This is the first in a series of posts that will explain the different types of digital assets that are required to setup, support and fuel the online presence for your business or brand.
This post will explore domain names. A domain name is essentially the physical (albeit virtual) address that represents your brand online.
Lets begin with the assumption that you already have a company/brand name, an awesome logo and a clear understanding of your company’s unique selling points (USPs); these assets will help when making decisions on content at various stages.
Choosing Your Domain
There are various important factors to take into consideration when choosing your domain name, also known as a URL – or Uniform Resource Locator for any die-hard techies out there.
In an ideal world you would own a domain name that directly correlates to your brand name and if possible, include a keyword that helps to identify your service offering, which will help with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts at a later date. For example if you own a used car dealership called Sterling, it would make sense to try and register sterlingusedcars.co.uk.
Over the past couple of years the choices of domain extensions (the characters after the final full stop) have increased significantly with the inclusion of new and exciting TLDs (top level domains). These currently range from .academy, .adult and .aero through to .you, .zero and .zone; these new extensions have really broadened the creative and descriptive possibilities for the humble domain name.
So, you have a great domain name idea and now you want to purchase it, how do you do that? This is actually quite straightforward, simply head over to any web host that offers domain registration and type in your domain in the search box, the service will then tell you if it’s available and probably provide alternative available options, which may or may not be useful.
It can be likely that your first choice domain is already taken, especially if you are going for a .com or .co.uk extension. This is when you need to get creative. While searching for our domain, most variants of ‘method’ (.co.uk, .com etc.) were already taken. As such, we decided the concept of ‘weare<brand-name>’ was a great alternative, especially when combined with the .io extension which has become synonymous with tech companies.
Before committing to purchase your domain name it is worth considering your registrar of choice, factors that should influence your decision are Domain Name Server (DNS) lookup speeds and hosting costs. The speed of a DNS lookup request is a consideration that will impact the time it takes for your webpage to load, more specifically the time it takes before your web site even starts to load, which in turn will have an impact on your SEO performance.
It can be helpful to keep your domain registration and web hosting with the same company, this will make managing your web assets that little bit simpler, but by no means is this an essential requirement.
So where do you go to find the perfect web host for your exciting new website? This will be covered in the next post of this series along with steps for choosing the right platform to run your site on, as these go hand in hand.