If you are a beginner and are new to the World Wide Web, you might be wondering what a domain name is and why it is important to have one. Most beginners have a flair understanding that a domain name is required to start a website, but they get confused between a domain name and hosting.
If you have a business or planning for a new one, you certainly need an online presence. Taking your business online makes it possible to reach customers beyond a geographic location and operate your business 24/7.
With everyone using the internet for shopping and to hire services, the dynamic of online marketing has changed significantly. One of the proven methods to reach potential customers is to have a well-designed responsive website and an easy-to-remember domain name.
Let us in this article learn about what domain names are all about, how they work, why they are important for your business, and their advantages and disadvantages.
The domain name gives an identity to your business online. It is an address or like a location online, and has a unique IP address. This IP address can be used to access the files added to the website, and to provide mailboxes or FTP. Users need to enter the domain name on a web browser like Internet Explorer or Chrome to access the website.
The domain name of your website acts like is a physical address. It is similar to GPS that needs a pin code or a street name to navigate you to the right address. The web browser requires a domain name to direct the users to a website.
The domain name has two important elements; the name of the website and the domain name extension. You get to choose the domain name based on the availability and pick a domain extension like .com or .in. Let us take Facebook.com as an example. In this, Facebook is the name of the website and .com is the domain extension.
The registrations of all the domains are overseen by ICANN, which is an organization that specifies the availability of domain name extensions. The organization also maintains a complete database of each domain and where these points are.
When you visit a website, it has two important elements – the domain and the webserver. In simple terms, a web server is a physical space where the database and files of your website are stored. The web server hosts the files and displays it on the webpage when someone visits your website.
The domain is the address people need to type in the web browser to access your website. If you do not have a domain name, visitors need to remember the IP address provided by the server to access your webpage online. Remembering an IP address can be a hard task and hence people might ignore visiting your website.
Are you wondering as to what is a domain name and why do I need it? To have a better understanding of how a domain works, we need to have a flair idea of what actually happens when you enter a domain name in the browser.
When you first enter the domain name in a browser, a request is sent to a “network of servers” which is a part of DNS (Domain name system). The servers then check for the name servers that are associated with the domain you entered. A request is then sent to those name servers.
Name servers in simple terms are the computers or the servers that are managed by a hosting company. The hosting company forwards the request to the server where the website is stored (a web server). The web server then fetches the website and all the information associated with it. The data is then sent back to the web browser and you can now access the website.
In simple terms, a domain name has its own importance due to the addressing method of the internet. Like mentioned before, every website online has its unique IP address, which is a unique string of numbers. It is not an easy task to remember the IP address of a website, and hence the domain name system as introduced by the experts. Thus, every unique IP address can use a domain name as a technical shortcut to access the files or the information uploaded to the website’s database.
A domain name can do a lot more than placing your presence on the World Wide Web. It adds credibility and acts as the face of your brand or business. Businesses can choose to publish their website using a free domain name, but a generic one does not drive enough traffic nor does it look professional.
To obtain trust and credibility, businesses need to invest in a premium or paid domain that represents their brand online. Are you still wondering as to what is a domain name and why do I need it? Well, there are many reasons why a domain name is important for a business. Let us have a look at what they are.
By having a unique domain (like a .com or .org) you show your customers that you are putting in the effort to gain their trust. It also reflects how your brand is up–to–date with the changing technologies. Believe it or not, but having a good domain name can easily place you ahead of your competition.
By choosing your own domain for your business, you can easily build up your brand. You can transfer the domain to a different hosting or switch it to use it on your own server. Make sure to buy a domain name for a longer time as you need not worry about building the website and online branding from scratch again.
You can attract more customers by choosing the right domain that suits your product or service. Make sure the domain has your brand name, and a phrase the describes your business. For example, you can choose the word flowers in your domain name if you deal with fresh flowers. Do your own research before you go ahead and pick a domain name for your business.
The right domain name can help build a brand and increases its awareness among people. Like mentioned earlier, when the domain name you choose matches with your brand, it makes it easy for returning customers. It is also easy to spread positive reviews about your brand online or when sharing with friends and family.
In simpler terms, a good domain name can help generate lots of traffic to your website and builds your reputation online. This will in turn help you obtain good conversion rates, sales, and growth.
We have already learned about a few reasons why a domain is necessary. But do you know that a domain name is the easiest way a customer can find your business online? A few advantages of domain names are mentioned below.
When you choose a domain name, make sure it is easy to remember and that it matches your brand name, and the products or services you offer. By doing so, you make it easy for the customers to remember. Websites with short and memorable domain names are easy to find and drive huge traffic. You can check for a relevant domain name online, and register it before anyone else does.
The domain name that is related to your business can help improve the ranking in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This means that customers can easily find your website when searching online, and this increases the chances of them interacting with you. This not only drives organic traffic but improves conversions as well.
The domain name needs to be short and memorable. By choosing a short domain name for your business, you can prevent any errors that might happen when sharing it online or when typing due to misspelling. As per a recent study, the top domain names have approximately 9 characters or less in their domain names.
A domain name establishes your business identity online. A well-designed and user-friendly website with an easy-to-remember domain name tell a lot about your business. You can easily let people know what you do and how you do it. It also helps establish the business niche. You can even use the right domain extension to distinguish your company from your close competitors.
A domain name comes with a lot of advantages but like other good things, there are a few downsides to this as well. However, the same can be avoided by taking proper care, and by implanting security measures.
A domain name when not renewed on time can expire, you can easily lose all the hard work, and the file associated with it. So, make sure you purchase the domain name for a minimum of 5 or 10 years. If not, you can choose the option of auto-renewal and never lose the domain name of your choice.
When registering for a domain name, all the information is shared with ICANN, and the data can be accessed using WHOIS details. So, make sure you choose an option to hide the domain owner details from public view when purchasing the domain. This way you can be safe of identity theft. All the domain name providers provide you with an option to do so.
If you are purchasing a domain for your business or an eCommerce store, make sure you purchase an SSL certificate with the same. By doing so, you can safeguard your information and the information entered by your customers. This is one good way to prevent hacking.
It is important you choose the right hosting services when hosting your website, as the whole website can be down when the server breaks down. This can be quite a disadvantage even when you have a good domain.
Now that you have understood the importance of a domain name for your business, it is time you know about the best place to buy a domain. A domain name can be purchased from a “Domain name registrar.” This is a company that can sell available domain names and is accredited by the ICANN.
Choosing the right registrar for your domain name can be a hard task. You can find a number of websites online, but make sure to choose the best. The domain name registrar you choose needs to have an easy search option and a user-friendly interface. It also needs to suggest the next available domains if the domain name searched by you is not available.
Most of the domain name registrars provide additional services like web hosting, web designing tools, an option to hide the WHIOS details and purchase SSL certificates, and more. You also need to compare the prices of the available domains and choose the provider who provides it at a good price.
Most of the domain name registrar’s provide an offer price when you purchase the domain for more than 2 years. Make sure you choose the auto-renew option when purchasing. Another important factor to keep in mind is the support they provide, and if they allow domain name transfers.
You also need to check for the quality of the DNS provided and have a user-friendly interface. If you are planning to build a simple website all by yourself, you can choose a domain name registrar that provides hosting along with website builders.
The World Wide Web is filled with websites and we have hundreds of websites being hosting every few minutes. However, the right domain name can make all the difference. A domain name signifies how easily a customer can find your product/service/business online via search engines.
A short and memorable domain name leaves a lasting impression on a visitor and there are chances that he/she might visit back in the future. A domain name can,
- Help your business reach the right audience
- Help maintain a brand image and ownership
- Help new customers find your business online
- Help build reputation and presence online
- Help achieve success online and on social media platforms too.
Now that you know the answer to the question, what is a domain name and why do I need it, it is time you do invest in a good domain name for your business. You can even hire the services of a well-experienced web development company that can find the right domain name for your business, create a user-friendly website, host it and take care of online marketing at the same time.
Remember that buying a domain name is the starting step you need to take if you wish to climb the ladder of success online.
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