Domain Names - do I need one - what should it be?
What's a domain name?
A domain name is the top level name for a web site. For instance. this website has the domain name of personapaper.com. (Look up at the address bar at the top of this page.) Computers work on numbers but human beings prefer words and pictures. The REAL place this web site is at, is what is called an IP address which is just a bunch of numbers. A domain name is a way of helping real people find an IP address without having to remember all those numbers.
A domain name has two parts - the name, such as personapaper, and the suffix, such as .com or .net or .co.uk, etc. The suffix is VERY IMPORTANT . Personapaper.com is a totally different website from Personapaper.net, which is totally different from Personapaper.org, etc. Some big brand names will buy ALL or many of the suffixes available for their brand. For instance, Marks & Spencer, a big brand name in the UK has Marksandspencer.com and many other suffixes go directly to this. For instance, if you type in marksandspencer.org or .net or .co.uk, they will ALL direct you to the dot com version. This means that this company has bought these domain names so that no one else can use them, even though they all redirect to the dot com version. On the other hand, if you try personapaper.net or .org, you do NOT get redirected to the dot com. It is very expensive to buy up all the suffix possibilities for your preferred domain name.
So you may find that typing in domainname.com could take you to a different site from domainname.net and a different place again from domainname.org. This is useful if someone has a website name you want. If your preferred dot com is not available, you could go for a different suffix, such as .co.uk (if in the UK) or .net, etc.
Do I need one?
If you want to have your own web site or blog, you need a home for it and for people to find your home, they need an address. on the web, that's an IP address or a domain name. So if you want your own web site or blog, you need a domain name.
What should my domain name be?
If you are a business, then you need your business name or brand, such as formula1.com if you are the motor racing sport or want people to visit your page for news of formula1 motor racing. If you want to sell products or put your affiliate links onto a page, then you need a title that conveys your product or niche. If you want to tell people about coconut oil or sleep problems or exercise, then you need to find a domain name that helps to convey that meaning. Use a keyword finder, to see what people are searching for in your area. If you are a blogger or writer that people know about, then you might want to use your own name, such as jkrowling.com (Harry Potter books).
The dot com isn't available - now what?
Sometimes your preferred name might be taken. Maybe someone already has a business there. Sometimes people buy up a domain name and "park" it, waiting for someone to come along and want it, at which time, they will sell it to you for a fee! Say you want to sell coconut oil, so you search a domain name reseller for something like coconutoil.com. If you find it's taken, you then look for coconutoil.org but you may find that someone has "parked" it, that is, they have reserved it but instead of using it to sell coconut oil, they are advertising other people's web sites on it, as well as offering it for sale. (It may be the domain reseller who is doing the advertising, rather than the domain name "owner". It may also be the domain name reseller who has "reserved" the name.)
What other domain extensions are acceptable?
According to one internet authority I have seen, the .org and .net suffixes are equally as well regarded as .com. So if your preferred .com isn't available, look if the .net and .org versions are available for use. If not, see if you can come up with some variation of your preferred name. Even adding a single letter onto the end of the name makes it different. For instance, coconut oil is very popular and there are lots of domain names taken for this, even buycoconutoil.com but buycoconutoils.com is NOT taken. Find a domain reseller you like and search for a variation of your preferred name.
What else do I need?
To get your web site or blog up on line, you also need Hosting . Hosting is somewhere that holds your web site or blog - your warehouse or home or spot under the railway bridge! Your domain is your nameplate, if you like. Your hosting is where you HANG your nameplate - the place to pin it up and say, "here I am, come and read me!"
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/under-construction-construction-area-150271/