A Domain Name is a singular name that works as an identifier for a website on the Internet. Each Domain Name therefore is a unique address indicating a location on the Internet. The domain name is used as part of a website address (e.g. www.mydomain.com) or email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Good names are hard to come by, domain names are being registered at the rate of several thousand new registrations a day, however, it is still possible to find a great name as long as you apply a little lateral thinking. The longer you wait to register a name for yourself though, the more limited your choice becomes.
So what can a domain name do for you, your company, or your organization? Putting aside the investment value of domain names for a second, here are some of the benefits to owning a domain name:
1. Domain names build credibility on the Web.
If you are trying to do business online, a unique domain name is essential. It’s the difference between setting up a stall in the corner of a warehouse you share with dozens of other stores and owning your own store.
In the physical world, you often hear that the most important aspect of any business is “location, location, location”. Like the physical, brick and mortar world, on the Web there is no such thing as a “prime location” in which to set up a store or business. No matter how small you are, a good domain name can put your business on an equal footing with Microsoft or Amazon.
2. Domain names are memorable.
Which of the following URLs is easier to remember?
cygress.com or cygress.wordpress.com
If a potential visitor sees a memorable domain name, particularly offline, they’ll be more likely to visit than if they saw a long, non-memorable URL.
3. Domain names produce a feeling of professionalism.
Right or wrong, there is a perception that websites hosted under their own domain names are more professional than other sites.
This perception comes from two commonalities:
- Most well-known sites have their own domain names
- Most sites hosted on free or ISP hosting services tend to be hobby sites or non-professional blogs. Additionally, most free hosting services force their customer’s websites to display ad content, which gives it less credibility.
So while you can be successful with a free site or an ISP-hosted site, you’ll likely be even more successful with your own domain.