HOW TO: GET YOUR HEAD AROUND DOMAINS

There are so many bits and bobs when it comes to getting a feel of how we do things at Big Blue Digital.

I wanted to take this moment to talk about my understanding of domainswhat they are and what they can do for your business.

Now, while I have a lot to do with Big Blue Digital’s client domains, it still escapes me how to explain what a domain actually is.

Basically, a domain can be thought of as a virtual address to get to a website. Everything needs directing, much like a house has a street number. You couldn’t imagine telling a taxi driver that you wanted to go to “the yellow house with the roses out the front”, could you?

Unlike an IP address which contains what seems to be a series of never ending numbers, a domain contains words, most commonly the registered name of your business.

WHAT CAN A DOMAIN DO?

There are three main areas in which a domain is useful.

  1. Branded emails – Instead of using a third party email service where your address ends in @gmail.com.au, a domain can tailor your email address to your business name. For example, krystal@bigbluedigital.com.au instead of krystal@gmail.com.au
  2. Website address –  Your domain name will be used instead of an IP. Traffic will be directed to your page easier with a clear name matching to your business.
  3. Social Media – Some use their domains to create tailored social media pages on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW THIS?

Now, I know you’ve probably reached the point where there seems to be no end to my jibberish. BUT, let me tell you that the main reason your business should have multiple registered domains are to PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY.

When you register your domain, you can have many extensions of that exact name which prevent those cheeky devils out there stealing your identity and internet traffic.

When speaking of those extensions I mean:

  • .com.au and .com
  • .net.au and .net
  • .org.au and .org

Those extensions are the main ones that most companies use. There are dozens of options for extensions available, for example we now use the extension .digital therefore our website is listed as bigblue.digital

Other not so well-known domain extensions include:

  • .agency
  • .services
  • .melbourne

Our fountains of knowledge at Big Blue Digital say you are actually able to set a preferred domain which search engines can direct people to. It is important to do this to make sure that only one version of all of your webpages are indexed on Google. It’s not vital, but it’s a good idea to keep your website tidy. The benefits are subtle but numerous.

Depending on your domain reseller, will depend on what domain extensions you can register. Not every reseller has all options available.

WHO CAN REGISTER FOR A DOMAIN?

Depending on your business type and location can affect what you can register as a domain.
For example, .com.au can only be registered by an Australian business and requires an ABN number to prove registration. Whereas, .net and .com extensions can be registered without an ABN.

Other extensions such as .biz are only available to business owners and operators.

If you’re not sure of what you can register, contact your reseller to see what you options you are eligible for.

WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR DOMAIN SORTED

There’s just one piece of advice I can offer those who have taken on a domain – KEEP AN EYE ON IT!

It’s extremely important for businesses to delegate someone on their staff to keep track of the business domain, record the login details and where it is registered.

Domains do have an expiry date, so if you don’t keep track of that date and renew your domain beforehand, all your services will go down.

While it is important for clients to keep track of their domains, it is also important for clients to know their domain information so if any DNS changes need to be made, they know where everything is located.
For example, if someone was using POP3 (an email type usually used within Outlook) and they wanted to switch to GMail, they would need to update the email allocating records (MX records),  to point to the GMail servers.

While I do have a love-hate relationship with domains, I can highly recommend them to anyone.

Have you registered for your business domain?

 

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