Your website’s domain is the foundation of your online brand and is the most important decision you’ll make. There are a few key considerations to keep in mind during the domain registration process.
Top-level domains and extensions
Everyone’s familiar with the .co.za or .com extension and website domains have come far from those basic extensions. These days there are so many popular top-level domains (TLDs) and you need to be smart when choosing one for your domain name.
When the Domain Name System was implemented in 1985 the original top-level domains were introduced, including .com, .net, and .org.
Some companies will purchase all the available extensions of their domain to prevent someone else from using their name with a different extension. This doesn’t necessarily result in more traffic, but you can redirect them to your site for brand protection purposes. However, this is not always an option when you get ready to register your domain. This is why you need to be smart when choosing a domain extension.
This is the most important thing to consider. For an online business a .com or .biz domain registration could be worthwhile. If you have a blog as a way of keeping an online journal .me could be the perfect extension. Whatever top-level domain you choose should be informed by the ultimate intent of your site so there’s a cohesiveness to the registered domain. If you are not sure, make the most of local SEO and go with a .co.za domain.
Common TLDs and when to choose them
With over 400 different extensions available the most well-known top-level domains have very specific applications.
.com (commercial) – This is the most popular extension. While it was originally used for commercial sites, it is now used for a variety of registered domains.
.net (network) – Originally intended for networked websites, is a good backup if your ideal choice is taken in the .com extension. It’s also perfect for tech companies as “net” implies technology and networking.
.org (organisation) – Meant for organisations, particularly non-profit companies.
.edu (education) – Used by educational institutions
.info (information) – This top-level domain is great if your website is purely there for information or as a database of knowledge and not for selling.
.biz (business) – This is an alternative to .com domains for businesses, but spammy sites are known to use it so there can be some negativity attached to it
.me (personal) – This extension is often used for personal websites or blogs that have no commercial intent.
The extension is just a small piece of your domain. So, how do you decide on the domain to register?
Choosing a domain to register
Your domain name should be memorably, specific to your business and simple. Keep it short and avoid numbers and hyphens. Ideally, your domain should reflect your website’s purpose. Your brand or business name is ideal but if you’re starting something online only, think of what a stranger would imagine you do if they read your domain. Does it align?
Including keywords in your domain can help with SEO but be strategic and ensure it is extremely relevant.
If the domain you wanted to register is taken and you don’t want to change the top-level domain, try to slightly modify your domain name with a pre- or postfix. This should ideally be the only time you add a hyphen to your domain name, so be sure it’s worth it.
You’ve chosen a domain, now what?
Most hosting companies will assist you with domain registration. Companies like Hosting24 helps you to check the availability of your chosen domain and allows you to easily register your domain through their website. If you want to register a domain with a top-level domain not on their existing list, you can chat to them for assistance. They can also help with domain redirects and the annual renewal of your domain name. It would make sense to consolidate all your website hosting and services with one company and Hosting24 will help you move everything, upgrade disk space if necessary and advise you on SSL certification.
Let Hosting24 take care of your domain
Hosting24 has a hands-on approach to assisting you in registering a domain, hosting your website and email accounts, and maintaining your server. For more information about registering a domain, get in touch with Hosting24 today.