Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?

As a web professional, there are things we have to deal with outside the realms of development and design. Sometimes it’s a matter of business, sometimes it’s keeping our finances in order, and every now and again, the subject of branding, re-branding or protecting our brand hits our to-do list.
When you begin your journey into starting up your first freelance portfolio, this information will play a vital role in how you represent yourself, however, that’s not to say that this subject won’t recur later on.


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As a web professional, there are things we have to deal with outside the realms of development and design. Sometimes it’s a matter of business, sometimes it’s keeping our finances in order, and every now and again, the subject of branding, re-branding or protecting our brand hits our to-do list.

Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?

When you begin your journey into starting up your first freelance portfolio, this information will play a vital role in how you represent yourself, however, that’s not to say that this subject won’t recur later on.

Online Brand Availability

If you ever want to launch that start-up idea you have, or if you want to build a new business, a basic knowledge of domain names is critically important. After all, it represents your office’s address.

Website Address
Figure 1: The website address is critically important, thought should go into its branding.

Within this article, we’re going to explore your options, once you’ve got yourself an idea for what (if anything) your new project should be called, and critically, what your project actually does. Because it’s not a sexy chore, and somewhat frustrating to find that perfect domain (with lots being sucked up and left unused), it’s one of the hardest challenges you’ll likely encounter.

With the advice below, you’ll at least have an idea of which domain types matter, and thereby, which you should focus on attaining (and if you can’t get it, when you should reconsider your brand due to unavailability).

Prioritize: The Trendy Three

Domain names in truth are a little biased to whether the audience can remember the extension. It might seem ideal to snag yourself a free .TK domain in preference to buying a more easily recognised extension, but that will work against you when your visitors begin trying to locate you for the first time. While increasing numbers of TLD’s are becoming available on the Web, the truth is that visitors will automatically assume your site uses one of three extensions: dot COM, NET or ORG.

Perhaps this feels a bit unfair due to the lack of good available names in the system, but if you can get one of the top three (or all three if the brand is named really creatively), you’ll put yourself in an ideal position.

Most widely recognised extensions
Figure 2: Dot COM, NET and ORG and the most widely recognised extensions. Get them if you can!

When you’re working with the top three domains, the great thing is that they’re often among the cheapest to register, and even more critically, all domain and hosting providers will likely support them (in terms of offering the ability to register and renew ownership). While I would say it’s not as essential to own one of the big three as it used to be (due to more people becoming web aware), there are still a huge number of people who don’t understand the web, and won’t likely realize that extensions exists outside of .com, .net and .org exist, so they do still hold sway over consumers. Leer más “Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?”