Getting the .com is the first step. What then? It really depends where you are on your journey. For this post I am going to speak about the possibilities you have after registering a domain name. The first thing I’d definitely have a look at is exclusivity across all the various domain name extensions. You may landed a winner in terms of choosing a very unique .co.za but who owns the .com variation? More importantly what are the variations being used for? It might not be easy on your wallet to claim every single domain extension but buy the domain names that are popular and likely to be snapped up by someone else – in this case, run a Who Is Lookup search to identify if you can claim ownership of the extension you forgot to register.
Whenever I have to offer guidance to a startup business website project I suggest buying the .co.za, .com, and the .africa. You can really expand this range when you are ready and collect .guru, .online and .website. Yep, .guru is a vibe (in the words of my Millennial super-sidekick Tara). There really is such a wide selection of top level domains (TLDs) to choose from. TLD is the nerdy term for domain name extension, the part after the first dot.
What can you do if you own a domain name?
Your domain name is your entry to the world of everything online. Anytime you wish to be found online via a website, email, social media, or streaming service, you are going to need a domain name to set yourself apart from the millions of free online services.
- Use your domain name to get web hosting
- Your domain name is your website or blog address
- Get a professional email solution
- Connect to any online business service
You would typically buy your web hosting and domain name in one go. If you did not, no sweat. Your web hosting provider can link the two in seconds. A web hosting package is the start of your online marketing success. Included is storage space for your website files, website databases, website design tools, and your website back-up tools. Web hosting packages start from R99 per month and it only takes a few seconds to get one setup. When you connect your domain to your web hosting package you now have access to everything you need to get your website online. The two go hand-in-hand, always.
It is also good practice for you to register your own domain name and have your hosting package signed up under that same account as well. There really is no need for your web designer to register and own your domain name. Cartoons have been written about situations like these.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, your domain name is your website address and the portion after the @ sign in your email address. People call it URL, web address, website name, www, etc. In essence they all refer to the same thing and we’re not going to get technical with the different definitions. You need to own a domain name if you want to get your business online.
You will see this in just about every related post of mine. You cannot do business online with your free Gmail address. Get a professional email hosting solution. If you have a hosting account, this is included. If you only need email with no website features you can get email hosting plan as well.
If you need to make use of any online services for your business you’ll need a domain name. Your business may need calendar sharing facilities, online portfolio hosting services, website security, etc. You can generally make use of free services in this regard but using your own domain name will make you look more professional in 2020.