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What Is an Internet Domain?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to start building a website, and specifically how to buy and use domains. This week, I’ll be covering what a domain is, how to use it, and how to get one that represents you or your company in the best way possible.

By
Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #226

Should you buy a domain?

So maybe you have a business, are looking for a job, or are just playing around with buying a domain. The real question you’re probably thinking is, “do I really need one?” It ultimately comes down to what you might use it for.

In my personal opinion, I think it’s important for anyone looking to go into a technological, marketing, sales, or business to buy a domain and maintain a presence online. Mostly because in the years to come these fields will be highly focused online, and you will want to have a presence that you control on the web. For example, what’s the first thing that most employers do after a job interview? They Google you. If you have a domain with content about yourself and your interests, you will control the narrative and sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pipl and Spokeo will be background noise.

That’s like three cups of coffee for your entire web presence.

Plus, domains are cheap. You’re talking $15 for pretty much any available domain per year. That’s like three cups of coffee for your entire web presence. They can also serve many other purposes other than just having a website for people Googling you. Domains allow you a space for a blog, email addresses with whatever your domain is, and your own personal corner of the web that you control. One of the most valuable domains I think you could buy would be something involving your last name. Rarely are common last name domains available, however if yours is available you should jump on it right away.

Plus there are some clever combinations you can come up with for example my last name is Escobar and Escobar.com has been registered since 1996, however “.ar” is an available extension so I might register the domain “Escob.ar” as a domain. You may want to include something involving your profession. For example I’m an engineer and “.engineer” is an extension. I could register “Escobar.Engineer,” we my website. The possibilities are endless and if you’re interested in having a domain, I’m convinced you could find something.

What should you do if the domain you want is taken?

Now the most unfortunate part about domains are that since they are so cheap people will often camp, or domain squat. Unfortunately if someone has registered a domain ahead of you and they don’t appear to be using it, there’s not much that you can really do. You can often times contact the owner and see if they would be willing to sell it, or you could also set a reminder to check once a year if the domain you want comes available or expires if the owner doesn’t renew it.

The website DomainHole.com will even let you set an alert for a domain to see if it is going to expire. You can also easily purchase a domain through a tool like Squarespace or Weebly, which helps you set up your own personal website.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!

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About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.