The domain name is the part of an internet address that points to a specific site on the web. It indicates the IP address of a particular location on the web but is generally easier to remember and spell than the lengthy IP address number.
In a web address, the domain follows after the protocol (‘https://) and the subdomain (‘www’). It’s accompanied by the top domain suffix (.com, .org, .co.uk, etc.) and finally, by directories and specific pages where applicable.
Why Domain Names Are Important
Choosing the right domain name for your brand is essential. Why? Well, it’s one of many factors that determine how easily your website is found on the internet.
When deciding on a domain name, bear in mind the following:
- It should be easy to spell and remember so interested parties can quickly type in and find your website
- It shouldn’t be too similar to another website or use an unusual spelling of your brand name. You don’t want visitors to accidentally misspell your URL and head to one of your competitors.
- Choose a top level domain that’s likely to be searched for in your location. In the US, for example, most people first try to enter .com when searching for a website.
- Avoid hyphens unless you’re also intent on purchasing the domain name without a hyphen. This often confuses potential visitors as they usually won’t expect the break in the spelling.
To register a domain name, you need to go to the website of an accredited domain registrar like Namecheap or Hover. They’ll handle the internal registration for you. When you register, an entry is added to the domain name you want to enter and your contact information is attached.
You can find out whether a domain name is available by using a domain registrar like Namecheap or Hover. Simply enter the domain name you’re after and check its availability across different top domains. Ideally, your domain name shouldn’t be represented anywhere else on the internet because, as we’ve already alluded to, this may confuse anyone who accidentally enters the wrong top domain. You may, on occasion, consider purchasing your domain name with several top level domains to ensure your brand is secured for future expansion.