What are Domain Names & Why Do I Need Some?

The following primer on the importance of domains is adopted from DomainMarket.com.

A domain name is a company’s unique identifier on the Internet. Yet, Internet computers only know how to transmit information with Internet protocol (IP) numbers: for example,

However, IP numbers are confusing to consumers and cannot be branded easily.

The Domain Name System (DNS) was created as a solution to translate these difficult to remember IP numbers, associated with your company’s web and e-mail hosting services, into your own easy to remember, brandable domain names, to help your customers find and remember your services. The same unique domain name can be used as the root of a company’s Web address and/or their e-mail addresses.

The format for a corporate Web address in the United States is usually “http://www.mycompany.com/”. It does not have to begin with “www,” but it has become standard over time and is easy to remember. An e-mail address is generally myidentity@mycompany.com, with most common ways of expressing your identity looking like flast@mycompany.com, firstlast@mycompany.com, first.last@mycompany.com, fml@mycompany.com, or first@mycompany.com (at smaller companies). In this digital age, it is not a good idea to use another company’s domain name in your Internet dealings. For example, the e-mail addresses company@aol.com or company@yahoo.com does not properly identify your unique business. Using such domains in your communications implies that your company might not be Internet-savvy or implies that you want to be anonymous. Or it could imply that you are an employee of AOL or Yahoo or whatever domain with which you have associated yourself.

More importantly, it doesn’t help you to reinforce and market your unique company name. Besides, it looks unprofessional and can be difficult typing in a Web address with such a format as www.myisp.com/mycompany.

Having a domain name that clearly relates to your company, like smithcompany.com, joespizza.com, softwaretraining.com, or rockconcerts.com, will resolve these issues and allow you to establish a strong and professional brand on the Internet.

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