There are many considerations when starting a business- choosing a name, services/products you will offer, registering your business, and more. An important step to take as soon as you choose a business name is to choose and purchase a website domain name. Websites are a critical part of marketing, and securing a good domain name should be done sooner, rather than later.
Even if you are not ready to have a website up and running, you should have a domain name ready and waiting.
Here are some reasons why you should purchase your own domain name:
You own it.
This is one of the top reasons for you to personally purchase your own domain name. Be careful in your dealings with some web design companies who offer to do all the work for you. Make sure you read the terms of the contract. If you don’t, you may find out that they not only own and control your website, but that they are also the owners of your domain name. You should have full ownership of your domain, so you can control how it is used. Even better is to buy your own domain and pay for your own web hosting plan. It is not as difficult as you think and is much more economical. Some web hosting companies offer a free domain with their hosting package. A web design company should still be able to create an incredible website for you while you control and pay for the domain and hosting.
It’s an investment
A domain name is an investment. It is one of the cheapest investments any business owner can make, but it has the potential to bring incredible returns. Often, the domain name itself can become a valuable asset. A domain name connected to your business is a powerful combo.
You snooze, you lose.
If you wait on purchasing a domain, someone else may get it before you. The last thing you want to do is have your business up and running and then find out the domain name you want is already being used. If you come up with a great business name that is available in your area (and not trademarked anywhere), the first thing you should do is try to snag a domain name to match.
Website domain names are being purchased at a record pace. Some people purchase them just to collect them or to re-sell at a higher price (domain flipping). Others buy them to try to undercut competition. If you have domain name you are considering, and it is available, consider buying it right away!
Domains are cheap
In relation to most other marketing costs such as web design, advertising, etc, a domain name is very cheap. On average, owning a domain name will cost you about $15.00 a year. If you purchase your own hosting package with certain web hosting companies, you can get a domain for free! Even if you change your mind and decide on a different domain name, $15.00 shouldn’t hurt your bank account too much.
A domain name helps legitimize your business
Obviously, you will want a website attached to your domain name, but the first step is purchasing the domain. You can’t have a website without a domain name pointing to it. When potential customers are interested in your company, one of the first things they will check is your website. You need to secure the ideal domain name for your website as soon as possible so you can move to the next step of having the website created (or creating it yourself).
Domains help protect your brand
Many companies will purchase numerous TLD’s (Top-Level Domain– that’s the ending of the domain after the “.”) such as .com, .net., .org, .info, etc. in order to protect your brand. Depending on your company, you may or may not need to do that. Having a domain name that matches your business name is a great way to advertise, while making it easy for customers to remember your website address. While it would be ideal to have your business name as the actual web address, it isn’t necessarily crucial. Other options could be an abbreviation, a short slogan or tagline, your specialty, your location plus business name or some other variation. While .com is the most and recognized and preferred TLD, you may need to consider .net, .org, .info, or another TLD if the most common ones are taken, or choose a different name in order to secure a .com TLD.
No Long-term commitment
If your business folds, or if you decide to go a different direction, you simply let your domain contract expire (or possibly try to sell your domain) and you are done. If your domain was connected to a web hosting package, you may have to cancel the package, or wait until the term is up.