How Important Is Dot Com?
It was always the ‘official’ site wasn’t it? It was the site that you could trust. As soon as you saw the dot-com (.com) suffix, you were happy and content that this particular site was the real deal. The same could also be said for country-based suffixes such .co.uk, .com.au, or .nz, but have attitudes changed towards website addresses, or is a dot-com still the holy grail when it comes to buying your domain?
Dot Com or Bust?
There was a time when it was imperative to get yourself a dot-com web address for your new business. Without one you would look like an amateur when compared to your counterparts, and as such there were more than a few businesses that actually changed their name simply because their desired dot-com web address had already been taken.
These days, the landscape has changed a lot when it comes to web addresses and how to best use them. With the advent of social media sites and your ability to advertise your brand within them, the humble website has take a back seat when it comes to interacting with customers and pushing new product launches, but this doesn’t mean that the need for an official website has died.
Firstly, having a website still has an air of ‘officiality’ about it. It is also worth noting the horde of previous social media platforms that have fallen by the wayside over the years.
Remember when Myspace was twice the size of Facebook? Nobody expected Myspace to fall, but it did, and if you built your business around that platform, then you were suddenly in real trouble. Your website should be the central place for your online presence, even if you find that you have much better engagement levels elsewhere. By all means, talk to your customers social media, but by simply having a website, you can give the impression that you are not an amateur ‘fly by night’ style vendor.
Get that Domain Registered
So, if you are looking to build a website, first port of call should be a company that deals with domain registration. Preferably, find yourself one that is simple to use, flexible, and willing to talk you through any questions you might have. That last particular facet cannot be emphasised enough as we cannot be experts in everything, and it is always a bonus to have someone on hand who has the knowledge you desire, should any questions arise.
There are plenty of domain registration companies out there, but pick carefully as they are not always created equally. Once you have found a company that ticks the boxes mentioned above, the next thing to consider is the name of your website, and the suffix you wish to be associated with it, along with the method you’d employ in order to acquire it.
This is where you will really notice that times have changed. Where as a few years ago the only suffix you would consider for your new online video company was www.runandgun.com, now, if you have picked the right domain hosting company, you will have a whole smorgasbord of options available to you.
With all these new domain options, suddenly www.runandgun.tv doesn’t sound like a bad option, does it? Or perhaps your fashion website would look better as www.sallys.boutique than www.sallysboutique.com? These suffixes can help you go local in some cases: LCN, a UK web registrar offers local UK domain name suffixes, such as .london, .wales .scot and several others. Crazy Domains, an Australian domain agencyoffers local Australian city domains, too.
Dot-com suffixes are by no means a bad thing, but sometimes a website name flows better phonetically with a more unique looking suffix, than a standard one. It is also worth remembering that while a few years back it may have been imperative for a customer to know the exact web address of a company they wished to shop at, these days your website is more likely to be visited via a click on a social media link than having the address physically typed into a search bar.
With some companies offering a huge array of domain name suffixes to choose from, you really can get creative when it comes to naming your website these days. If you are selling food online, perhaps dot-catering would suit you? Do you happen to be an accountant? No problem, get yourself a dot-accounting suffix. With the correct domain registrar behind you, the choices are almost endless.
It is also worth remember that at such cheap prices, it could be worth buying more than one domain, and pointing both web address at your website. The scramble for the dot-com suffix may be over, but there is no harm in grabbing one if it is available.
Once it is done, and you are happy with the domain you have chosen, the only thing you need to do is renew the membership when it runs out, and even that is taken care of by most decent domain hosts with auto-renew features and reminder emails, so put in the time to find the perfect domain now, and there is very little else for you to do. Apart from actually building your website, of course!