A domain name is the virtual address of your website that web users input in their browser search bar to visit your website. In simple terms, if your website was a house, your domain name is its address.
How Do Computers Identify Domain Names?
To make the identification of domain names easier, each domain name is assigned a unique IP address -- this is made up of a series of numbers that help browsers identify a particular web domain.
The Domain Name Structure
Every domain name is made up of two major parts -the top-level domain (TLD) and the actual domain name. Domain names are registered with a domain registry that is governed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names And Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is responsible for creating and implementing policies that guide domain use.
What Can You Do With A Domain Name?
There are two major things that you can use a domain name for - build a website and create custom email addresses.
Build a website: Building a website is probably the most important thing to do with a domain name. This can be done using any of the free platforms available like Plesk or Wordpress.
Create custom domain email addresses: This is the second thing to do with a domain name -- create a custom (domain related) email address. To do this, you would need to:
Get a domain name.
Sign up for an email hosting service.
Connect the domain name to the email hosting service.
Then create individual email addresses.
Your domain email address is ready for use.
Please note even though there are a lot of companies that offer email hosting and most of them offer almost the exact same features, the quality of service will be different as well as the price point for this service.
What Is The Domain Name System?
The framework of the internet is built on computer languages that are used to find and share information and data. The domain name system is a protocol that sets the standards for how computers exchange data on the Internet and Private networks (aka IP/TCP) protocol suits. The domain name system is especially vital because it matches domain names with the unique IP addresses that can be read by computers.
To explain the function of the domain name in simple terms, we can liken it to a phone directory of IP addresses for individual domain names. Without the system setup, you would be stuck with strings of numbers that make up IP addresses -- you would also have to go through thousands of domain names before you can find the particular website you are looking for.
Thankfully with DNS, you do not have to do this. You can just connect through a browser, use the DNS to connect to a domain name server, which manages a massive database that matches domain names to IP addresses.
Whether you are sending an email or trying to access the website, your computer uses the domain name server to look up the domain name you are trying to assess. The term for this process is called DNS name resolution. That is, the DNS server resolves the domain name to the IP address. Without the domain name system, we believe the Internet will shut down very quickly.
The Importance Of Selecting The Right Domain Name
There are so many benefits that come with owning a top-quality domain name. A high-quality domain name will make your brand look more professional, generate organic traffic and is a virtual asset that increases in value over time, explains an industry expert at Domains4Less Hosting. This means that the right domain name is essential for online business success.
Below are a couple of other reasons why selecting the right domain name is important:
Increase search engine ranking
One of the features of a great domain name is that it helps with increasing your website's rank in search results. Great domain names are made up of high-quality keywords. For example, www.glassrepairs.com.
Quality domain names are not just great investments but they also help protect your brand.
Increased website traffic
Most premium domain names receive a lot of traffic. This traffic primarily comes from referral traffic or direct type-in. Referral traffic comes from backlinks on other websites and type-in traffic is essentially web users searching for a product -- bypassing a search engine search by typing in the keyword of the products they want directly into the browser. Premium domain names all have an uncommonly high number of backlinks which improves on the amount of traffic.
Build offline and online credibility
When you use a top-quality domain name for your business email address and website, you establish authority, professionalism and credibility for your business offline and online. Owning a premium domain name relays to your customers that you are an established, legitimate business and this is great for building trust.
Improved visibility and marketing
A premium domain name is easy to remember, short and descriptive. This ensures that your customers remember your website easily. A great domain name is like having a shop on Madison Avenue in New York. You get natural traffic and high visibility without recurrence expenses.
Why Are Premium Domain Names Expensive
Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? In the beginning, the world wide web was filled with a limited number of domain name extensions (top-level domain or TLD's). This became a problem. As more people got on the Internet, memorable and short domain names began to run out. However, these domain names were not necessarily being used -- most of them were bought by opportunistic businessmen who bought up these domain names to resell at a more premium price.
Although this is created an inconvenience for businesses looking for a premium top-quality domain name, and a lot of individuals blamed this "cyber leeches" for the scarcity of top-quality domain names. But who can blame them for wanting to be a part of the action?! This is essentially the basic law of supply and demand again -- top memorable domain names are of value.
Domain Versus Traditional Marketing
In today's world, the investment in a quality domain is significantly lower than the cost of marketing. Sure, advertising via online adverts, newspapers, TV or other channels is a great way of marketing your business. However, there is one major drawback. Once you stop paying for the ads, traffic flow slows down and eventually stops. But buying a premium domain name is a one-time investment (well, minus the renewal fees) that will generate long-term results.
Domain Name Investments
Similar to buying a property, a premium domain name is an investment. Premium domain names grow in value over time. If we liken a domain name to a property, it makes sense to invest in a great property in a great location that would increase in value if you decide to sell at a later time.
In addition, buying a premium domain name is the only option left to obtain a truly marketable business name, as most generic marketable names have already registered long ago.
On A Final Note
Above all, a domain name is an incredible tool for brand building. Be forward-thinking and creative in your approach -- not only are you going to separate your brand and business from the competition, but you would also reap other rewards.