How To Choose Your Website Domain
A domain is the address of where your website lives. Just like fingerprints, domain names are unique and cannot be used for different websites. While domains and websites are connected, they are not the same. For example, a domain is much like the address of your home.The physical house is representative of your website. Just as you can add, rebuild, and renovate your house like a website, your address, or domain, stays the same. Vise versa, you can change your domain name while keeping your website unchanged. Consider a mobile home; you can change the location of your mobile home, but this does not impact the physical home itself, only the address. In summary, a domain is the physical location or address of your website, while your website is the home of your site’s content. Both are connected and interchangeable but altering one does not change the other.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DOMAINS
Now that you have an understanding of what a domain is in relation to your website, it is important to also understand the different types of domains. The first and most common type of domain is a .com domain; which is shorthand for commercial. The next domain type is .net representative of network. This type of domain was created expressly for institutes that partake in network technologies, however this is regulated loosely and can be used as a backup to a .com domain. With that being said, it is not suggested to use .net as a replacement for .com. The third most common domain type is .org shorthand for organization. This domain type is used to represent nonprofits. Another common domain type is .edu, representing education. This domain type was created for educational institutions. Other domain types exist, such as .mil and .gov, reserved for military and government agencies, but are not as common.
.COM VS THE REST
When purchasing a domain, .com is the most recognized domain type and therefore should be used for most types of websites. It is not an uncommon practice to purchase multiple domain types with the same domain name, in order to hold ownership of the domain name in all types. This is helpful in avoiding the same domain name being used by others, with a different domain type, leaving businesses susceptible to confusing their customer base. This practice only adds security to the domain name and can be helpful but is not considered a necessity. If you find that the .com domain you want to acquire is already taken, other domain types such as .net, should not be used as a replacement. Considering .com is the most recognized domain type, using a different domain type could leave clients confused when searching for your site. If the .com domain is already owned by another entity, it is highly suggested that you determine a new .com domain name to use for your business. The only exception to this is if you are in the education or non profit industries. As stated before, .edu or .org is the suggested domain type for these types of organizations.
CHOOSING A WEB DEVELOPER
While it may be tempting to turn over all aspects of your site to a website developer, allowing a developer to purchase your domain for you is strongly advised against. In doing so, you are granting them ownership of your domain name. Using the home analogy again, this is comparative to “paying rent” for your website domain. Without ownership, the web developer has the right to increase the price of your domain at any time, could restrict your access to the domain, or could sell your domain to someone else. By purchasing the domain yourself and providing the web developer access to the domain, you are protecting yourself from these types of situations.
At Arrowhead Design Company, we only seek permission to have access to your domain for the purpose of connecting your website. We will never ask for ownership of your domain nor recommend ever allowing another to own the domain for your business. This is questionable for any developer to request and can be indicative that the developer does not have you or your businesses’ best interest at heart.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a domain is, the types of domains there are, and why it is suggested that you are the owner of your domain, you are ready to purchase your domain name. There are many avenues available to use when you are purchasing your domain name.
At Arrowhead, we suggest purchasing domains from either GoDaddy or G-Suite by google. GoDaddy is a great place to purchase a domain name if you already have your company’s email addresses set up through another avenue, such as Microsoft Office, and are happy with the service. If you are looking to set up email in addition to your domain, we suggest purchasing your domain through G-Suite, which offers company email addresses, access to a shared google drive for company documents, and more.
NEVER USE A FREE DOMAIN
Additionally, there are options for free domain names. This avenue is not suggested for a plethora of reasons, the most important reason being professionalism. Free domain names usually require a sub-domain name to be added to your website address. This means that your chosen domain name will be followed by the domain provider’s name, such as mydomainname.wordpress.com, which can be perceived negatively by those visiting your site. Furthermore, limitations such as storage space, bandwidth, and search engine optimization can hinder the success of your site. While a free domain may seem like an avenue to save money, in the long run, it has a greater potential to negatively impact your business.
If you are new to website design, these practices and terminology in relation to the function of your website, can be a confusing and frustrating process to navigate. With the ever increasing importance of online presence, it is vital to choose a trustworthy and reliable Web Developer, when building your website. In many cases, this is your first impression on potential clients and can ultimately lead to the success or failure of your business. Arrowhead Design Company is here to help. We provide multiple web design packages to fit every client’s needs; from small businesses to corporate infrastructures, we prioritize our client’s success. Ensure your first impression is a positive and lasting one by contacting Arrowhead Design Company for a quote today.
The following sources were used for the creation of this post.