2 min read
08 Nov
How important is a domain name?

How important is a domain name?

The word domain name seems to be a high-sounding term that only means something to computer geeks and those who spend their days and nights in computers. In fact, a domain name is a simple geeky term that refers to the address of a website.

To put it simply, a domain name is as essential to a website as a name is to a person. Can you imagine people being addressed or called by a series of passwords instead of their names? Remembering names is already a problem for most people, so you can imagine how confusing it would be if people didn't have names but only numbers.

This works the same way with websites that use domain names instead of a series of numbers commonly called IP addresses. Like most numbers, IP addresses can be hard to remember and they are permanent, which means a new IP address applies to a new web hosting company.

While an IP address is just a series of numbers that are hard to remember, a domain name is something that can be given character and is easily remembered. Try browsing the Internet and if you want to know the domain name of the website you are viewing, look at the browser bar.

The last word or series of letters after the domain name is the domain extension that the website address is registered to. Examples of domain name extensions are: com, which refers to a commercial domain name; org, which refers to a non-profit domain name; or even no or fr, which stands for France or Norway and refers to a country domain name. Extended domain names are usually preceded by a period, understood as a dot.

The name of the website (which I call a subdomain) and the domain extension make up the complete domain name of a website. People who are ready to register a domain name should consider the name carefully, because domain names are unique and they give a website a unique character. Domain names are unique because they are controlled in a centralized database.

Owning your own domain name is not free, as there is a fee for registration. By registering a domain name, you get the exclusive right to use it for a certain number of years only, depending on the policy of the company you bought it from. When that term expires and you want to continue using the domain name, then you can renew the contract.

When choosing a domain name, you can use up to 67 characters, consisting of letters from A to Z or numbers from 0 to 9, or a mixture of numbers and letters and hyphens. The maximum of 67 characters already includes subdomains and domain name extensions. So, if you want to have a website that is easy to remember, then you better start thinking about a witty domain name, the key is to make your domain name catchy and easy to remember, more or less so that the user understands what the website is all about. As you see, my domain name is ishare123, which I believe is short and easy to remember.

However, even if you don't have a website, you can already register a domain name. On the other hand, registering a domain name does not mean having a website. While some domain registration companies offer web hosting, you can register your domain name with them and choose from a variety of web hosting companies.

Never try to register a domain name that contains a trademark or name that already belongs to someone else, unless you want to be sued as a cybersquatter.

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