Smart Online Presence for Small Businesses: Domain Names

Posted by on Jul 10, 2011 in Blog, Marketing, Technology | 0 comments

Smart Online Presence for Small Businesses: Domain Names

These days, every business requires an online presence. The reality is that if you don’t have at least a basic website, you don’t really exist. The Internet has provided small businesses a real opportunity to compete with much larger corporations.

It is important to consider even some of the basic principles when businesses begin establishing or optimizing their online presence. The first consideration is choosing the right domain name that either represents the name of the business or the services provided. Choosing the right domain name will also effect search engine rankings for specific keywords and therefore should be considered in your online marketing strategy.

When it comes to purchasing a domain name, there are many registrars available to choose from. It used to be Network Solutions was the only option and they are still considered the “premier” registrar and they have the price tag to prove it. But what do you need to consider (besides price) when deciding where to purchase your domain name? To answer this question, you also need to understand the purpose of a domain name.

At it’s most basic form, domain names provide a textual representation of a physical address of a computer on the Internet. Just like every house has a physical mailing address, every computer on the Internet has an IP (Internet Protocal) address. No one will remember an IP address such as 74.125.91.105 to access a website, but we can remember the name Google.com. Beyond this, domain names also track contact information in case someone is interested in purchasing your domain name for big bucks, and ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) requires all domain name owners to update this information on a regular basis.

So knowing this, what do you need to consider when evaluating a registrar? In my opinion, the most important aspect is a registrar’s control panel, or the administrative interface, to ensure managing this information is intuitive. It is also important that registrar’s provide domain owners the means to authorize a third party (like your web designer/developer) access to DNS records when changing hosting providers. You don’t really want to give your webmaster your personal user name and password to access your domain information. I am sure this never happens but what if they changed all of the contact information and your password, and took ownership of your precious domain name. It would be a major distraction and nuisance to try to prove to the registrar that you own the domain name and revoke your Webster’s privileges. Another important aspect in evaluating a registrar can be where you are hosting your website. For inexperienced users, it can be even more challenging if you are managing your domain name with one provider, and hosting your website with another.

So as you can see, even what appears to be a simple process like purchasing your domain name, there are still important aspects to consider before you begin creating your small business’ website.

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback. Or contact Gnarly Crumb now to get started.

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