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What is a Domain Name and Why do I Need One?

I get a lot of questions about the different parts of a niche website. For beginners it can be very confusing trying to get a handle on everything that goes with the niche website and how they interact.

A domain name is just one part of a website but it’s essential to have so people can find you. Think of a domain name as an address (aka URL) that takes you to a place where your website files reside. Just imagine if you tried to give someone directions to your house but you had no street name or number. How difficult would that be? I don’t think it would be very easy to do especially if there are a lot of houses around you. Same concept with a domain name, it will direct people to your website files to be served for them to view.

A domain name can also be referred to the following:

namedomain-name-2
URL
address
link
domain

Not all domain names are created equally and there should be some research involved when selecting one for your niche website. Especially if you want to target profitable keywords. When selecting a domain name for your niche website make sure to get the exact match keyword with the .com extension, if that’s not available then try the .net extension. Then you can try the name with hyphens ‘-’ between the keywords (e.g. My-niche-on-something.com).

I actually recommend that you do your keyword research on the niche you are choosing before registering your domain name.

Where to register domain names?

I recommend using either Name.com or GoDaddy.com (I use both for my domains) which have reasonable prices (usually around $10/year), great support and resources. You can usually find promo codes for discounts for those registrars pretty easily by searching Google.

The only other item that I would pay for on the domain name is the privacy option. This basically hides your personal information from being displayed to everyone. It’s not necessary but is there if you want it.

Even if you do not plan on building a website right now you can still register a domain name to use in the future.

How to point your domain name to your hosting or website

In your domain name account when you select a domain, it will have a section labeled “NameServers” or DNS. This is where you point the domain to the hosting account where you have your website files stored.

Name servers are usually in pairs and the following format:

ns#.servername.ext  -> ns1.myhosting.com

dns

Once you update the nameservers in your domain account it can take anywhere between 2-72 hours to propagate through the system.

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what a domain name is and how it’s used in a niche website or matter of fact, any website.

If you have a comment, question or suggestion please feel free to leave it below.

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