What is a Domain Name? Why Do I Need One?
You need to register a domain name so that your website has a way to be found on the internet. When using an internet browser, you type in the domain name into the URL search field such as (www.mywebsite.com).
Just like each person in the United States has a unique Social Security Number, each computer on the internet has a unique IP Address number i.e. 127.0.0.1. Every website lives on a computer somewhere that is connected to the internet. The domain name is an easier way for people to remember your website’s location on the internet. Special computers named DNS Servers resolve the URL name such as (www.mywebsite.com) to and actual IP Address so that the computer requesting your webpage can make a direct call to the computer it is located on.
Here are some of the benefits of having a Domain Name:
- it is easily recognizable and easier to remember than the string of numbers – the unique IP Address.
- it gives you the ability to have an email address based on your business name, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org
- it can easily be included in a Corporate Identity Package for the purpose of branding and marketing.
- it is a business asset and can be sold or traded. Some investors buy popular domain names like they were a form of real-estate and then sell them at a later date. For example, you may not be interested in selling cars on the internet but someone certainly is. So if you had the chance to buy the domain name ‘cars.com’ it would be a great investment!
Here are some tips on choosing a Domain Name:
- the shorter the better. People prefer not to have to remember and type out a long URL. We have seen successful companies use domains that have nothing to do with the literal product or service for instance Monster.com is a website for finding jobs… NOT MONSTERS! Amazon.com is a website for buying books, music, and many other products. Amazon.com isn’t a website about the Amazon location or rain forest or jungles, etc.
- If you are buying your name as a URL, i.e. (www.JohnDoe.com) you have the option to buy it for a maximum of 10 years which is highly recommended. Most default settings when purchasing a domain name are for 1 or 2 years with the option to automatically or manually renew.
- domain names are not expensive so it may be a good idea to buy several of the related domains rather than just the .com version. For instance, if you buy cars.com you may also want to buy cars.net, cars.biz, cars.us. Buying the related domains prevents your competition from selecting a similar URL, allows you to later segregate your business’ online infrastructure where you can direct online customer traffic to the .com URL and have your internal network (intranet) using the .net URL. In other words, have your online storefront directed to cars.com where as your internal business networking is on a separate network, cars.net.