Gone are the days in which simply having a customized email address for your business was enough. Today, the foundation of your business online is a great domain name and an informative website. In this article, we give you insight into web hosting and what you should bear in mind when choosing a domain name and creating your site.
Choosing the right domain name for your business
When registering your domain name, it is important to choose a name that is short, easy to remember and relates to your business by matching keywords. This however, has its own challenges today as most of the “good” names are taken. Every wedding business wants to name their website weddings.com but by nature, domain names are unique and only one party can hold a name at a time. This is where creativity and innovation comes into place. Since the launch of the internet, only a few domain extensions existed like .com, .net, then came the country level domains like .ae, .in ,etc.
Consider picking a localised domain name
If the name you’re looking for is not available under the .com, you can search for the same name under other extensions like the .ae and if you’re lucky you will be able to find it. You could go an extra step and extend your domain name by adding a keyword or the geographical relation, for example weddingsindubai.com or dubaiweddings.ae.
It is not important to choose a domain that matches your company name, this is because people who search for your products will not necessarily know about your existence and they will use “keywords” to look you up in a search engine, in this case they will search for “wedding agency in Dubai” instead of “Your Wedding Agency Long Name LLC”. The whole point of a great domain name is not only to showcase your business online, but for consumers to locate you. As a general rule, avoid registering long names, avoid using numericals and hyphens (-) in your name, they are a big no-no of major search engines.
What you can do if the domain you like is already registered
You will have two choices in this case:
a. Visit the website and in case you get a page saying that this domain name is for sale, you will be able to contact the owner and make an offer you purchase this domain name. A huge after market exists for good names and many people, so called “domainers” invest into domain names to resale later. For example insurance.com was sold for US$35.6 million and horse.ae was sold for US$1.6 million. Obtaining a domain name on the aftermarket could cost you a great amount of money.
b. You can search a variation of your domain name or search under another extension. In 2014, the Internet Corporation for Assigning Names & Numbers (ICANN) signed up more than 1800+ new domain extensions (new gTLDs) such as .club, .dubai, .properties, .halal, .islam, .bank, .persiangulf, .dentist, and even a few Arabic domains (Arabic letters). More than 500 new extensions are already in the General Availability (GA) stage where anyone can book a name of their choice. In the UAE alone, there are 4 new gtlds – .dubai .abudhabi .etisalat and .gdn however non of these are launched yet. Therefore, if you have a spa salon called Best Dubai Spa, you can easily register www.bestdubai.spa and most likely it is still available.
Choosing the right domain name registrar
While registering a domain name, it is important to make sure that you book your domain name through a well known registrar and make sure that they are accredited and licensed by ICANN or another body to register names. Incase you go through a reseller, make sure that you are the owner of the domain name and your name is listed in the public WHOIS database. This is critically important if you wish to move your domain to another provider later on. If your name is not listed as the registrant, it means that you legally and technically do not own this domain name.
Tips on creating a visible website
Now as you have a great domain name, you need to have a great website aswell. Great does not necessarily mean having good graphics. Your website must in the first place be search engine friendly. This is when the search engine bots such as the Google bot, visit and “crawl” your website and gather data for indexing. Your website and its code must be optimised and be easy to read for these bots, otherwise they will not be able to “read” your content and therefore users searching for your products will not find you.
Nevertheless, this is just the tip of the iceberg, the whole process of getting your site listed in search engines and bring it up to the first page is a very extensive and sometimes expensive process. We recommend you to get in touch with an SEO agency to take your website to the next level.
Choosing the right web hosting provider
Finally, you need to host your website with a good hosting provider that provides you with quality hosting and round the clock support. Today, there are thousands of hosting providers globally and they operate servers all over the world. The recent trends show that hosting your website on a web server in the same geographical location as most of your visitors is best. This is due to the fact that the closer you are to the server, the faster the website will load. Also, you will experience faster upload/download speeds and superior email performance when your data is closer to you.
Some experts claim that search engines prefer when the content is hosted locally and in terms rank your site higher in the index. Therefore, if you are organising weddings in Dubai, you should definitely consider registering your name under the .ae extension and host it with a provider who hosts your data locally.
Munir Badr is founder of AEserver.com, an accredited .ae domain name registrar by TRA in the UAE and .qa accredited by ictQatar in Qatar. AEserver offers domain extensions like .com, .net, .property, .club, etc and web hosting services based on UAE and offshore servers.