Last month we discussed how easy and accessible it is to create your own website. Once the creative juices start flowing with building a beautiful website, you may forget about the importance of registering your website’s domain. We look at the ins and outs of domain registration.
A quick Wikipedia search will explain that a domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Your domain name is also as important as your business name and a good thought process should go into it.
Make it Yours
Kathleen Borg from Dinadot makes it very clear that your domain name should belong to you and you alone. Many website builders will create a domain name for you, essentially giving them full rights to the domain. She explains that when you register a domain for your business, make sure to register it under your (the business owner’s) name. Domain ownership is determined by whose name is listed as the owner. Even if you are the owner of the company, many people make the mistake of purchasing their domain from a reseller who can typically register the domain on your behalf but then also own the domain themselves.
Don’t get Fancy with Text
It is advised to avoid using numbers, abbreviations and dashes, for example in your domain name. This may be a frustrating job as the domain name you are looking for has most probably been taken already. The spelling of your domain name should be simple and straightforward. Anything other than that can make it difficult for people to find you online. Some companies even go as far as registering a few domain names for in case their original one is misspelt or mistyped. For example, your company could be called The Colour Company and you may want to register thecolorcompany.co.za or even thecolourcompant.co.za with errors over and above thecolourcompany.co.za to make sure people find you online. If you are registering a name that can easily be misspelt, it also helps to register some of the common misspellings of your domain and redirect traffic back to your main site to ensure your audience doesn’t mistakenly visit another site.
Also, remember that there are a variety of options that do not have to end in a .com or .co.za.
Purchasing your Domain
Most website builders should offer domain name purchases, but this is not always the case. You can buy domain names from one of the many domain name registrars available. A domain name typically costs R150 per year. Some popular domain name companies are Domain.com, GoDaddy and Bluehost.
Buying a domain does not automatically give you hosting services. To do that, you will need a website hosting account as well. Ideally, you would want a hosting company that offers domain registration services as well. This allows you to manage both services under one account, and you also don’t need to worry about changing the name server settings for your domain.