Domain names are the “addresses” to find the website or webpage. It is what is type into the browser address bar.
The internet is a global connection of computers, and websites. Websites are “hosted” on servers around the globe. This enables the sites to be available all the time (unless the server “crashes”). Computers have an IP address, a specific code, which is the identification. Website addresses are a string of numbers, which is therefore hard to remember. Domain names make it easier to identify the site url – Uniform Resource Locator.
TLD or Top Level Domain, is the part of the domain name that comes after the dot. Some TLDs examples are .com .net .org
The most common domains are .com and it is generally preferable to use a dot-com domain. Most people will type in .com automatically when putting the url in to the address bar.
Country Code TLDs
These are specific to countries. For local businesses, and businesses operating in a specific country, the TLD of the country is preferable. .uk for United Kingdom, .au for Australia etc More versions of TLDs have become available, including .tv .name .me .health .club .biz .site .xyz .store .shop .io .global .live .site .news With the many TLDs available now, there are other options when domain names have already been taken with the .com TLD, although the .com still remains the preference.
Choosing Domain Names
It is beneficial to have a short domain name, no more than two words if possible. Three can suit if the words are not too long and the phrase flows.
It is best to not use words that have tricky spelling and might be mis-spelt. It is also beneficial if the domain name is something that is easy to say and recall, and doesn’t need explaining or spelling out.
Domain Name Assets
Some domain names have become lucrative investments. The owners of domain names can on-sell the name, and purchasers are sometimes prepared to pay substantial amounts to obtain specific domain names for their business. Even if there is no website on a domain it can be valuable if it is a sought after name.
Domains and Social Media
Lately there has been a bit less emphasis on domain names and websites, as many businesses focus on their social media platforms. In some cases, the social media accounts are used as substitutes for domains and websites. The domain, and the website, is still used to validate the business and to build trust. It can be a digital version of a business card. As well as showcasing a business, domains and websites are also used to host news channels, ecommerce stores, present sales funnels, and provide information services.
An important difference between having a site on your own domain name and having your business positioned on a social media platform is ownership. If the business is primarily on social media it is vulnerable to the whims and possible policy changes of that platform. The social media account is owned by the social media provider (Facebook, Instagram etc). Your domain and website are your property.
Domain Names And Business Startup
The low entry cost has made the process of starting a business much more attainable. Building a business online does not require large capital outlay. Historically considerable capital has been needed to start bricks and mortar businesses. It is costly to take out a lease on premises, perhaps pay for franchise purchase and fees, fit out a store or other business premises, buy stock in bulk etc. The cost to start a business online can be minimal, with the purchase of a domain name and hosting, business registration, and perhaps some online advertising costs. It is possible to start an online business for under $100. Step one, consider your business name, checking that the business name is available, and purchase domain name.