This article covers what the domain name of a website is,
how it works, how to buy a domain, and how to get domains
If you are interested in this subject, it most likely means you are
looking to make your mark on the web, and establish yourself for
Internet profits. Congrats, it is a worthy goal, and I am here to help.
So, let’s start with a basic definition: A domain name is the string of
characters which identifies a given space in the Internet. We could
merely refer to it as the name of a website, since the word “domain”
is what often throws off someone new to this virtual world language,
but, the name or title of a website could be different by its owner
choosing. Moreover, the broad sense of the use of virtual domains
goes beyond the scope of this piece and its intended audience. Just
to demystify the term, we might say it refers to the authoritative
regulation of a designated web space, and nothing else (LOL).
Hopefully this simplistic definitions, along with the rest of this writing
satisfy your need, so let’s read on.
A point of confusion I frequently find among those totally new to this
arena includes the concept of hosting, which basically deals with
leasing said Internet space, and/or what is known as a URL (Unified
Resource Location), which would represent the entire address of the
domain in question, meaning it would include the “http” portion and
the domain name, possibly followed by other specifying details, as
it should be seen in the address bar of your browser for this page.
If we were to make a parallel with a home to understand their
relationship better, one located at 2020 World Avenue, we could say
2020 is the domain, 2020 World Avenue the URL, the actual home
and everything in it would be the website and its content, and
perhaps the leasing or mortgage payments can be equated to the
fees required for the domain and hosting. Interestingly,
entrepreneur and bestselling author Marc Ostrofsky is famously
known for stating “Domain names and websites are Internet real
estate,” hence the beautiful NYC skyline image above. This holds true
because they may increase in value and be flipped for profit.
Domains come with an extension immediately following the name
portion, separated by a dot, and although nowadays there are
numerous possibilities, the widely recognized “com,” “org,” and
“net” are generally preferred for business, since they appear to be
more trustworthy and tend to rank better with search engines.
In fact, many marketers believe the “com” extension is the exclusive
way to go.
Considerations When Choosing a Domain
The use of website domains as we know them today, with fully
legible names, replaces the original use of numerical characters,
which allows for establishing a desired image or identity, and makes
it easier to remember. Domain names consist of alphanumeric
characters without spaces, and more often than not, the name of a
website will be the same as its domain name, except for the use of
caps and spaces. This is a good idea for simplicity and consistency,
but, domains are not case sensitive, therefore one should consider
how it would read without them. Nevertheless, it is also possible to
include hyphens to clarify their intended meaning, yet, someone
trying to find your site might forget the hyphen and this would not
be good. This is the most important fact for our
purpose, therefore we should strive for the following traits to make
a domain most effective:
In other words, you would want your domain name to have
a pleasant ring to it, to be different as to stand out, and to be easy to
remember. Additionally, it should reflect or be closely related to
your “niche,” namely your purpose and intended audience.
A technique often used is to include keywords, or frequently
searched for words, to make it more effective and easier to find;
This domain is made up of a highly searched set of words, but, it is
also subject to high competition. Regardless, this tactic works as long
as the keywords fit naturally, but, it is not absolutely necessary.
Keywords are more relevant to article titles and content.
Something brandable, meaning it has the potential to be recognized
as an authoritative household name, is a better choice; for example:
Although this domain name was not crafted with keywords in mind,
it could be very effective. Another option would be a personalized
domain, such as:
This one can be very memorable and would allow you to brand
yourself as an expert in the field. Remember, your goal is to establish
a unique identity, therefore your personality and creativity would
add flair to your domain name and website.
Benefits of Owning a Domain
To clarify it should be said domains are not actually owned by the
proprietor of a website, even though we often speak of owning
a domain. The fact is we only have the right to use it as our own
while we are paying for it, typically on a yearly basis. This is because
the dispensation and commercialization of domains is handled by
entities known as Domain Name Registrars; therefore, it is more
adequate to talk about registering a domain rather than buying one.
Still, no one else would be able to use the same domain during this
time. In addition, one would also be required to pay for Web Hosting
services, often packaged with domain registration, although these
two can be acquired separately. At this point it should be said
hosting is very important in order to have a reliable web presence.
Good hosting will allow for the best user experience, increased
traffic to your website, and generally reduce potential problems,
so do not skimp on this.
Having said that, let’s see what are the benefits of owning a domain:
1. You own the website and all its content; a registered domain
entitles you to your own space on the web.
2. You have full control; therefore you choose the image you
wish to project and the direction of your enterprise.
3. Allows for establishing a brand and authority; your website
name becomes your brand as you present your expertise to
4. Better Search Engine ranking; this translates to more traffic
and consequently more revenue.
5. Increased value over time; the work you perform to advance
your website is an asset that can be sold for profit.
About Purchasing a Domain
This process is fairly easy, but, let’s think about your potential
registrar. There are many choices, ranging from free to rather
expensive ones, and the pricing is somewhat sketchy, if you would
ask me, since even a $0.99 initial price is bound to change after the
first year. All one registrar can improve over another would be in the
way of features, additional services and customer service, and
the process would go something like this:
1. Search for availability of your chosen domain.
2. If unavailable, consider modifications, although moving on to
something quite different would be my approach since I would
prefer something more original. A little brainstorming could
generate plenty of possibilities. Do not rush this process.
3. Once a desirable domain is available, proceed to select
features and execute your purchase.
Upon completion, there are some minor technical settings to link
your new domain to your website host, then your new site would be
live on the Internet.
Most people pick their domain registrar based on price; I have done
the same in the past, but now, as a Wealthy Affiliate member,
I prefer to get them at WA, and here’s why:
• The process is the easiest I’ve seen, where even the technical
details are done automatically.
• WHOIS privacy is included FREE with every domain.
• The prices are stable, averaging $13-15 USD per year.
Besides, keeping everything integrated in one place is convenient,
minimizes headaches, and hosting websites at WA really saves
money, with up to 50 sites for one low price, not to mention all the
perks available, which I will tell you about in the next section.
Should you Get Your Domains for Free?
There are many companies on the web offering free domains, but,
here some things you should be aware of: First, nothing is really free;
businesses giving out domains typically do it as part of a package,
meaning the cost is subsidized by your purchase of other products or
services, as it is often the case with hosting companies. This would
be alright only if you are satisfied with the overall transaction. Next,
in some cases free domains have strange extensions, such as “tk” or
”ws,” which you should stay away from for reasons stated above.
Lastly, many free domains are really sub-domains, offered by third
party entities with the purpose of driving traffic to their product and
service offers, or to display advertising. Unless you only wish to blog
for fun, this would not be a good choice because in this case you
do not have full control of your website and content, and you would
be projecting a poor business image.
Now, Wealthy Affiliate members enjoy the best of all options,
and you can too. Let me explain:
At WA you can create a FREE account and start learning everything
needed to build a successful online business. This account allows you
to create two free websites with your chosen domain names.
Granted, these will be of the sub-domain category under the parent
domain SiteRubix.com, which is their state-of-the-art hosting
platform. Still, this is a great option for beginners because it allows
to start building your business without any expenses. Moreover, this
serves as a practice scenario, where common mistakes will not harm
you, since you could backtrack and correct any mishaps, but do not
worry, you can keep these for as long as you like while you advance
your business. After all, you would have everything you need to do
just that, with easy to follow, step by step video lessons, and the
wonderful support of our friendly, ready to help community.
Once you learn more of what is involved and fine tune the direction
you wish to follow, you will be ready to commit to the purchase of
your own domain, which you can do right within the WA platform
as stated above, for a very affordable price, including the features
other folks are charging for, ABSOLUTELY FREE!
Moreover, hosting at WA is one of the fastest and most reliable
around the globe, and also include a number of other qualities
usually costing more elsewhere; for example:
• 30 seconds website creation tool
• Free backups
• unlimited email accounts
• Free SSL security
• Premium monitoring and protection
• Sites health comments and feedback
• 24/7 website support
And it gets better…
Premium members of Wealthy Affiliate can earn credits by being
actively involved in the community, and one of the ways these
credits can be used is for registration of a new domain within the WA
platform. This FREE domain is yours to keep for as long as you like,
either by the purchase of additional years or by redeeming more
credits. It is also transferable should you decide to move elsewhere.
This is just one more of the many ways WA rewards its members,
so as you grow your business and build more websites, you can also
get your domains for FREE!
In addition, this credit system for members unlocks many other
advantages, all design to make you more profitable in your business.
Ready to start thinking about your new domains and begin building
your new websites?
P.S. I encourage you to please leave comments or questions below,
or just say hi…