Domain Name Basics
Business websites that are accessible under your own domain name (i.e. www.yourdomainname.com) are generally a better measure of credibility on the Internet…
And certainly much more useful in branding than something like www.myisp.com.au/~mybusiness.html
Having your own domain name means that people will always be able to stay in touch with you!
For example, without a domain, if you change your ADSL/Broadband ISP, you will lose contact with some customers because your email address changes.
With your own domain name, it doesn’t matter which ISP you use, because you continue to check firstname.lastname@example.org – nothing gets lost!
Getting a Domain Name is a two step process…
Step 1. Domain Name REGISTRATION
The first step is to register your desired domain name, which gives you the right to use that name on the Internet. This registration is carried out by using a Domain Name Registrar – companies which specialise in registering and managing domain names.
Naturally, there are many choices when it comes to selecting a Registrar. The prices charged for the services offered vary considerably, depending on the Registrar used, and the type of domain name registered (and the “extra” services they offer to you).
Essentially however, ALL you want from a registrar is the NAME. The other services (usually related to email and hosting) are probably best placed with a different supplier!
When choosing a possible domain name, as always, there are a range of things you need to consider. The most important ones are:
- your legal right to use the name? Don’t jump into a legal minefield by registering something that’s trademarked to someone else!
- is the desired name consistent with the company/product branding you want?
- is it easy to remember – short, catchy, descriptive names will all help customers respond more easily to your offline advertising.
DON’T rush off and register the first domain name that comes to mind – a domain name is more important than most web marketers realize and this article provides some more food for thought on choosing a domain name.
There are various registration alternatives depending on what domain name you want.
* Country Specific Domain Names – eg. .com.au, .co.uk
* Global Domain Names – .com, .org, .net, .info, .biz etc
* Generic Domain Names – .club, .coffee, .farm, .guide, .wtf etc
Once your desired domain name is registered in your name, you own the right to use that name on the Internet, and transfer it to another Registrar if you want to, as long as the registration fee remains paid.
Step 2. Domain Name DELEGATION
The second step is to delegate the domain name to the Domain Name System (DNS) so that you can actually make use of it!
You don’t have to do this straight away after registering your domain.
A lot of people “protect” their domain name from other people stealing it by just registering it. They then delegate it when they are ready to use the name.
So, when you are ready to actually use your name – i.e. you want to use it for email or web pages – you should talk to a web hosting provider to set up a server for you.
As part of that set-up, they provide the names and IP addresses of the Name Servers you need to use.
Then, back at your Domain Name Registrar, you enter those name server details into your domain name records… and then wait for 12-48 hours to allow the DNS to update (or propagate) around the world.
The DNS (or Domain Name System) is the worldwide system which tells people on the Internet exactly where your domain “lives”, so they can access your web pages, or send you email.
The web hosting provider you use does NOT necessarily be the same one you use for ISP purposes, or even for your domain registration.
In fact, you should probably shop around and look for providers who provide a cost effective web hosting service suitable to your business needs.
Once your domain name is delegated to your hosting provider, the “registration” process is complete and you are able to use your domain name for email, and for web pages.
The Next Step?
Once your web hosting has been established, and your domain name has been delegated, the next step is to put up your web pages so people can see your business information through their web browser.
And now you enter the world of the web designer… with options from DIY to completely outsourced
More to come on this soon…
But in the meantime, this article is a useful starting point: