A domain name is the name part of the address of a website on the internet. For example, the domain name in “www.google.com” is “Google”. It the part of a web address that is unique for every website. Using a domain name generally requires that you register it especially if your website is for business purposes. This means that you pay a recurring – usually annual – cost to own the rights to the domain name.
However, it is possible to have a website with a name that you do not pay for. Such a domain name is a called a sub-domain because it is created under a main domain name. Despite the fact that a sub-domain is free, there are many disadvantages to using them. It is better to register your own domain name.
There are plenty of good reasons why you should register your domain name. They include:
Identity and Branding
A domain name is basically what identifies your website or business on the internet. If you offer a particular product or service and you intend to have an online presence, you should register the domain name to preserve your brand on the internet. Not doing so will allow someone else to register that domain name. It is not a good idea to have a website with a different name from your company’s. If your company is named Reef Hotels, wouldn’t you rather have your website at “www.reefhotels.com”?
Starting any business requires that you register your company along with the name by which the company will be known. That name remains yours as long as the company exists. The same goes for registering domain names. When you register a domain name, it remains yours as long as you keep paying for it or until you choose to sell it.
Trump the Competition
You can prevent your competition from choosing domain names similar to yours by registering those domain names for yourself. This will keep them from using those domain names to their advantage or to your detriment.
Professionalism and Credibility
Having a main domain name allows you to look respectable to your website’s visitors and potential business partners or sponsors. Compare the following examples:
www.greatcoffee.com (main domain)
Which of the following sites would you want to order “great coffee” from? No one would want to do business with a company that cannot afford to pay for a regular website.
A registered domain name allows visitors and potential customers to find your website easily and directly. See the “great coffee” example above. Which of those sites would customers find it easier to type in?
Advertising and Marketing
You can include the keywords that you are targeting in your domain name. Thus, if you intend to sell medical equipment on your website, your web address can simply be “www.medicalequipment.com”. This allows your website to be found easily on the internet for search queries for medical equipment. It also allows you to easily create an advertising campaign with the words “medical equipment”.
Change Internet Service Providers and Web Hosting Providers Easily
Using a sub-domain website means that you use a web host as the main domain. It also means that your website depends on that web host. Registering a domain name prevents this. Therefore, you can switch providers at any time you choose without hassle.
One form of online business is called Online Real Estate. The online real estate business model entails registering domain names which you think will be in high or special demand in the future. They are then sold at a profit to buyers who need those unique domain names. Many people make money on the internet in this way. Some domain names have even been sold for millions of dollars.
Search Engine Indexing
If you make use of free sub-domain names, it is very likely that your website will not be ranked well by search engines.
Personalized Email Accounts
When you register your domain name, you can create email addresses that incorporate your domain name. For example, your Room Reservations email address (for a hotel) can read “[email protected]”.
If you choose to use your domain name as a sub-domain, there is the chance that the web host may register the domain name for itself. Thus, it will be unavailable when you decide to register it as a main domain name. It is best that you register your domain name independently with a domain name registrar.
There are many domain name registrars on the internet. The best ones include GoDaddy.com, and Namecheap.com.