or corporate domain (or domains) stable, secure, and able to support related websites. The domain name not only establishes its owner’s presence on the Internet, it also serves as a portal to a business or personal website designed to serve that owner’s unique needs. Site owners may be tempted to focus all their attention on setting up and maintaining the website itself, but managing the domain is a key factor in keeping the website live and accessible. Securing a domain requires only a few steps. Finding the right domain name can take some time and thought, plus the help of online tools to search available names, but once a name has been picked, all that’s needed is to register it either with an independent registrar or a web hosting company for a term of one or multiple years. Once registered, the name is assigned to a host’s primary and secondary nameservers, which point the domain to a website. Individual users and small businesses might find that a single domain name is all that’s needed to establish an online presence and develop a brand. Larger corporations and those with a number of different business interests may need multiple domains. Many registrars recommend buying as many related domain names as possible to keep them from being used by competitors and to capture all possible variants that might be typed in during a search—including misspellings. That can result in a large portfolio of domain names, some of which may never be used. Whether a user buys one domain or many, though, ongoing management keeps them updated and working to support the websites they serve. How Does Domain Management Work? Domain management can take various forms, depending on a domain owner’s individual goals and needs. But, in general, a domain owner needs to be able to perform essential tasks such as renewing or terminating domain name registration, determining nameservers and hosting providers, and making changes to domain names if needed. Because a domain establishes its owner’s online identity, managing that domain can also include checking for similar names that might be harmful to a brand’s reputation or authority, or tracking analytics to see how it performs in searches. Another key part of domain management involves security—validating IP addresses associated with the domain and checking for suspicious access to the domain. Domain Management Tools and Options Essential domain management tools are available either through the registrar, or they can be integrated into the control panel provided by a web hosting service. These tools offer a graphical, non-technical way to manage settings related to maintaining all the domains on a user’s account. These DIY management tools allow users to handle key tasks such as renewing or terminating domain registrations, validating IP addresses, and configuring nameservers. A variety of paid and free domain management tools online can also handle essential tasks such as registering and renewing domains, managing multi-domain portfolios, and tracking domain performance. Some may also include domain name generators and other tools for managing multiple registrars and nameservers, and for keeping domains secure. Available through the cloud or downloadable to a user’s own desktop, these tools allow users to control all aspects of domain management on their own. Domain management can also be outsourced—this is an appealing option for users with multiple domains or corporations with a large domain portfolio. Domain Management Services Because businesses of all sizes often buy multiple related domain names with different extensions, they can end up with a large portfolio of domains, some of which may lie dormant for long periods of time or never be used at all. Others may be associated with different nameservers or with hosting accounts that have varying terms of renewal. To manage a large and diverse collection of domains, corporate users may turn to domain management services, which offer a variety of service plans for tracking and maintaining all the active and inactive domains in the portfolio. Domain management services use their own suite of domain management tools to handle domain registrations and renewals, review the portfolio and delete unused and unneeded domains, and maintain domain security. With sophisticated analytics for tracking unauthorized uses, site performance, and other key metrics, these services can work with clients to address issues and make changes to existing domains or the portfolio as a whole. While domain management services are widely used by larger businesses, they can also be a useful solution for busy domain owners running small- or medium-sized – businesses, or even individuals who don’t want to manage domains themselves. A domain name secures a user’s “realm of authority” on the Internet and makes it possible for individuals and businesses to create an online presence. Whether you’re a solopreneur, a small business, or a large corporation, managing your domain—or your domain portfolio—is as important as managing your website. For users of all kinds, domain management tools and services can help keep domains secure and stable, long after they’re purchased and registered. Domain.com has the tools you need to continue building your business into a success. The post Everything You Need to Know About Domain Management appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Pages

Recommended Content