All About Domains and Domain Registration

To have a WordPress.org website you will need a Web Hosting Account which has servers for your website files and database to be hosted on and a Domain name to use to call it up in a browser. This Module is all about Domain Names.

(Audio Only – See Transcript Below)

Domain Registration

Domain Names

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is an easy way to reach the exact location of a website without having to remember its numeric address which is called an IP address which your site gets from your hosting company.

Registering a domain name does not automatically activate a website that displays when visitors enter your domain name into a Web browser. The domain name must have a hosted website that includes a numeric address, called an IP address, for visitors to access the website using your domain name.

There is an organization that governs the coordination of links between IP addresses and domain names across the Internet no matter where you register a Domain name or where your site is hosted. This standardized coordination allows us to find websites on the Internet by entering domain names instead of IP addresses into your Web browser.

 

Follow these steps to help you pick the perfect domain name.

  1. Make it easy to type
    Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.
  1. Keep it short
    If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.
  1. Use keywords
    Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. For example, if you’re a glass replacement business, you may want to register GlassRepair.com or GlassReplacement.com. Including the keywords that people enter when searching for your products or services can help improve your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) and just makes more sense to your customers.
  1. Avoid numbers and hyphens
    Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
  1. Be memorable
    There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, run it by people first to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
  1. Research it
    Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain! For example, you cannot use WordPress in a domain name since WordPress has been trademarked
  1. Use an appropriate domain name extension
    Extensions, such as .com or .net, come at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long.

Some other top extensions are:

  • .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
  • .info : informational sites.
  • .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
  • .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
  • .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
  • .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.

There are a slew of new generic top-level domains — like .photography, .guru, .email which offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names but since they are new they can confuse people who wonder where the .com is.

  1. Protect and build your brand
    To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
Registering a Domain

Where to register my domain name?

There are no performance issues with Domain Names so you can get them anywhere. Remember you are not buying them. You are paying a yearly fee to register the domain in your name. If you fail to keep up with the payments, you will lose the name.

It is best to register the domain name for more than one year since Google gives sites that have longer registration extra Google points thinking that the business is more serious and less likely to be a spammy fly by night website.

If you’re thinking about registering more than one domain name, you’ve got the right idea. Registering and using multiple domains names is great for building your business, protecting your brand name, and creating a dynamic online identity.

When you register multiple domain names:

  • Keep your competition from registering a similar domain name drawing customers to them instead of you
  • Promote the different products and services you offer
  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Enjoy more opportunities to market to — and be listed in — search engines
  • Create distinct advertising strategies reaching different target markets
  • Provide customers more ways to find you when searching the Internet
  • Capture common misspellings of your domain name, instead of sending visitors to an error page
  • Protect your brand and online identity

When you are choosing a domain name it is similar to choosing a company name —requiring careful thought and consideration.

Your domain name is your identity and address on the web; you want to make sure you choose a name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote.

Pro tip: You don’t need to build a website for every domain. Just forward any additional domains to your primary website.

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