How do I choose a domain name?
A domain name makes up the address of your site and can end in .com, .ca, .net, .org, .biz, .tv and more. Here are some helpful tips you might consider when choosing a domain name:
- Don't register domain names that are too long. You want your domain name to be easy to remember.
- Use hyphens if your domain name is more than 3 words long, or if the words running together are confusing.
- Protect your name by registering multiple extensions (.net, .ca, .org, etc.). This helps to stop other people from copying your name. You don't have to build a site on all the domains you register, but can redirect the visitor to the real site.
Your domain name does not necessarily have to include your company name. If you have a business name that is known locally, and you want to promote it locally, by all means use your business name. But there's nothing to stop you from having a domain name such as www.best-widgets-ever.com.
What is a web host and do I need one?
As well as a domain name, you need a web host. Every web site needs to be hosted on somebody's server somewhere. The web host gives you space on their server for your web pages, and provides email addresses and other features you might need, such as blogs and shopping carts.
What are the disadvantages of free web hosts?
- Limited web page space
- No guarantees of site accessibility
- Can't add interactive features such as chat rooms, games, shopping carts, etc.
- Search engines often ignore them which is a major disadvantage if you are in business
- Lack of credibility for potential clients
- May have banners or popup ads on the home page and/or all of the pages
- A long, hard to remember URL (web address)
- No email addresses with your company name
- Poor or nonexistent support options
- Probably won't be free forever
What are the advantages of owning my own domain name?
- Easy to remember URL (website address)
- Easier to get listed in search engines (Google, etc.)
- No banners or popups
- More control over the design of the website.
- Multiple email addresses that include your company name
- Plenty of web page space for your site to grow
- No worries about your site being deleted unexpectedly
- Support is available