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What is a domain and how can I get one?

May 12, 2021
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Hi, my name is Kaitlynn. And you are?  


What's In a Name? 



Your name is the first and foremost detail that distinctly identifies you separately from everyone else in a room. Parents-to-be will often agonize over the perfect name for their unborn child. While one parent wants the name to be truly unique, the other may be leaning toward a familial namesake. Fortunately, if they get it wrong and name you Wilbur, you can always go by your middle name, John.  


Once you purchase a domain name for your website, however, you can't just cavalierly make a change. That's because your website's name, aka domain name, also identifies your distinct address on the internet. Type it with one dash or letter off and no one can find you. 


So Is My Domain Name Important? 



Imagine if health insurance provider Anthem went by You can't picture it either, can you?  


Yes, it's very important! Your domain name not only creates the first impression for visitors to your site, but it also defines your brand. So you want to choose carefully. 


A good domain name should be unique, concise (6 to 14 characters is optimum) as well as easy to remember, so don't get carried away with including a lot of numbers, dots, and dashes. Your domain name should also be simple to spell and pronounce not only for typing into a search bar but also for passing along by word of mouth. Additionally, if your domain includes a specific keyword, it can help improve your SEO 


Domains also require an extension at the end of the name, the most common being ".com," which is used by the commercial sector and is the extension of choice for over 46 percent of global websites. You're probably also familiar with ".net" (typically used by internet providers and technology companies), and ".org," (the standard choice for non-profits), but there are a great many more.  


One more thing: Once you have your heart set on your unique, concise, easy-to-remember, SEO-rich domain name, you'll have to first verify whether that name is available. No two domain names can be exactly the same, so it's probably best to have a second, third, or even fourth choice in mind in case someone beats you to the punch.


How Do I Get a Domain? 



It's easiest to get a domain name through a domain name registrar, like GoDaddy or Google Domains. Not only do registrar companies make the process easy, they usually provide free name generators that can assist you in finding suitable alternate domain names if you were unfortunate enough to find out your first (and second, and third, and fourth) names were taken.  


No matter how you obtain a domain name you'll have to pay an annual fee, although some companies may waive the fee temporarily if you sign on for some of their other services like web hosting. In fact, it's often those added services that lead businesses to choose one domain registration company over another. Since GoDaddy and Google Domains are both well-known in the industry, we'll list a few of the finer points each company has to offer. 




  • Provides web-hosting services
  • Provides over 600 extensions to choose from
  • Provides email services
  • Provides good customer support, though not all 24/7


Google Domains

  • Partners with several third-party web hosting providers offering a streamlined process
  • Provides hundreds of domain extensions to choose from
  • Free email forwarding with the ability to set up as many as 100 email aliases for new domains
  • Domains can be easily linked with existing Blogger and Google Sites
  • Excellent customer service with email, chat, and 24/7 phone capability, plus extensive documentation



If you ask us, both companies offer some pretty good services. But when it comes to security, we're squarely in the Google Domains camp. Here's why: 


You may not know it, but when you register for a domain name, you have to provide personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and email address, and that information can be collected by third parties who all too often will use it for unscrupulous purposes. When you register with Google Domain, they replace your personal information with a third-party's information so your identity is protected. And they do that for no extra charge.  


GoDaddy offers a similar service in their basic privacy protection plan but at an additional cost. For us, that's a dealbreaker.  


The Takeaway 



Computers aren't really designed to deal with catchy names. They much prefer dots and numbers. Humans, on the other hand, relate quite well to them. That's why we have so many Rileys and Jacksons out there. 


It also explains the need for Domain Name System (DNS) servers that convert those catchy web addresses into IP addresses so computers can communicate with each other. Without them and the companies that register domain names, you wouldn't be able to get on the web and show off all the amazing things your company has to offer. 


And while there are plenty of domain registrars to choose from, it's good to know that with Google Domains, you're getting a service from one of the most recognizable and reliable brands in the world that also makes your security a priority. 


More questions? How about some more answers? Feel free to fill out the form below with your individual queries, and we'll be sure to get back to you right away! 



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