Now that your business is ready to get online, the first steps are actually similar to those when you started your business offline. This table outlines a comparison:
Some of the resources in the online world may be new to you, so we will define and describe them here. Before you are ready with a list of possible domain names, familiarise yourself with these resources so you are ready to check available domain names, register the name(s), and kick off your company's new Web presence.
To register one or more domain names, there are two key steps: 1. coming up with ideas for the name, then 2. researching if that name is available (not already registered).
Registrars are companies that help find, manage and then send the necessary domain name information to a global registry. There are many registrar companies with whom to work. Think about which services you will need and choose a company that will best meet your goals for price, options and support. Most registrars also provide Web hosting, Website creation and design, e-mail tools and other services.
Once you have a domain name, you need a space for that domain name to live on the Web. You will require Web hosting on a server to manage the traffic that comes to your site. A Web hosting provider (often the same as your registrar) offers a range of services that help you build a Website, manage e-mail and even promote your site.
A TLD refers to a top-level domain which you see most often as an extension after the business name as .com, .net or .org. There are more options for TLDs coming on the market with choices such as .tv, .jobs and even customised names. Today, most people in the world use .com and .net as their TLD. Since .com and .net are the most recognised choices for people searching the Web it is good to have your name registered with those TLDs.
You have probably heard of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – these are a collection of social networks that allow you to create a business “page” or “profile” to which you can add content including images and video. Social networks are great places to interact with customers and promote events, sales, discounts, etc. While social networks are good marketing tools, it is important to maintain the control and professionalism of your own website as well. Our small business survey found that 90 per cent of consumers prefer a business to have a website over a social media page or online directory listing.
A: Don’t know which top-level domain to use? We understand – with so many domains to choose from, you should consider a reputable one that’s powered by Verisign. Explore our domain names to learn which one best fits your business’ needs.
A: That’s a great question. With almost 299 million registered domain names out there, you need to check if the domain name you want is available first – you can easily find out with our tool to help your register a domain name. You can also find availability statuses through registrar sites.
A: You can find information on already registered domains and their associated registrars and name servers with Verisign’s Whois tool, which has full access to all records in a registry’s database.
As a small business owner, building your online presence needs to be a critical component of your overall company’s growth strategy, especially today in the age of the Internet. Getting the right domain name plays a major role in your business’ success, so take advantage of the resources available to help you create the right one for you!
*Company A: Google
**Company B: Pepsi-Cola
***Company C: Sony Corporation