Everything You Need to Know About DOMAINS!

What is a Domain?

 A domain is similar to a HOME ADDRESS.

We rely on GPS to get where we are going.  Domains work similar to GPS, as it helps Browsers to NAVIGATES the Internet.  It gets the Internet User where he or she wants to be!

An IP address (Internet Protocol), for example – 66.249.66.1 – is assigned to your domain once registered and stored on a host’s servers. The IP aligns with the domain name, for example – openhost.co.za.

How will an Internet Browser find your website, blog site or online store, on the server it is hosted?  You need a domain (which is similar to a home address) so SEARCH RESULTS can find it.  A domain represents YOUR unique space on the World Wide Web.

 

Why Do I Need a Domain?

Most importantly, it has to do with being found on the Internet!  Coming up in search results in an Internet Browser is WHY you need a DOMAIN.

When you type a word or phrase into an Internet Browser, it sends a request to the DNS (Domain Name System).  All the different networks, servers and computers on the Internet makes up the DNS.   When the word/phrase is found on a particular server (the host’s server or name server) it is sent back to the Browser so that the Internet User may view the pages = website, blog site or online store.

Bottom line, your website, blog site or online store is GREAT!  But if it is not stored on a host server, assigned an IP Address/domain, no one will ever find it in an online search!

Also, it simply looks more PROFESSIONAL and gives your business CREDIBILITY, when you have YOUR OWN UNIQUE DOMAIN.  It shows you mean business!

  

What Domain Extensions Mean

Domain Extensions or  TLDs  (Top Level Domains) is the last part of domains names.  Here are some examples of domain extensions.

Top Level Domain Extensions:

  • .com – commercial
  • .net – network
  • .edu – education
  • .org – organisation

Country Code Extensions:

  • .za – South Africa
  • .us – United States
  • .uk – United Kingdom
  • .au – Australia

Domain Extensions Hacks!  This refers to an innovative or creative way to come up with new extensions.  Hacks are created by breaking up an existing word or joining together words.

For example:

  • pep.si
  • bench.press
  • net.work
  • talk.show

 

How to Choose the Perfect Domain Name

Choosing the RIGHT domain name is very IMPORTANT!   Your unique domain name not only REPRESENTS your business IDENTITY but forms part of the overall business marketing and branding strategy.

There are several factors that impact a great domain name.  You need to CONSIDER THIS:

  • Do Users type a name or phrase into the browser or use voice search?
  • What type of keywords or phrases are Users most likely to use when searching?
  • Look at what your competitors doing and research your industry

The more SEARCHABLE your domain name is, the MORE TRAFFIC will come your way!  However, common and generic names are not always a good idea.  Try to be unique, different and MEMORABLE, when choosing your domain name!

When you can only think of generic keywords or phrases, use a Thesaurus to help you find similar, but less used words/phrases.  Try something with a twist or add some humour.

TIP:  The most SUCCESSFUL domain names use between 6 and 14 characters.  Choose the extension wisely, make sure the entire domain phrase looks and sounds just PERFECT!

 

Register or Transfer a Domain

Finding a DOMAIN NAME that isn’t already registered, may be challenging!  You may spend many hours searching the Internet.  Disappointment will be part of the process when finding that in some far away corner of the world, the brilliant name you came up with, is already being used! But don’t give up!

Once you have chosen a UNIQUE domain name the hard work is pretty much done!  Registering a domain name is quick and easy!

Registration should be done within 2 to 8 hours, depending on the extension you want to use.  This time is needed for the domain to propagate, as the official domain name REGISTRY must be UPDATED.

Transferring a domain may be slightly more complicated, but a REPUTABLE HOST will assist you in no time!

  • The current domain registration needs to be at least 60 days old before you can make a transfer.
  • Make all necessary updates before transfer.
  • Unlock security settings with your current registrar.

 

The time it takes to transfer a domain may vary depending on the extension.  Find out from your new host if there is a tracking system for peace of mind.

 

Choose a host that offers you 24/7  365 support.  Walk through all the above steps with your host in preparation of transfer.  Then it should be smooth sailing!

 

OpenHost has more than 20 years industry experience with domain registration, web hosting services and more.

Speak to us.  We are here to help!

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