Why register your own domain name?
When we speak of website creation, the lack of technical know-how always comes up as the first barrier people encounter. It may therefore be tempting to use a service that can create and personalize your website via a simple online editor. It is indeed possible to give life to a website in just a couple hours without any technical knowledge, and often for free – but what’s the catch?
This is the paradox: the freedom to create, which is itself very limiting. Why is this? Because in this configuration, your hands are tied with regards to the provider, who holds your data and has control over your website (what happens if they go out of business?). Even though you feel as though you have a service for free, and without any obligations, you inadvertently are a vector of visibility for your provider, because the address of your website contains the name of their company in it – an address that does not build confidence in your online brand and credibility. This is why its so important to have your own domain name.
What is a domain name?
A domain name serves as the address of a website. It is a bit like a street address. At a technical level, a domain name links an address that is easy to read (your domain name) to one that is readable by a computer (an alphanumeric series in the form of an IP address). For example, gandi.net is associated with the IP address 22.214.171.124.
The domain name therefore makes it easy for people to find your site online.
Once you see how that works, it is easy to understand the importance of a domain name in the creation of a website. It is the basis of your digital identity, as much as brand name or a logo. It allows you to be easily recognizable at a glance while also creating confidence.
What is a domain name used for?
A domain name is the departure point for your online presence. You are free to determine the meaning that you want to give to it. Keep in mind, however that it is the cornerstone of everything you are about to build online, and is indispensable for:
- creating and protecting your brand
- having a credible and professional looking online presence
- greater visibility
Creating and protecting your brand
The registration of your own domain name guarantees the control and protection of your image and/or that of your business.
Our tip: register your domain name as soon as possible. Why? Because with time, domain names become important and valuable intellectual property assets. All the same, the registration of domain names is done on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that if it is available, nearly anyone can register a given domain.
It is therefore prudent to register your domain name as soon as your project gets started. This lets you assure its availability, and that your brand is secured in the long term, and for very little cost (usually only about 20 dollars a year).
Having a credible and professional looking online presence
More than just the address of your website, a domain name is the basis of digital services associated with your website, and notably your email addresses!
By registering your own domain name, you have the ability to create personalized emails [LINK] in the name of your brand, such as email@example.com. This coherence between your domain name and your email address gives greater credibility to your online presence, and increases your visitors’ trust.
You are also free to create as many email addresses as you want, without depending on the availability of a service provider. In the framework of the creation of a business, this means the ability to assure that the development of its activities will be lasting.
Even if you are alone in the launching of your project, you can create an email address for each service (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.) and reply to them yourself. This helps make your activity look more professional and provides a feeling of a company that is well structured. And if you get to a point where you can expand your team, you can of course create personal email addresses for everyone like email@example.com, or however you wish. Like this you gain in credibility and can better anticipate for the future.
A domain name is also a source of greater visibility for your website. The holy grail for all: to appear at the top of search engine results. It is, of course, important to put in place an effective SEO strategy [LINK], of which the first step must be in registering your domain name. A company with their own domain name will naturally be better placed in the results returned by search engines.
The choice of the domain name itself helps improve search engine ranking. If, for example, your area of activity is limited to a city, you can add the name of the city in your domain name, in order to improve its ranking for such requests.
There are many similar things to take into consideration in the choice of your domain name.
How to register a domain name
As you have seen, the registration of your own domain name is indispensable for your online presence. Additionally, you will notice that we speak of domain name “registration” and not “purchase”. This is because it is technically impossible to purchase a domain name for life. At best, you can be the owner of the domain for a 10-year long renewable period.
Definition of a domain name
In order to understand how to define a domain, it is first necessary to understand what it is composed of.
A domain name, like example.com, is made up of the name (“example”), and the extension (.com).
Of course you would want the name to correspond to your brand, your company, or your project. We also recommend that you give preference to a domain that is simple, short, and easy to remember [LINK]. If you would like to verify the quality of your domain, do a simple test: tell it to someone close to you. If they are unable to write it down correctly, then you need to simplify it.
Concerning the extension, you have a large collection of over 800 extensions to choose from at Gandi.
There are two types of domain names:
- country code top level domains (ccTLD), which specifically refer to a country (for example: .uk for the United Kingdom, .fr for France, .us for the United States, etc.),
- generic top level domains (gTLD), which can refer to a wide range of activities.
Depending on the nature of your project or profession, you can opt for may different extensions, such as:
- a .shop or a .store for an online store,
- a .tech or a .io for something in the IT sector,
- a .coach , a .accountant, or even a .dentist to highlight your profession,
- a .beauty, a .hair, a .skin or a .makeup for the beauty and fashion sector,
- a .art, for an artistic project.
These new extensions offer some advantages:
- they allow visitors to rapidly identify your sector of activity,
- they contribute to the improvement of your ranking by search engines,
- they offer you other opportunities in the event that the domain you want is unavailable in the extension you initially wanted.
Each domain name is unique, meaning that the association of a “name + extension” can only be registered once. Many different combinations have already been chosen, but in taking advantage of the large choice of extensions, it is still quite possible to find a domain name that is perfect for your project!
Register the domain name via a domain name registrar
Once your domain has been chosen, and you are sure that it is available, all that remains is to visit the site of a domain name registrar like Gandi.
To learn more about the role of a domain name registrar, check out our article that covers the various actors behind domain name management.
The registration of a domain name only takes a couple minutes and generally only costs around 20 dollars (the price depends on the extension).
Feel free to watch our tutorial, which will guide you step-by-step:
Finally, when you register a domain name at Gandi, you get 2 free mail mailboxes, to personalize and professionalize your online presence, as well as an SSL certificate to guarantee the security of your site.Tagged in Domain GuideNom de domaine