Web Development – the importance of Domain Names
Why do you need a Domain Name for Web Development?
Domain names are the unique Internet addresses (IP addresses) of websites. Investing in a domain name boosts Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and adds credibility to your web development. Many hosting providers like WordPress provide domain names free when you sign up. There are pros and cons of buying both together but registering a domain with a third party is my advice. This is because the process of transferring your domain to a new hosting company is easier. If you register a domain with your hosting company, you have to wait for them to export it which can take time. Note, for the purposes of this article we are focusing on personal domains, created for personal websites and branding.
When creating a blog you are faced with a range of decisions, first of which is selecting a domain provider. I researched some domain registrars and registered with Namecheap. I recommend Namecheap as they have many domain extensions, are competitively priced and have associated hosting services. Further, Namecheap offer an array of products such as VPNs, VPS hosting, SSL Certificates and a logo maker. You can take advantage of worthwhile Namecheap promotions using my affiliate links. Should you purchase a Namecheap domain or additional services through the links, I’d receive a small commission at no added cost to you.
How much does a Domain Name cost?
Domain names are commonly low cost and definitely worth a small monthly or annual outlay. Namecheap domains start from $0.99 per year, the main reason I decided to purchase through Namecheap. My current domain costs $13.16 annually which I consider value, especially as I acquired my preferred Top-level domain (TLD). However, if you’re seeking a highly coveted domain with a popular suffix, you may have to pay a higher price. This is because the likelihood is someone else has already registered it. See more on TLDs, also known as domain extensions or suffixes, below. Namecheap offer discounts on multi-year purchases so consider how long you might need the domain name.
Secrets to a strong Domain Name for Web Development
Domain names consist of three parts, the TLD (e.g. “.com” “.net” “.org”), a domain name and an optional subdomain (for example, www.). The combination of only the domain name and top-level domain is known as a root domain. When you are devising a domain there are important aspects that determine effectiveness.
- Strive to make it innovative, memorable and pronounceable (good for word-of-mouth advertising).
- Make it easy to type, read and share (the easier a domain is to read, the better it is for search engines).
- Acquire a .”com” if possible (the most recognised and accessible TLD).
- Keep it short (no longer than 15 characters).
- Examine variations of the name or combine words.
- Avoid using non-standard characters, hyphens, numbers and trademarked names.
- Use broad keywords where appropriate (to provide first-time visitors an understanding of what your website is related to).
A note on Top-Level Domains
In regard to the suggestion that you choose a “.com” TLD, the principal reason for this is that you can assemble a more brandable domain. Yet if your desired name is unavailable, studies advise your best alternative is a “.net”, “.org”, ‘.co’ or a known ccTLD (Country code top-level domain). An example of a known ccTLD would be “.ca” in Canada, “.cn” in China or “.it” in Italy. Conversely, SEO experts recommend you avoid purchasing low calibre TLDs like “.biz”, “.info”, “.ws” and”.name”, as a way of boosting traffic. As these TLDs are less commonly known, they draw considerably less traffic and are often associated with spam.
How to buy
It’s important you consider that you can’t just purchase any domain, it needs to be unique and not already owned by another person or business. When registering a domain name you need to provide contact information to the registrar at the time of purchase. If you want to conceal your contact data, you can use a privacy protection service which Namecheap include free with all newly registered and transferred domains. Similarly, with this protection your personal information is undiscoverable to fraudsters and telemarketers. I’ve included a guide for registering a domain name with Namecheap, my current and suggested provider.
A final note on Web Development
A crucial aspect of web development and domain investment is to ensure that any address you visit has an SSL certificate. View the URL in the browser bar above and you will notice a padlock icon which you should click on. Further, the icon will say that the connection is secure. As a result potential hackers are not able to see or alter any data that is transferred between a server and browser.