Your Domain Name (your website address) is as important as business names.
They let people easily access you on the internet and brand your emails to your business. You need to own and protect your domain name in the same way you would your business or company name.
These days, your domain name is as important as your business name. It is your identity or address within the online community using the Internet. The speed at which the internet came into being left people confused and perplexed about what domain names were, if they should own one or many, how they should use these domain names and the fundamental question of how much they should pay for the domain names. Let's rip back some of the myths and look at domain names today.
In the real world, our business has a "real address". I could come and see you at your business address whether you are a home based business, own a shop or lease an office space. There is a physical address that you are working from.
Likewise to have a successful business, you have a phone number – a set of numbers that people can find you at. Any time they use that series of numbers they will be able to call your number and if you are in, communicate with you.
Your domain name is the online address that people can use find to find you on the internet. When they type in that address, your information, in other words your website, is located there. They can look up that address and see you. In the same way that every physical address and every phone number must be totally unique, your web address or domain name must be unique. There can only be one of each. If there were two every one would be confused.
It is very important that you own your domain name. Think of it like a business name. You seek application to register the business name and every two years you need to renew that name – in other words pay some more money to keep using that name. Your domain name is identical. For Australian domain names every two years you will need to pay to continue to use that name for another two years.
Once you have paid for the domain, you can then list what "computer address" you want it directed to. Think of phone numbers – they go no where until the telephone exchange sets it up in their registry that number "xxxxxxxxx" will connect to your phone at location "y" location.
Your domain name is the same – it goes now until listed within the central registry and told where to connect to. This connection process in phones and websites is similar – someone is making sure they connect the address and the location together. The company helping you with your website should help you to make sure that your domain address "points" or leads people to your website.
Can this address be changed? Yes it can in the same way that my phone number can be changed. For example, when I recently moved office locations, I contacted my local Telco Company (Telstra), and told them that I was moving and that I wanted my phone number to connect to my new address. They organized in their central registry for the number to now point to a new phone location.
The same is true for your domain address – if you choose to move where your website is located, you can tell the central registry that your new address is at "z" and they will send people looking for your website to that a location to find you. It is quite convenient when you think about it and very similar to what happens in all of our other business functions.
One last point that is essential that you understand. Owning your own domain name gives you the opportunity to use your very own email address advertising your company name. Many people start using a name that publishes the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that they use, for example I might have [email protected] or [email protected] . With your own domain address you can now have your name followed by your company name. For example my domain is http://www.solutionsmanagement.com.au so my email address is [email protected] .
I not only advertise my company web address but when we change ISP's which we have annually as their rates fall, we do not have to change all the email addresses that all our contacts use – we simply have them redirected on the central domain registry. It is quick, simple and save heaps of money on new business cards and lost business through people not knowing our email addresses.
Owning your domain name is essential – it is part of business today. You need to keep it paid for every two years and point it to a good website so that you can enjoy the increased amount of business happening online today.