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What is a Web Domain?

Expert Tips from DevOps

 

How many times have your fingers flown over the keyboard to type out your favorite online destination, only to have the computer auto-predict your destination? These names, of which we and our computers are so familiar, are called web domains. A web domain is, technically speaking, a universal resource locator (URL); or in layman’s terms, the website’s physical addresses. Simple, easy to remember names are, therefore, prized possessions as they can mean the difference between heavy foot traffic and confusion. Picking the right web domain is an important part of your online success.

More about that Domain Name

A URL address is a protocol telling your web browser to take you to the intended web address. The acronym, “URL,” stands for Universal Resource Locator and is a complete web address that will take you to a specific, particular web page. The URL typically contains HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), HTTPS (secured) or an FTP (file transfer protocol) address, which maxes out at 63 characters not counting its extensions, such as .org or .com.

That means a full URL address is https://www.google.com. So that’s the URL, whereas the domain name of the website is simply “google.com”.

An IP address also exists in your computer and is telling your computer to talk to another server. This is a redundant backend system inside your web browser and something that doesn’t change unless you have a specific reason to tell it to. 

Web Domain Value

The web domain is the name between the https and the extension .com. This is your focus point as it not only is how the user gets to you, but how the user remembers you. Choosing a catchy, interesting, web domain that is easy to recall is key. Kitchy tricks like replacing numbers for letters, as in Ilovech33se, don’t usually work as the lettering is far more confusing than Ilovecheese. 

The easier it is to remember, the more likely your audience will remember it. It’s that simple. What’s more, since good web domain names are directly connected to increased traffic, a good domain name may be worth a substantial amount of cash. As far back as 2015, Cars.com was valued as an “intangible asset” worth a staggering $872 million USD. So put on your creative thinking cap!

Web Domain Extensions

Of the URL, there is also the extension to consider. This is called generic top-level domain (gTLD) such as .com, .org, or .edu. There is also a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) that represents extensions such as .co.uk, which is effective if you have location-specific pages. For example, Google.co.uk versus Google.co.fr, both are Google, but the information and language will be relative to a specific area. 

Choosing your extension is an art based on the type of web content you have. Generally speaking, a school, for example, will do better with a .edu extension. A .org is typically used for something in the non-profit sector. And the ever-popular (particularly in America) .com often relates to a for-profit business. 

There are a plethora of sites that sell domain names so it’s important to do some research and work with a reputable company. While you can buy a domain name purely on speculation, securing the right name to drive traffic to your business site can be just as lucrative–it’s not to be taken lightly. So if your name game leaves you feeling like your fingers are doing the walking through an archaic tomb of yellow pages, have no fear, Accunity is here with website development professionals to help you unravel the mystery of a good website domain name.

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