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Go Fresh Charry

Why you should buy a domain

FILED UNDER: The Interwebs

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Fri

Nov 2009

20

Author: Katie

Site: www.gofreshdesign.com

Many, many horsey businesses have websites. Even small barns. This is great. Websites are modern business cards. Every barn should have a website. If you can't afford a web designer, there are plenty of tools to make a website on your own. But that's a topic for another day. Today is about buying a domain. Learn how to put your best foot forward, by purchasing your own domain... It's a very small, worthwhile investment in your business or hobby.

Many free sites are powered by blogger or wordpress or are hosted with a free host, like Angelfire. This is fine if you can't afford to hire a professional to build your site. But, many of these free websites come with ridiculously long web addresses. For example your website might be: http://freehost.somefreehosting.com/florida/sparklesandunicornsfarm/gallery.html

What a mouthful!

For the low, low price of $10.00 a year you could buy your own domain and redirect it to your free website. This way you can tell people to visit your website "www.sparklesandunicorns.com" instead of the long version that nobody is ever going to remember.

Some advice on picking a domain name
  • Shorter is better
  • Longer is better if you have to resort to abbreviations. It's hard for people to understand "sandufarm.com" or "sufarm.com".
  • Avoid hyphens at all costs. "www.myhorse-farm.com", is no good. You'd have to make a point of saying "hyphen" every time. People won't remember.
  • It's also best to avoid numbers, you would always have to make a point to say whether to spell the number out or to use the actual numeral. "www.number1saddlebreds.com" is no good
  • Pick something descriptive to your business. If your farm is called Laurel Hill Farm buy "www.laurehillfarm.com" if it's available. If not try different combos like "www.laurelhillhorses.com" or "laurelhillfoxtrotters.com" or "laurelhillboarding.com" or "laurehillhorsecenter.com". Eventually you will find one that is available.
  • Use www.whois.net to check if a domain is available. Do not do it through your domain registration company. Some domain companies will actually buy the domain if you don't, after you check its availability, so they can resell it to you at a higher price down the road.
  • If the .net and .org is available, go ahead and snatch those up too. It's only $10 more per each domain and you can redirect them to your website.
  • If you have a really nice stallion, but his domain too! If your stud is Zippos Sensation, buy "www.zippossensation.com", and link it to his section of your website.
  • If something is likely to get misspelled, for example "www.zippossensation.com" has to "s's" next to each other. Someone might leave one of the "s's" out. Buy the misspelled version too. Redirect it to your site. Help your visitors out. The extra $10 is worth it.
  • Use a reputable domain registration company. Don't get gouged. There is NO reason to pay more than $10 a year per domain. For the love of god, do not use Godaddy or Network Solutions. I recommend for domain registration purposes only, www.Dreamhost.com. Their control panel is subperb, very easy for even the non-techy to navigate. For hosting I don't like to make recommendation unless I know the particular hosting needs.
Some benefits of having your own domain are:
  • It will make marketing much easier. Running a print ad? "www.yourdomain.com" is so much better then the long free website URL, same with radio spots with a limited time to get a message across.
  • It'll fit easier on your business cards, signage or wherever you put it
  • You can get your own email addresses! Partner your domain with gmail's email hosting services, which is FREE, and you can have your very own, reliable, spam blocking email account like "katie@showhorsegallery.com". I can not speak highly enough of using gmail's hosted services. Do it.
  • You will seem more legit. Even though any boob can get a domain, the fact you took the time to do it will make your seem more professional to your site visitors.
  • It's more search engine friendly.
  • It's fun to have your own domain and it's SO cheap to do it, there's really no reason not to.
  • A word of advice though, do not become a domain junky. They're so cheap to purchase that you can quickly end up with 50 domains just for the heck of it. Well, after a certain point it's not cheap anymore. Owning 50 domains is a $500 a year bill. I know, I'm that person. "Hi, my name is Katie and I'm a domainaholic." It's ok, I can excuse myself, because I'm a professional web designer. It just comes with the territory.

    So in closing, if you don't have a domain but you do have a website. What are you waiting for? GO buy one now!

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