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Reasons to Register a Domain Name

"Ten Reasons to Register a Domain Name Today"
by Sunil Tanna

Lots of people will tell you that you either don't need a domain name or all the good ones are already taken. I don't agree, I find (and register) good domain names on your regular basis, and I think they're more than worth the money (you can register domains for less than $20 per year).

1. LONG URLs

If you don't have a domain name for your web site, you'll have a long URL, something like http://members.yourisp.com/~yourcompany or perhaps http://yourcompany.yourisp.com/

Now that doesn't look good on a business card! What's more, your customers and prospects probably won't be able to remember it.

On the other hand, if you get your own domain name, you'll have an easy to remember URL, that looks professional and is easy for folks to remember.

2. MOVING WEB HOST

When you have the type of long URLs I referred to in point 1, your URL is tied to your web host or ISP. What happens if you change hosting company? What happens if your hosting company goes out of business (it happens)? Answer: Your URL changes, which means you may have to reprint your stationary and any promotion efforts that you've already done and most likely wasted.

On the other hand, if you get your own domain name, you can take it with you (and make it point to your new web host), if you change hosting companies.

3. EMAIL ADDRESSES

When you get your own domain name, you can set it up so that you have email addresses containing your domain name. For example, yourname@yourcompany.com

Doesn't that look a lot more professional that an ISP, hotmail or yahoo address?

4. SEARCH ENGINE POSITIONING

If you get a domain name contains keywords that describe your site's topic it can help boost your search engine rank (and thus help you get more visitors).

5. SEARCH ENGINE INDEXING

Search engines can sometimes be sensitive beasts. For example, they don't like being spamdexed with lots of junk pages, and to stop it they either penalise sites which contain junk pages, or may place limits on the maximum number of pages that can be indexed per domain.

If you don't have your own domain name, other people's web sites who simply share the same hosting service with you, can cause your site to drop down the search engine results - or even disappear from search engines completely!

On the other hand, if you have your own domain, you won't have these kinds of problems: you're responsible for and only affected by your own web site's content.

6. DIRECTORIES

Lots of folks don't consider a site serious, if it doesn't have its own domain name - and that includes some directory editors.

Go look for yourself in Yahoo! and see how many commercial sites you can find which don't have a domain name... Answer: Not many.

7. CREDIBILITY

When new people encounter your business through the web, they only know you from what they see. Do you really want to look some fly-by-night who can't afford $20 per year to register their own domain name?

8. PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY

When you register a domain name, it identities you (or your business). Do you really want somebody else grabbing domain names that identify you, your business, your products, or (if applicable) your trademarks?

Sure, if somebody else does register a domain name that infringes your rights, you might be able to call the lawyers in, and perhaps get it back... but wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to avoid this hassle in the first place by registering the domains yourself?

9. TYPOS AND MISSPELLINGS

When people type in URLs, they sometimes can make typing errors or misspell the URL. You might consider registering the most common spelling errors of your URL, so that these people still end-up at your site (ask your web host if you need help with setting this up).

10. INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE

Some people have made a lot of money registering and trading in domain names. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that provided that they don't infringe others' trademark or proprietary rights ("cybersquatting").

So there, exactly as promised, are the 10 good reasons to register a domain name... but I'll add one more, and it's a reason that you should act today:

11. GET IT FIRST

As already mentioned, domain names are being registered at a truly incredible rate. You know what that means? If you wait, the domain name you want could soon be taken - so register it today.

This article is Copyright (C) 2005, Answers 2000 Limited.

About the Author
This article was written by Sunil Tanna of Answers 2000. For more information about domain names, and several advanced (and free) domain search tools, please visit http://www.domaincavern.com/

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