How should I choose a domain name?

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the web address that direct to your website. This website’s domain name is Www.saglotech.co.za. There are different TLD’s (Top Level Domain) available when registering a domain. Ie, .com, .co.za, .co.uk, .org, .joburg, etc.

Domain TLD's
TLD’s of different domain names. Photo by Squigglewebdesign

What should I consider when registering a domain?

Very important! The process of domain registration is usually simple and automated. You can register a domain in just a minute. But what should you consider when registering a domain name?

  • Unique Name – It’s important that you get a very unique name. If you use a name similar to other domain names that already exist, Search Engines may serve wrong results to customers looking for your website. In South Africa, Takealot is probably the biggest online store. If you’ree to start an online store business an name it Takealotter, you will never win because million of users already search for Takealot. Your website results will get swallowed in the process. Tip: search the name you are about to use to see if it already exists. If you find fewer results and no results at all, then that could be a perfect domain. Meaning every customer searching for that name will surely be served your website and not other results,
  • Length – The length of your domain matters, A domain name like www.idesignpeoplewebsitesonlessprice.com is sure horrible. Search engine prefers a domain name that is not greater than 15 character. ie, abcdefghij.com. Institutions like the Tshwane University of Technology have long names, but their domain name is reduced to Www.tut.ac.za. A short domain name will lead us to the second point which says domain name should be –
  • Memorable – If your domain name is something like xbarjuvmakcr.com, users who liked your website might have trouble finding it again. Keep it (short and) simple. If you are a company ABC which does plumbing, a domain name like abcplumbing.co.za,
  • Meaningful – Meanwhile trying to satisfy the conditions above, make sure your domain name is meaningful. It could help a search engine to know what category should your website be classified as through its name. A domain name like abcplumbing.com would make a search engine bot to know by default that you are a plumbing company. Corporates and institutions may use short domains like abc.com since they will brand it to be known by everyone. BUT your small business will have to fight to stay on top on the web. That is why you need a meaningful name that won’t struggle to find its category and niche online,
  • Be SURE – Once you purchase a domain name, it cannot be changed. If you notice a mistake afterward, you will have to buy another one.
  • Reputable Providers – Yes, there are thousands of domain name providers online. Some resellers, some accredited ICAAN registrars. After you have successfully bought a domain name, you could be able to manage it, add nameservers, DNS settings such as MX records, TCT’s CNAMES, A records, and others; however, some providers will not allow you this opportunity. To avoid this, get a reputable domain register such as Afrihost, Godaddy, Domains, and other major domain providers. We are also an accredited domain reseller who can help you register any TLD’s.
  • Price Research – Ever bought a product by the corner, then find the same product at a lesser price elsewhere? It happens to the best of us! In South Africa, domains are usually R75 to R110 from major registrars. If you fall on the wrong hands, you may get preyed and end up paying close to a thousand for a cheap product such a domain name.

Which domain TLD should I register?

As mentioned in the introduction, there are multiple Top Level Domains (TLD’s) to choose from. For a business that offers services everywhere, preferably corporates, a .com domain could adjust in every country. However, for a Mr. Johson who’s running his plumbing company locally in the UK, a johnsonplumbing.co.uk would perfectly help his customers to know he is in the UK.

Personalizing your domain name to local TLD’s like .co.uk, .co.za, or.co.zw helps search engines to know that you are based in which country. As you may know, Google is a search engine that is accessible all over the world. They have various TLD’s in various countries to make sure they serve the right audience with the right information. A person searching for Breaking news whilst in the UK will get personalized news according to their country; so is someone searching the same topic in South Africa.

Still in the best interest to serve users right content, google support search queries such a web design company near me, a plumbing company in the UK, etc. Personalizing your domain name to local TLD’s would help you rank on top of the search results.

Our domain name saglotech.co.za is chosen to represent our demographic area of South Africa. We are a web design company in Johannesburg.

How long does a domain name last?

Well, a domain name is not a buy once thing! Every year they expire and needs to be renewed. If you do not renew your domain after 12 months, ICANN deletes it and make it available online. There is also a free grace period, usually 30 days after the domain expiry date. If after that you still haven’t paid, someone else may buy it and use it as their own – legally. So always renew your domain name (and hosting space) if you are willing to keep your website in the long run.

Looking for a domain name or a web design company? We are a leading web design and digital marketing in Johannesburg, South Africa. Get started today with us.

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