In this post we'll learn about domain names. Till post #5 of ‘How to Blog’ series:
- You learned the basic concepts of blogging
- Got to know about popular free-hosted blogging platforms and created your first blog on one of them.
- Been familiar with web software required to run any websites and prepare your computer to install WordPress
- You learned how to install and run WordPress on your own computer.
From today, we’re talking about blogging in real servers. Real servers? Yes, I mean the web servers in Internet.
The blog you installed on your computer is accessible to your own computer only, or, to the other computers in the same LAN. But when you wish to show the blog to the world, it must be hosted on web servers.
Though you can host your blog from your own computer, but to make it accessible to the world, you need static public IP address and a huge bandwidth. That’s a completely different story and not feasible for blogging.
Thus, we need two find a reliable host and domain register for a unique name of your blog.
Domain Name and Hosting
In today’s post, I’m discussing about domain names and will come into hosting very soon. I’m trying to make it easier for you to decide and share my experience so that you can learn from my mistakes. You don’t need to repeat them to learn. Life is too short to make all the mistakes and learn the lessons. 🙂
Domain Name – the unique name of your blog!
Every document and all the resources on network must have a unique address to refer to it. Computers and network devices uses a unique number to identify them on the network and this unique number is known as IP Address.
When you are connected to the internet, you are automatically given an IP Address by your ISP.
Visit: http://whatismyip.com to check your current IP Address.
Because these numerical sequences are almost impossible for us to remember, there are names (domain names) assigned with the IP Addresses. It is much more easier to remember Bivori.com rather than those 12 digited numbers.
When we open a site entering domain names, the DNS looks up for the associated IP address so that machines can reach the specified computer to fetch requested resources.
So, every websites have their own unique name and this name is called domain name.
Types of Domain Names
The address of any website consists of at least three parts – the protocol, name and extension. In a web address http://icttrends.com, http is the protocol. It indicates that hyper text (web pages) are being transferred. icttrends is the name of that website and com is the domain extension.
Country Level Domain Names
You can get country specific domain names such as such as http://bivori.com.np where np indicates the country Nepal. Country domain names are best suited for local business and content specially related to or target to the particular country. The country extension such as .uk for United Kingdom, .au for Australia, .in for India, .cn for china are used to indicate to which country the domain name belongs. Every country has its own country level domain extension.
Top level domain names (TLDs)
websites that have protocol, domain name and domain extension only to make up a domain name are known as top level domain names (TLDs).
Domain names are classified into different category regarding what it deals about. The Organizations use org, Computer Companies and networks use net, Commercial websites have com extension, government websites have gov and military uses mil.
A subdomain name is a name that exists inside another domain name. A large website may be organized by presenting main pages and indexes on top level domain name (TLD) and a different websites for its each services. Take an example of Yahoo. There’s a main website at yahoo.com but it has services like email at mail.yahoo.com, yahoo ads at advertisement.yahoo.com, groups at groups.yahoo.com and so on. These mail.yahoo.com, groups.yahoo.com etc. are the subdomain names of yahoo.com.
Premium Domain Names
Premium domains are domain names that were registered previously but now are back on the market for resale. If you buy a domain name, use it for some years and drop it, it will be known as premium domain name in the secondary market.
More experienced businessmen are interested to buy premium domain names because:
- There’s already a scarcity of .com domain names: You’ll hardly find a .com domain name that matches exactly what you wished it to be. Those who don’t want to compromise will go for buying premium domain name.
- Premium domain names are often short and memorable: Because when premium domain name was registered, there was less competition and many more words were available than today. The person who first registered the domain name got the liberty to choose shorter and more meaningful names.
- Premium domain names are often keyword rich: The person who first registered the domain name must have made a good keyword research and market analysis then decided to grab it. Often premium domain names are made up of simple key words and search terms.
Though these are more suitable domain names available in secondary market, they may not be affordable to you. Most of the premium domain names costs much more than a fresh domain name. Some premium domain name may cost thousands of dollars!
Which Domain Name Suits You?
It all depends upon your need and how you are going to build up and use your website. Because we are building up a new blog and we target for global traffic, I recommend to use top level domain name with .com extension. Because this is your first time buying a domain name, I don’t suggest you to look at the secondary domain market, rather, take some time and search for a good name that is short, meaningful and memorable.
Brandable Domain Names or Keyword Rich?
Well, this depends on how you intend to use it. If you are after a short term project, I suggest for keyword rich domain names. You may get added search engine favor when users search for the same word that’s on your domain name.
There used to be a huge craze for keyword rich domain names. The names like www.how-to-start-a-com-business.com were NOT just because of the .com scarcity. People really exploited the search engine behavior to get additional SEO favor.
However, after the recent update in Google’s search algorithm, there won’t be much value for the keywords in domain names. On top of that after Google’s EMD algorithm, it is rather more risky.
On the other side of this discussion lies Brandable Domain Names. The names that has nothing to do with search engine’s behavior. The names that better reflects the company name or products. The names that have possibility to develop as a brand in themselves are brandable domain names.
Take an example of bivori.com. I selected this name, not because I found there is huge traffic searching for the term ‘bivori’ but because it is a short and simple word that is easier to remember and corresponds to no other existing products or names. Perfect to build as a brand!
So, wherever you see Bivori, that’ll remind you of this blog. You will recognize the logo and the banner of this website.
Brandable domain names are better choice for long term blogging. You can build up your brand and when people start recognizing your logo, banner and the name, you built the trust, reliability and reputation.
Short or Long Names?
Obviously short – as short as you can get. But having a completely meaningless name won’t be worthy for your blog. If it is completely unrelated, your readers won’t be able to memorize.
Why should they remember your domain name?
Okay, most of the time, the traffic will come through the search result pages or some link on other websites or through the emails you sent to them. That’s true, but you should not ignore the direct traffic.
When you have a greater number of loyal visitors who typed your web URL on address bar of their browser, it is much better for you. You rely less on Google’s organic traffic.
So, it is better to go for a bit longer rather than meaningless short domain names.
Okay, we talked a lot about domain names today. I hope you got some background information and now, able to pick up a good domain name for your blog. In my coming post, I’ll talk about different tools you can use to search for a good available domain names and show you how to buy a new domain name for your blog. Then, we’ll move into the online hosting. Till then, enjoy learning!
I expect your feedback and comments on this post. Did you find the information useful? Did I miss any aspect on the discussion? You are most welcome to write in the comment box below.