Domain names are such a huge part of our daily lives that it’s surprising we don’t know more about them. A domain name is one of the first things you figure out when you’re creating your own website, because a good domain name is the difference between having your website soar to the heights of internet fame or dissolve into obscurity.
If you get the hang of it, learning about domain names can even be a way to earn some extra money online! So, without further ado, here are twenty things you really should know before you look for a domain name service.
20 Things you should know about domain names
1. What does domain name mean?
A domain name is the address of a website. It’s typically written like this: “www.example.com.”
2. How do I find a good domain name service?
To find a good domain name service, look for a responsible company that cares about your website. That’s the only way to ensure that your domain name service will perform the usual due diligence required to keep your domain name active and under your ownership.
3. How do people own domain names?
To get a domain name, all you need to do is register one. This process is ridiculously simple. If you use our service, you can register your domain name in just a few easy steps:
- Type your domain name into the search tool
- Wait a second for the tool to tell you if the domain name is available
- If the name is available, register it with a couple of clicks
4. What was the first “.com” domain name?
File this one under “Facts that might end up coming in handy on Trivia Game Night”: The first “.com” domain name was Symbolics.com, registered in 1985.
5. Does my domain name need to be the same as my registered business name?
Lots of people think this, but the answer is No. Your domain name doesn’t need to be the same as your registered business name. (You might want to keep them the same for branding purposes, though.)
6. What is a domain extension?
The domain extension is the last part of the domain name. The most popular one is “.com”, but there are actually hundreds of domain extensions on the internet today, including “.org”, “.biz”, “.net”, and many more you’ve probably never even heard of!
7. Does a domain name affect search engine ranking?
Yes. Research shows that domain names that contain keywords rank higher in search engines than domain names that don’t have keywords. That means that if your website has something to do with cats, your website will rank higher in search results for cats if your domain name includes the word “cats”. Don’t let this confine your imagination too much, though. It’s just something to consider when you’re choosing a domain name.
8. What’s the difference between a domain name and an IP address?
Every domain name has a corresponding IP address, and there is a difference between the two:
A domain name is the address of your website written in words so that people can remember it. It’ll look something like this: “www.example.com.”
Your IP address is the address of your website written in numbers and symbols so your computer can remember it. It will look something like this: “11.22.322.214.171.124.”
9. What’s cybersquatting?
Cybersquatting is registering or using a domain name in bad faith, hoping to profit from the goodwill generated by someone else.
10. How long should a domain name be?
Longer domain names are harder to remember. So, as a rule of thumb, your domain name should be as short as you can make it without losing meaning or confusing your visitors.
11. How long can a domain name be?
Your domain name can be up to 67 characters long. We wouldn’t advise you to create a domain name that long, but this does give you some breathing room when you’re coming up with your domain name. (You don’t need to feel pressured to remove letters trying to fit into a restrictive character limit.)
12. Do domain names expire?
In a manner of speaking, yes. When you register a domain name, you’re registering your right to assert your ownership over the domain name for a specific period. To keep owning your domain name, you have to renew your registration before the period expires.
13. What’s domain privacy?
To understand this, first you need to know about the WHOIS database. When you register a domain name with a registrar, your information is publicly displayed in a database called the WHOIS database. Domain privacy is a tool you can buy to obscure your personal data in the WHOIS database.
14. Can I buy someone else’s domain name if it expires?
Yes, but most domain registrars give the original owner a grace period in which they can renew their registration. After this period, you can usually buy an expired domain name.
16. Why do so many blog posts use the domain name “www.example.com”?
The domain name “www.example.com” is maintained for illustrative purposes, which means that if you’re writing a blog, you can refer to it without asking for permission. (We’ve said it four times in this article. Did you notice?)
17. What’s the difference between a domain and a website?
The difference between a domain and a website is the same as the difference between your home address and your home. Your website is the collection of files, videos, images, etc. that you create for your visitors to enjoy, and your domain is the address of your website.
18. What is a TLD?
A TLD is a Top Level Domain, and it’s also called a domain extension. It’s the part of the domain that’s written at the end, e.g., “.com”, “.org”, “.net”, “.biz”, “.xyz”, etc.
19. What’s the most expensive domain name ever bought?
That would be www.lasvegas.com ($90 million). But the domain www.cars.com is valued at close to $1 billion. No wonder some people sell domains as their full-time job!
20. Are domain names free?
Fun fact: Domain names used to be free until 1995, but some web hosting companies offer free domain names to their users. On our platform, for example, you get a free domain for a year when you buy one of our plans. (And our plans start at $3 per month, so those don’t break the bank, either!)
You don’t need to know absolutely everything about domain names, but the more you know about them, the less intimidated you’ll feel when it’s time to register your own domain name and create your own website.
Domain names can be long, short, connected to your business name, or completely different from the name of your registered business. It’s up to you!
The most important thing to remember is that it takes time for a website to start gaining traction. So, the sooner you get in touch with a domain name service, the sooner your website will start attracting real traffic.