Blog > What are Domains and Why Do They Matter?
Posted By Create
Tags: domain names
You may have already bought your web domain, maybe you have a number of different domains or perhaps you are yet to claim even your first domain. In this blog we will be looking at domains, from the basics to multiple domains, why you may need them and how you should manage them.
What is a Domain?
Starting at the very beginning with "What is a domain?”: a domain is the address that people will type in to find your website. It's the area of the web that you own; for example, “www.create.net.” Much like a number plate on a car it is unique to you. It should be fairly short and certainly memorable so that your website is easy to find and share.
Your domain is not the same as hosting, which is like the rent you pay for your space on the internet as this has to be hosted on a server somewhere. All Create packages include website hosting, however you will need to buy your domain/s.
A top-level domain is what you see at the end of the address, usually along the lines of .com, .co.uk, .net or .gov (these are also known as 'suffixes'); but as you can see from this list of top-level domains there are many more, with new ones having been introduced by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) just this month and companies can even apply to register their own (although this will cost them!).
How do I buy a domain?
Domains are purchased through a provider for a set period of time. At the end of that time you should get first dibs on renewing again. If you don't renew you could lose ownership of your domain. You can buy a domain through Create that will last for 2 years. When you need to renew we will send you an email reminder so you don't miss out.
Do I need multiple domains?
You may want to register multiple domains for a number of reasons.
1. Protect your brand
You put a lot of time and effort into building up a loyal audience so protect your brand and claim your domain before your competitors do! You may want to register multiple domains so that they cannot get their hands on them and steal your customer base away.
2. Protect your territory
If you historically claimed a .com domain you may find that you want the .co.uk version of your domain too as this will protect your brand in the UK. If you find you are getting a lot of business internationally you may also want to claim your domains in these areas, e.g. .de for Germany, or .fr for France. You can then point these domains to your primary domain so anyone typing in the suffix they assume is correct due to their location will get repointed to your primary website.
Alternatively, you could build a website that is specifically suitable for these locations. But if you do this be careful about duplicating content as this is bad for your SEO.
3. Avoid losing confused visitors
Word of mouth is a top source of new business but this can lead to confusion about how your brand name is actually spelt and even the most brilliant brain can suffer from the fallibility of human memory. You could be losing out on visitors who use common misspellings, therefore why not buy the most common misspellings of your business name as a domain name and point these to your primary domain?
Or you may want to buy multiple domains if your brand name includes a number to cover both the numeral and the word, e.g. www.love2createwebsites.net and www.lovetocreatewebsites.net. Ideally, you need to choose a domain name that is simple and easy to understand when giving it over the phone; the test is, would you need to literally spell the domain out to them for them to be able to find your website?
4. Boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Good SEO means your website will sit higher in relevant search results and you should get more visitors. Your domain name can have an effect on this. To help you can do a number of things, such as; have your desired keyword in your domain; use the keyword as the first word in your domain; and using an exact match domain, which is basically using the keyword as a domain name. You will still need to have good SEO across your website.
5. You changed your brand name
There may come a time that for whatever reason you decide to change the name of your brand. This will mean changing your domain name to match. Keeping hold of your old brand name domain will mean that you can redirect visitors to your new domain, rather than lose the visitors.
Domain age can have an effect on SEO so your old branded domain may be reaping the benefits of this. You can continue to benefit from this if you retain ownership of the old domain and redirect to the new.
6. Promote multiple products
You have a strong brand and want to keep your original domain, but you also have a product or number of products that are popular and you want to push them even more so. You can buy domain names that reflect the name of this product and build a separate mini-website specifically for this.
How to handle multiple domains
When it comes to handling multiple domains there are a few things to bear in mind.
Are you definitely going to get a reminder to renew from your supplier? Set your own reminder in your calendar to be on the safe side. Your multiple domains may need to be renewed at different times so ensure you set a reminder for each one.
It is really bad for your SEO to have different websites with duplicate content on them. Rather than do that you can find out how to point your multiple domains to your website in the Create HelpCentre.
Check out our HelpCentre guide on how to register a domain with Create and please do leave a comment if you have any questions!