Domain Name Basics: What, Why, and How
What’s in a domain name? A lot more than you might think. Your domain name can be your first impression, your face to the outside world, and your new marketing plan. Learn more about what domain names are, why you should take the time to choose a good one for yourself, and how to go about it.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is an address for the Internet. It helps people find your web site. Just as homes and businesses have street addresses, all web sites have domain names. The Yahoo! domain name is yahoo.com.
A domain name is made up of two parts, typically preceded by www. Let’s use yahoo.com as an example:
The first part, yahoo, is a unique name that represents the web site.
The second part, com, is the extension, and stands for “commercial.” There are many extensions available, though .com, .net, .biz, .info, and .us are the most popular extensions in the United States.
Why is a good domain name important?
A good domain name helps you in numerous ways.
Add your domain name to your business card, email signature, and other advertisements.
Build credibility: Show your customers that you have an established business.
Improve your marketing: Provide customers an easy way to remember and contact you.
Protect your brand: Secure the domain name that best represents your business name — and keep it out of the hands of your competitors.
Describe your site as best you can with your domain name. For example, a pair of amateur magicians might use their stage names, some combination of words including magic, or the name of their most famous trick.
How do I choose a domain name?
Keep these tips in mind as you select your domain name.
Your domain name should reflect your business name or the topic your site will cover.
It should be a unique and concise name that is easy to say, remember, and spell.
You can use only letters, numbers, and hyphens in your domain name. Spaces or other symbols are not allowed.
If your first choice isn’t available, try rearranging the word order, adding hyphens, or using abbreviations or locations to come up with a unique alternative.