All online business starts with a domain name, but how do you pick the right one for you?
As things stand in the world of the web, there are currently over 960 million websites live worldwide according to Internet Live Stats. The internet is growing existentially, and businesses who are lacking in a web presence are missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers from around the world.
When getting started online the first thing you need to do is register a domain name. A domain name is like a sign post on the map of the web; your customers can’t visit your site without it. Each domain name corresponds to an IP address, which is assigned to a server when you purchase a web hosting solution. It is possible to register a domain name without web hosting to power it up, but anyone hoping to launch a website using their domain name needs a server to store their web data and serve the website to visitors around the world. Those entities who reserve domain names without web hosting to set them live are known as domain squatters.
So aside from the technical stuff, there are a few things you need to remember when registering a domain name:
Keep it short and sweet
The shorter the domain name, the better. The reason? Your site visitors will find it easier to remember a shorter, sharper domain name, and are less likely to misspell your domain name on the hunt for your website. Keeping the name short is recommended, though it is also important that the domain name still makes sense; the human brain finds nonsense much harder to remember than sensical words. Wondering where all the single-figure domains have gone? Check out this blog post.
Remember your brand DNA
All of your business operations should centre around your brand DNA (need help nailing it down? Check out this blog post). Your domain name is no exception to this rule: if your company is a formal business, keep things corporate in your domain name, while keeping it short.
A trick to cutting your domain name down is to register a new generic top level domain (gTLD). Many industry-specific domain names are now available to register as an alternative to a .com, .co.uk or .net. In the plumbing business? Why not register yourbusiness.plumbing. Likewise, are you a caterer? Perhaps yourbusiness.catering is available where the .com alternative is not. gTLDs are a great way of sticking to your brand DNA and being specific about your product or services.
Make it relevant
First off, you should always try to register your brand name as your domain name. This is standard practice on the web: think google.com, facebook.com and apple.com! Try to snap up the .com and the .co.uk of your brand name for security purposes – you don’t want anyone domain squatting on your brand’s domain, partly because this may affect your online business, but also because the legal procedings to obtain your rightful domain can be lengthy. You can point each domain name towards your site once you have your web hosting solution sorted. Find out more about the domain name system (DNS) and how to point your domains towards your site in this blog post.
There are hundreds of domain name endings on offer to represent your business, and they’re all right here on our domain names page! Once you’ve thought out a couple of domain name ideas, run them through our domain name search and register them as soon as possible.