What is a Domain Name?

Image blog WebSelfImagine a world where streets have no name, as U2 sang. Although it may sound poetic, it would make our world messy and less organized. Imagine now a world without domain names. Contrary to what you think, it would also make our life messier since it is domain names that allow us to find websites easily. If domain names did not exist, we would have to find Internet pages with their IP address, which is a code with many numbers. For instance, Facebook’s code could be 445.548.999, while WebSelf could be 456.98.898.95. It would not be practical at all.  

What is a domain name exactly?

To summarize it briefly, a domain name is what you can found in the rectangle on the top of a webpage. It starts with www. and ends by .com, .ca, .fr, .org, etc. It is your website address and it is very similar to the way a street address works. As you may have guessed, it is important to have a domain name relevant to your sector of activities since it is one of the first thing search engines examine to refer your website properly. In fact, to have one is one of the first steps to do before publishing your work. Did you know that there were 15 000 registered domain names in 1992 and that there were already more than 265 000 000 ones in 2013? The advent of domain names occurred at the same time as the Internet. A fee is normally charged for your own space on the cyberspace. Please be aware, however, that it is not possible to buy a domain name already owned by someone else, unless you try to redeem it.

o you know the Nissan Motors vs Nissan Computers case? It is the perfect story to make you understand the importance of having your own domain name. In 1994, the domain name Nissan was bought by someone who had its own computer company. A few years later, the multinational company Datsun changed its name for Nissan and then wanted to buy their place on the Internet. Unfortunately for the car manufacturer, their name was already taken and Mr. Nissan from Nissan Computers did not want to sell its domain name. Nissan Motors then sued the small computer company but it lost in court. Consequently, the car manufacturer has had to take ‘’nissanusa’’ as its domain name for its American webpage. The computer company must have a lot of visitors looking for a new car!

What is the difference between a good and a bad domain name?

To start with, think about all the websites you frequent regularly. What ensures that you remember their names easily? What gives you the impression that it is a reliable website? Choose a short, simple, and catchy domain name. Use your company name (if possible), keywords related to your sector of activities or your geological position as inspiration. With whom would you prefer to work between these two: www.freeelancer-compters1975.toronto.mywebsite.net or www.computerstoronto.com? The answer is quite obvious since the second computer company seems much professional than the first one. Make sure to verify your spelling before buying your domain name. It would be a shame to have something with an error in it, even if it may be less expensive as the correct version.

For example, if you have a hair salon located in Montreal named Beauty Goddess, there are many choices according to what is available on the cyberspace. You could choose domain names like goddessbeauty.com, hairsalongoddessbeauty.com, or goddessbeautymontreal.com… There are plenty of possibilities! If the domain name you want is not available, be creative! (but ensure that is it still a relevant name). Moreover, do not hesitate to buy similar domain names to yours in order to avoid that another company or blog steals some of your precious referring.

Where to find a domain name?

First, it is not possible to find a domain name directly in nature. Know, however, that you will always have yours with a WebSelf website, whether it is a free or paid one. When you select the Free or Basic package, a WebSelf subdomain will appear next to your domain name. We offer a free complete domain name with all Pro and Business packages, which is a good reason why upgrade to these professional options! Other websites also have the service of finding and selling domain names.

Do you already have your domain name? No worries! It is possible to connect it directly to your WebSelf website. You also have a section dedicated to domains on the WebSelf support page. It is where you can find the process to link your domain to your website. In addition, our customer support service is also available if you have any questions.

In conclusion, we hope that you now understand the importance of choosing a good domain name for your website. It is part of your project’s identity; one of the way people will find you and see if you are reliable or not. Now that your domain has been thought and selected, are you ready to publish your website? If so, we suggest you take a few minutes to verify our checklist provided in our article When Should I Publish my Website.  

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