Posted Saturday, August 28, 2004
An Internet domain name is a one-of-a-kind web address that you can purchase for your web site through Internic, the organization in charge of domain name registration. It could contain your business name: (http://www.yourbusinessname.com), or most any other word/letter combination that you want, based upon availability. For example, after much brainstorming, I decided on (http://www.ProfitInfo.com) as my domain name.
You may not have considered the benefits that having your own domain name gives your web site, so I'll list some major ones and then we'll look at each more closely:
1) Gives Exclusivity.
2) Adds Credibility.
3) Allows Mobility.
4) Avoids Loss of Momentum.
Without your own domain, you don't have much of a choice; your email and web addresses will generally be based on the domain name of your host or Internet service provider, such as username@yourISP.com and (http://www.yourISP.com/username/) But having your own domain name is like owning your own virtual real estate; your own slice of cyber turf, if you will. Such exclusivity can help build name recognition for you and your company.
As the saying goes: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression," and in business, first impressions count. Having your own domain name projects a professional image of you and your company, normally associated with large companies. It tends to say to others that you're a serious business person, operating an established business, in a professional manner (even if you're operating out of your bedroom at home, much of the time in your P.J.'s; but regardless of your dress, you should still conduct your business in a serious, professional manner.)
As mentioned above, if you set up a web site without owning your own domain name, you end up using the domain name of your web host by default. Such a web address is not mobile; you can't take it with you if you ever decide to switch to another web host.
Ownership of your own domain name gives you the option of moving your web site to another host without losing your web address. You can pull up stakes at any time and take your domain name with you.
NOTE: Some have run into domain ownership problems when their ISP or other person or party that took care of the process of domain registration did not list them as the actual owner. Moral of the story: Make sure you are properly listed as the owner of the domain when it is registered.
Avoids Loss of Momentum
As any web marketer knows, it takes effort (not necessarily any expense, if you know some tricks of the trade) to promote a web site. Fortunately, over time, some of those marketing efforts can build momentum, bringing more and more traffic to your site without additional marketing effort. But unfortunately, if you can't take your web address with you when you switch to another ISP or host, you can lose much - if not all - of the momentum gained by your previous web marketing efforts.
Now you may be happy with your current web host and have no plans to switch, but having the option to move your web site to another host without losing your web address is always good to have open to you. Domain name ownership gives you that option, and any momentum you've gained from previous effort (and possibly expense) involved in promoting your web address doesn't go down the drain.
So, are you a serious Internet entrepreneur without your own domain name for your web site? Then now might be a good time to start making a list of possible domain names. However, don't grab just any domain name in haste. A poorly-chosen one won't give you the maximum benefits that a well-chosen one can. Take your time to brainstorm the best domain name that you can come up with. That's a key task for serious web marketers, especially if you consider that your web address is the world's link to you.
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