Domain NamesThings You Need To Know

Before getting online, you need to register a Domain Name. Simply put, A domain names are your website’s equivalent of a street address.

Where to Get a Domain Name

Registering Domain Names can be done at so many different sites on the web, and everyone seems to have a favourite but they are not all created equal. Crazy Domains, Netregistry, GoDaddy are the big names in Australia and tend to be the main go to. This is, in part, to their huge advertising budget.

After being in the web design game for over eight years, I have used all three of these companies – and others – but I usually found the same issues of compatibility with hosting providers outside of these companies. Learn more about my own Web Hosting.

If you are using a full service with one of these companies (Domain Registration and Web Hosting) then you are not likely to suffer a compatibility issue. Of course, using a full service defiantly has other problems. Read my article on web hosting.

So, Where Should You Go?

I highly recommend using NameCheap when researching or buying domain names, mostly because their integration with a multitude of host providers is seamless.

Disclaimer: I do not receive any commission or other incentive to promote NameCheap. It’s just that they are the best domain provider in my opinion.

NameCheap also provides Web Hosting and SSL Certificates but, as I hope to explain, you need to be aware of potential issues. I am very proud of the services I provide because I can eliminate all the issues outlined in this article.

What Makes a Good Domain Provider?

There are two things to consider when registering domain names.

1. Service

Before we even look at the technical side of what makes a good domain provider, what is the number one attribute any business or company must offer? Service – pure and simple.

Communication

If you have an issue with configuring your domain to a host provider, billing, assorted account issues or any other problems, you need to have a level of service that will resolve the issue as soon as possible. One common problem with receiving the support you are entitled to is communication

Phone Support

If you manage to find a phone number on the providers website, you may be forced in to waiting on hold for what seems like an eternity. If you tough that out, it isn’t always easy to understand the service person. These may not sound like a big deal but when you are stressed and at your wits end, you just want your issue fixed without the added stress.

Email Support

If your issue isn’t urgent, then a good old fashion email might be all that you need. Having said that, I can’t remember a time when a simple email was all that was required, due mostly to the fact than when you come across an issue – it’s an issue! And that, by definition requires urgent action.

Live Chat

The fastest way to have an issue resolved these days is via Live Chat. This way you are (likely) to talk to someone straight away that can actually fix the issue.

2. Technical Ease

To be fair, a web designer or web developer should be able to configure a domain name to a host provider without to much trouble but, even we prefer a simple and clean dashboard to work from.

Choosing Domain Names

Choosing domain names can be a tricky thing to do simply because the domain name you want is already taken. Take my very own site KevinOliver.me as an example.

I decided that I wanted to work under my own name as a brand. The obvious first choice was KevinOliver.com but that was taken. So I tried KevinOliver.net but this was also taken. I didn’t want to take on KevinOliver.com.au.

There are literally hundreds of TLDs (Top Level Domains) available, but which one is right for you and which one is appropriate if you can’t get the one you really want?

TLDs (Top Level Domains)

The Internet currently has 1,532 Top Level Domains as of February 20, 2019. This number may change from time to time, whenever new ones are delegated or old ones get retired. [1]

There are 5 groups of top-level domains:

  1. Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD)
  2. Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD)
  3. Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLD)
  4. Unsponsored Top Level Domains (uTLD)
  5. Infrastructure Top Level Domain (arpa)

In most cases, the top two groups are what most people are going to register. Generic TLDs like .com, .net, org, .blog etc are some of the more popular with .com as the most sort after.

Country based TLDs may require certain credentials specific to that country’s rules to register. For example, to register a .com.au you must have an Australia Business Number (ABN).

Having said that, my own site has a .me TLD which is now considered both a ccTLD and a gTLD. As of July 2008, .me became recognized as a legitimate Generic Top Level Domain. Originally, .me was in fact a Country Code Top Level Domain reserved for Montenegro in South Eastern Europe.

The Right Domain Names

Choosing a domain name that best suites your business or brand is important for 3 main reasons.

  1. A unique or memorable domain name is important in terms of how someone will see your brand. If it’s easy to remember, then it’s easy to remember!
  2. Such a domain name helps define your brand online. People can easily identify with your brand and it’s place within the online business space.
  3. An appropriate domain name that fits your brand neatly can have a positive affect in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

I settled on .me for 2 reasons. First of all, .com and .net were taken, this forced me to become creative. The fact they were taken did me a favour. I searched through the list of available possibilities and cam across a few that got my attention. Eventually, I settled on .me for the main reason that it summed up what I’m about.

I am no longer a ‘Design Studio’ nor am I part of a large design team. When I chose to scale my Web Design Service down to cater to a specific customer type. KevinOliver.me is also part of a bigger picture. KevinOliver.me also encompasses all my online interests including Save Thyme Cooking, Photography and Travel Blogging.

Register All Variants of Domain Names!

When possible, it is important to register all domain name variants as it limits the chance of a visitor inadvertently being directed to a business of the same name. It also prevents another business from getting to close to your brand.

A classic example of this is All 4 Adventure. Depending on which domain variant you go to, you will end up at two vary different businesses.

As of the time of writing this article, all4adventure.com.au has been around for 15 years and 11 months and is easily outranked by all4adventure.com

On the other hand, all4adventure.com has been around for just 9 years.

*You can check the age of any domain here.

Conclusion

Getting a domain name is not a tricky business, getting the specific domain name can be. If, you can’t get the desired TLD then be creative. Look for something memorable and fitting to your brand. Most importantly, choose a Domain Registrar that is easy to work with and has good customer service. I still stand by and recommend NameCheap.
If you need help with the whole domain name subject, just email me!

If you think I can help let me know!

Kevin Oliver Web Design is all about helping those with online ambitions and am extremely well aware that ideas are hard to share sometimes. You can be rest assured we will never, ever share your ideas with anyone.

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Simply put, domain names are your website’s equivalent of a street address. Very helpful if you want to be found!

Cheap Web Hosting – Things To Consider is an article to help you understand the difference between the various web hosting options and their pitfalls.