1) World Wide Web Startup Guide: Domain Names
Bringing your company to the world wide web doesn't have to be a difficult or daunting task.
There are many website tools and starter kits that will help you along this process. We'll get into those later.
The first step in bringing your business to the world wide web is to get your first domain name. Then you'll need to get associated domain names registered as we'll discuss below.
Make sure your domain name reflects your company properly.
It’s important to make sure your customers can find you on the world wide web. After all, that’s the primary purpose of your website. It's also your only 24 by 7 sales and marketing channel. So it's important to get this right. Make it as easy as possible. Your domain name needs to be easy to remember, easy to spell and should be some derivative of your company name.
Let’s take Delmarva Group, LLC for example. We have registered multiple domains, but our primary website is http://www.delmarvagroup.com. This domain is easy to remember, it’s spelled exactly as our name and it has a top level .com domain name.
It also helps people find you on the world wide web easier. Let's say a client of Delmarva Group couldn't remember our domain name. Their instinct will be to try the company name and append the .com at the end. It's also instinctive to prepend WWW to the beginning. That stands for World Wide Web. So someone could fairly easily guess www.delmarvagroup.com just by using our company name as a starter.
Look at your company name. Will it fit easily into the above parameters? You can check out availably here: http://www.delmarvagroup.com/hosting. We'll even suggest domain names for you to consider if your first choice name is taken.
Chose a reputable, yet inexpensive domain name registration and website hosting services provider.
In the old days, getting domain names registered was a difficult and sometimes expensive prospect. Prices are all over there place with vendors such as GoDaddy and Network Solutions fighting for your business. Domains don’t have to be expensive.
Simply put, each domain suffix (.com or .net, etc.) will have a specific price associated with them. The internet, and later the world wide web, had strict rules for which domain suffixes you could use. Now that's mostly in the past with a few exceptions.
You can see Delmarva Group's pricing here: Domain Prices. As we resell one of top registrars services in the world, our prices are among the most competitive in the industry.
Also, note how you can save money by registering for a longer term, as well as more than one domain name at a time. This is also good from an search engine optimization (SEO) perspective. Search engines seem to like when domain names are registered for a greater number of years instead of one year at a time.
If you're a beginner here, it may make sense for you to choose a single source provider such as Delmarva Group to make your life easier. When you have your domain names registered with the same company that provides your domain name services as well as website hosting services, things start to get much more simple for the novice user.
Most website hosting providers will have starter kits available. They'll have integrated SSL (secure socket layer) services which will help protect your visitors information should you wish to build an ecommerce site.
Before you select your provider, make sure you take these things into account:
- Do you have technical resources who are familiar with building websites and getting companies running on the world wide web?
- Do you want a single source provider?
- Do you want your business website and email services on the cloud?
Protect your brand.
Brand protection is something that’s rarely talked about when registering domain names, yet it’s vital to help protect your company’s image. How? By registering similar domain names with different suffixes and close misspellings of your primary domain name.
For example, if you have a .com domain, such as delmarvagroup.com it’s often wise to also register the .net version and the .org version. So delmarvagroup.net and delmarvagroup.org would also be registered to Delmarva Group, LLC. These other domains can be used for other purposes, such as an Intranet site or just be redirected to your primary domain.
This way no one can “squat” on a similar domain name. A somewhat infamous example of this is whitehouse.gov. This domain properly pointed to the White House publication site. However, a porn provider registered whitehouse.com. So anyone looking for the US White House website and mistakenly typed whitehouse.com instead of whitehouse.gov received a not so kid friendly website instead.
You can prevent anything like this from happening without spending too much as it’s well worth it.
Lock your domains.
Once you have your domains registered, you should immediately lock them. Basically, this tells your registrar that you don’t want any changes to be made to them without your authorization. It also adds another step to the domain transfer process making it that much harder for someone to steal your domains.
Additionally, it provides protection to your name servers preventing any accidental or purposeful hijacking of your website. This is a topic, however, for another article.
Some registrars, like Delmarva Group, automatically lock the domain upon registration.
It’s a very simple thing to do as well as simple to unlock them should you desire to change your registrar or something like that.
Use accurate registry information.
Each domain has a number of contacts associated with them. Technical, Billing, etc... are all built into the registration process. This is a fundamental communication with the outside world that should not be forgotten. This information is available via the whois lookup system. Whois is a directory of website domains and their respective owners.
When people are researching your organization, they will often pull your domain registration information using whois lookup data. It’s publicly available, unless you pay extra for a “private registration.” (see below) This information can help direct their inquiries the right way.
So, your billing contact could be one person, while your technical contact is another person or even a company. Perhaps your website host or website developer could be listed there. This way if there is a technical problem with your site, people can find and contact the appropriate people.
There are some arguments that since this information requires an email address, it will increase spam to that email address. That’s certainly a possibility. It’s better for your business’ reputation to have proper contact information available than something that’s garbage to avoid getting spam.
Should I use Private Registration?
Private registration services offer a guarantee to keep your information secret. This is primarily useful if you feel your business could be subject to identity theft or scamming. Primarily, the benefits can be summarized as below:
- Reduces the possibility of identify theft and scamming.
- Avoids harassment issues by keeping all information about you and your company private.
- Prevents spam by protecting your email address.
- Protects your postal address to cut down on junk mail.
- By hiding the phone number, it reduces the chance of telemarketers calling.
- It helps keep your personal information private.
Whether all of the above is worth the minimal fee, is entirely up to you. In most cases using a company address and phone number combined with proper spam protection will accomplish much of the same things.
Our plans offer free private registration when you register 5 or more domain names. Other domain registration services offer similar deals.
It’s good to know that it’s there, however. Private registration certainly has it’s place.
To recap, it's important to choose the right domain name for your business‘ presence on the world wide web. Choose something that's easy to remember and type will help your clients and prospects find you.
At Delmarva Group we strive to bring you, the small business owner, the best, most affordable solutions to bring your business to the web.
Look out for Step 2: Your First Website
Last Updated (Wednesday, 03 October 2012 17:40)
Tech news from around the world... straight to your inbox. Sign up Now!