Why Every Small Business Should Own A Domain Name
? You should buy a domain name.
A domain name is the address for a websiteyouâre reading this article on zapier.com, for example. Registering a domain name isnât expensive, typically costing around $15 a year.
Some businesses use the free subdomains offered by web hosts like Wix or WordPress.com. If Zapier went this route, for example, you could be reading this article on zapier.wordpress.com, and weâd have an extra $15 a year to spend on snacks.
Obviously, it would be silly for a tech company like Zapier not to have a dedicated domain name. Weâd look amateurish. Hereâs the thing, though: this is true for every business. You should buy a domain, even if you donât plan on having much of a websiteor any website at all. Hereâs why.
Speaking of WordPress: hereâs the , just in case youâre thinking about choosing one or the other. And here are .
Why Should You Buy An Expired Domain
An expired domain can offer two major benefits: authority and backlinks. A website with relevance can either act as a great source to pass on link authority or can be used again with refurnishing.
Even though an expired domain can be useful in multiple ways, not all of them are equally beneficial. You need to closely examine these domains for any penalty and other technical aspects. Let us look at a small checklist for buying an expired domain.
What If My Domain Is Already Taken
If someone already has your domain, you might still be able to buy it, but it will cost more. This is because instead of buying it from a registrar for a standard price, youll have to buy it off of whoever has it. Many people register domains they think could be profitable and then sell them on domain marketplaces like Sedo and Afternic. You can try searching those services if you need that specific domain.
The cheaper thing to do though is to try a different top level domain . There are many mainstream ones like .org, .net, and .co, but also some more obscure ones like .xyz, .biz, and .business. Often these wont be taken, and you can find a domain with the same name by buying one of these.
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But What About Search
Using a new domain ending wont hurt your search presence or SEO. Its worth noting that in the eyes of Google and other search engines, all TLDs are equal. A new TLD wont affect your search engine ranking, or put it lower in the list of websites that appear based on a search.
Using a new domain ending wont hurt your search presence.
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Stay Unique And On Brand
A unique domain name can help your website stand out and potentially help you avoid legal trouble. It can also contribute to your marketing efforts. In fact, if your site represents a larger brand, you would be wise to consider your domain name as youre creating the brand name itself.
If youre a self-employed individual, you can still consider your body of work and your website as part of your personal brand. For instance, if you run a private therapy practice, an original yet branded domain name might include your full name and field. In this scenario, a strong URL might read something like: janesmithpsychology.com.
Another powerful way for businesses to reach a local audience is by including geolocation within the domain name .
Related: How to Tell Your Brand Story
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Choose A Brandable Name
We all know that branding is crucial to long-term success, but what exactly makes a domain name brandable? There are many factors that come into play here, but the most important ones are as follows:
- A brandable name has no specific meaning .
- Its unique your competition doesnt use anything similar.
- Its easy to memorize not too wordy, no complex vowel combinations.
- Its easy to pronounce and dictate over the phone.
- It sounds trustworthy some names can be a little shady by definition, for instance, WinTheLotteryToday.com may be too bold, but Lotterio.com sounds way better.
To make the brainstorming process easier, you can experiment with some combinations of actual words and random suffixes, like I did with the Lotterio.com example above. The main goal here is to create a potential for the domain name to build brand value over time.
In other words, as much as possible, try making sure the name has a good ring to it. It should be fun to say out loud, and not difficult to memorize immediately. Think about the likes of Uber: Its short and snappy, and theres no confusion as to how to spell it even when mentioned in passing in a conversation.
Why Buy A Org Domain
As someone who wants to launch a new website, why should you opt for a .org domain extension when there are so many other choicesespecially considering that the .com extension is the global favorite?
There are many cases in which a .org domain can work better for you than many of the alternatives. It all comes down to what kind of website you plan to run and the types of services or activities you intend to offer. Here are a few cases where having a .org domain extension might make sense for you:
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Domains Should Be Short And Easy To Spell
A short domain name is easier to remember and easier to type. If your domain is more than about 12 characters then the chances are fewer people will remember where to find your website after their first visit.
You should also avoid using alternative or unusual spellings in your domain name, as this too has the potential to confuse people. For example, a punning baking blogger might consider thebreadryeter.com as a domain, but it wouldnt be a good choice as people who hear it spoken aloud could easily end up visiting thebreadwriter.com.
If a domain name youre thinking of buying could easily be mistaken as being something else, you should probably choose another one.
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Choose A Domain Registrar
First, you need to select an ICANN accredited registrar to register your name through. This registrar isnt the same as your web host.
Your DNS host connects visitors to your website through your domain name, while your website host gives you a space for your website. Your DNS host is like a phonebook, while your website host is like your landlord.
When selecting a registrar, consider:
- Fee structure: Each registrar has its own fee system. The average domain name costs $10$20 a year .
- Any additional services your registrar offers: These may include domain parking and domain privacy. Domain privacy hides your name, contact details, and business details from your websites public listing.
- The registrars expiration policy: Youll need to check you can secure your domain long-term.
- The registrars transfer policy: You may want the flexibility to change registrars or sell your domain later.
- Whether the registrar offers aSecure Socket Layer certificate: This digital certificate encrypts your website connection and protects visitors.
Read Also: Which Domains Are Most Reliable
Consider Experimenting With Non
As mentioned in No. 1, these days you can get yourself a multitude of different TLDs that werent available just a couple of years ago.
For example, you can get domain extensions such as: .shop, .club, .store, .blog, .design, .xyz, and so on. Also, you can experiment with some of the TLDs that were originally intended to be local TLDs, but, because of their unique appearance, can be used for various other purposes as well. These are domain extensions such as .is, .io, .fm, .it, .ly, .cc and others.
Just to give you an example of the latter, if it makes sense for your brand and intended name, you can try making it seem as though the whole domain, including the TLD, is one complete expression. You can achieve that by choosing your TLD creatively. For example, Microsoft Translator is available under translate.it thats the whole domain name and quite a creative use of the Italian TLD, .it.
However, the thing with these TLDs is that not every domain registrar offers them. Currently, GoDaddy gives you access to the largest catalogue.
Nevertheless, if youre after some specific TLD, its still smart to shop around with other registrars, too. Heres our other resource, where we talk about the top registrars in the market, plus some of the TLDs they offer.
Who Can Own A Au Direct Domain
Any Australian can register for a .au direct domain name. All you need is to show proof of your Australian presence. Suitable proof could include:
- An individual with proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency
- A business entity that is registered in Australia
- Australian registered associations and government entities
Unlike registering other domain names, you do not need to have an ABN or ACN to register a .au domain. This means that Australian-based individuals can register a uniquely Australian namespace for the first time.
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Dont Buy A Dropped Domain Unless You Aware Of The History Of The Domain
I once saw a real estate website that had formerly been a Japanese adult site. Even if any penalties or negative association had been scrubbed in search engine ranking algorithms, you can imagine that the backlinks to that site were not pretty.
Theres no reason to be affiliated with negative topics when there are so many potential domains in the world.
Register Your Corresponding Social Media Handles
Social media is key these days whether we like it or not.
The average web-connected human , and, in total, a month. Thats BILLION.
What Im trying to say is: People are much more likely to check whats going on with your brand on Facebook than by actually visiting your website. This is just one of the reasons why you absolutely have to have your professional profiles set up on the most popular social media sites.
Whenever possible, get the same handles as your domain name. If these are taken, be creative and use some suffixes or prefixes. Some options: now, daily, hq, get, app. For example, my fictional Lotterio.com brand could go by LotterioHQ on Twitter.
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Dont Believe That Boring Is Brandable
And why will there always be another domain name? Because the domain name should always follow the successful business. Sure, you have to have something to start out with but it doesnt have to be perfect. And it doesnt even need to make sense. Why?
Because first, boring domain names are just that boring. Who wants to get books from bookstore.com or search the Internet at searchengine.com or buy jackets from wintercoats.com.
No! We buy books from Amazon, search the Internet at Google, and buy jackets from TheNorthFace.com.
Thats because domain names are really memory hooks if a customer knows your business, then theyll know your domain name .
Lock The Domain So It Cant Be Stolen
Even though it may seem odd at first, domain hijacking actually happens more often than youd imagine.
Not going into the boring technical details, your domain can be stolen via several means. Most commonly, this involves either hacking your password or convincing you to give out your password via a phishing attack, plus some other fun things.
Basically, if someone gains access to your registrars user account, they can do whatever they wish with your domains.
Some domain registrars offer a feature in which they keep your domain in Registrar-lock status, which prevents unauthorized attempts at domain transfers. In this state, your registration information and DNS configuration cannot be changed until you unlock your domain name.
Luckily, enabling this option is often very easy and only requires you to select a specific box in your registrars user panel. Heres what it looks like at SiteGround:
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Dont Buy The Domain If Its Not For A Unique Site
Heres a typical scenario youve got an existing website. You have new content, or new products that you want to promotebut it does not quite fit under the domain that you have.
You consider buying a new domain name for that new content or new product instead of using your existing domain.
Dont buy that new domain just yet.
Why? Well, you will be starting from ground zero in terms of audience, search engine indexing, and content. If you use your existing domain, youll get to build off its existing equity.
However, other companies/bloggers/people obviously do this all the time , so whats the best practice? Here we go
- If the new site has a 100% different target audience, voice, or brandthen buy the domain name.
- If the new site is a one-off content feature if the content appeals to the same type of people who read your site now if its really just a categorization issue for youdo not buy the domain.
- Instead, look at ways that you can expand the description of the site to catch that one-off topic because you arent writing for a topic, you are writing for the types of people who are interested in that topic.
- If you dont have a whole new audience, dont buy the domain, especially because it is usually associated with Rule #2.
A Strategic Approach To Choosing The Perfect Domain Name
Your URL offers a chance to leave a good first impression. Thats why a strong domain name is essential for the success of your website. So, if youre ready to land that perfect domain name, remember these handy tips and click below to start your search today.
About the Author: Stefanus Hadi, Ph.D.
Stefanus Hadi, Ph.D., is Product Research Manager at DreamHost. He is responsible for directing and managing the companys partnerships with various domain registries, including those that control TLDs like .com, .online, .shop, .xyz, .club, .art, .io, .co, .me, and many others. In his free time, Stefanus enjoys outdoor activities, visits national parks regularly, and serves as a member of a Los Angeles high school support group. Connect with Stefanus on LinkedIn:
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Should I Buy A Domain Through Shopify Or Godaddy Etc
I hope you enjoy reading this!Dont forget to share this blog with your friends.
Congrats, you just finished your online store! Now you need one last thing Domain name, here you might be confused about where to purchase a domain name from Shopify or other third-party registrars.
So, let me clear your doubt.
Should I Buy A Domain Through Shopify
Shopify offers two ways to connect a domain with your online store. If you purchase a domain name from Shopify it will automatically connect your store with domain and its very easy to maintain, on the other hand, if you purchase your domain from another registrar you manually have to connect your domain to Shopify store with its only 50% cheaper than Shopify domain.
Pros and cons of buying a domain through Shopify
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How Do Domain Extensions Affect Website Seo
Domain names and extensions can indeed affect your websites SEO. However, its also important to note that there are almost 200 algorithms that Google looks at when ranking a website.
Therefore, dont expect a massive SEO improvement from a change in domain name or extension.
There are other ways a domain name and extension can affect your website.
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Find A Domain Name Your Customers Will Remember
A strong domain name is important for any size business, at any stage of development. It will entice consumers with a snappy slogan or unique title, it should promote a sense of professionalism and satisfaction, and it should separate your business from others in your industry. Think of it like youre deciding on a company logo, because the two should go hand-in-hand. Your domain name must be a reflection of your brand, simple, and memorable.
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Check If Its Not Trademarked Or Already Used
Before you move forward with a specific domain name, check to see if the name is available on social media sites, as well as if there are any trademarks already registered to the name.
To build your brand, its ideal to have the same name across your domain and social networks. This builds familiarity and makes it easy for your visitors, fans, and customers to find you around the web.
Avoid legal issues you should stay away from names that already have trademarks.
How can you quickly check social networks and trademarks for your potential domain name?
Its quite easy with a tool like Knowem. Search your potential domain name itll show you if its available throughout over 25 popular social networks and if there are any trademarks already registered to the name.
If its taken, consider tweaking it so that you can create original social media profiles.