The name game: Why you need to own your domain
When you choose office or shop space, you want an address that looks welcoming and trustworthy – so why would you think any differently when it comes to your domain? Having your own carefully chosen and maintained web address is essential when establishing a business.
The ramifications of not owning your domain
Your domain name is a key contributor to your web presence (it is, after all, what potential new customers will be searching for and ultimately clicking on) and is therefore worth the small payment it takes to secure the right one.
There are some sites that offer free domain registration, and while it’s tempting to save a few dollars by purchasing one from them, you are always better off registering and paying for your own. They offer them free in the hope that you’ll pay for their other services, such as web hosting. However, they rarely have the infrastructure in place to deal with the security protocols a burgeoning ecommerce business needs.
Three more reasons why it’s important to own your domain are:
Using a free domain will display the name of the provider in the title – yourbusiness.website.com, for example – which is not ideal for building trust with customers.
If you don't own your domain and the person who does decides to sell it, you could be in a lot of trouble. You may have to pay more to secure continued use of the name or, even worse, a competitor could buy the name out from under you.
- Without domain ownership, you could lose email access to your current clients and be forced to start building your web presence again from scratch – a particularly painful thought if you've spent a lot of money marketing your current address and building up web traffic via SEM.
When registering for a domain name, you may want to consider doing the same for all available extensions (.com, .au and so on) if it’s affordable. This will allow you to ensure your address remains associated with you alone. It's easy to use one address as your main domain and set up a redirect for the other addresses.
Choosing your domain name
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