Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Domain Name Tips for Small Business

Your domain name plays a key role in your online business success. It is what your website is called and how it can be found. Anytime you type into the address bar of your browser, you are using a domain name. For example, when you type http://www.empowerednetworking.com/ into your browser, you are typing in the domain name for the Empowered Networking website.

Choose your domain name wisely. When choosing a domain name, be sure it is something that people will be able to remember or recognize. Often times, a potential customer or a business associate may not know your physical address or phone number, and going to the internet and bringing up your website is the best way for them to find you. So try to keep your domain name simple and easy to remember.

When you’re ready to get a domain name for your website, you must first search to see if the domain name you choose is available for “purchase”. Now, I put “purchase” in quotation marks because in actuality you are not really purchasing your domain name, you are claiming it, or reserving it, for your use for the time you have registered it for.

You can search for a domain and purchase it at any domain registrar. Examples of domain registrar sites are goDaddy.com, eNom.com, and NetworkSolutions.com. Which domain registrar you use is up to you, as they vary in price and ease of use. Or if you have a webmaster, they can typically handle registering your domain for you.

Purchase your domain name for more than one year. When it comes to search engines, age matters. And the longer you reserve your domain, the better it is for search engines. If you purchase your domain for 3 or even 5 years, the search engines view your website as a more established business and will give it more weight and higher ranking in search results.

Keep your domain registrar login information in a safe place. Be sure you keep track of who your domain registrar is and be sure you have your login and access information stored in a safe place where you can find it. You need this information each time to renew your domain or if you need to move your website. If you do not know your domain login information, ask your webmaster to get it for you so you have it on file.

Be sure you renew your domain on time. If you do not remember to renew your domain before it expires, you run the risk of losing it and giving someone else the chance of purchasing it away from you. Talk about identity theft! Forgetting to renew your domain is like leaving your storefront unlocked, you’re just inviting someone to steal it away from you.

Most domain registrars will email out notices to let you know that your domain is due for renewal, so be sure you keep your contact info and email address up-to-date with your domain registrar so you will get their notifications. And, as an added precaution, you might add a reminder in your Outlook calendar to remind you a few weeks before your domain expires so you remember to renew it on time.


Verify your domain registration information is correct. Be sure your domain has been propertoy registered in your name. You can check this by going to
http://www.whois.org/ and typing in your domain name. Be sure your name and contact information shows under the Registrant portion of the domain. If you have a webmaster who setup your domain for you, their name should show as the technical contact. But be sure your name is showing as the actual registrant for it. So, in case you have a falling out with your webmaster or need to move your site yourself, you want to be sure you have the information you need to take control of the situation and take control of your website domain if needed.

Here’s to Your Online Success!

Betty Walker, the Wise Web Lady
http://www.wiseweblady.com/
http://www.ccstechpros.com/
bettywalker@wiseweblady.com

3 comments:

Shashib said...

Betty, thank you for recommending Network Solutions. We appreciate it, and the time time you took to write this primer.

Shashi Bellamkonda
http://blog.networksolutions.com

Empowered "Women's" Network said...

Very helpful tips! Thanks Betty.

FeliceGerwitz said...

Great post, I love learning new things.