How can You Use Your Hosted Domain Name[1]?

Lacking Ideas or Direction for your Domain Name?

Possibilities of Choice

Perhaps the first thing I should state is that once you have at least purchased, hosted and demonstrated to yourself that your Domain Name is live and active with perhaps a WordPress theme installed a lack of options is rarely an issue.  The norm is that there are too many options and how do you select the best option or options?

 

You NEED a PLAN

Plan for Domain Name Site

Essentially and ideally you need a plan setting out what you want to do.  You will probably be aware and if not do some research (I will highlight various options below and on subsequent posts) that there are literally thousands of organisations which imply they can make you a lot of money in double quick time once you have a Web Site.  Take it from me that is simply “hype” and the number of people who have made substantial sums of money in a very limited time frame is a very small percentage of the total involved in this market (estimates state over 90% of Marketers do not make money on the Internet).

 

BEWARE of Clever Marketing!

Beware Clever Marketing

I have come to the conclusion that some (please note some, NOT all) of those selling Internet Marketing Programs make their money from Marketing and Selling the Digital Product to customers, but perhaps have never made much money from the implementation or use of the  product they are selling.  It could be said they are selling the “idea or concept” not the actual experience of having used the product to make money from the practical application of the product.  I sometimes feel there are comparisons with Multi-Level Marketing (MLM).

Pyramid Selling

MLM is a business model or marketing strategy in which the distributors’ income includes their own sales, and a percentage of the sales group they recruit, which is commonly known as their ‘down-line’. Customers can also sign up as a distributor to sell the company’s product.  In practice what often happens is selling the product is secondary to recruiting distributors with the product often being overpriced and simply used as a “magnet” to build a network, hence also the name “Net Work Marketing” or “Pyramid Selling“.   While some have made a lot of money in MLM and it is not illegal I now stay clear of it for “ethical reasons”.

 

A FEW OPTIONS and IDEAS.

Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing
Internet marketing, or online marketing, refers to advertising and marketing efforts that use the Web and email to drive direct sales via electronic commerce, in addition to sales leads from websites or emails.

There are many Free and Paid for courses available which will take you into the mechanics of Internet Marketing.  At this stage a warning is required.  Unless you have a lot of money to go on a specialist course in perhaps a “niche market” it will take time to learn the mechanics of Internet Marketing and probably even more time to achieve a degree of success.  Don’t give up your day job in the short term unless you happen to have no dependants and you are only responsible for the upkeep of yourself.  Marketers when selling courses etc, have a well worn script of rags to riches which is regularly trotted out.  In about fifty percent of Webinars (online sales promotions which tend to last at least 1 hour) you will quickly find a similar theme occurring again and again.   Treat all of these with scepticism.  After listening to a few you begin to say – “not again“.

Affiliate Marketing
You will find the word “Affiliate” occurring again and again in respect of Internet Marketing. So here is a dictionary definition “a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.”  Here is a Link to a site that provides a lot of relevant information >>> Click Here <<<

Autoresponder
Almost certainly no matter what you do with your Domain (except selling it) you will want to “sign up” for an AutoResponder.  “An autoresponder is a computer program that automatically answers an e-mail sent to it”.  What happens is that when someone “lands on” your Domain Name Web Site you have a “contact box” for them to enter their email address.  This address is then automatically transferred to an autoresponder where it is retained and held for present and future use.  The autoresponder can confirm they have signed up to your Web Site and is used to send them offers and reminders on a prearranged  time frame in the future.

AWeber Click Automations - Click this, send that
There are a great number of “autoresponders” in the marketplace but some are more comfortable with Internet Marketing than others.  As far as I am aware all autoresponders charge a monthly or annual fee, mostly based on likely usage with a minimum fee being payable.  My recommended autoresponder which is comfortable with Internet Marketing is “AWEBER“(Please note this is an Affiliate Link and if you join I would earn a commission).  I have used others but suddenly they have closed my account and refused to explain why.  Almost certainly it was because I was promoting Digital Offers as an Affiliate.  I have also enclosed a FREE Aweber PDF LINK describing the writing of Emails >>> Click Here <<<.

 

Squeeze/Landing Page Builder
In the event you decide to get involved in Internet Marketing you will need what is known as a “Squeeze Page Builder or Landing Page Builder”.  This piece of Software is used to build pages which have offers of Digital products, Physical products or Services on them or have Sales Pages promoting products.  There are many products in the market with a wide range of prices.  Many of these software Landing Pages can be purchased as an “ADD ON” to WordPress (i.e. known as a Plug In).  These Plug Ins are loaded onto your hosted Domain Name Site which will already have WordPress installed.  The prices of these software’s and their features vary enormously from monthly fees to outright purchase of a software package.  There is also a regular drip feed of new low cost new Page Builders suitable for Internet Marketing which come to market.

Landing Pages for your Domain Name

 

If you go down this route I suggest you do some research via Google or YouTube before deciding which software to purchase.  I am providing an Affiliate Link to “InstaBuilder” which is fine for most purposes and reasonably priced, however I suggest you use this link to help you research similar products prior to making any buy decision.

Where too Next?
The foregoing has planted a few ideas and highlighted pros and cons.  In my next post I will continue to outline possible direction’s of travel in respect of a variety of options using your Hosted Domain Name.

Do Not Give Up with Domain Name

cPanel and an Email for your Domain Name

Domain Name recap of Progress
O.K., for those who are still with me I want to simply summarise where you should be now and where this post may or could take you.

You should by this stage have selected a Domain Name, have the Domain Name hosted, and have WordPress or other platform building software installed on you Domain Name.  You may even have installed a few “plugins” if you are using WordPress.  Remember we are operating on a “shoestring budget” so the vast majority of tips to date are based on the need to minimise cost and provide a suitable final result.   Quite properly your main focus to date will have been “to get something up and working” and “build confidence” that you can actually do this.  If you are still struggling with the “how to” keep at it until you succeed.  DO NOT progress beyond this stage.  Remember, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

Domain Names - Inspiration

If you have achieved all the previously mentioned “goals” then I am going to provide you with a few other simple tasks it is possible to do using your cPanel.  As stated in a previous post I am not a cPanel expert but there is any amount of “Expert Free Advice” available on the Web and YouTube for technical aspects of the cPanel.

 

cPanel “aide-memoire”
I am not trying to be smart or cheeky.  However, there is so much to learn in Information Technology and there is so much information. You will likely be bombarded with over hyped offers thrown at you (they call this “Internet Marketing”).  You may begin to wonder what is a cPanel?  I have been there, so I know what happens when something is used as a “one off” to get things “up and going“.

cPanel Reminder

So, just to remind you “cPanel is a web based hosting control panel provided by many hosting providers to website owners allowing them to manage their websites from a web based interface.”  You will need your User Name and Password to access your cPanel.

 

cPanel for setting up Domain Name Email address
Do you think it would look very professional if you set up an email address that compliments your Domain Name?  Well that is possible.  For example this domain name is “myprodomain.com” and I have an email address “robert@myprodomain.com”.  You can now do the same for your Domain Name.

Lets help set up your email.  Login into your cPanel and scroll down to section titled “Email” and click on top left hand corner of section “Email Accounts”.

Email for Domain Name

 

When you click on this you will be taken to the following screen:-

Email Create

 

Click on “CREATE” button which will take you to the following screen:-

Email Creation 2

 

When you enter this screen there will be a heading “Domain” and if you click on down arrow it will give you a list of domains or if you have only 1 domain there will be no down arrow.  Click on the Domain Name you want to set up an email for.  In the nest box “USERNAME” you will be able to enter the desired prefix to the Domain Name selection made previously.  You may decide to enter your “name” or perhaps “customer service” or other relevant prefix.  Make sure your prefix is relevant to the Web Site you have set up.

Next Sub Heading is security.  I simply leave “Set Password Now” box ticked and the system generates a Password.  You do not need to note the password if you are not going to redirect (explanation below) the email, but if you are unsure copy the Password into “Note Pad” or similar system.  Hit “GENERATE” button and “hey presto” a Password is generated.

Below the Generate button there are a number of other boxes.  Leave them all in “Default mode” and Press “CREATE” button at the bottom of the page.  When you press “CREATE” button you will be taken to a screen similar to that below.

 

Webmail Application

Choose one of the Web Mail Applications – it does not matter which one you choose.  When you select your application you will be taken to your email screen.   Your email screen will be similar to the screen below.  You will notice that the Web Mail Application I choose was “roundcube”.

Email Application by Webmail

 

You can go back to you “Home Screen” on the cPanel; scroll down to Email section, click on “Email Accounts” and you will be taken to the screen below previously referred to for “Email Creation”.  However, in the bottom half of this screen there is a list of your email Account(s), Restrictions, Storage Used and buttons titled “CHECK EMAIL”, “MANAGE” and “CONNECT DEVICES”

Checking Email by domain Name

 

CHECK EMAIL button
When you click on this button it will take you to your email account.  You do not need a password to access this as long as you have signed into your cPanel.

 

MANAGE button
Clicking on this button results in a screen that lets you manage your email and at the bottom of the screen there is even an OPTION to let you DELETE your email.  You can have a look as you can do no harm by simply clicking the button.

 

CONNECT DEVICES button
You may enter this screen at no risk of upsetting anything you have previously done.  The main purpose of the screen is to let you redirect your Domain Name Email to other Email addresses from this screen.  The screen provides various protocols depending on which Email you want to redirect the Domain Name Email to and the type of operating software on your computer.

Connect Devices

This can be a complex area given the number of  Web Mail Application suppliers there are and the different operating systems on computers.  Therefore each reader will have to do their own research specific to their circumstances.   I would also advice a search on YouTube will reveal a wealth of specific information on this matter – most videos last approximately 10 minutes.

 

Connecting to your Domain Name Email from a Different Email
The previous paragraph gave outline advice on using the cPanel Email section to forward your Domain Name Email to a different (i.e. Desired Management Email) email.  It is possible using the set-up options in the Desired Management Email to reverse the process from cPanel forwarding to “Desired Management Email; to Desired Management Email to Domain Name Email on cPanel.

Reverse Order Domain Name Email Setup

As previously explained due to the number of Web Mail Application each supplier can have its own peculiarities.  Once again do a search on YouTube for the correct advice and solution to suit your circumstances.

Summary
A lot of the above may appear on first reading as “gobble gook”, but when you enter your cPanel and systematically work through items it will start to make sense.  Setting up emails on to correspond with your Domain Name is unlikely to be a high priority initially, but you should be aware of the facility.

Do Not Give Up

cPanel for Domain Name and Hosting

Where are you Now in respect of a “Domain Name” and “Hosting”?
O.K., by this stage if you have followed previous Blogs you will have purchased “Hosting” and a “Domain Name”.  By now you will have received a receipt from the supplier or suppliers of these services (plural if you purchased Hosting and Domain Name from separate sources).

Where are You Now?

In respect of “Hosting” one of the emails you will receive will be related to your Hosting Account to include a note or details on “cPanel Access”.  This detail on “cPanel” will include the “cPanel Username” and a supplier generated “cPanel Password”.  When you use these details to access the cPanel you will have the OPTION to change the Password to one of your choosing.

 

What is a “cPanel”.
I cannot do better than provide you with a text book definition prior to going into practical illustrative detail.

cPanel is a web based hosting control panel provided by many hosting providers to website owners.  This panel allows them to manage their websites from a web based interface. This program gives users a graphical interface from which they can control their portion of the Unix server”.

To provide you with an illustration of what a cPanel looks like an extract of the top section of a cPanel for a Namecheap site is produced below.

cPanel extract

The standard cPanel contains headings such as Files, Databases, SEO and Marketing Tools, Domains, Email, Metrics, Security, Software, Advanced, Preferences, Softaculous App Installer.

As by this stage you should have access to your own cPanel;  “Logon” to your cPanel and verify the layout given in the previous paragraph and become familiar with the order of layout.

 

cPanel Warning!
A practical note of warning is now appropriate.

Warning re cPanel

Few of you reading this Blog will need access to your cPanel on a regular basis.  The normal experience for most readers will be that they purchase a Domain Name and have it hosted on a Hosting Site.  The Hosting Site will have a cPanel.  The user may have a supplier who will automatically upload the Domain Name to the Hosting Site (if Domain Name and Hosting are from the same supplier)  i.e. Bluehost or if prompted Namecheap.  Therefore, if your Domain Name is active on the world wide web (www) you may see no need to go to your cPanel.  However, most of us even if the Domain Name is entered onto the Hosting Site go to the cPanel initially for other reasons which will be listed below and on subsequent blogs.

Occasionally

So what is the warning about.  The warning is about frequency and time.  The reality is that when you buy a Domain Name, have it Hosted and get things up and going you rarely go back to the cPanel until you buy another Domain Name or you want to change some settings (which usually is very seldom).

This means that while at one stage you had some familiarity with how the cPanel worked and how to “effect changes etc or new setups” because you generally speaking so seldom use the facility you end up forgetting how to do things.  This is a reality for most of us and it means when you need to use the cPanel if you are an infrequent user, you just need to use your suppliers help desk.  There is no shame in that and it is a fact of life in respect of any service which you do not use or need to be using on a regular basis.

cPanel a Tool

Remember, the cPanel is only a tool used to produce an “end result” (a Domain Name Web page) and there is no valid reason why you should be adjusting or tinkering with your cPanel on a regular basis if things are running smoothly for any given Domain Name.

 

Hosting your Domain Name.
I am not going to go into detailed instructions on “how to do this” but I want to simply repeat previous advice for your convenience and reassurance.

    1. Where you are purchasing the Domain Name and Hosting from the same supplier, the suppliers default position maybe to enter your Domain Name onto the hosting account, so no problem here.  Make sure you get an SSL certificate for the site (see my post Hosting a Domain Name), and ask the supplier to install this for you.  I have bought or agreed to Free SSL certificates in the past from my single Hosting and Domain Name supplier.  In each case despite trying to install them myself I have had to ask the supplier via their Help Desk to install them.  For some reason the installation of these certificates is unnecessarily complex or perhaps I am just stupid!

Ignorant

2. Purchasing the Domain Name and Hosting from separate suppliers is usually more complicated.  In this case you will need details from the Domain Supplier and Hosting provider to marry both to one another.  I am not going to attempt to go through the mechanics of this.  The Domain Name supplier and Hosting provider web sites  are likely to have videos outlining the process or detailed written instructions.  Even these can be hard to follow so as a fall back I suggest you also do a search on YouTube .

YouTube

 

Some Practical Advice 
Getting the Domain Name and Hosting put together can be challenging and at other times things go well and it seems to be straightforward.  My best advice to you is do not attempt it if you are in a hurry.  When you are doing complex things in a hurry “Murphy’s Law” has a habit of “clicking in”.  “Murphy’s Law states that if a thing can go wrong it will go wrong”.  If you are in a hurry and things go wrong you will become stressed and upset and get yourself into a mindset of failure.

Do Not Despair

Leave adequate time to “work on this process”.  Another method is to take a few steps at a time spread over a number of occasions.  Then when each step appears to be working finally bring the whole process together.  At this stage DO NOT GIVE UP, keep at it.

Do Not Give Up

Purchasing a Domain Name

Where to Purchase a Domain Name
At this stage if you have been following this blog you will be familiar with and aware of the following:-

  1. What is a Domain Name?
  2. Picking a Domain Name Extension
  3. Selection of a Domain Name

You should now have selected a Domain Name or Names which you know is/are available to purchase.  It is always wise to have a choice of more than 1 name.  The reason for having a number of options comes down to the purchase price of the Domain Name.  There can be a wide variation in the price of different Domain Names.  The impact of the price variation means that your number one Illustration of a Domain Name

choice which is available may be prohibitively expensive.  If you are starting out on your internet journey or are just buying an additional Domain Name, unless you are a very experienced online marketer you want to avoid  spending all of your monies on the purchase of a Domain Name.  It is normally possible to get a similar name at a reasonable price.

 

Domain Name Registrar
All Domain Names are held on a Registrar.  Therefore, when you attempt to purchase a Domain Name it must be purchased from a company accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).  ICANN is a non profit organisation which  has been given the responsibility and authority to manage the Domain Name System.  It carries out this role by crediting “usually for profit organisations” with the “license or authority” to sell available Domain Names.

Register of Domain Names

When you attempt to buy a Domain Name you do not need to concern yourself that the selling organisation may not be registered with ICANN.  The larger well known companies will be registered and it is these organisations from which you should make your purchase.

Without the domain name system all we would have is confusing and hard-to-remember IP addresses (i.e a series of numbers), instead of the easy to use and remember domain names we have today.

Most domain name registrars today make it simple to purchase and renew your domain names. Nevertheless you need to choose wisely. Each register has their positives and negatives.  Later in this post a few of the positives and negatives will be highlighted.

 

Hosting
As  I provide analysis and advice below you will note the term “hosting” is referred to.  In writing a “blog” it is not always possible or advisable to put all the information in a single “blog” (information overload).  The other challenge is where two separate actions can take place concurrently.  This is a long way of saying that before you purchase your Domain Name from any Vendor you may be wise to read my next “blog” which deals with “Hosting a Domain Name”.

Hosting a Domain Name

 

How to Choose the Right Registrar
There are hundreds of domain name registrars to choose from.
Once you’ve found a domain name(s) that meets your requirements you need to consider a number of options when selecting a suitable registrar. Factors which you should take into account in your search are:-

 

1. Contract and Pricing
For most of us this will be our number 1 priority post selection of the Domain Name.  It is always prudent to review what is on offer from a selection of Domain Name registrars and start to get a “feel” of the various  pricing options.  Options are that you can usually register your domain for a period of one, three, five, or even ten years.

Contract and Pricing
If this is your first time registering a domain it is  recommended just registering a Domain Name for one year. You can usually turn on automatic renewal, which automatically renews your Domain Name at the end of the year.  My own preference is not to do this, as I like to keep control of my money.

You should also note that often the first years Domain Name fee can be very cheap with a large jump in the price of the Domain Name in subsequent years.  If you are not satisfied with the performance of your Domain Name registrar and you only sign up for a year you can always transfer the name elsewhere at the expiry of the year.

If possible be sure to investigate any costs in dealing with domain transfers, cost of renewal, and any additional fees that may be added at the renewal date.

 

2. Pricing Up sells and Pricing Add on’s
Many domain registrars will attempt to add on additional fees just as you’re about to purchase your domain name. The most common added fees are WHOIS (this provides your personal address if you are a private individual) and privacy protection. Frequently the  domain price being advertised is not always the final price.

Privacy Protection
Prior to completion of  your purchase make sure you’re not paying too much for your domain when compared to purchasing the same Domain Name from another registrar.  It does pay to “shop around”, and if possible try to ascertain a price for the second and subsequent years (it may not always be possible to do this).

Be particularly vigilant  to watch out for up sells that you might involuntarily add to your total.  Some examples of up sells are additional web hosting, multi-year domain registration, web site creation products and others.

Most registrars will offer additional web services above and beyond registering a domain name. Such services would be hosting, security certificates, web sites etc, etc.  These services will be discussed in detail on the next blog.

 

3. Customer Support
For almost all of us buying a Domain Name (including seasoned professionals); excellent and timely customer support is a must. Receiving an answer to a problem 3 days after the problem arises is just not acceptable.  As far as possible try to ensure support is responsive and helpful before you actually need it.

Do a google search on comments from customers on the various Domain Name registrars you are considering using.  This search should lead you to Blog Sites etc containing a wealth of information of the “pros and cons” of the registrar(s) under consideration.

Customer Support4. The User Experience
Once you have a domain name in your possession there are certain things you’re going to need to do to get your site up and running.  These things can all come under the heading of “Domain Name Hosting”  and will be addressed in detail in my next blog.

Hosting issues can be a nightmare if the hosting companies domain management systems are hard to use. If this is your first time purchasing a domain or even if you have previously purchased  a Domain Name , then be sure to choose a domain registrar that is user friendly.

User Friendly

 

Listing of 10 Domain Name Vendors?
A search on Google will provide you with an extensive list.  I have for your convenience listed out 10 Domain Name Registrars below (this is for information only and is not a recommendation of any of these vendors).  This listing is by no means an exhaustive list:-

  1. Google Domains
  2. 123Reg
  3. bluehost
  4. GoDaddy
  5. names.co.uk
  6. Easyspace
  7. Namecheap
  8. Domain.com
  9. one.com
  10. HostGator

 

A Brief Analysis/Comment  on Four Domain Vendors

Bluehost
Bluehost appears to be primarily interested in the provision of hosting.  They seek to sign the purchaser up to a monthly hosting plan and provide a free Domain Name.  There are bound to be restrictions on the selection of a Domain Name as depending on the “desirability”  of the Domain Names some names are much more expensive to purchase than others.

They have three different hosting plans all of which provide you with a single Domain Name.  Another feature which is not highlighted and which someone new to Domain Names would not be aware of, is that they automatically load your Domain Name onto the hosting platform and load WordPress Software onto your site.

Hosting a Domain Name

I have never used this company but it appears suitable for both novice and experienced users provided you can get the desired Domain Name as part of the monthly fee.  If you end up having to separately purchase the Domain Name then you need to consider the cost of monthly hosting and the cost of the Domain Name with other alternatives.

 

GoDaddy
GoDaddy has been in business for a considerable time.. They are both a domain registrar and a hosting company, so they can do a lot for your site without you having to turn elsewhere. They are the world’s biggest domain name registrar and they also sell a lot of other services to support larger sites, eCommerce sites, and much more.

They tend to have a very varied pricing structure. However, the good news is they are forever running promotions where you can register a domain for as little as $0.99.  If you have a lot of patience and are very savvy you could end up with a very good offer for the first year.

Go Daddy Domain Name

GoDaddy  offers a great range of services, but I have often struggled with the layout of their site and what exactly I end up signing up for. In plain English I did not find their site intuitive. The site is very promotion and marketing driven and often they are so busy bombarding you with offers that it is difficult to see the “wood from the trees”.

Their support is adequate but in my opinion not “first class”.

My biggest hate about GoDaddy is the hard sell once you select your Domain Name. The extras that they try to add into your basket is way over the top.  In addition if you do purchase something and omit to tick the correct boxes you are subsequently bombarded to your email box with additional promotions and offers.  As I am a person who does not like to be intimated with offers and having used them once I never used them again for the reasons listed in this paragraph.

 

Namecheap
Namecheap has a site which is probably one of the most intuitive and easy to use in this business. Having stated this; even then, I get myself into confusion periodically but please read on. They offer reasonably priced domains (especially after the first year), and have a number of free services including SSL encryption which will be referred to in my next blog.

Registering a domain with Namecheap is relatively straightforward and there is no pressure to buy additional up sells.

Namecheap Domain Name

Where issues arise in setting up your domain they have numerous easy to follow tutorial videos.  However, they do only offer person to person phone support, so you won’t be able to speak to someone if the need arises. That being said, their online chat support is incredibly responsive, helpful and patient and is available 24/7.

As a user of this online chat support I have found it second to none even when they are dealing with what seems a routine query.  As a side issue, may I say there are no routine issues, all issues no matter how trivial are important.  The difference is some take longer than others to resolve.  Another issue of importance is that they are usually able to solve your issue on the online chat support within 24 hours.

 

HostGator
HostGator tends to have similarities with Bluehost.  Beyond registering domains they’re mostly known for their hosting. They offer low-priced hosting and free domain registration bundles plus Email for the first year.

Hosting a Domain Name
If you do purchase a bundle package and decide to get hosting as well, then you’ll be happy to hear that they have a 99.99% up time, meaning your website will very rarely, if ever, go offline.

HostGator provides a solid foundation for you to start your online journey  They are promotion and marketing driven but just not to the same level as GoDaddy.

 

Finally
This has been a long blog post, but I trust you have picked up many “nuggets of information”.

There are no perfect Domain Names, but applying the advice given in this post can help you strive towards a suitable Domain Name at a reasonable price with good support available when issues arise (which they will)!

Long Blog Post

Do not fall into the trap  of “Paralysis by analysis” which is the state of over-analysing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralysing the outcome.  At times you will just have to go forward on a best judgement.  Most expertise only comes through a degree of trial and error and with the passing of time.  They call this experience and there really is no substitute for experience.

On a personal note my recommended Domain Name registrar would be Namecheap, for reasons of ease of use, support 24/7 and also reasonable pricing especially when renewals are due.

Do not beat yourself up if your first efforts cause you problems.  We have all been there.  As long as you do not waste all your money on a single effort you will be able to try again.  A positive is, that it takes little money to purchase and host a Domain Name.

 

Do Not Give Up

Picking a Domain Name Extension

Picking a Domain Name is Simple but Not Simple

Some of you will realise the above heading is an “oxymoron”.  I will take the time and trouble to provide a definition of “oxymoron”.  Oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an adjective proceeded by a noun with contrasting meanings, such as “cruel kindness,” or “living death”.

So why the English lesson when we are discussing “Picking a Domain Name”?  Well, the reality is that it is very easy to select a Domain Name; but (there is always a but) it is much harder and it requires a lot more thought and effort to get the correct or best fit Domain Name.  It would be fair to say it is almost impossible to get a perfect name but it is important to strive towards perfection.

Possibilities of Choice

 

Pre Domain Name Selection Considerations – Extensions

You may have noticed that there is a suffix added to all Domain Names.  Amazon uses suffixes such as “.com” to give Amazon.com or “.co.uk” to give Amazon.co.uk Other large companies do the same.

These suffixes are known as Domain Extensions.  Examples of Domain Extensions are “.com”; “.co.uk”; “.net”; “.org”; “.site”; etc , etc.  There are a huge variety of Domain Extensions and most (if not all) countries have their own extension.  So for example “.co.uk” tends to designate a United Kingdom extension while “.us” tends to be associated with the United States of America.

Domain Name Extensions

In reality in most cases if a Domain Name with any extension is available and you are willing to pay for the name and extension you can purchase it irrespective of where you live.  An example is the Web Site you are currently looking at where the url is https://myprodomain.com.   I am based in the United Kingdom but I have no problem purchasing an unrelated country domain extension name.  If you are based in the United States you could purchase a domain extension with “.co.uk” (this extension tends to designate a  United Kingdom site).

There is a hierarchy of Domain Extensions known as “Top Level Domains [T.L.D.]”.  The “.com” extension is known as a Top Level Domain Extension and “.com” extensions added to a Domain Name are usually more expensive to purchase than other extensions such as “.net” or “.org” etc, etc.

Do Domain Name Extensions Matter?

The “Law of the Situation” applies to this question.  This law states that “solutions to management problems should be governed by the demands of the situation and not by reference to any authority or principle”.

So, lets apply this law to a number of separate scenario:-

Your Business and Your Target Market is Local.
If you were a single site small business such as an automobile repair business, then you will be servicing a local market (probably within a 20 mile radius [32 kilometres]).  In this case your actual Domain Name will be much more important and relevant than your Domain Name extension.  If someone is looking for you on the Web to check the range of work  that  your automobile service provides they will probably apply one of two search criteria – Automobile repairs or they may search by Business name.  The use of any of these two criteria will result in the search engine (i.e. google) showing all the Automobile engineers in the local area or bringing up the Business name (if business name was search criteria).

Auto Mechanic

In the scenario above as has been illustrated, the Domain Name extension is very much of secondary importance.  In most instances such as above the business will obtain a country Domain Name extension i.e. “.co.uk” (if available for the business name) or if the Domain Name which includes the Business Name is only available with another extension they will accept the other extension (i.e. “.net”; “.site”; etc, etc).  The point being made is that the Business Name being available is the priority over the desired extension being available.

 

Your Business is Local but Your Market is both Local and National
Let us assume you are a small retail business with a single shop selling meat products but specialising in different flavours of sausages.  You know there is a national market for these sausages within your own country (assume it is United Kingdom) and the European Union.  (The market will be restricted to these countries due to assumed food import/export regulations.)

In the example above your main market is local but you are also starting to build up a significant amount of your turnover from selling specialist flavoured sausages via the internet by post in special packaging.  To do this you had a Web Site developed with considerable thought given to both the Domain Name and Domain Name extension.

Butcher Shop Illustration

The first consideration was that the extension would be reflective of the country of origin (which would provide confidence to the consumer that these food products were coming from a country with well regulated food standards).  Therefore you wanted a name extension that had “.co.uk” or as a fall back “.com”.  No other Domain Name was considered appropriate taking into consideration the target market and the business objective and needs.

The trading name of the business was “Hoys the Butcher”.  On consideration the business name was considered too long and was also not available with any of the two extensions referred to.  A compromise was arrived at.  The Domain Name “HoysMeats” was available, as was also “.co.uk” therefore the Domain Name with the extension became “hoysmeats.co.uk”.

I may have laboured this example but I trust it illustrates the point in respect of the combination and importance of both the Domain Name and the Extension attached to the Domain Name in a local business with both a local and  a national market.

 

Your Business has the Potential to attract Customers from Many Countries
It is highly unlikely that any reader of this blog will be a Chief Executive of a major world wide business.  However, many of the readers will be seeking to build or have built for them Web Sites which will have a genuine world wide appeal or certainly will appeal to English speaking Countries and the  Consumers within these Countries.

Map of the World

Examples of the type of business I am referring to would be Internet Marketing,  especially where you are seeking to attract customers (i.e. pull marketing as opposed to push marketing).  Within Internet Marketing some sub-divisions would be:-

1)Affiliate Marketing (i.e. ClickBank, or JvZoo [marketing of digital products which are downloaded to the purchasers computer when a sale is made]);

2)Drop Shipping (marketing a physical product via your Web Site and getting a third party to deliver the product when a Sale is made – you never handle the product)

So, the question arises what Domain Name Extension should be used for this type of business which can draw customers from around the globe?

Well, within the Domain Name Extensions hierarchy the  Top Level Domain Extension is globally recognised as “.com”.  Hence the Web Site you are currently looking at has a “.com” Extension.  So before you finally select a Domain Name make sure if you are in this market that your ultimate Domain Name has available a “.com” extension.

 

Summary of Advice on Domain Name Extensions
Perhaps at this stage after reading all this detail about Extensions and the examples given you are wondering – how could you say so much about such a minor item?

Well, if you ask that question you have missed the point.  What is the point?  The point is the Domain Name Extension can be unimportant or important, depending on the Market you are operating in or intend to operate in.

Missed the Point

If you pay extra for a Domain Name Extension you do not need, then you are wasting money and obtaining no extra benefit by having a Top Level  Domain Name Extension.  If you try to save on money at the expense of an unsuitable Domain Name Extension your traffic will be less and your Business will suffer from lack of  traffic.  If  there is little traffic there will be few Sales

 

Do Not Give Up