TAG | Domain Name Registration
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ICANN president and CEO Rod Beckstrom warned the public that the group can expect excitement, opportunity, uncertainty and threats in the days to come. ICANN is one of the key players in the function and accessibility of today’s global internet. They have been charged with the task of coordinating and segregating domain names throughout the world and managing the complex, demanding task of enabling IP addresses to recognize each other across cyberspace.
The coordination of individual IP addresses to specific domain names used to be a task of the US government. Since the government has allowed these operations to go private, a few kinks still have to be ironed out. While ICANN is unable to alter any content on the internet, their intimate control of the global web and much of its inner-workings has sparked some controversy. Beckstrom is aware of the ethical dilemmas and is optimistic about implementing major changes to circumvent them.
ICANN has been criticized for being a group that controls the Domain Name System while many of its key players and leadership positions are occupied by execs from the Domain Name industry. This creates a clear conflict of interest. ICANN is a not-for-profit group who is not supposed to represent or promote the financial interests of any parties. Chief criticisms have stemmed from the idea that power players on the ICANN team can exploit the group’s manipulation of the internet to serve their own corporate needs.
Other criticisms have come from the intimate access these supposedly neutral parties’ possess. This kind of power can invade privacy and lead to motives that are fraudulent . Risk for this type of abuse is wide open to corporate executives who act in a biased, self-serving way. Personal information and data can be used to illegally bolster profits. Any person or group who wishes to register their business as a top level domain name can become an accredited registrar by making an agreement with ICANN. Critics see this is as a clash of interested when the heads of top level domain names are themselves high ranking members at ICANN.
Beckstrom held a speech in Costa Rico where he declared that it is time to “tighten up the rules that have allowed perceived conflicts to exist within our board.” Beckstrom is adamant that the necessary changes needed to make ICANN a neutral public service can be achieved. If Beckstrom fulfills his stated intentions, he will “ensure that absolute dedication to the public good supersedes all other priorities.”
The world of web hosting and domain name registration may seem large and overwhelming if you haven’t put together too many websites. Or it may just seem like more hassle than you have time for when your focus is on the day-to-day operations and success of your company itself.
This is understandable! Something that can save you time is choosing a UK hosting company that also offers domain names services in addition to the hosting itself. This is advantageous for two main reasons:
Firstly, it may very well save you money by buying both services together. It’s just like your internet provider or phone company: you will generally pay less for each individual service if you buy them together. As an added bonus, some web hosting companies even offer free domain names when you choose to host your site with them, which saves you even more money.
Secondly, it makes it easier for you. If you buy domain names from one company and host with another, you have to be in charge of transitioning domain name access from one company to the other. But if you buy a domain name through your UK hosting company, they’ll do it all for you. Less hassle, less time.
As everyone knows, marketing can be wildly successful or incredibly ineffective. Having a plan and knowing the right way to go about something can make all the difference in the world. After you’ve mastered the practical elements of creating an online presence (domain name registration, finding good web hosting, etc.) it’s time to start interacting with your online community.
Here are three tips for effective social media marketing:
- Emphasize “social”. This isn’t a place for advertising. People want to be talked to and listened to. They’re not going to “fan” or “follow” you so that you can pitch ads to them all the time. Make sure you communicate accordingly.
- Double-task when possible. Social media is a good way to build natural SEO since you’re putting up regular postings anyway. Don’t jam with keywords, but incorporate keywords and links on occasion, where appropriate. It can’t hurt.
- Stay consistent. Remember, just because it’s “social” marketing, this doesn’t mean you can be un-professional. If your marketing angle is that you’re a community-oriented family business, don’t post a political joke on Facebook. If your marketing angle is that you’re helpful and sincere, stay helpful and sincere and don’t post complaints about anything on Twitter. The internet isn’t anonymous when you represent a business, so don’t do yourself more harm than good.
When you choose a domain name, it’s safe to assume that you plan to keep your website at that domain for the foreseeable future. In some cases, short term domain names may make sense, such as a website created for a one-time event or promotion. But for the most part, when you go through the domain name process, you’re hoping to keep, and to grow, that website for a good amount of time.
So the last thing you want is to lose that domain name because of an error. This can happen if you buy domain name registration for an amount of time but don’t renew when that time is up. There are a few ways to prevent losing a domain name:
- Register for several years up front. It tends to be cheaper per year this way, and your renewal comes up less often, so there are less chances to forget to renew.
- Sign up for automatic renewal. Some companies will offer this and will automatically charge your credit card when renewal comes up.
- Get a web hosting provider who will worry about it for you. If you do domain name registration through your web host, it may be cheaper, and they can handle registration renewal on your behalf.
Marking for an online business is not exactly the same as traditional marketing for a business in your community. But while the mediums are different, many of the same principles apply. In fact, the internet provides an opportunity to have an even closer marketing relationship with actual individuals than print marketing allows. Used together, they can be particularly effective.
Principals of good marketing:
- Present a cohesive message. You want your company’s image to be clear and easy to understand. Remember, you’re not just selling a product or service; you’re selling your company.
- Keep it fresh. This means billboards that aren’t out-of-date, and social media marketing that keeps up with the times. Stay present and active to show you have a business that is active as well.
For online marketing, everything you do is a part of your branding endeavor, even the very first step: choosing to buy a domain name. Yes, even the domain name registration matters, as your domain name will tell both site visitors and search engines what kind of website you’re running. Keep this attention to detail up within every choice you make, and you’ll be well on your way to successful online marketing of your website in no time.
If you have written content to share, e-publishing can be a budget-friendly and environmentally-friendly way of sharing that content with the world. There are several ways to go about publishing content digitally. You can set up your own website to distribute the content yourself (by enlisting UK web hosting and domain name registration services, which are readily available). Or you can use a distribution service for e-readers and other digital content to distribute the work for you (you will be charged fees and/or commission).
The benefits of e-publishing are many:
- Environmental benefit. Publishing content digitally saves resources on several fronts. Most obviously, digital publishing does not require the use of paper and cardboard for the pages, cover, and binding. It also saves fuel costs that are required for shopping traditional print-copy books and magazines.
- Budgetary benefit. Because the internet is a pretty affordable place to set up shop, it doesn’t cost much to create a website for your e-book. In fact, many people will find web hosting that includes free domain name registration. And marketing through social media such as Twitter and Facebook is an affordable way to generate buzz without spending any money.
- Global audience. Because you’re not relying on access to bookstores and magazine stands, e-publishing allows you to reach out to anyone with an internet connection. Your conversion rate doesn’t even need to be that high to make a profit, thanks to digital marketing and e-publishing.
Are you confused about the relationship between (and difference between) domain names and IP addresses? You’re not alone. If you’re familiar with the internet at all, which you likely are since you are reading this blog, you’ve no doubt worked with domain names before. It’s the address at the top of this page, in the URL bar. Between after the prefix (http://www.) of any website, you’ll find the domain name associated with that website, which we’ve acquired for our blog through domain name registration.
In practical application, a domain name is the “address” you use to find the website you’re looking for, but in reality, it has a much more static address, known as the IP address. What does this mean? Well, IP address is a unique combination of numbers that are assigned to every individual entity that’s at all connected to the internet. Your computer has one, and the server on which a website is stored has one, and even mobile phones that connect to the web are assigned one. They’re a way to differentiate who does what online, as well as where everything is located.
How Do Domain Name and IP Address Relate?
Well, it wouldn’t really do to type in a long string of numbers when you want to visit your favorite blogs, read the news, or find out about the weekend weather forecast, so domain names are used as more user-friendly locators of IP addresses where websites are stored.
So, for example, say you have a website. You therefore will find out the IP address for the server where you’re storing your files (or rather, your UK web hosting provider is storing the files). It might be formatted something like this: xxx.xx.xxx.xxx.
No one wants to type that into a URL bar, so you do a domain name search to find the perfect domain name for your site, and get your UK web hosting company to set it up so that when people type in your domain name, they’ll be taken to your site.
The great thing about domain names is that you can have more than one domain name directed at the same IP address. And if you change web hosts, you can build a new site at a new IP address (or move your existing site files to a new IP address), and have the domain name direct to the new address. Your website visitors don’t have to know that you changed servers: to them, they type in your catchy, user-friendly domain name and are directed to your UK website, the same as always.
When you set out to establish a brand new UK website for yourself, one of the first steps you’ll need to pursue is acquiring a domain name. After all, what’s the point of building a website if you don’t know what domain name it will be associated with? You want the two to correspond, so selecting a domain first is always a good idea.
When you start pursuing domain name search, you’ll have a variety of different factors to choose from. Both .com and .co.uk names will be available to you (as well as many others, including .org, .net, .mobi, .biz, and the list goes on and on). You’ll be able to choose from all sorts of different names and titles that are yet unclaimed.
But one choice you may not even be aware of when you’re doing standard domain name search is actually a choice that has a great impact on how search engine-friendly your website ends up being: the age of your domain name.
You might think that domain names don’t really ‘age’—after all, this isn’t a fine wine or cheese. It’s a combination of letters that people use to locate your website. But in reality, domain names don’t really exist until someone registers them for the first time. You could come up with a very unique name that has never been registered before, so when you register it, it then is created.
Or, you could look into buying the rights to domain name registration for an existing domain name. This means that someone already brought it into being, possibly months or (even better) years ago.
What’s The Advantage of Registering Old Domain Names?
Domain name age brings with it one key advantage: search engine weight. Search engines, and Google in particular, calculate many different factors when evaluating the strength and relevance of various UK websites and deciding which are most appropriate to provide to searchers.
Factors for search engine relevance include the content on the site, links directed to the site from external locations, the relevance of the domain name, and the age and reputation of the website itself.
When purchasing domain names, ask your web hosting UK provider to help you find some older domain names to consider. Your webmaster may even own some domain names that will be useful to you, or may have contacts with other webmasters with old domain names they are willing to sell.
Choosing a domain name is one of the trickiest parts to starting your online web presence. So many different factors go into make a domain name truly helpful, beneficial, and appropriate for your business—it can be hard to know where to start.
If you’ve been doing some research, you’ve no doubt come across some very helpful pointers in helping you narrow down the field of potential domain names into a few that are truly good choices for your business. Here’s a review of the basics:
- Choose a domain name that fits with your business. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many business owners get distracted by a catchy domain, clever pun, or cool-sounding word in a domain that’s available. Just because it sounds good doesn’t mean it fits with your business; if the domain is vague or unclear, or if it suggests that you have a different kind of business than you actually do, it’s worth your time to move on.
- Choose a domain name that helps you get found. If you are appealing to a global audience, make sure your main keyword is in the domain address. If you’re appealing to a local audience, make sure your primary geographic term is in the domain address. This helps search engines deliver your site to potential customers who are looking for businesses just like yours.
- Choose a domain name that’s not to long. This is simple. The shorter your domain, the more memorable your website will be, and the more trustworthy you will appear.
However, these tips aren’t the only ones that will help you buy a domain name that is truly appropriate to your business. There are two elements that people do not often think about that can cause problems down the line. If you’ve decided upon a name that seems ideal based on the criteria above, put it through the following tests before going through with the domain name registration:
- Is it accidentally inappropriate? Individual words have spaces written in between them when used in a sentence, but domain names don’t have spaces. Write your ideal name out, in all lowercase letters, and see if you’ve inadvertently created any inappropriate words in the middle. Both potential visitors and search engines may avoid your site, so make sure it’s age-appropriate when spelled out as one word.
- Is it timeless? If you intend for your website to be successful long-term, choose a domain name that is also long-term. Avoid using years or other time-specific words in your address, and avoid trends that will likely go out of style, opting for broader terms that describe all of what you do, not just one product that may be popular right now.
Owning a small business website can seem like a big jump to business owners who have operated successful brick-and-mortar style companies for years. It can also be a bit daunting for someone who has a good idea and wants to begin a web business, but doesn’t know where to start.
The bottom line is that, if pursued correctly, a business website can be quite profitable, whether your business operates online, offline, or both. However, knowing how to go about it is important to make the investments you make in your site truly worth it.
Here are some steps for how to ensure that your business website is bringing you the most profit possible:
- Set goals. One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make with their websites is not knowing exactly why they’re creating them. You may think “I need a website, because everyone is supposed to have a website.” But if that’s you’re main reason, you don’t have the whole picture in front of you. Browse through websites that companies similar to yours have created. What sorts of features do they offer? What kinds of information do they provide? Are these effective? What would you do differently? Then determine what your main goals are for your website: is its purpose to inform, to gain new customers at your physical store, or to gain online customers? Also set goals for your website’s growth and features that you’d like to see both immediately and long term.
- Do your homework. Before you jump in and buy domain name registration and business web hosting from the first company you see, look around to understand what you’re looking for and what you need from a website. Do you need ecommerce capability? The ability to increase your disk space as your website grows? Dedicated customer service and technical support? Help designing the website? Know what you’re looking for so you spend your money well from the start.
- Stay invested—literally. A successful business website is, in a way, a living thing. You don’t just create it and let it be. Spending a bit of time and a bit of money each month to keep your website fresh and growing will certainly pay off. This may mean updating your blog once or twice a month. It may mean developing more user-friendly features as you go. It may also mean investing in search engine optimization so that people can find the website you put so much effort into. As with any investment, these efforts really do pay off by making your site more accessible and more likely to drive conversions.
With these three major tips, you are ready to get started. Research and find a good domain name registration company, secure affordable business web hosting, and then begin. A good business website is helpful to your customers, and helping your customers helps your company by creating loyalty and gaining exposure to your target market.