This week we are going to talk about domain names.
What’s up Fish Fans! My name is Marcus. You’re watching Marketing Madness, the Blue Fish vlog!
Today we are going to talk about how domain names work. Now before your eyes glaze over on me, this is important stuff. Domain names are traffic cops for the internet. And quite honestly, they are one of the bigger pains in the butt that we deal with.
The first thing you need to know about domains is that when you purchase domains you are doing so with a domain registrar. These are companies like Godaddy, Network Solutions, or even Google. I tell people that you never really ever own a domain name, that you need to think of it more as a lease. As long as you make payments to the domain registrar you get to dictate what happens with the domain. But as soon as you stop, the domain registrar controls it as an asset. At that point, they can hold it and try and auction it off, or someone can put in a backorder so that if you ever forget to make a payment they immediately become the owner. So make sure that you check your account on a regular basis. I can’t tell you how many people lose really good domains because they forgot that their credit card expired, or that they changed email addresses and never got renewal notices.
Speaking of renewals, if you own a business and have a domain name, go ahead and renew it for at least 5-6 years. It’ll cost you less than $100. If it is more than that you need to move to a new domain registrar. Plus this is a signal to Google that you intend on using the domain for a while and it helps your Search Engine Results. We like to register ours with Google. I’ll explain why in a minute.
If you were to log into your domain registrar and went to the area where you manage your domain, you would see what is called DNS settings. DNS stands for Domain Name System. When you look at the DNS settings what you would see are a bunch of entries that control things like where people are sent if they want to see your website, whether your website has a www in front of it, where your email goes, etc. Domain names are translators. Every server that you use has something called an IP Address associated to it. Actually, every computer that is connected to the internet has an IP Address associated with it. So instead of typing in 192.168.1.1 we just type in Google.com and are taken to the server associated with Google’s website. Same thing for email. Instead of typing in email@example.com we type in firstname.lastname@example.org and the email gets to me.
As you can imagine there are servers set up all over the world that handle the duties of telling traffic where to go. These are called Name Servers. Because they are set up all over the world, it helps distribute the duties of pointing traffic to the right location to a server nearest the person asking. But this also causes a huge headache. It used to be that if you made a change to the DNS settings it took forever to propagate to all of the nameservers across the internet. This caused a lot of headaches because it could propagate faster for one person trying to access a website or send an email vs another. I am happy to say that things have gotten a lot better in the last couple of years. Especially if you use a domain registrar that manages their own Nameservers. Google is one of those domain registrars which is why we like to use them. If I make a DNS change, it propagates in a minute or two instead of 24 hours or more. If you don’t want to use Google, then DNSimple is another great one.
One last thing, when it comes to your website, www.google.com can be a completely different location than just google.com. Most reputable website developers know that you want these two to go to the same location and will set up the website and the domain so that if a user types in either, it goes to the same place. But make sure. Make sure that when you type either into a web browser that it goes to your website. If it doesn’t then let me know as your website visitors could be experiencing technical issues.
I know that this has been a bit more technical than a lot of our videos. We are going to try and do more Marketing Madness episodes with information like this as we have been told that it is helpful.
Well, that’s a wrap for this week! I want to thank you for checking in. Make sure to hit that like button. And if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you want to talk about how Blue Fish can help you grow your business just send us a message and we’ll get the conversation started!