- 1. What is a Domain Name?
- 2. Are Domain Names Free to Purchase?
- 3. How Do Domain Names Actually Work?
- 4. What’s The Difference Between a Domain Name and a URL?
- 5. What are The Types of Domain Names?
- 6. How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website?
- 7. How to Buy a Domain Name?
- 8. Where is The Best Place to Buy a Domain Name?
What is a Domain Name?
When creating a website, you have to ensure that users will be able to type in an address to be able to find the website. With so many different websites across the internet, ensuring that you have a unique name and address to help users find you easily is an imperative part of having a good and functioning website. When creating this name, it is referred to as your domain name and every single website needs to have a unique and easy name to use so users can easily find their website. If this concept is a bit confusing, a domain name can be thought of as a home or work address, and just like giving an address to your house or workspace out, it needs to be unique in order for anyone to find it. Without a domain name, the internet would have no way of knowing who you are trying to connect to. It is important that your domain name be simple and easy to recognise, as this ensures that users are able to easily type the name into a search bar! entering a domain name into a search engine will help a user reach a particular site, but it is important to remember that it is not a URL and it does not contain a transfer protocol.
Domain names were once made up of a series of numbers, a confusing way to try and find particular websites as the numbers are in no way related to what the website is about. Thanks to the creation of the Domain Name System (DNS), we can now register these numbers with a domain name, one that is relative to the actual website and far easier for users to use! A domain name would be, for example, ‘Google.com’.
Are Domain Names Free to Purchase?
There are many different platforms where you can get a domain name for free, you will still however need to purchase a web hosting platform in order for your website to run on the internet. To get a free domain name you will have to go through a company like Bluehost, which supplies an assortment of different domain names to the user for free. You will still need to register this name as this will ensure that no other person, brand or business can have the same domain name as you do. It is important to consider the name you are using carefully and ensure that it is relevant to your brand or business to make it easy for potential clients to find you!
How Do Domain Names Actually Work?
When you have typed your domain name into the web browsers search tab, the browser will send the information to the domain name system (DNS) to retrieve data from this large network of servers. Once this request has been sent, the server will look for the name associated with a specific website and your hosting company will forward the request to the server that is storing your website’s information, and this server will send the information about your website back to the original computer who requested the page. Though this process may seem confusing, it happens in a matter of milliseconds! To get an idea of how quick this process actually is, type Markethinkers.com into your web browser and see how quickly the page is delivered to you!
If you are looking to better structure your website and domain name, using a subdomain is also possible. Subdomains help users better navigate through your website and offer users the chance to quickly find certain parts of your website. If you are looking at how to get a subdomain and how using a free subdomain would work, it is very similar to a standard domain name and many providers offer you the chance to include this.
What’s The Difference Between a Domain Name and a URL?
Many people are confused by domain names and URLs, and though these two aspects are very similar, they are not the same and they do not work in the same way. While your domain name will take you to the main page of a website, no further information is provided to the web server, and this address is in the most basic form. When it comes to typing in a URL, you are adding in features and specifics about a webpage that will include a transfer protocol, the domain name and a path to a specific part of a website. To explain, let us look at an example. For the Markethinkers.com domain name, the URL would look something like this https://markethinkers.com/en/professional-seo-consulting/. The https is the protocol, the en/professional-seo-consulting/ refers to a specific path to a page on the website and the markethinkers.com is the domain name. Each of these elements makes up a specific URL that leads to the professional SEO consulting page! In short, the domain name forms part of a URL and can give you quick access to the home page of a website while the URL forms a very specific address to certain pages on your website.
What are The Types of Domain Names?
Domains are separated into three different types of top-level domains to further identify which type of domain a website falls within. Top-level domains refer to the last three letters of a domain name, letters that come after the’.’, for example, ‘.com’ is a top-level domain. These different types of top-level domain names help users to better understand a website and its functioning. The following are the three different types of top-level domain names and brief explanations of their unique functions.
Generic Top-Level Domain – gTLD
A generic top-level domain refers to the most commonly used top-level domains, one of the most recognisable would be ‘.com’. Generic top-level domains were once very simple, with only around 20 general types. Today, there are thousands of different generic top-level domains as different brands, businesses and organisations are able to create their own!
Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD
These types of top-level domains are able to differentiate between geographic areas, with different countries all over the world being able to use their own, for example, in South Africa, you would find that instead of using ‘.com’, most websites hold ‘.co.za’ while in Turkey, it is ‘.tr’. Differentiating between countries using a country code top-level domain is very useful and ensures that people are finding the best and most relevant information specific to the region that they are in.
Sponsored Top-Level Domain – sTLD
Some websites are sponsored by specific organisations and they would have a sponsored top-level domain. One of the best examples of these kinds of domains is the ‘.org’ domain, which provides information to users that a specific website is run by an organisation. Another very common one is ‘.gov’ which tells users that a specific domain name or website is run by the government.
How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website?
As we have discussed above, your domain name is an important part of your website and ensuring that you take the time to pick out the perfect name to suit your website is an important part of the process. There are many different things that should be considered before confirming and purchasing a domain name, with the following being some of the most important factors to take into consideration.
Make it Easy To Type And Pronounce
One of the reasons why domains are no longer represented in a numerical format is to make it easier for users to type in the domain name and get to your website. It is important that when creating your domain name you take this into consideration and ensure that your name is both easy to type and pronounce. If your domain name is one that is confusing and hard to say, users may get confused when trying to find your website through its domain name. Ensuring that the name is easy to write, easy to pronounce and is relevant to your brand or business is an important aspect to consider when choosing the best domain name for your website.
Keeping Your Domain Name on Brand
relevance is extremely important when it comes to choosing a domain name and ensuring that the name that you pick remains true to your brand is an essential part of making it easy for users to use. Using your company name is very popular as most users will register this as the best way to identify who you are. If your name is quite common and has been used as another domain name, try and find another relevant domain to use, something that users will easily remember and be able to type into the search bar. It is recommended that you keep this name short and concise as long-winded words and sentences tend to get lost or typed in wrong which may cause frustration. Using keywords is always a good way to ensure that users and search engines easily associate your domain name with your brand!
Choose The Right Domain Extension
The domain extension refers to the last part of your domain name and it follows on from a bullet point. One of the most commonly used domain extensions is ‘.com’. Using the best domain extension for your website can help users and search engines better understand the content on your website, for example, if you are part of a government organisation adding in ‘.gov’ to the end of your domain name will inform users that you form part of the government or if you use ‘.biz’ they will know that you are a business or e-commerce website. Using the correct domain extension to match what you do is an important part of developing your domain name and taking it into consideration is necessary to your SEO and reader visibility.
How to Buy a Domain Name?
Now that we know and understand what a domain name is and why we need to have a domain name for our websites, it’s important to fully understand how one goes about buying a domain name and registering it.If you are asking yourself the question “how do get a domain name for my website”, the following are a few of the most basic steps to take to ensure that your domain name is properly chosen and registered to your website.
Do a Domain Name Search
An important aspect of purchasing a domain name is looking at whether or not the names you have identified to be good are being used for another website. You are able to use a checker tool to see whether it’s available or perhaps for sale. Remember, many websites have been created using the ‘.com’ domain extension and an easy way to change your domain name if it is being used is to change this domain extension. Carefully consider who your brand or business is and what they offer and decide on what would be the best domain extension to use! There are tons of other options that stray from the standard ‘.com’ extension.
Choose a Domain Registrar
You will also need to choose a domain registrar to purchase the domain. If you are not wanting to purchase from a domain registrar, you can also choose to get your domain name from a web hosting provider, one of the best examples of this is Bluehost. When deciding which domain registrar or web hosting provider to purchase from, it is important to take things like price, features and ad-ons that are included within your fee. If a provider seems to be offering you a domain name for a very good price, they may be leaving out some crucial elements that you may need to purchase separately, which could increase the cost of the product.
Pricing plans differ across the various platforms that sell domain names and ensuring that you are aware of all that is included within the product that you are purchasing is important. Things like the ability to forward emails and DNS management should always be included, so be sure to read the fine print before completing your purchase! If a price is too good to be true, it usually is! Though there are ways of getting a website domain for free, it is important to consider what is included and look at what may cost extra! You will also need to know how to renew your domain name if it is only valid over a certain amount of time.
Private Domain Registration
Once you have completed your payment and have successfully purchased your domain name, you will need to validate it through an email that will be sent to you. This will complete the process and verify that you are the sole owner of the domain! This step is extremely important as it will ensure that no other person can use the name unless you give permission to sell it.
Where is The Best Place to Buy a Domain Name?
As the need for domain names grows, so do the businesses offering domain names to users! There are tons of different providers that can help you find the perfect domain name for your website, each with individual strengths and unique qualities. The following are just a few of the best places to buy a domain name.
NameCheap. is a great company to purchase a domain name through, with features like a domain name generator and an easy to use domain name transfer system to help you transfer over your website to another domain name! This platform is a great and cost-effective tool that can help you find the best options for your domain name and help you easily set up and register it! NameCheap. is a great option to consider if you are looking for a reputable brand to purchase a domain name from.
Domain.com. is a brilliant all in one hosting platform that will help you to come up with the perfect domain name for your website? The price paid includes an all in one service with numerous offerings, even helping to manage your site! For those who are using WordPress, this platform is able to easily integrate its systems and help you with all aspects of your website!
As a leading search engine in terms of market share, who better to help you pick and manage your domain name than Google itself? When it comes to how to get a domain for a website, Google is one of the top platforms to go through. The platform uses an annual fee system whereby you have to pay a fee each year to keep the domain name. Google offers an easy to use platform for users to use and offers safe and secure payment systems. As a trusted provider to millions all over the world, Google Domains. Is one of the most reputable domain purchasing platforms to use!