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Frequently asked questions about domain names

What are domain names?
Domain names are what you type into a browser window's location bar or click on to view a website. A domain name is a web address, similar to the street address of your home or office. Your street address helps people find you—similarly, domain names help people find your website.

Most domain names have three parts separated by dots or periods: the third-level domain (usually "www", which stands for "World Wide Web") is usually presumed and optional. The second-level domain is the most important element, usually the name of a company, product or other entity (eBay or Amazon, for example). The last part of a domain name is the top-level domain, or TLD. The most common TLD, and the most valuable, is .com, although there are many others, including country-code top-level domains or ccTLDs for foreign countries.

Why are domain names important?
Because domain names allow people to find you, it's important to choose the right one. Domain names are unique—there aren't two "www.google.com"s—and there is a limited quantity of good, short, easily recognizable ones.

Another factor that makes domain names important is the prevalence of smartphones like iPhones and Blackberries. More and more people are using the web not just at home and at the office, but on the road as well. Many people are more likely to search the web for a coffee shop in their zip code than they are to call information or even check the yellow pages. Even when they know which coffee shop they're going to, they may check the hours online before they would call the business itself.

Why do I need a domain name?
Many people buy their names as domain names—www.JaneDoe.com, for example—in order to post their professional resumes, upload family photos, or just to have as an email inbox. Buying a domain name to host a personal blog, share information about a hobby, or publish information about community events are all common uses for domain names.

Domain names are especially necessary for people starting their own businesses, or seeking to promote a business they already have. By establishing and growing an online presence, your business has the potential to reach millions more people than it would without a domain name.

Drive traffic to your business. Five to ten percent of people will type a domain name directly into their browser's location bar, expecting to find relevant content. This "primary traffic" is highly targeted and offers the highest conversion rates. Smart businesses buy as many relevant domain names as possible to help lead searchers to their site, rather than paying (again and again) for every click to search engines.

Augment your search engine marketing. Marketers can increase traffic to websites by linking a web of complementary domains and product-specific microsites to their main business. Selecting domains that are descriptive of individual products, services and connecting them to an appropriate landing page within a site can effectively accelerate purchase activity and help better target (or replace) search advertising dollars.

Protect your brand. Another key driver of interest in domain names is the need by companies of all sizes to effectively develop—and protect—their online brand. As a company's investment and reliance on online marketing increases it becomes ever more important to control all of the ways by which customers and partners find those web properties. Smart companies not only buy their core brand name in each major TLD (e.g. .com, .net, .org, etc.) but each of the typos and close variations of their brand names.

Earn revenue. "Parking" domains refers to the practice of using a domain name as a billboard for advertising, and earning money for each visitor that comes to that website and clicks through on an ad. It's very easy to do, and the right domain names can earn a great deal of money. Smart buyers search for pre-owned domains that:
  • Were developed earlier by a company that has since gone out of business;
  • Have residual live links to them from search engines and directories;
  • Have natural type-in traffic because they are made up of typical search keywords.
Domains as investments. Domain names are the "real estate" of the Internet, and as such, are steadily increasing in value as the most desirable locations become more scarce. As the strategic importance of an online presence rises for business the world over, the price for a good domain will continue to rise in kind.

What makes a good domain name?
Your domain name should be memorable and relevant to what the website will be about. If you want to promote your bakery with a website, look for a name that either has the name of your business in it, or refers to the product or service you provide.

Your domain name should be as short and easy to spell as possible. Limit it to two or three words, and be aware of how words blend together in a domain name when the relevant letters aren't capitalized.

Avoid non-standard characters. Hyphens, while they enhance the readability of a domain name, can be easily forgotten or omitted when telling someone about a website. Numbers in a domain name can either be represented numerically (4) or spelled out (four), making clarification necessary in a radio ad, for example.

.Coms are great, but other TLDs can be good too. With a few exceptions (craigslist.org, boingboing.net) the most memorable domain names are .coms. However, you may find your perfect second-level domain with a different TLD. Don't ignore .net, .us, and other TLDs if they support your goals for your domain name and website.

The domain name life cycle
When you buy a domain name from a registrar, you are usually given the option to specify how many years you want to register it for. After that, you can transfer your name to a web hosting company that will either build and host your website, or just host it.

When you "buy" a domain name, you're actually just leasing it for the period of time you paid for when you registered it. As that period nears its end, a series of stages occurs which ends in the domain name being "deleted".



Grace period. You may still reclaim your domain name up to 40 days after expiration. You can renew your name at regular prices, but web users will not be able to see your website.

Redemption period. After the grace period, you have up to 30 days to contact the registrar and retrieve your domain name. The registrar will charge a fee in addition to the registration renewal costs.

Pending delete. During the five day pending delete phase after the end of the redemption period, the domain name is locked and cannot be registered or renewed.

Deleting/Dropping. After the five day deletion process, the domain name becomes available to individuals or companies whose business is to "catch" the dropping names for their customers.




We now offer Domain Sync!

Domain Sync allows you to consolidate your domain renewal dates to be at the same time.  What's the benefit? You get 1 date to remember everything, you save money when your domains renew on the same date in bulk.
Sorry, but right now it is just available on the  .com and .net TLD's.
 

Why is a good domain important?

  1. Improve Your Marketing and Visibility The right domain name allows customers an easy way to remember and find you. It's your location on the web. It's also your email address.
  2. Build Credibility Using your domain for your website and to personalize your email helps establish credibility and professionalism. For instance, an email address such as tim@yourdomain.com is more professional than tim127@freeemailservice.com.
  3. Protect Your Brand Purchase the domain name that best characterizes your business name. Domains are extremely valuable online real estate. Secure the right name and keep it out of the hands of your competitors.
  4. Acquire More Traffic Some domains already receive traffic. This traffic principally comes from direct type-in or referral traffic. Direct type-in is when an internet user types the domain directly into their browser, such as typing 'www.surfing.com.' Referral traffic typically comes from links on other websites.
  5. As an Investment Similar to real estate, domain names are investments. Domain values increase daily. You yourself can make your domain name more valuable by building and marketing your website.
See a list of aftermarket domains available for sale right now

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