How to Choose, Register and Make the Most of Your Domain Name

You’ve chosen a hosting plan and provider for your website, but how will people find it? You need a domain name.

Web hosting is the physical location of your websites files on the internet. A domain name is what your website is called, or the address your visitors type in to get there. It’s how your customers will find you among the millions of other web sites on the internet. So invest some time choosing the right one.

This article is a non-technical overview of domain names, how to get one, and what you can use it for. We’ll link to more technical articles if you’d like to learn more.

What Is a Domain Name?

Like the phone system, the internet is based on a system of numbers. Beneath the surface, each website is associated with an IP address—a numerical addresses that tells your browser where to find the website on the internet.

Most people find it easier to relate to names than numbers. Do you prefer to make phone calls by dialing a phone number, or tapping on a name in your contacts app? In the same way, you can think of a domain name as the human readable version of the IP address.

Some examples are sitepoint.com, wordpress.org and example.com.au. A domain name is made up of:

  1. A series of letters, numbers and hyphens,
  2. An extension (called a Top Level Domains), like .com, .org, .biz, .edu.
  3. An optional country code, like .au, .nz, .uk. US sites don’t have a country code.
  4. These are separated by a “dot” (a period, or full stop).

A domain name must be registered before it can be used.

Choosing a Domain Name

Think long and hard about your domain name—it’s the first impression people will have of your website. It can strengthen your brand, affect your search result ratings, and impact how easily visitors will remember how to get to your site. The choice deserves careful consideration.

Here are some tips for choosing an effective domain name for your business or project:

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Source: Sitepoint