Do you know the importance of a domain name for a small business? A domain name is the starting point of building an online presence for your company. It will help to set the tone of how your customers find your website, think of your business and engage with your brand. There are over 350 million registered domain names worldwide, each associated with a business, organization or individual.
How can you put a domain name to work for your business and stand out in a crowded online market? Let’s take a closer look at what a domain name is, how it works and how you can select and register the one that's right for your business and brand.
When you go to look for a website, you enter a web address into a web browser address bar. This address is also known as a domain name. While computers feature IP addresses – a series of complex numbers – that identify them, these strings of digits can be difficult to remember. Domain names were developed to be used in browsers because they are much easier to recall and type when accessing a website.
Choose a domain name that will appeal to your customers and represent your company well for years to come. Your company name should be in your web address and be sure to keep it simple so it will be top of mind and memorable when people are looking for your website and business. It can be any combination of letters and numbers and can even have a hyphen in it. However, you should avoid underscores and other characters that are hard to remember and may create confusion.
A domain name gives your business instant credibility and puts you in the same online marketplace as your largest competitors. It says that you mean business and helps online shoppers and customers see you as a forward-thinking company that is conveniently accessible online. It is the pathway for people to visit your website, learn more about your business and purchase your products and services.
The right domain will build your brand by creating a strong image for your business and can mean the difference between establishing a vibrant online presence and getting lost in cyberspace. If you publish your site through an internet service provider (ISP), your web address could end up like ISP.com/SuperiorAutoRepair (not very professional) as compared to SuperiorAutoRepair.com. See the difference? Your customers will, too.
Once you learn how to register a domain name, you need to choose the right one for your needs. There are several different types of domain names, which you can use to reflect specific attributes of your business. While a domain name extension like .com or .co is one you will obviously claim, you can also choose domain extensions such as JuliesRoses.florist or AcePutters.golf to identify your industry and distinguish your business. These custom domain extensions (in addition to .com) are another way for customers to remember your business and find your website.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can also select from top-level domains (TLD). For example, many colleges and universities have .edu as an extension, government agencies often include .gov in their domain names and information-based companies sometimes feature .info at the end of their domains. Some organizations use country codes, including .au for Australia and .fr for France.
Domain names, websites and web hosts are different elements of your online presence but they work together to help people find your website and business. When someone types in your web address, a web browser sends a request to a network of web servers throughout the world that is part of the Domain Name System (DNS). After a quick search, these servers locate your website address and request access to your web page.
The server that receives this request and houses all of your website files is managed by your web host. In addition to giving your website a secure online home, your web host has a system in place to gather the data associated with the requested web page and send this information back to the browser that initiated the process. In a matter of a few brief seconds, your web page opens and is ready for viewing.
When you’re ready to purchase and register a domain name, we have you covered but we don’t stop there. More than just proven domain name registrars, we offer one of the easiest drag-and-drop website builders in the business. You’ll also find helpful resources like web hosting, professional email accounts, search engine optimization (SEO) resources and eCommerce options to help you generate online sales and build brand loyalty.
Why not start by selecting a domain name with Web.com right now? It’s fast and easy. After helping over 3 million organizations get up and running online, we are recognized as America’s favorite small business online resource. We understand your challenges and we’re always ready to turn them into opportunities by working with you to develop specific online solutions. Our expert team is always here for you and your business – let us know how we can help.