Web Domain Hosting
Domains play an incredibly important role in your website. Without a domain, people would have to find your website by using an IP address. There is no easy way to memorize an IP address, so domains make it simple for visitors to find your site and get connected to your information. There are plenty of web hosting providers who can sell domains and give you options for domains such as parked domains and subdomains. Knowing the benefits of domains and how they work can give you an advantage.
StatCounter provides its valued members with valuable insights regarding their website and web traffic. Our analytical tools are key to tracking the success of your website. While our focus may be on metrics, we understand the role that websites play in your business. That’s why we also provide a number of articles on web hosting so businesses can make effective decisions with hosting plans. With that said, here is some insight on web domain hosting and what it means for your business.
Once you’ve learned about domains and the role they play, it’s time to find a plan that works for your business. We have a number of articles available to help you with your decisions. Take a look at the articles below to learn more.
What Are Domains Names?
One of the key features of your website is the domain name. A domain name is typically your business name followed by a .com, .net, or .org. These are also known as Top Level Domains or TLD. A domain name is used as an alias for an IP address because a domain name is much easier to remember than a random string of numbers. When the Internet first started, IP addresses were used to connect users to information located on different servers. Domains simply make it easier to remember the address that holds that information, but it also isn’t that simple.
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How Do Domains Work?
A domain is completely useless without a domain name system or domain name server (DNS). These types of servers are used to keep a record of which domains are associated with a certain IP address. When an Internet user types in a domain name, that information goes to a DNS and is redirected to the server with its corresponding IP Address. This step is crucial to connecting everybody to information over the Internet. Without it, we’d have to keep our own spreadsheets of IP addresses and where those random numbers lead on the Internet.
Now that you know the background to domain names, it is important to know what goes into the domain name system. This will explain why you always pay for domain names and why you don’t actually own a domain name. It all starts in 1998 with the birth of ICANN.
ICANN And DNS
As mentioned above, in 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, was created to keep track of domain names and IP addresses. This non-profit body consists of The Registry, Registrars, and Registrants. The Registry is where top level domains are held. Registrars buy domains from the Registry and then sell them to Registrants. Registrants are the individuals, businesses, organizations, or any entity that registers a domain name under their name.
Registrars should be accredited by ICANN so they can sell domain names to registrants. Though registrars may sell domain names, they are actually just registering a domain name under your business for 1 to 10 years. Your business can use a domain name for a period of time but will have to re-register for the name before your term expires. Failing to re-register your domain name allows others to register that domain name for themselves. This can be a troublesome situation for your business.
When you pay for a domain, you pay into the maintenance of the ICANN system and DNS Servers. ICANN is a non-profit and is the entity that controls the domain name system. Without the domain system, the Internet would be much harder to use. It is important to keep the technology involved in these systems properly maintained. Registrars have a lot of different prices for domain names, but your business is essentially buying the same thing. Registrars just offer different services with their domains that aren’t always necessary.
Why Businesses Need Domains
A domain name is crucial to giving your business a memorable address to get more people to visit your site and see your products and services. Your domain name is part of your brand. Typically, the best option for a website is a domain name that contains your business name. As businesses grow and have key brands that deserve their own website. A domain name with the brand will make it easy for consumers to remember the name and visit the site.
It is important to avoid some common pitfalls with your domain names. It is important to keep your domain strictly to the alphabet. Do not use any punctuation or numbers in your domain name. While it may make sense, it can be difficult for audiences to reach your website if they can’t decipher the domain name they just heard. Punctuation takes away from a smooth experience inputting your domain name. A keyboard friendly domain will always increase your traffic.
Hosting Your Domain
Many web hosting providers are also accredited to sell domains. Hosting your domain can come with benefits such as a number of subdomains and parked domains. Parked domains can be used to redirect visitors who misspell your domain name. This will save you from missing out on traffic. Subdomains allow you to make sites for niche users that are catered to their needs. This can customize your website to reach certain regions or languages.
As mentioned before, the same domain name can be under a different price point. It’s like doing a search for hotels. The same room will come at different prices depending on the services the seller provides. Bottom line, you probably don’t need those services and can just go with the least expensive domain. Web hosting providers tend to include a free domain registration with their plans, so if you only need a single domain, the best option could be going through your provider.
Track Your Progress with StatCounter
With a great domain name, visitors will easily be able to find your website and start seeing your products and services online. You’re going to need to measure the success of your website and how traffic is going. StatCounter provides valuable tools to measure traffic, see where it is coming from, how it interacts on your site, and what pages are performing the best. With this insight, your business can replicate the success and make effective decisions with the web design and content.
If you’d like to learn more about our tools, you can contact StatCounter member support by filling out the form below.
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