When you choose a domain name, the first thing to keep in mind is that this decision will be with you for a long time. A good domain name is a long-term investment, so don’t rush into anything. If the domain you’ve chosen isn’t available, it’s better to wait until it is. Impatient people often end up with rubbish domains that they later regret. So, how do you go about finding the perfect domain name? And what makes a good one? See this guide for answers.
What is a domain name, and why should you register one?
Your site name is referred to as a domain name. It’s the key to your online identity. It’s the address that visitors put into their browser to go to your site. You’ve probably noticed that when you visit a website, the website address bar at the top of the page includes the domain name of the website. For example, when you visit www.example.com, the actual website address is example.com.
We typically encourage people to use the website address of the domain instead of the website address of the individual website. For example, instead of www.example.com, you should use example.com. If you use the website address www.example.com, a lot of people assume you’re referring to the individual website. As long as they’re not supposed to, you should then go into detail and tell them it’s just part of the example.com website which they can use.
Not all websites accept the same format, however. Some websites, like a bank’s website in the UK, like to have a “www” at the end. Some websites, like a chess website, like to have “chess” at the end. Websites that use special domain extensions, like. inc, XYZ,pr or. pro is referred to as “dot-regional” websites. Each of these has special rules when it comes to domain names. We’d recommend checking whether the website you have chosen has a dot-regional extension before you choose one.
People often go through a number of domain name servers when registering a domain name. These servers specialize in serving up websites to users from all over the world. Bad domain names can affect your SEO if other websites have websites using the same name as yours.
There are two main types of domain name servers:
Hosting providers are companies that provide hosting to other websites, allowing them to use the servers. For example, let’s say you own example.com. If you hop onto your hosting provider website and search for example.com, the server they’re using will show up in the results, and they’ll point you to their documentation on how you can add more domains to your page (more on that later).
What makes a good domain name?
Good domain names are short because people like them short. They’re easy to remember because they’re easy to spell. They’re easy to type because they’re short. They’re easy to spell because they’re simple. They’re simple because they come from the dictionary. Internet slang refers to abbreviations and slang terms used on the internet. An acronym is a word or phrase used as part of an internet posting. Slang words and phrases are very common today because they make use of two letters; two words that sound the same, or by combining letters to form a compound word. Slang words and phrases help you describe or express yourself quickly and easily.
Since 1995, the internet has consisted of many networks of servers around the world. When you type a URL into a browser, this is what it gets translated into. If you want to get even more specific, the internet uses internet domain names to locate the server you need. This system has existed for over two decades and is fundamental to how the internet functions. When you use a domain name, it translates into a numerical address to a location at that very moment.
When Google published the first web directory in 1993, it saved users searching the internet for the server they needed. They called this system the internet but they didn’t design it — it was an acronym that people created.
Today, there are a number of different systems that exist for gathering this information and making the internetwork. According to Network Solutions, there are thousands of registrars and hundreds of web directories. But just because there are so many different systems doesn’t mean that they’re all equal.
A Google search made results vary between a few milliseconds to a couple of minutes depending on your internet connection and the country you’re in. When looking for a server, you need to specify the country. For example, in the US, you use min.google.com. That’s the domain name to go with the US location.
How do you register your own domain?
Registering your own domain and hosting your site yourself can be a bit tricky, but it’s worth the time and effort. For your own website, there are a few tools you need.
There are many, many naming services available for domains and web hosting. Here is a quick list of the ones I like best.
This one comes highly recommended by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names (ICANN), a non-profit organization made up of web enthusiasts with the main aim of keeping the internet running smoothly. To find out more about registering and using.ico domains, check out their user guides.
I use GoDaddy, at first glance, but I switched to Tixier domains a few years ago. This is especially recommended because it combines both hosting and domain name registration. Tixier also offers pricing plans for different specs, from shared hosting (one server), all the way up to VPS (sometimes called the dedicated server). More importantly, Tixier is super easy to use: you pay when you use it, and there’s one admin dedicated to everything from adding domains to managing your servers. For more info, check out my guide on Tixier hosting and choosing a name.
When I started creating websites I always used the domain name registrars of HostGator, Namecheap, and Seychan, but all of them seem to use their own in-house domain name generator. While it’s pretty speedy, I prefer using Python-based tools like TinyDNS, which lets you grab the domain name from your chosen hosting provider and grab the corresponding.com extension.
The free version of Tiny DNS hosts a lot of docs and a command-line tool, but it will only grab.com and.net domains. You’ll run into problems if your chosen hosting provider has both.net and.org domains. TinyDNS also gives you the option to buy additional domain names and purchase hosting plans, but I don’t recommend it: the free version works just fine.