Domains, also known as URLs, are names that were created to make Internet Protocol (IP) addresses easier to remember. IP addresses are typically an extremely long list of numbers. So, a shorter domain name makes it easier to keep things straight and organized. This is especially true when it comes to what content is where online. Every domain name is unique to the creator of the page. So, when someone types in your unique domain, it takes them directly to your work, almost like entering a thumbprint to unlock an iPhone.
Domain and Website: What’s the Difference?
Many people use domain and website synonymously, but in reality, they are two separate things. Domains are the URL links to the websites. When you register a domain, you get a link made, but not a website. The website is what you have to actually create.
In order to register for a domain name, you simply need to find a registrar that has the authority to sell the names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) oversees the system of domain names, and it connects you with registrars such as GoDaddy and Domain.com, for example, to manage your name. Once connected, you can begin searching some names you may have in mind to see if they are available to you. Then, you simply choose a suffix for your name, which are common ones like .com or .net. Lastly, you purchase the name. The pricing and terms of purchase are all different and just depend on your choices.
Why Are They So Important?
It seems like just a link, so why does the name matter? The reason domain names are important and are so sought after by businesses is because they give your brand credibility. Especially if you’re a small business that is just beginning, having a domain name that you have registered for is important. It makes you seem more legitimate. It sets the tone for your website and brand as one that is professional and established. Plus, it makes it easier for consumers to see you in their Google searches among your competitors.
If you do not wish to register and pay to own a domain name, you have other options. Many will choose to go through a third-party site that generates the names for them for free so they do not have to pay.
Let’s compare what your domain appears as to consumers when you actually register and purchase a name, versus when you publish your website through a third-party internet service provider (ISP):
DMNews.com versus Internetserviceprovider.com/DMNNEWS
Clearly, the first option looks cleaner and better than the second. It may seem like an insignificant difference, but it is not. Consumers are smart and quick to notice small details. They know what looks professional and legitimate and what does not. That’s why investing the time and money towards a domain name is likely the smartest business choice. This is for your website to gain credibility and recognition.
Retrieving The Name You Want
Unfortunately, it is incredibly difficult to retrieve a domain name that works for you and fits with your brand. With so many names already taken, (there were 3635 million domain name registrations in 2021 alone), finding one that is not yet taken, fits with your ideal, and has a professional look, can be hard. That’s why it’s important to narrow down what you want from the start. This is in order to find a name that works and makes sense for your brand. You also need to consider costs. Domain names range extremely on how cheap or how expensive they can be to own.
Overall, it is up to you, as the marketer and business owner, whether or not you think domain names are as important as we believe them to be for your success. However, the main thing to remember is that domain names truly do make it easier for consumers to find you. Additionally, anytime someone sends, shares, or posts the link to your site in promotional efforts, a long link of random letters is likely going to sway people away from clicking on that link.
That’s why the process of purchasing a domain is one that is sure to help you or your business.