What Is A Domain Name: Easy
A domain name is a combination of alphabetical characters and numbers used to find any site on the Internet. Its what users type in the address bar to go to the webpage. For example, our domain name is tranzzo.com, and thats like our identification on the web. In simple terms, the Internet is like a huge parking space with zillions of cars. If you want to leave your vehicle there, you need to buy your own parking place with a memorable and easy-to-pronounce name. Why is it so important to come up with a sweet-sounding name that isnt hard to remember? Thats because a domain is your business identifier. It will distinguish you from millions of other sites on the web. So, double down on creating a one-of-a-kind domain name. Don’t gloss over these tips when searching for your business address:
Lets sum up, your domain should represent your business, so choosing a brand name is an obvious choice. It also must be easy to remember and type in. And just for the record: the more often users write your domain name in the search bar, the more authority points from Google your website gets. Thats crucial to boost your search engine ranking. So, dont go over the top with sophisticated phrases and catchy words but opt for something simple. If you have a hard time making up a great site address, leverage one of these domain name generators: NameMesh, Domain Wheel, Nameboy or Blog Tyrant.
Why A Good Domain Name Is Important
A domain name is your unique identifier among billions of other websites on the web. Thats why having a memorable and easy-to-type name is essential for having an online presence.
Your domain name serves as an extension of your personal or business name. In that sense it:
- Improves recognition and awareness.
- Adds extra credibility to your venture.
- Eventually boosts visitors recall.
Also, choosing a good domain name is important for SEO. Several years ago exact match domains were all the rage, but today most people choose brandable domain names.
Memorable domain names get typed to Google more frequently. Algorithms keep track of that and assign more authority to your website. As the branded search volume grows, your domain name earns extra authority points, so that it gets easier to rank for related keywords.
With that being said, lets move on to the how-to part.
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Different Types Of Domain Name Extensions Available
Today there are thousands of different domain name extensions for you to choose from. Luckily, not all of these will apply to your website, so theres no need to get overwhelmed in your search for the perfect TLD.
Heres a breakdown of the most common domain name extensions available today that you can use for your new website:
- .com This is by far the most popular and commonly used TLD. It was initially created for commercial organizations, but there are no restrictions on who can utilize this extension.
- .net This extension is shorthand for the word network and was initially created for companies dealing with networking technologies and internet infrastructure. Today there are no restrictions on who can utilize this domain extension and its typically the number one choice after .com.
- .org This extension was first created to be used by nonprofits. However, this is no longer enforced and is a common TLD for education-based websites, schools, and more.
- .co This is a relatively new extension, but youll come across this one a ton in the startup space. Its become known as the domain name extension that represents a company.
There are probably dozens of other domain name extensions thatll apply to your new website.
When you register a domain here at HostGator, youll be able to see which domain name extensions are available. For example, heres a quick look of the available extensions for the domain bakecookies.com:
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Buy Similar Domain Names
Purchase easy misspells and other popular TLDs if they are available to keep anyone from squatting on your business name.
This could be costly later once you have built up a brand and the domain squatters know that you dont really have any negotiating leverage.
I once worked with a global brand that had to spend a couple of thousand dollars per domain name to successfully reclaim domains that could have been purchased for a few dollars when they first launched.
Choosing Your Domain Extension
As you can see, theres a lot that goes into a simple domain extension. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of why domain extensions are so important and how you can ensure you pick the right extension for your website as you do your domain registration.
Choose the wrong domain extension and youll detract from your brand as a whole and deter your target audience. But, choose the right TLD and youre on your way towards a strong and memorable online brand. Use the information in this post to ensure that you always choose the best TLD possible for your new online projects.
Remember, just like choosing the right domain name takes a lot of time, so will finding the right domain extension. Your domain and your TLD work together to help create a unique and memorable domain name.
For help finding the best web hosting package or domain name for your website, contact HostGator.
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What Happens If I Dont Renew My Domain Name
If you didnt set auto-renewal or forgot to manually do so despite the reminders from your domain registrar, your domain name will expire. This means several things:
- Your website will no longer be accessible by anyone who types your URL.
- The domain name will be available for sale again, typically in 30-days or so after expiration.
- It can also be auctioned on a website domain auction.
In essence, failure to pay a renewal fee means lost access to your domain.
Why Are There So Many Domain Extensions
Simply put, ICANN has been in control of domain namespace since 1998. Realizing the Internet needed to expand to fit what was happening ICANN launched the New gTLD Program in 2011 to expand the Internet namespace.
Essentially this afforded organizations and companies the ability to apply to operate its own top-level domain. These new TLDs would benefit the global Internet community by providing people with more meaningful and memorable domain names to access Internet resources. So, in reality, they are trying to make certain companies and industries easily recognizable online by giving them new domain extensions and custom domain extensions.
Even though the application process was a tough one, by the end of 2017 more than 1,200 new top-level domains have been delegated to the Internet. If you add that to what was already there you see how we easily hit the over 1,500 top-level domain mark.
This opened the door for people to more easily choose the best domain name related to what they were doing.
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How Domain Extensions Can Help Your Business
There are many ways to use domain extensions for creative branding, marketing, and customer engagement. With so many options available today, you now have the option to use domain extensions creatively to better represent what type of business it is that youre running.
For example, you could use a .blog domain for your blog, a .shop domain for your online store, or a .city domain for your business in a specific city. You could also use an industry-specific domain to target a particular industry or a brand domain to promote your brand.
Lets look at some specific examples of how you might leverage the wonderful variety of new domain extension options below.
The Internet Just Got A Whole Lot Bigger
Did you know that there are other domain extensions besides .COM, .NET, and .ORG? Many people are surprised to find out that are the now hundreds of options when it comes to choosing a domain for your website. Some domain extensions are dedicated to specific purposes, like .MOBI for mobile websites. Others are geared towards specific industries, like .TRAVEL for the travel industry or .JOBS for HR departments.
Beyond these “generic” top level domains, there are also country code domains, which are extensions based on specific countries or geographic locations. Some extensions like .TV, .ME, .CC, and .WS are open for anyone to register while others, like .IN and .JP, are restricted only to those who live or work within their associated countries.
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A Trusted Domain Registrar For Over 25 Years
Many web hosting companies provide domains as part of their hosting packages. At DreamHost, we offer many great benefits for people looking to register a domain name. We have competitive pricing on all our domains and free WHOIS privacy protection on select domains.
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To check if a domain name is available on DreamHost, you can use our Domain Name Search tool. Simply enter the domain name you want to register, and well let you know if its available:
If the domain name is available, you can add it to your cart and begin registration. However, if the domain name is already registered, youll need to choose a different one for your website.
In most cases, youll be able to pay for your domain monthly or yearly. Once your payment is processed, your domain will be registered, and youll be able to start building your website.
At DreamHost, we give you a free domain name when you purchase an annual web hosting plan. However, you can also buy a domain from DreamHost without having a hosting plan with us.
We offer competitive pricing on all of our domains, so you can register the perfect domain name for your website without breaking the bank. You can also transfer your domain name to DreamHost if youre unhappy with your current registrar.
What Stops Anyone From Making Their Own Top
I know that domain extensions are registered through corporations like IANA, but what physically stops anybody with the technical know how simply making their own .whatever extension? I have little knowledge of networking and DNS, but why cant someone just set up their own server and host whatever they like?
- Nothing. Get your own DNS infrastructure and set it up. Other people probably won’t be able to access it, though. Esoteric Screen NameMay 10 ’13 at 13:56
- Like Esoteric Screen Name said, nothing is stopping you aside from not having a wide adoption rate. There are a few pseudo TLDs that are floating around right now. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.onion
Well, “nothing” when it comes to your own machine or your own local LAN. You can host your machines with whatever domain names and extensions you like with your own DNS server running on your own network.
Things change when you want to have your machines accessible over the Internet with the domain names and extensions of your choice. WHY? Because, every domain extension has to have a ROOT DNS server managed by IANA with the help of ICANN and the root zone maintainer which is Verisign currently.
Why is the ROOT DNS important? Suppose, you want to have your custom domain extension as .day. Now if I enter in my browser to reach your web server my ISP’s DNS server would fail to resolve the domain from their cache.
Just don’t do it – use a real domain name that you own instead.
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Can A Domain Extension Be Changed
Wish you had chosen a different domain extension for your website?
You can change it by setting up a 301 redirect. 301 redirects let search engines know that the page you want to send visitors has moved.
First, youll need to register your new domain name and create a clone of your site using the updated extension. Then youll redirect all of your URLs to the latest version.
Heres a handy tutorial on redirecting your WordPress site to a new domain.
Changing your domain name can temporarily affect SEO. But if you do them right, your rankings should be back to normal quickly.
Choose An Extension That Suits Your Websites Content
Another mistake people make is choosing a domain extension that doesnt match their websites content. For example, if youre creating a website about travel, you wouldnt want to use a .net domain. Instead, .travel would prove a much better fit.
Choosing an extension that accurately represents your websites content is important to avoid confusion and ensure that people can find what theyre looking for.
We recommend thinking about your websites purpose and who you want to reach with it. This will help you narrow down your options and choose an extension relevant to your content.
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How To Get A Domain Name From Namecheapcom
Namecheap is another popular website for buying domain names and getting website hosting. As their domain name prompts, they often have a lot of good deals and somewhat lower annular prices than GoDaddy, for example.
So if you love a good bargain, heres how to buy a domain name via Namecheap.
Step 1: Run your desired domain name search first and review available options. Namecheap has a really huge collection of new TLDs such as .art .digital, .luxury among 400+ other options.
Also, if your name isnt available or youd like to get some more ideas, switch to their advanced search view aka the Beast Mode:
As you can see from above, you have a lot more features to play with such as price range, suffix/prefix, and so on. This can help you drill down to that perfect domain name that is short, memorable, available, and yet cheap!
Step 2: After youve chosen the best contenders, proceed to your cart to start the checkout process. At this point, you can also add some extras and customize your order:
With Namecheap, you get a lifetime free WHOIS protection for every domain name, plus they recently added a bonus premium DNS offer . When you enable it, your domain gets yearly protection against DNS/DDoS attacks , plus ultra-fast global DNS response. This gives you some extra leverage in terms of your website speed.
On top of that, you can select some affordable up-sells such as:
Also, you can play around with your renewal. Namecheap provides a small discount for 2+ years.