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Domain Basics

Getting to know domain names and the process of acquiring them

Owners of brick-and-mortar businesses rely on signs to attract customers. A sign containing the words “open for business” without telling people more about the business is not going to attract enough customers to keep the doors open for very long. Your company’s domain name can drive traffic to your website in much the same way as a well-worded sign, or it can leave people guessing about your business and going elsewhere. 

Your domain name lets people know who you are and what they can expect to find during their brief visit to your website. Driving traffic to your website and turning them into customers depend upon the success of your domain name, so here are a few things you and every business owner must know about domain names to build and grow a successful enterprise. 

Selecting a domain name is a process 

The process of selecting the right domain name for your organization begins before you choose a name. Your domain name guides people to your website by letting them know a little about your company and its products and services before they get to your website. It can make the difference in whether they go to your site or decide to visit the website of your competitor. 

Decide upon the image you want your domain name to convey people who see it for the first time. Your domain name can be as conservative or as hip and wild as you want as long as it matches the image you want visitors to have about the company and the products or services it represents. 

Creating the brand before you own the name 

Building your website and your company’s brand around a domain name is your goal, but you need to own the name first. The domain name that perfectly fits your company might not be available, or it might be available at an inflated price. Prices or values associated with domain names are influenced by the following: 

  • Length: Shorter domains are usually more expensive than longer ones. 
  • Number of words: As in the case of domain length, fewer words increases a domain’s value. 
  • Age of the domain: Longevity usually equates to better ranking in search engines and higher value in a domain name. 
  • Easy to remember: Single words or word combinations that are easy to remember add to the value of a domain name for obvious reasons. You want people to know who you are and remember you when it is time for their next purchase. 

There could be other factors specific to your business or marketplace influencing your domain name selection, but no matter what name you choose, acquiring one that already exists depends upon the owner being willing to part with it at a reasonable price. 

A word about domain extensions 

Domain extensions are those three letters following a domain name. Some of the common generic top-level domain names or gTLDs not related to education, government or the military include: 

  • .com 
  • .net 
  • .org 

Dot-coms are the most valuable of all gTLDs. They are also the ones most sought after for business and other commercial uses. 

How does domain ownership work? 

Domain names are assets that are bought and sold. Coordination of the process of ownership and the domain name system is handled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Whether you create a new domain name or purchase an existing one, it must be registered through a domain name registrar. Registration gives you ownership of the name for one year and must be renewed annually. Registrars usually offer extended registration plans, so you can avoid the risk of forgetting to register the domain each year. 

If the domain already exists and you are purchasing it from another party, the registrar usually handles the entire transaction, including transfer of payment for the cost of the domain from the buyer to the seller. The domain name is then registered in the name of the new owner. 

You can check the status of your ownership of a domain name by conducting a WHOIS search. WHOIS is a domain database containing information about each domain, including: 

  • Owner 
  • Creation date 
  • Registration expiration date 
  • Domain name availability 

Information in the WHOIS database can be updated through a registrar. It may take a couple of days for information in the WHOIS database to be updated following a change in ownership. Some registrars offer domain privacy protection allowing you to prevent your personal information from being revealed to anyone conducting a WHOIS search. 

Purchasing a domain name at DomainDepot.com 

DomainDepot.com is your marketplace for domain names. We own all the domain names offered for sale on our website. We do not act as brokers or list domains owned by third parties. 

Upon receipt of payment, we arrange for the domain’s registrar to change ownership into your name. Once this is completed, you will be given access to and full control over the domain. For more information about the process of acquiring a domain name, look at our frequently asked questions or call one of our customer service representatives.


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