Which To Decide First Your Business Name Or Domain Name
Naming a new business is hard enough, without having to decide and register a domain name also! I recommend that small business owners first decide on their business or domain name as such:
- If you sell Business to Consumer, decide on your domain name first, because there is a lot of online competition and you want to stand out in search engine results.
- If your company is brick and mortar, decide on your company name first. Domain name options for restaurants and services are adding your geographic location into your URL but not your company name. An example of Vitos Pizzeria and VitoPizzeriaNYC.com .
- If your business is online-based, first decide on your domain name since that will be the name your customers will associate with your brand.
Choose The Right Domain Extension
When picking the extension or TLD for your domain name, .com is still the best choice unless you have a reason to choose something else. Roughly 43% of all domains have a .com extension, making it what people expect to see the most.
While Google confirms that your choice of TLD will not impact rankings, it does affect consumer perception. Many people view other TLDs as less trustworthy.
That said, .net or .org extensions are not uncommon, so they can be good secondary options if you find the perfect name and the coveted .com isnt available.
But if you do decide to go with an extension other than a .com, make sure you take a look at what type of website is currently on the .com extension. Someone is bound to go there accidentally while looking for your brand. If the site holds fishy or offensive content, you might want to steer clear of that name altogether.
Finally, avoid those niche domain name extensions like .space, .club, .pizza, unless you really think theyll enhance your brand.
Difference Between A Domain Name And Web Hosting
Going back to the start of this article, if the domain name is like your physical address then web hosting is like the physical building and the contents stored within.
Domain names are used to create a handy little shortcut to link what visitors type into an address bar to the server thats used to host the website. Theyre entirely digital and stored in a centralized database.
Hosting is a little different because it requires a physical server thats located somewhere in the world and connected to the internet. Its essentially like a computer hard drive that stores all of your websites files and databases. Its called a server because it literally serves your website to your visitors.
When you type a URL into your web browser, it sends a request to the specific server that your site is hosted on. The server then uploads the files and transmits them across the internet to the device that youre using, which downloads the files and displays them. Feel free to have a look at our more detailed guide about domain vs hosting relationship.
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What To Do If Youre Taking An Existing Business Online
Theres less space to be flexible with an existing business, as clearly you cant draw up a list of potential names and then pick one. If you find your business name is still available as a domain name, snap it up as quickly as possible. If its not then you have a couple of options.
Embrace the new domain extensions With so many new domain extensions now on the market, its easier to find a suitable domain name. Consider using a geographically appropriate domain extension such as .London or .Scot, or alternatively, a sector-specific extension such as .cab or .accountants. There are literally hundreds of domain extensions available, making it easier to grab a suitable domain name. Just make sure you dont infringe any trademarks.
Consider rebranding If you cant get the name you want, this may be a good time to rebrand. Its a major step, but it can help your business grow especially if youre offering services in new areas. If you choose to go down this route then youll end up with a list of names to pick from, just as you would if you were starting a new business.
From Domain Registry To Registrant
Now that you understand the different roles in the domain registration process, lets quickly demonstrate how those pieces interact.
1. Domain registry creates a new TLD
The first step in the process is for the domain registry to create a new TLD. For instance, the .world extension was created and distributed by the Donuts Registry.
2. Domain registrars acquire rights to sell the new TLD
After the domain registry creates the extension and sets the guidelines for using the TLD, they negotiate with registrars to sell that domain to the public. Donuts Registry worked with GoDaddy to make .world domain names available on GoDaddys platform.
3. Domain registrants find and register the domain name
Once domain names for the new TLDs become available via the domain registrars, people or organizations can find and register their domain name using that extension.
Each domain name using an extension can only be registered once, so its important to register your domain as soon as possible to avoid losing your domain name.
For instance, if you are a travel organization or travel blogger, you might want to register a domain like see.world.
4. Domain changes travel back up the chain
When the domain registrant makes changes to the domain settings such as updating the DNS records, it must be reported back to the domain registry which stores all the information about the domains using its extensions.
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Get Your Name Servers
Once you register your domain you’ll want to get the names of your web host’s primary and secondary name servers, and save the information in a good place. It is often in the FAQs section on their site, or under a category like “domain name”, “DNS” or “domain name transfer”.
If you can’t find it, email customer service. You’ll need the information to point your domain name to your webhost . If you got your webhost and domain at the same place then you don’t have to worry about this.
Difference Between Business Names Brand Names And Domain Names
Business name. Brand name. Domain name.These three terms are bandied around so interchangeably these days that it would be easy to assume that they are all one and the same. But if you are in the process of starting a new business, there are some key technical differences between these three entities that you need to know. This article will tell you all you need to know about each of these naming assets, how to find out if they are available, and how to acquire them.
What is a Brand Name?
A brand name is a name that you use to identify a family of products or services, or a single line of products or services that a company offers. For instance, Apple is the brand name used on most products manufactured by Apple, Inc. In this example, the business name and brand name are the same.
Your brand name is who you are to your customers. It is the pillar your business’s public image will be built around. If you are lucky, it will become a stand-in for your core business offering.
Uber – A ride-sharing serviceAmazon – Online ecommerce marketplaceGoogle – Search engine
The products or services you offer can also have their own brand names. You will want to create new brand names for products or services that differ from your core business offering.
UberEats – Food delivery by UberAmazon Web Services – Cloud computingGoogle Maps – Web mapping service
What is a Business Name?
Most business names contain the business’s brand name, followed by the company’s chosen business structure.
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How Do You Know Which Nameserver To Use
The hosting company you use for your domain name will determine the nameserver names or IP addresses for your domains zone file.
You will need to update the domain names DNS settings via your domain registrar who will then communicate those changes to the domain registry.
After you make changes to your DNS server settings, it can take up to 48 hours to update worldwide domain name servers. This window is known as propagation.
Tld: Top Level Domains
A top level domain is exactly what it sounds like: a type of domain name which is at the top level of the internets domain name system. There are over a thousand TLDs available but the most common include .com, .org, .net, and .edu.
The official list of TLDs is maintained by an organization called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and can be viewed here. IANA notes that the list of TLDs also includes ccTLDs and gTLDs, which well talk about next.
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Make Sure Its Easy To Pronounce
As easily as your domain name rolls off the tips of your fingers, it should roll off the tip of your tongue.
This makes it easier for visitors to share your domain name by word-of-mouth and makes it easier for you to share your site with friends and potential customers.
You can test this the same way as with the spelling.
Write your domain name on a piece of paper and ask 10 people to pronounce it. If more than a few people struggle to pronounce it, you should simplify it.
Heres what to keep in mind: You want your domain name to be passed along easily by you and others. The only way for that to be possible is if its 1) easy to spell and 2) easy to pronounce.
Should You Consider Domain Misspelling Alternatives
This is another area where trying to be too clever can end up getting you in trouble. Again, you want your domain name to be easy to remember and type, and the best way to ensure that is to keep it simple.
If you try to capitalize on a misspelling in a domain name, you’re likely going to miss out on the people who are actually spelling it correctly, and that could be a huge segment of your audience. In general, your best bet is to avoid complex or misspelled domain names.
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Choose The Best Domain Name Option
When youre checking for available domain names, youll often find that your first, second, and tenth choices are already taken. Some of the different approaches you can take when this happens are:
- Keep searching. Let your creative juices flow, and continue to search until you find something you love or at least like.
- Choose another extension. If the .com isnt available and youre set on a certain name, consider the .net or .org if you think it will work.
- Reach out to the owner. Maybe the domain is already owned, but its not being put to much use. You could reach out to the owner with an offer.
Technical Requirements And Process
In the process of registering a domain name and maintaining authority over the new name space created, registrars use several key pieces of information connected with a domain:
A domain name consists of one or more labels, each of which is formed from the set of ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens , but not starting or ending with a hyphen. The labels are case-insensitive for example, ‘label’ is equivalent to ‘Label’ or ‘LABEL’. In the textual representation of a domain name, the labels are separated by a full stop .
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Instances When Your Business Name And Domain Name Should Not Match
Listed below are situations where matching your domain name and business name are not recommended.
FYI: If you want to change the domain name on an existing website it IS possible. Read my article showing you the steps on how to switch your domain name on all popular platforms such as Bluehost, GoDaddy, Shopify, Wix and Squarespace.
Wondering if your LLC name has to match your business name?
Read my answer complete with tips on LLC names and links to all 50 States LLC name search lookups
How To Transfer A Domain Name
Domain names can also be transferred between domain name registrars. Though there are a few special conditions that must be met:
While it is not mandatory to transfer your domain, having all services in a single place can greatly simplify the management process.
Here on Hostinger, you can perform a domain transfer from any domain name registrars. The process can take somewhere between 4-7 days to be fully completed. However, our dedicated customer success team will be there to assist every step of the way.
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Domain Names Can Communicate Expectations
Sometimes you cant find a great branded domain name or your market is too competitive to earn business through brand recognition. In these cases, you can strategically use your domain name to set consumer expectations and increase click-through rates.
For instance, if you operate a lawn care service in a large city like Tampa, you might find it difficult to grow a brand identity due to the amount of competition. Rather than choosing a branded domain name that few people would recognize, you might get more value by picking a domain name like TampaLawnCare.com.
While you cant trademark the name because it is a general term, it does help you clearly set expectations to your website visitors. Moreover, choosing targeted keywords in your market or industry can help you improve your local SEO.
The Value Of Your Business Domain Name
The Internet has transformed the way small business owners get things done. The revolutionary changes in advertising, e-commerce, and instant communication have transformed business. Whatever business youre doing online, it starts with a domain nameyour unique online address. It identifies you and your business, attracts customers, and is the first impression visitors has of your business. With millions of websites competing for attention, pick a domain name with care.
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How To Choose A Registrar
When you find your perfect .CA domain name, you will need to choose a certified .CA registrar to purchase it from. Here are some things to consider for evaluating which company will best meet your needs.
Prices and promotions
Compare prices to determine how much your domain name will cost and what is included in your purchase. Find out if they bill monthly or annually, and in Canadian dollars. Cheapest isnt always best – you are investing in an important part of your business.
If you’re new to this whole website thing, chances are you’ll have a few questions and run into a few issues along the way. See if your registrar offers 24/7 support, live chat, and other helpful services.
You may need email, hosting, and/or e-commerce to make use of your domain name. You can mix and match services with different companies or keep things simple and use a one-stop shop. See what registrars have deals with web builders, such as a free one-page website or a free trial.
Contact your favourite tech-savvy friend and see which companies they think highly of. If you don’t have any friends, seek out customer reviews and testimonials online.