Why you need a domain name
It’s important to have as much control as possible over your digital assets. Having your own domain name, purchased from a domain registrar, is the key to website control. A domain name is a way to have an identity on the web and own a small portion of the web for your use. There are many domain registrars to choose from and they all have a wealth of features to suit you. It is possible to have a free domain name, however it’s not ideal for building a brand, having full control over your content, and storage may be smaller than what you need for your use. Free domain names will not be individual to you and will include another companies name for example, jacksmith.wordpress.com.
Once you have registered a domain name the next step is to buy hosting. Note that domain registration and domain web hosting are two separate steps. You may have to do these separately or inclusively depending on the hosting company you choose. Cloud based hosting has become popular recently. Web hosting will make your web content accessible online.
* Most domain registrars also provide web hosting.
Why you should register a domain name
- Registering your own domain name and buying a hosting package is a cheap way to control your content.
- It ensures that you have plenty of GB for your content and type of use; a business with many sites will need professional hosting with lots of GB.
- Having your own domain name is better for being optimised. Sometimes search engines don’t show free domain names.
- It shows a professional image
- Domain names are ‘valuable’. A first name and last name domain name is digital gold. If your full name has not been bought already then that will be a great domain name purchase.
- You have control over what people can see about you.
- You can add another layer of security called SSL, or public key certificate, depending on how your site will be used.
- e-commerce businesses or any site where financial transactions take place will need an SSL certificate for online customer protection and yours.
- You can take your domain name to another provider if you choose.
How to register a domain name
- For as little as £5 a year you can buy a domain name. So it’s a no-brainer to purchase one.
- If, after a while, you don’t want it, you can let the registration expire. They can be renewed yearly.
- Registering a domain name can be a little stressful when your desired name has been taken.
- On the first page of most hosting providers’ sites, they will find available domain names based on what you type in.
- If your preferred name and extension (.com, .co.uk, .net) is not available the search engine will suggest alternatives.
- Once you have registered and paid for hosting you can link your new domain name to many CMSs like WordPress, and begin creating your content straightaway. Your host provider will help you with this step.
- Very common names are likely to have been bought already, as anyone can purchase numerous domain names, and they are cheap.
- Some registered domain names can be for sale at any price by the owner, as I found out. The person who owns stephaniebrown.com wants $9,000 to buy and the page is not being used for content.
- This is called cybersquatting, where a person buys many domain names but does not use it for their content, and then expects an easy payday to part with the domain name.
- I had to find an alternative domain name, which was nowhere near as strong as stephaniebrown.com.
- .com, .net, .xyz or your country’s extension e.g, .co.uk, are the most ideal extensions.
Having your own domain name will be really beneficial for the future. It is a small investment in your digital presence and will really help any business owners, charity enterprises or personal bloggers in their digital journeys.