Domain names, URLs, and IP addresses

Domain names, URLs, and IP addresses

THE QUICK PITCH

In the real estate business, they say the three most important factors when buying a home are “location, location, and location.” Well in the web marketing business, it’s much the same. The URL (uniform resource locator) or “web address” that you choose makes a huge difference in how your company will be perceived and may even determine how much business your site attracts.

TACTICS

Registering a URL is easy. All you need is Internet access and your credit card and you can accomplish the task in five minutes. However, there are some details that you need to consider before you actually attempt to register your web address.

Keep in mind the following attributes of an effective URL:

* Short and Simple: Short Web addresses are -easier to remember and reduce the possibility of typing errors that can inhibit potential visitors. Whenever possible, use the minimum number of letters necessary. For instance, Homes & Land Magazine chose the URL “homes.com.” While homesandlandmagazine might be difficult to spell, it’s long enough to invite typos. It also might be difficult for potential visitors to know whether to use “and” or the ampersand symbol for the site. The use of initials and acronyms is also helpful.

* Descriptive: Your Web address should hint at the content. Your name, in itself, may not provide enough of a clue to your Website’s contents to entice visitors to drop in. Smith’s Motor Company, for instance, isn’t as descriptive as www.onlytrucks.com. If geographic location is important, www.truckswest might be more effective.

* Memorable: The best URLs combine simplicity and description with a unique element-perhaps a play on words-that helps visitors remember your address hours, days, or even months after they first encounter it.

You will need to do the following once you have determined what you want your URL to be:

First, you need to know whom you will designate as the Billing, Administrative and Technical contacts for the site. While these can all be the same person/company at the same address, chances are that they will be different people. You will need full name, address, phone, fax, and e-mail information for each contact.

Next, you will need to know the primary and secondary IP addresses of the server on which your URL will be housed. In layman’s terms, every server connected to the Internet has a specific, numerical code or address. Usually, every company that plays host to websites has at least one additional or secondary server as a back up. You will need the numeric codes for both the primary and the secondary servers that are hosting your website. The codes may look something like this: 221.201.1.1 (Notice the periods between the sets of numbers; it is essential that you place them in the right positions.)

Armed with all this information, you are now ready to register your website. But don’t forget, you also will need a credit card to charge the fee for having a URL for two years – currently URLs sell for $70.00.

Once you have decided upon a catchy web address, you need to see if it is available. By going to www.networksolutions.com and entering your choice, you will see if the address is unique, and therefore available. Notice that you may choose from a list of possible extensions besides “.com” or “.net”. Some of these extensions are for special purposes and should not be used unless it is accurate representation. For instance, “.gov” is for government websites, “.org” is for organizations, and “.edu” is for educational websites. The remaining extensions are open to all others, but you should seriously consider whether you should .combine an extension other than “.com” with your name, or think of a new, unique name that would allow you to use the “.com” extension. Retailing is currently so “.com” intensive that a consumer may not even think of using a different extension like “.tv” – and you could therefore suffer by choosing one.

When you have finally verified that your choice for a URL is unique, it is now time to register your address. Point your browser to www.register.com. and complete the information for signing up. It will take anywhere from 2-3 days for your web address to be activated.

Copyright B U S Publishing Group, Inc. Aug 2001

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.