What is a domain name? And why do you need one for your business?
Long gone are the days where business was conducted by phone, fax and endless files of paper. As the past two decades have slipped by, paper-based administrative duties within the office have seen a decline and communications have taken on a whole new appearance. Though many offices still have a large number of anchored phones (complete with cord!), the majority of them go untouched as we have turned to Skype and email to keep in touch with business associates and clients alike.
And so the age of digital business was born.
Today’s customer doesn’t have to go to great lengths to find the business they’re looking for. A simple Google search will point them in the right direction and there’s an abundance of comparison websites and infinite amounts of online conversation which will help them decide on which company is the best place for them to part with their (digital) money. Barclaycard found that online spending is in fact increasing on average by 11% each year, with more people than ever taking to their smartphones and other mobile devices to do their shopping.
Last year a reported £100 billion was spent by online shoppers in the UK alone; did your business see a portion of that revenue? The answer may be no; surprisingly as of 2014 more than half of small businesses still didn’t have a website. Considering the online business boom shows no sign of slowing down, the time is now to make sure your presence is felt online. It’s quick, it’s easy and it doesn’t have to be super expensive.
This is where domain names come in…
All online business journeys begin with a domain name. What is a domain name I hear you ask? It’s what google.co.uk is to Google; what facebook.com is to Facebook and what UK2.net is to us: a signpost for internet browsers which acts as a gateway to your website. Each domain name is a representation of an IP address which is assigned by your domain registrar (that’s us!) as a way of identifying where your website data is stored.
A domain name is the creative part of your web address, which for many businesses is the brand name. There is a finite number of domain names on the internet, so be sure to be as original as possible. If your domain name is similar to another, you run the risk of site visitors ending up at the wrong website, so try to be unique.
Your top level domain (TLD) comes to the right of the decimal point or ‘dot’. Examples of top level domains which are popular choices are .com and .co.uk, but The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has rolled out a series of new generic top level domains (gTLDs) as part of their ‘New gTLD Program’, which give you more choice and opportunity to find the perfect domain for your business. gTLDs range from industry specific web endings like .plumbing and .catering, to miscellaneous endings such as .xyz and .website. You can browse the available gTLDs on this page and find the perfect fit for your site.
Once you have decided on the domain name you want, you can check if it’s available over on our domains page (click here!). When your chosen domain name is secured, you can then take a look at the web hosting packages on offer. You can then power up your website and deliver it quickly and securely to your customers. From there, our website builder can make things look pretty with just a few clicks; our drag-and-drop feature makes web design a doddle, and all your pages will automatically be optimised for mobile use!