All About Domains

A domain name is the name that represents your company on the Internet. It is often referred as your primary or top level domain.

Here are some important rules to follow when you pick out a domain:

1. It must be short and to the point
2. It must stand out – easy to remember
3. Always try to get a .COM domain. The reason for this is because most people try that first when they type in an website addres. If you are not able to get your .COM, then you can try some other domain endings including .biz, .org, .net .info. My favorites are .net and .biz.

There are many ways you can use a domain. The most common way is for a blog or website. However, domains are used for much more than that.

A lot of people get a domain to use as their email account. That is what I did when I first started 11 years ago – I got my last name as my domain so my email is natalie@piromsuk.com. Then I directed piromsuk.com to different blog sites over the years.

Have you ever clicked a website address and have been taken to a Paypal or an Eventbrite site to register or pay for an event? This is called a “Parked Domain”. You use it to forward people to another page. It is just used to direct you to another place.

Another way to use a domain is for an affiliate link. Here is an example.

Let’s say my girlfriend starts up a photography class online and she wants me to help her promote it by putting a link on my site. I could earn commission if anyone signed up using my link. The link might be very long and be ugly and confusing. I could make it a lot easier for people to go to her site if I picked an easy domain for that link like ‘happysnapping.com’. That way I could also tell my friends to go to that link and they would likely remember that domain name.

It’s also a good idea to get several domains to help people find your site. If possible, use your company name as the domain name so you can be found easier with search engines.

Let’s take my site for an example. The name of my company is The Web Business Builder. That is a long name and I didn’t want my email to be natalie@thewebbusinessbuilder.com. That is too long for me. So I first picked out the name thewebbb.com as my main domain and I also purchased thewebbusinessbuilder.com, as well, to make it easier for people to find. You can type either of these names in and you will get to the same website.

Here are some more things you might not know about website addresses (found on CNET):

1. You can not use capitol letters in your domain – it always defaults to lowercase.
2. You can not use spaces in your domain or special characters except you can use dashes.
3. A domain can be up to 67 characters long including the 4 characters used to identify the top level domain such as the .net or .com. Don’t every type in the www. before your domain name when registering. Also, you should be able to get to your site regardless if you type in the www. before your domain name.

Another type of domain is an “Add On domain”. These domains are additional domains that you registered and added to your hosting site to use for multiple websites. You can have one hosting account and have multiple websites under that one account.

Now – how do you purchase a domain?

I prefer to use GoDaddy – mainly because their site is user friendly and they have great customer service. A domain runs anywhere from $10-$15 depending on what type of domain you choose. When you pay for your domain – you are only paying for the right to use it – you don’t actually own it. You do have to pay yearly in order to keep your domain.

I hope I didn’t confuse you too much. Picking a domain is the first step of your online adventure!

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