Your domain identifies your business in the eyes of the people searching for the product or products you are selling on your website and in the eyes of the search engines. So, is choosing a domain important? The answer is yes. I hope to enlighten you on some important elements to creating and owning a domain name.
What is a Domain Name?
Your website has a unique address called an IP address. The domain name–in essence, is the IP address with a naming convention. It is far easier for people to remember a name instead of a bunch of numbers.
Creating a Domain Name
Many people new to the Internet and to the Internet Business, do not realize the importance of a Domain Name, they just think they can put up any creative name and people will come. If you’re lucky, that may be true, but in truth, your creativity should incorporate the following tips:
When creating a domain name, you should keep in mind the following tips:
- If it is possible, go with a “.com” extension. This is the most common, and easier for people to remember.
- The name itself — Do not use dashes or numbers in your domain name–it is hard for people to remember unless it is central to the theme of your site.
- Keep your name as compact as possible — the fewer words in the naming/description of your website will makes it easier for people to remember your site name, and that is definitely what you want.
Protecting Your Domain Name
Once you have your domain name, and your website is flourishing — you must protect your domain.
So how do you protect your domain? At the end of the year, the registrar will send you a notice that your domain name is about to expire. Inadvertently, you may be thinking, that they just want your money, and they can darn well wait til the date it is due to get your money! Well, I wouldn’t do that. There is a very legitimate process called “drop catching”– that can easily destroy all your hard work in one instance.
Drop catching is a legal process by which people can quickly grab domain names that have expired and use the link to create a website consisting of advertisements — or worse yet, resell them to make a profit off of your hard earned traffic. So, it is wise that you do not wait til the last minute to pay your registration. You do not want to log-in to your site, to find an error, or find out that suddenly you are no longer in business.
The rules of the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), gives domain registrars 45 days after the expiration date to notify the website owner that their domain name is going to be dropped from the registry. After the 45 days, you have a 30 day grace period, then your domain is up for grabs. However, some domain services have created an auction process for expired names, such as GoDaddy, that begins the auctioning of domain names in as little of 30 days after the expiration date, to prospective buyers. However, GoDaddy.com does state to the prospective buyer in the auction process, that the original owners still have the option of reclaiming their name.
What’s in a name? If it’s a domain name, it can be your future online. So choose wisely, and protect what you worked, or have been working for — a business online.