As important as the Internet has become in our daily professional and personal lives, there are still billions of people who have no idea how it works.
Take for instance domain names. It’s not rare to find people who think they know what domain names are but truly have no idea how to use them or how important they are to an Internet presence. They’re certainly not aware how subdomains and addon domains work for us.
Domain names are a globally recognized system for assigning Internet addresses so that they can be found on web servers. The domain name is your brand. People and search engines will find you based on the domain name. Without a good one, your website may as well not exist.
The best domain names are simple and memorable. Most people and enterprises try to associate the domain name directly with their own. That makes it easy for visitors to remember the site and more likely they’ll visit again.
Domain names are commodities. At one time, they could be incredibly expensive. People were gladly spending hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to protect and keep a good domain name. Today, though still as vital as ever, they are commonplace. A good, usable domain name can be found in any number of places, sometimes for free.
When choosing a domain name, keep it short. If it’s easy to spell and remember, people will not have difficulty finding it later. Domain names should be both unusual and familiar sounding. Some people take a recognizable word and spell it differently to accent its uniqueness. Keywords can be gold here. If used in domain names, keywords can not only make finding websites simpler but will improve rankings in search engines.
Subdomains are a means to maintaining a unified website. If you already own a domain name and want to create another website with unique, associated content, use the existing domain name to expand content. i.e., your domain name is mydomain.com. A subdomain would be support.mydomain.com, community.mydomain.com or store.mydomain.com.
You can create as many subdomains as you please. Only you must own the domain name first. You create subdomains from your host control panel. There will be a Subdomain option. If you own more than one domain name, select one and create a subdomain for it. Choose Document Root and the subdomain should auto-fill.
Addon domains are fully operational domains covered under a single web hosting package. An exceptionally creative hosting feature, you will have to find and register the new domain name or redirect an existing domain to the desired host. This will be a new website that can handle everything from email addresses and forwarders, essentially acting as a main, if separate, domain on the account.
Addons let you operate several websites under a single hosting account. This saves money as the new site will be allocated the bandwidth, disk space and other benefits of the other website(s). The addon will have its own FTP management, storage bins and site statistics. The SEO rewards are great because now a number of sites can be promoted utilizing a single hosting account and the appropriate keywords.
Remember, a domain name is not an IP address, but points to one. See the IP address as the full street name of your website while the domain name would be the way visitors remember your building or office. Subdomains would be the various departments, and addons could be seen as satellite offices or affiliates.
Want to register your domain? Read our How to buy a domain name article.