What is a domain?
A domain name is a unique address that can be used on the Internet. It is the address name you see after the “www.” which indicates typing that name into your web browser will take you to a website. Every domain has a suffix or Top-level Domain (TLD) to identify domain names on the internet, such as: .com, .org, .edu, etc. Or country specific domains, such as .mx for Mexico and .us for the United States.
How does it work?
First you have to register your desired website domain name through a “domain registrar company”. Your domain name has to be unique and no one else can own it. When domain names are registered, they are added to a large domain name register.
Registering a domain name does not automatically activate a website. To make your domain name accessible to the World Wide Web, you need a web hosting service. 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. Your domain name and its associated IP address are stored in a common database along with every other domain and associated IP address that are accessible via the Internet.
Most popular domain and hosting providers are:
How to choose a Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is the most important step for any individual, business or organization. When choosing a domain name, it is important to consider the purpose of a domain name, which is to provide an easy way to reach your web site.
Here are 5 tips when choosing your domain name:
1. .com extension
The .com TLD (top-level domain) is by far the most widely accepted and popular extension for a domain name. By default, “.com” is the first extension that most people try when searching for a Website. So if a visitor doesn’t remember your full business’s domain name, they will likely type .com afterwards. Having a .com can capture this traffic. If the .com domain is occupied and you do want to keep that extension, make a small change to the first part of the domain by adding or removing a character. The next most popular domain extensions are:
2. Short name
A short domain name is easier to type, read, and remember. Try to find a domain name that only has one possible spelling and remember the shorter the domain name gets the easier it is to remember. Most people cannot spell so make it easy for your website visitors to remember by choosing a domain name without a confusing spelling.
Also avoid long hyphenated names or numbers between words. They make people forget where the hyphens or numbers go and this may cause your visitor ending up in the wrong website.
Short domain names examples:
Choose a domain name that is full of keywords that are related to your website. Look for specific terms, common words or short phrases that your customers or prospective customers may commonly type into a browser. Remember, your domain name should explain what your site is about. For example: creditcheck.com, coupons.com, rentalcars.com and solarenergy.com
The more unique a domain name is the easier it is to remember. Think about branding and name recognition. Don’t try to make your domain name similar to some existing ones. Having a name very similar to a popular site already owned by someone else is a bad idea. For example: facebook.com, groupon.com, vimeo.com, etc.
Also, you may want to think about register your own first and last name as your domain name if you are a consultant, writer, or have a personal or portfolio website. This will help you build a reputation in your field of work.
5. Other extensions (suffix)
Protect your brand with other extensions. If you find your domain name with .com extension it would be a good idea to register as many of other extensions available as a defensive measure. This will prevent other people to purchase a domain name like yours and probably steal some traffic from you. Also, you can redirect the other extensions to your .com domain in case people type the wrong extension of your domain name.
The next most popular domain extensions are:
The domain you use for your web site can have a huge impact in the way that humans and search engine spiders perceive it. Competition for domain names is higher than ever so there is a chance that your perfect domain name has been taken. This is why it is essential that before you even start your web site, you spend a good amount of time choosing the right domain name. Follow this tips and good luck in your domain name searching.