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What is a Domain Name and do I need one?

What is a Domain Name and do I need one?

One of the first things you will need to do after you decide to start your online business is to pick a domain name.

This article will take you through all the needed steps that will make the decision of picking a suitable domain name easier.

When you look at the whole process of picking a domain name, it is almost like trying to choose a name for your newborn child.

You want it to be memorable, easy to spell, and unique.

It can sometimes get frustrating when you realize that someone you know has already taken the name you wanted. You should spend a good amount of time thinking about the right name, along with the attitude you are going to need when you do start thinking about a proper domain name for your business.

Before you start typing domain names into the internet search engine, make sure to go through the whole article. I promise you that it will save you a lot of trouble and money! The key is to know all the right steps when it comes to picking and buying a certain domain name.

What is a domain name?

If you are still not quite sure what it actually means to have a domain name, the easiest way to understand it is to think about the fact that the whole world of the internet is designed in a similar way to countries, cities, and streets. Your domain name is your address and your unique identity that will help people to find and locate you on the internet. Your domain name is the name of your company.

Let's say you decide to open a store on the main street. One of the first steps you would need to do is to find a name that will represent your business in the best possible way and then you would continue to file with your state to own that name. Your domain name is the same thing!

You are going to buy your domain name (just like you would need to buy your store name so you could legally own it) from someone who sells it. With the internet, you have different endings that can be used in the combination with the name you have chosen (such as: .com or .org).

After you choose a domain name, the first step is done. You have picked a domain name which is the name of your store, blog, or website.

The next step is to get a proper location for your store on the main street of the internet and you are going to need to buy it from internet companies that are renting you a space for your "building." In this case - for your online site.

After you (or someone else) builds your blog or any other type of online site (just like you would need to build a store), you are going to need to load that site (building) code to the hosting company.

You are going to point your domain name to the hosting company and they are going to point it to your building. And that's it! Congratulations!

You officially have a name and a proper location/address for your online business!

Although it may sound like a lot to figure out, the hosting companies and domain sellers have made the whole process pretty easy so anyone can get the job done once they get familiar with the basics. And after that’s complete, it will be set for a very long time.

Deciding on a domain name.

As I have mentioned earlier, please take the time to go through the whole article before you start typing different names into the search engine on the internet! You really want to avoid it! This is one of the common mistakes most people make when it comes to choosing and buying a domain name for their site.

The reason why you want to avoid looking the name up online and start typing it is usually called "Farming". This is a fancy word for a thing that could easily be referred to as stealing. Some companies use the opportunity to wait a couple of minutes after you have typed and looked up certain names on the internet and they "farm" it away from you before you get the chance to decide whether the name is suitable for you.

It can seem pretty unfair, but you need to realize that there are many companies out there who buy and sell domain names in bulk.

There are two main reasons why companies will decide to buy the domain name immediately, without any second thoughts:

1. The company feels there might be some value and they can and will resale the domain name

2. They are thinking you just might be back to buy it, so they set a new price which can even be hundreds to thousands of dollars more.

That is the reason why you want to avoid typing the names you like into the internet search engines before being sure about which name could be the right one for your business.

I know it can be quite frustrating to know that you have come up with the perfect domain name and someone steals it right in front of your eyes and sells it to someone else, or asks you for an unreasonable amount of money to sell you a name that was your idea in the first place, but that's just the way the internet works.

Take the time and think about all the names that could tell the story about your business and write them down. It will make it easier for you to see and feel how it sounds. This name will be representing your business and your brand. You want it to tell a story that is in alignment with your vision of your future business.

There are also some questions that you need to answer for yourself before you pick the right domain name:

1. Will this name sound promising and will it be able to be used in public?

2. Will this name represent my values and my brand in a couple of years, when my
business grows and I develop my skills in the internet game?

3. How do I feel about this name after I have seen, read, and talked about the name multiple times?

Use social media as your advantage.

The next step that will not take a lot of your time but can make a huge difference when it comes to choosing the right name is to check the social media pages. When you decide what the name of your new site could be, head over to Facebook and Instagram and see whether the name is taken.
Even if it is taken, you can change the spelling or the exact word choice to benefit you.

I'll share one of the core social media secrets with you. If someone already uses the name on social media and they have a large number of audience members and decently high numbers, choosing a similar name, close to theirs, can help benefit out a lot, especially in the beginning. If you choose a name similar, you are drafting the other person and your domain name will get a boost from the search engines.

You have to keep in mind that the same thing can happen to your business once you establish trust from your audience and your numbers get higher. The best thing you can do is to focus on your business. If you create valuable content, people will recognize it. It does not matter how many other businesses will benefit from your work by following your steps or even getting some credit for it.

The most important thing is to put all of your efforts into the next best steps you can do, without trying to control who is right behind you.

Expand your online presence by having multiple subdomains.

If you are new to this domain name game, then you are most likely looking for one name that will be showing what you have to offer to the world. After time, you may decide to have a second site or have more than one domain name pointing to your blog.

The good news is that you can own as many domain names that you are willing to pay for. You can either buy multiple domains that will be useful in case you decide to expand your business in the future, or you can also try your luck in the domain reselling business.

Depending on the domain name you choose for your company, you can also sign up for multiple subdomains. If you are asking yourself how many subdomains you could or should have, there is no specific rules, you don't need to limit yourself. Even if you are thinking about having up to 100 subdomains, it's completely possible!

As for example:

I am using the domain name www.incomebloggerschool.org and I decide I want to have a blog, shop, or a contact page with its name or a whole separate site.

In this case, I should pick a subdomain, that would look like this:
blog.incomebloggerschool.org shop.incomebloggerschool.org contact.incomebloggerschool.org

The “www.” is replaced with any name you want it to be. Plus, each sub name is part of the domain name so there are normally no extra costs! “Normally” being used due to some companies charging extra for the sub names, however, a majority of the companies do not do this, so make sure to do your research before attempting to purchasing anything.

Even if you do not feel the need to have a website, due to you using Facebook and/or Instagram page to sell your product, you can still buy a domain to point towards your social media sites. Many business owners make their money from social media sites, yet still have more than one domain name pointing to their social sites.

They are using all the opportunities they can to promote their businesses and create a wider reach. Remember that one of the most important rules of the internet is to exist online in all possible ways. You want to give your audience and potential clients as many sources as possible to reach you.
Should you choose a private or public domain name?

When you purchase a domain name you can choose to set your personal information to private and the company will put their contact as the information. A second option is to use your personal information as your main contact.

If your information is on the "whois" contact, then anyone can see the name, address, and phone number that you list. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You should choose the option you feel most comfortable with.
Should you buy a website program that offers a free domain name?

Some people decide to go with the website company and if you are comfortable with it and think it will be a long-term decision for your future business, then that may be the best option for you. Keep in mind that moving away from hosting companies in case you change your mind over the years often takes a lot of effort and can get complicated.

They will do anything to keep you there and you will most likely use a lot of time and effort to move away from the company.
The process from buying a domain name and pointing it to your new site requires some basic knowledge, but once you learn how the process goes, you can use it repeatedly.

The domain name you are purchasing can also be set up for your email account. This is especially useful if you're looking for a more serious email address and want to avoid having "@gmail or @yahoo" along with any other similar marks written in the email.

As an example, my personal email would be "derek@derekwolf.com" instead of the regular "derekwolf@gmail.com".

If you ever want to upgrade yourself when it comes to your email address to make it sound more professional, keep in mind that you will probably pay a monthly fee for this service.

You can always buy multiple domain names and redirect them to your site. This means you can have as many names as you would like pointing to one site. This is especially useful in the case of you notice a misspelled name after you purchase it. You can use this method to point the misspelled domain names to their correct spelling site.

Now that you have learned some of the most important facts when it comes to choosing and buying a domain name, it's time to have some fun with it! Be creative. Think about the names that you would like to have associated with your business.

You are taking the first steps of your new entrepreneur journey and you want to enjoy every part of it. It will get hard from time to time, but I want to make the technical parts as easy as possible for you! Think about a name that will represent all of your efforts and hard work.

Your domain name will tell the story for you. It does not have to be fancy or hard to understand. It simply needs to spread your vision to your future audience. Choosing the perfect domain name is the first step to a successful and interesting new business. Enjoy the journey!

Melanie Taylor, Derek Wolf
"People Like Us (do things like this)"

Ⓒ copyright Derek Wolf 2020, all rights reserved.