As professionals in the Atlanta and San Francisco web design industry, we know a lot about domain names – and we also know they’re more confusing than you might think. We get lots of questions about domain names, so we thought we’d address some of those here and attempt to clear up some of the confusion.
Okay, so what IS a domain name? Take our website’s URL (same thing as domain name), ebbwebdesign.com. Basically, it’s what a person would key in to get to your website.
Does the domain name matter? Exponentially! Not only can it be helpful for SEO, it also makes a first impression (good or bad) and impacts your entire brand. Your URL should be short, so it’s easy to remember, with correct spelling that most people would use (rather than something cute or creative) – without numbers and hyphens, when possible. If it’s available, you also want to try for a .com rather than .it, .net, or other extensions people aren’t likely to automatically type in when looking for your site.
Can you purchase the domain you want? That’s the big question. Until you search, you won’t know. A lot of people (or companies) buy up good domain names so they can sell them for a premium to a company/business who wants that domain. You can check whether the domain you want is available by using GoDaddy.com, Domain.com, and others.
How do you go about purchasing a domain? There are lots of registrars that manage this including HostGator, GoDaddy, NameCheap, and many others. Keep in mind that once you purchase your domain name, you will have to renew it within a year or other set time period, otherwise it will expire, which means your website won’t be available to anyone who attempts to visit.
Renewing your domain name is easy. Simply log in to your registrar account and make a payment. You may prefer to use auto-renewal, so the domain automatically renews upon the expiration date and you don’t have to try to keep up with it.
What happens if your domain name expires? It depends on the registrar; some will renew the expired domain name for a certain number of days at no charge, however, if it’s been 20, 30 or 40 days, you may have to pay a substantial fee to renew the domain. After too long of a period, someone else may be able to purchase the domain name, so it’s important that you avoid your domain expiring if it is one you want to keep over the long-term.
Domain names are fairly cheap, so don’t let one you really like slip by. On average, a domain name costs about $10 or so, but if you wait for a few days, you may find it’s been purchased by someone else. When you find that perfect domain, snatch it up quickly! Some people make their living by buying hundreds of great domains at $10 each, then selling them for hundreds of even thousands of dollars to someone who REALLY wants the domain.
Choosing a domain name that furthers your SEO and brand efforts, captures the attention of consumers, and is easy to remember, can be tricky. If you’re considering a new website, EBB Web Design can help with every aspect of development, design, marketing, and even choosing the perfect domain name!Google+