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What is a Custom Domain Name? Do you really need one

If you own an online business or have a website or a blog, you may have frequently come across the term “Custom domain name“. Most of us when starting out prefer using free platforms such as WordPress, Blogspot, Medium and other similar platforms to publish content.

custom domain name

These platforms are

  1. Very easy to use and understand
  2. It takes very little to no technical knowledge to set up a blog and in no time your site is up and running.
  3. These platforms are free to use. If you are just starting out, these are generally the first choice.

And I have no doubt if you are a beginner free publishing platforms are a great way to start your journey and gain experience.

When you create an account on such platforms you get a subdomain as the URL of your website. These URLs end with .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com.

subdomain url

If anyone wants to visit your website can do it using the subdomain URL.

Now, once you have created your website or blog, it becomes a part of the world wide web. The www or world wide web is a collection of websites that offer

  1. Useful information
  2. Provide various services
  3. Can be used for buying and selling products online.
  4. Just simply to interact with other users.

And it is important to know that you are a part of this huge network.

But here’s the tricky part, with the number of websites growing on a daily basis. Having a website doesn’t solve the purpose alone. Your online presence has to look professional so that visitors can connect with the brand, take desired actions and the most important thing doesn’t leave your website to look for alternates.

According to Netcraft

As of January 2019, there are 1,518,207,412 active websites Click To Tweet

To fulfill all the above-listed criteria, you need a custom domain name. Like I always say the domain name is the foundation of your website. And you want to lay a strong foundation and then build on that.

With that said let’s dive into the topic

what is custom domain name

What is a domain name?

To understand this we have to go back to the basics.

A domain name is the name of your website. For example, Amazon has a domain name “amazon.com”, the domain name for GeekyPlug is “geekyplug.com”

You can also call the domain name as the address of your website online. Users can access your website by entering the domain name in the address bar of the browser.

In the above example, you can see I have only used domain names using the .com extension. It is just for making the understanding process easy as it is the most commonly used extension.

With that said, times have changed and there are other extensions available such as

  1. .org
  2. .net
  3. .co
  4. .blog
  5. .ny
  6. .biz
  7. .tv
  8. .info
  9. .eu

and many more that you can use.

Now, to understand the concept of domain names better here is a more technical explanation.

Till now we have established that domain names are used to identify your website on the world wide web or the internet. The worldwide web is a huge network of computers connected to each other.

To recognize each machine on the network, a special string of numbers is issued. And this special string is known as the IP address.

192.168.0.1

And you can see in the above example it is pretty difficult to remember an IP address. Due to this reason domain names came into existence.

Now you don’t have to enter the long and confusing strings of numbers to visit any website. Instead, you can just enter the domain name and it will take you to your favorite website.

Domain names are textual addresses that point to the IP address of a website Click To Tweet

Moving forward, like we have discussed before with free website you get a subdomain such as example.blogspot.com or example.wordpress.com

And you can see it has 2 parts

  1. The domain name of the publishing platform which is wordpress.com or blogspot.com
  2. The subdomain which in this case is “example”.

This means the URL of your website contains a different brand name in the middle of it.

But if you register a custom domain name you can get rid of that part and can have a simple domain name such as example.com, exampl.org, or example + any other extension.

What is a Custom Domain Name? Do you really need one

What is a Custom Domain Name and Why do you need one?

example of custom domain name

A custom domain name is the very own and personal URL of your brand. Many bloggers or website owners when starting out do not know the advantages of a custom domain name over a subdomain.

Unknowingly they take the opportunity available and invest time and effort into building a website on a subdomain. They do not realize what they are missing out on.

Here are a few reasons why you need a custom domain name

1. You are the owner

If you have a website on a subdomain, you know you are not the owner of the subdomain. In case the publishing platform decides to close the subdomain, the associated website will also be removed. A waste of hard work and time invested.

In this situation, if you are using a custom domain name, the website will be deleted. But the best part is the URL of your website will not change. Your visitors can visit you using the same URL once the website is working again.

2. An instant credibility boost

If you have a custom domain name it instantly boosts your credibility. Many of the businesses may not prefer working with companies or brands that do not have a personalized URL.

On the contrary, when you are using a custom domain name it increases the visibility in your field, you can showcase your portfolio to potential clients or future employers and land some freelance gigs or get the job that you applied for.

And it also gives you the opportunity to promote yourself effectively as a brand.

3. Massive positive impact on branding

We have already discussed this before when you are using a subdomain, another brand name is included in your URL or link. It may appear to visitors that you are not associated with those brands rather than having your own brand or identity.

4. Power of the custom email

When you have a custom domain name, you have the freedom to create custom email addresses such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and many more.

Think about receiving an email from a custom email address and [email protected]

Which one would you reply to?

Of course, most people will reply to the custom email address. The reason behind this is simple spam. It is one of the biggest problems of the internet and everyone hates it. And Spammers use these free email services to send out spam.

If you use a branded email address to send an email, the person at the receiving end knows you are authentic and not a spammer.

5. Freedom to host anywhere

This is one of the reasons why the custom domain name is worth buying. A domain name is a connection between you and the users. Once you have the personalized domain name, you are not dependent on the host anymore.

You can change the hosting provider and stay connected with your audience.

These are some reasons why I suggest going for a custom domain name from the beginning even if you are using a free blogging platform.

If you are still not convinced let me give you one more reason.

I am sure you are aware of how important is organic traffic for any website. Think about a scenario where you have worked hard, used various SEO tips and built the authority of the free subdomain and now you are thinking of moving to a custom domain.

And now, you have to work on all those things and build them up from scratch. That means all the previous efforts will go in vain.

If you are a Blogspot user and looking to boost your ranking on search engines, we have written an article on basic SEO techniques for blogger blog

Also, you have to submit your website again in the search console and update the new domain everywhere including various social media platforms you are using.

Basically, this is like doing everything you have done all over again. And you don’t want this.

I think I have given you pretty strong reasons to go for a personalized domain.

With that said, the next thing on the menu is

How to find the perfect domain name

This is one of the most important things after you decide to go for a custom domain name as this name will stay with you for a very long time.

You cannot change the domain name frequently, this is the reason you want to pick the right one.

Here are a few things to keep in mind

  • Try to go for the .com extension first. It is the most widely recognized extension and people generally relate your brand to their respective .com. If you are unable to find the .com version, then go for any other extension as long as it fits the purpose of your business.
  • Think about a name that is relevant to your business. For example, if you are a blogger in the food and recipe niche and you just put out recipes that are vegan. You can go for a name such as vegankitchen.com. The visitors can know about the content of your website just by looking at the domain and the name is relevant as well.
  • The domain name has to be short, simple and easy to understand. One of the reasons we ask people to move to a custom domain name is the length. The longer the name, the more difficult it is to remember.
  • Avoid including numbers and using smart spellings as they are prone to confusion. Let’s consider the example we have used above.
Correct domain name- VeganKitchen

With a number- V3ganKitch3n

Smart spelling- VegnKitchn

According to you which one is easy to remember. I’m pretty sure its the first one. Go for something that does not cause confusion and is easy to remember.

  • Another important thing to remember, if you are making the change from a subdomain. You may have already created social media pages and accounts with the existing brand name. Try to go for that first.

Also, we have written a detailed post on this- How to select a domain name

The next step in the process is

How can you buy a domain name

To buy a domain name you have to go to a domain name registrar such as

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Namecheap

All you have to do is visit the domain registrars website, search for your domain name and pay the registration fees. This gives you rights to the domain name for a year.

After this period, to continuously use the domain name you have to pay a renewal fee. If the domain name you are looking for is available, I would suggest buying it or else it may become home to some other site.

Many web hosting companies also provide domain registration service. In case you are looking for a hosting provider as well, we highly recommend going for

  1. Bluehost
  2. Siteground

The Decision- Do you really need a domain name

A domain name is the representation of your brand online. That’s how people establish a connection with your brand.

If you ask me, yes absolutely domain name is worth buying. There are plenty of benefits of a custom domain name. It doesn’t matter if you have a free blog, you can still enjoy all the perks of a custom domain name.

With that said, according to me if you have a blog on a free platform such as Blogger or WordPress, stick to it until you have enough experience in running a blog.

But do invest in a domain name.

Once you have enough experience and are willing to move to a better and more professional platform, you can check out our tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog.

The next step in the process is getting started with Pinterest for business and verifying your website on it.

With that said, do let us know in the comment section what are your thoughts on a personalized domain name.

I hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends on social media. To stay up to date with our content subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

GeekyPlug
Tags : Beginner's Guidedomaindomain name
Jasmeet Singh

The author Jasmeet Singh

Jasmeet Singh is the Blogging El Jefe at GeekyPlug. Started his career as a BPO employee and now is a full-time blogger and writes how-to guides and his personal experiences related to blogging. In his spare time, he likes to read books, listen to podcasts and play video games.

17 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing! This is very helpful. Custom domains are really the way to go to take your blog to the next level. Appreciate the good tips!

  2. I appreciate that you didn’t assume anything and really started with the basics! This is helpful as people decide about their domain name and explaining the importance of it going forward with their blog/ businesses/ website plans. Thanks — Paige Bainbridge

  3. Getting a domain name is critical to being successful on the Internet as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think you can be taken as seriously without one.

  4. This was incredibly informative – glad to read novice me did some things right 🙂 and learned a few new things too! Thank you!

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