Why You Should Register Your Own Domain Name
Your domain name is now a critical part of your business - be it online or offline. It is the unique identifier which your customers will come to know you by. There's a few key aspects to choosing your domain name which are worth thinking about before you go ahead and register your own dot com.
Your domain name is going to be something that's associated with you and your business to take your time on this one. There's nothing worse than having to change your domain name later and have to redirect all your pages, emails and then of course have all your business stationary reprinted with the new domain name on it.
What is a domain name?
It's an alphanumeric (mixture of numbers and letters) representation of a hexidecimal number format. Now that's a lot of computer gibberish for a very simple thing. Each website on the Internet has a unique identifying number called an IP address. An IP address looks like this - 169.254.74.134, which is the IP address of say Amazon.com. Every time you wanted to visit Amazon you'd need to type in this 11 digit number. That's not very user friendly at all is it? To combat this, something called DNS (Domain Name Services) was invented to translate the string of numbers into letters and the modern world of web addresses was born.
So what DNS does is takes 169.254.74.134 and converts it into www.amazon.com. Now everytime you type www.amazon.com into your browser it goes to the IP address 169.254.74.134 but all you see in your web browser is the URL www.amazon.com. Without DNS the Internet would be pretty much unusable - unless you had a photographic memory or were just incredibly good at remembering numbers... or maybe had nothing better to do with your day.
We've just chatted a bit about Amazon.com and how their domain name is now their brand. This is true of whatever domain name you might choose for your project or business. People will quickly identify your business from your domain name and nothing else. Your URL will become your business identity full stop so that's why you should tread carefully here.
A tragic mistake many businesses make when choosing a domain name is to use one of the freebie services available all over the Internet. Let's look at this site for exampe - www.homeofficebuddy.com. It's short and to the point and you know what the site is all about. If this site had been setup with a free host or domain service you'd probably have to type in homeoffice.freewebhosting.com or something similar. Not really professional now is it?
Now let's look past the fact that these free urls are awkward to remember (even tougher to explain to somebody over the phone or in person). Look at what the url might be saying about your business? If you don't invest in a real domain name (.com, .net etc) then what does that say about your business? Realistically it says that you're cheap and don't take your online business presence seriously at all.
Also having your own domain has another added benefit - professional email addresses! Which of these looks better:
Of course the second one looks more professional. It amazes me to see vans and trucks on the road with freehost email and web addresses on them - it screams "We can't afford the real thing!" to anyone looking at them. Would you really do business with somebody who wouldn't spend the extra $50 (or less) for their own domain name and email address?
If you're serious about your business then you need a domain name. It's really that simple. The days of "maybe" are long gone. Companies who refuse to move into developing their own online presence are being left behind in the business stakes as we speak.
Register your domain name today and establish your presence online.
How do you register a domain name?
On this site, read tips for creating your domain name and where to buy it.
Tips for creating a great domain name
Most of the best domain names are already gone... or are they?
Playing the cheap domain name game
You might want to think twice before paying for that cheap domain.
Hyphenated or dashed domains have long been the favourite of Internet marketers and search engine optimization specialists.
Now you've chosen your domain name, you're going to need someplace to host it. And if you ever want to sell it one day, there may be a market. Virtual real estate is buying and selling domain names and websites. Who knows, perhaps you may sell your website or domain name for several thousand dollars.