What is a Domain Name & How Do I Choose One?

What is a Domain Name & How Do I Choose One?

A domain name is simply your website name. It's the address of your website on the internet. It will always stay the same, unless you change it or don't renew it.

A domain name can be any unique combination of letters or numbers, but is usually only letters. It doesn't have to be the name of your business, but most likely it is.

You will have to 'buy' or register your domain name and renew it each year in order to retain ownership. Prices can vary to register a domain name between domain registers (the companies which sell domains) and the suffix or ending part of the domain you would like, .com .co.nz or .nz for example.

A domain name is not the same as a URL, but a part of it. This is because a URL will contain your domain name at the start, but after it will contain information about a specific page on your site. For example, your domain name is www.mydomain.co.nz and a URL for your website may be www.mydomain.co.nz/my-product with the my-product part showing that it is another page on your site. A URL can be shared to help people find a specific page without having to look through your website to find it. A URL is also what is shown in Google search results too.

What Can I Do with a Domain?

There are four things you can do with a domain you have registered and own. You can:

  • do nothing, simply own it - this is a strategy some domain traders use, purchasing domain names they think will be valuable in the future.
  • use it for a website
  • use it for an email account
  • use it for a website and an email account

It's important to know that a domain name isn't a website. To get a website, you will need to build one using our free drag and drop website builder link the domain name to it and pay for hosting. Read How to Make a Website for more information on how to build your site.

How Do I Choose a Domain Name?

There are a lot of schools of thought about how to choose a domain name. Some people believe it should contain a keyword, others that it should be the name of your business. But we believe that when choosing a domain name, the most important things are that it must be:

  • short - between 6 to 14 characters
  • easy to spell
  • easy to pronounce
  • brandable
  • made of letters
  • unique

As a part of choosing your domain name, you will also need to decide on the suffix or extension at the end. This means choosing from .com, .co.nz, .nz, .world, .net etc. One of the best ways to protect your domain is to purchase the relevant domain extensions as well as your main one. This will prevent others from taking it and using it for their own website. You can easily redirect traffic from these extensions to your main website for free.

Take a read of our FAQ page on choosing, buying and using domain names for more information.

Tags: domain names  

Posted: Thursday 16 August 2018