You know you need to register a domain, but do you know why? Here is some interesting information to help guide you through this surprisingly intriguing element of your business set-up!
Registering a domain for your business has many benefits, ranging from good marketing practice to maintaining online ownership of your businesses presence. In order for us to adequately understand the essence of domain name registration, the reasons behind it and how you can go about registering a domain for your business, let us begin at the very beginning… Take a trip back.. in… time…
The History of the Domain Name:
The first domain name was Symbolics.com. It was registered in 1985, to a computer hardware manufacturer that no longer exists!
Verisign’s Q3 Industry brief states that in 1985, there was a “whopping total of 6 domain names registered in the world.”
Thanks to the dawn of the email and newsgroups in the ‘70s, it became a problem to be able to locate computers connected on networks. Answering this problem, in 1972, IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) was created by the U.S Defence Department Agency. They assigned a unique number to each computer connected to their network and tracking became standardized. This method, the TCP/IP network technology was the most widely adopted communication protocol for locating and connecting computers.
Over time, it became increasingly evident that the number system was difficult to remember and use, so in 1984, the University of Wisconson developed and helped standardize the first name server. This converted names into numbers, making it easier for people to remember their domain names, but still allowing the protocol to work in the same way. Thanks to this monumental change, we have our modern era of the internet!
1985: 6 domain names registered
2010: 196 million domain names registered
2017: 265 million domain names registered!!
Jump a little forward in time and in 1992, domain names went from being completely government owned, to be being partially privatized. This was a big deal, because commercial competition meant that prices dropped significantly! This was also helped along by the formation of ICANN. (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) This meant that small businesses, education institutions and pretty much anyone, could now register their own domains…. good news for you and us!
The World Wide Web was released in 1991!
Back to the present…. let’s look at some more current information about registering a domain…
Why You Should Register a Domain For Your Business:
Having a domain name is the online equivalent of real estate. It shows your presence, it’s your flag in the ground, laying claim to your hard-earned winnings. (ie. Your business) It is also how the internet finds businesses.. it is the internet’s addressing scheme.
Having your own domain has many benefits and one of them is that it gives your business a professional online presence. Clients are far more likely to trust a business, and hand over their money, to one that looks professional and is easy to locate. The beauty of the internet is that you can create the reality you wish to portray, so even if your business is new or small, having your own domain and well set-up and functioning website will portray a successful, professional front to clients.
Of course marketing is of the utmost importance and having an online presence allows your business to be at the top of people’s minds when they are searching online. Being in prospective clients’ consciousness means that even if they saw your business by accident the first time, you will be who they contact when they legitimately need your services or products in the future…. and having a strong online presence will make it that much easier for them to find you when it counts!
Why a Registered Domain, and Not a Free One?
It’s true! There are ways of getting a free domain name, and many businesses use them. But here are some reasons for you to stay away from this tempting, yet bad idea…
- A free domain will have the company’s name as part of your web address, eg. wixsite.com/sitename/page-url.
- A paid domain name will simply have your name, eg. Sitename.com
- It looks professional to have a short and simple address that clearly states your business name.
- Having your own domain name means you can take it with you, should you change web hosts or servers. This allows you to maintain your corporate identity and branding that you have worked so hard to build.
*Watch this space for a future article on corporate branding!!*
- Every little bit of good marketing and business practice goes a long way in helping to make your business a success, and having your own domain is a simple and easy step to take.
Things to Keep in Mind:
When deciding on a domain to use, there are a few things you can keep in mind to help you make an informed and intelligent decision for your particular situation.
There are quite a few domains out there, including .com, .net, .co.za, .org, .uk etc. It may be a good idea to purchase your specific name in the general and regional domain if possible. Eg. .com as well as .co.za. This will help guard you against Cybersquatting, or Domainsquatting.
Cybersquatting or Domainsquatting is when someone buys the unused domains, using your business name, hoping that you will need to buy it from them at a later date.. for a higher price!
You can also get a domain that is industry specific, eg. Fitness, .photography, .consulting etc. This is handy as it makes it clear what your business is all about!
There will come a time when your domain expires. When the time is near, you will receive a renewal reminder. You can then decide whether to renew your domain or let it go. Should you wish to renew your domain after it has expired, this is still possible…. As long as no one else has taken the name in the meantime. There may be a small additional fee for this means of renewal too.
What To Do With All This Information:
You have made it through an entire article and have learnt a great deal about domain
The next question is….. what are you going to do about it??
We have the simple, answer, and it’s a no-brainer….
Contact us TODAY to register a domain for your business! Our simple process will take a few minutes and our qualified, friendly and helpful staff will walk you through the process, step-by-step.
Drop us an email or give us a call right now to take advantage of our expertise, and take your business to the next level!