What’s in a website domain name?

What’s a domain name?

A domain name practically signifies the name of a location or ‘site’ on the internet where a business or an individual owns a unique space that hosts packets of information stored within an organized or unorganized format. It’s simply a website’s location address. In technical terms, it is often known as ‘URL’ i.e. Uniform Resource Locator. Hence, a website is a resource to visitors and the domain name is just the ‘uniform’ way to ‘locate’ a certain type of information on the World Wide Web.

In simple words, a domain name is the ‘unique’ representation of your business, organization or personality on the internet.

A domain name can have alphanumeric characters within it and would have two ‘dots’, one at the start and one at the end of the domain name. After the second ‘dot’, the domain name would consist of various domain extensions such as .com for company, .gov for government, .edu for education, .net for network, .org for organization and .biz for business. Available types of domain name extensions other than the ones mentioned before are .ws, .mobi, .info, and many other country wise extensions such as .us (United States), .co.uk (United Kingdom), .co.in (India), .co.au (Australia), .co.nz (New Zealand), .co.ca (Canada) and many more. You will have to buy a domain name from a reputed domain registrar in order to hosts a website on the international computer network firmly known as the ‘internet’. Generally, each domain name corresponds to a numeric ‘Internet Protocol’ (IP) address. An IP address is an address through which a server or a computer can be tracked and its physical location identified.

An example of a domain name: http://www.yourdomainname.com

Here, ‘http’ stands for hypertext transfer protocol while ‘www’ stands for World Wide Web.

Why is it required?

Every business or individual looks forward to achieve their goals, aims and targets. To achieve them, a business or an individual requires itself to be marketed posthumously across the globe. The internet being an international network of computers which hosts enumerable websites provides a fantastic opportunity for marketing purposes across the globe. Since every website has to be identified, one requires a ‘unique’ domain name that can quickly help associate a website and its purpose.

Other than that, a good domain name of a website can help do the following:

  • Branding an organization and its services/products.
  • Networking with people across the globe.
  • Help perform regular as well as innovative business activities across a wide array of industries.
  • Make a presentation to a wide spectrum of internet users.
  • Help educate users and keep them informed on a wide range of topics.
  • Help communicate, exchange and update information through audio, visual and written modes.
  • Finally whatever purpose your website can hold whether it is for profit, non-profit, educational, entertainment or simply presentational, the purpose can be achieved through a good domain name.

What domain name should I choose for my website?

Your domain name must relate to the type of website you plan to hosts across the web. Though not necessary, a websites’ functions and main purpose can be quickly identified if a domain name is chosen according to the websites category and specialization. Hence, you must quickly identify ‘what you want from your website’. Once you have identified your objectives of hosting a website, you can quickly identify the domain name.

For e.g.: You wish to sell garments and clothing materials across the globe through your website, you can choose a variety of domain names such as:

www.garmentsandclothing.com or even www.yourcompanyname.com or www.garmentsandclothing.biz or even www.xyz4u.com

You can choose a name in any probability and combination of alphanumeric characters from a-z and 0-9.

How to buy a good domain name?

ICANN . ‘Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ is the organization responsible for maintaining the complete domain name registry across the globe. It is the main arbitrator which has the power to adjudicate if a domain name is infringing the copyrights/trademarks of a registered organization or an individual and their web presence. Thus, buying a domain name from a registrar who has been given a high level of accreditation for exceptional service by ICANN is essential.

It is important to keep in mind that country specific domain names with extensions such as .us (United States of America) and other country specific domain name extensions will be governed by the respectable country. All generic domain names will be directly in governance of ICANN.

Buying and selling of domain names: An industry by itself.

For businesses, domain names are crucial for establishing, performing and encouraging business activities. A website is an investment for most business houses because a website resembles a shop or a representation of a company. A domain name signifies existence and goodwill of a business. A popular domain name would hold a lot of value for established businesses on the web since it would be attracting regular traffic to itself.

For instance, let us take the case of eBay.

eBay.com, a popular auction site on the internet has a few million registered accounts from people across the globe. It operates as a fully functional e-commerce website dealing in auctions of handkerchiefs to airplanes. Since it would be doing business for at least a few million dollars each month, eBay’s domain name which is www.eBay.com would carry the equivalent value of its possible future profits and business opportunities.

Imagine, you are holding the ownership of the domain name www.eBay.com. This would entitle you to the goodwill and all the business opportunities that this particular domain name holds. Similarly, if a domain name can encourage any type of business to take place very smoothly or helps in being identified easily, it holds the value equivalent of an excellent business opportunity.

There are many people who make a living out of buying and selling ‘special’ and unique domain names across the internet. Many have even made a fortune such as the Canada based businessman ‘Kevin Ham’ who has made approximately US $300 million from just buying and selling domain names.

Domain names that have premium value sell from $100.00 to a few million dollars. These domain names are sold and bought on domain name exchanges or ‘domain name marketplaces’. Sedo.com is one such exchange that helps internet users buy and sell domain names and even help users to calculate the business value of a domain name. They hire experts to evaluate the value of a domain name and help domain name owners sell/buy a domain name with premium value.

Thus, a websites domain name has the power to transform lives and encourage businesses to the path of growth across oceans through the internet.