When you browse the web, everybody has a name for themselves. Whether it is their username for a website, their actual name for a facebook account, or the web address for a website, everybody has an identity unique to them. In the case of a website address, this is known as a Domain Name. Welcome back to another #TechTuesday, where we are going to explain the process of getting your small business set up with your first domain name.
Who Are You?
To put it simply the Domain Name is just the web address for your company or group's website. A great example is our own, www.S-FX.com, which will redirect you to our lovely home page here. It was registered years ago by the founder, Shane Skwarek, as a unique identifier that correlates with our company. Now, while our address is relatively unique to the company, it does not necessarily mean that it will be the same for everybody based on your name.
A domain can be very similar to another based on a few factors, as there are really very few limitations on the naming conventions used. In fact, some of them can be entirely the same except for the suffix at the end, the .org, .com, .net, etc. In the past, this was less of an issue as the Internet of Things was an entirely new concept. But now with the ease of access to the web, everybody is registering their names for anything they can. Because of this, choosing a generic address isn't so easy, nor should you do so! When choosing a domain for your company, you want to make it memorable. it should be unique and representative of your brand. Choosing the extension, the .com/net/biz/anything also is representative, as it both effects the cost, and the professional appearance of your image. We do recommend sticking with some of the typical extensions though, as you don't want a customer to direct to the wrong website!
Now, before registering your name, you have to see if it is available of course. To do this, you want to use one of the many "WhoIs" services available online. A quick google search will produce an abundance of these services, but we recommend the one hosted by GoDaddy.
Once you've identified the availability of your address, and assuming it was free for you, you'll need to pick a registrar. At S-FX.com, we register all of our domains with GoDaddy.com, however there is a large variety of registrars to pick from all across the world. The registrar is the actual company allows you to purchase the domain name for use. Some of the basic extensions run cheap at a few dollars per year, while others may front you as a hundred or more every year. Keep this in mind when picking your extension. Once you have those details sorted out, you proceed to the process of registration and payment.
When registering, many of the registrars will often times offer you a slew of services and other offers beyond just the domain name, ranging from hosting email to keeping secret the registration. Keep in mind, you do -not- need to purchase anything else aside from the registration of the domain name. These offers are often times just extra costs tacked on at the end. Once you have gotten past this, you simply need to choose the length of time you're registering your domain for. This is of course renewed, but its good to pay for a length of time in advance if you anticipate maintaining this identity for a long time!
It is as simple as that! Now of course, if you don't feel comfortable registering the domain on your own, we do help you through this process when working with your project, so do not be afraid to ask!