A domain name is both your website’s address on the web and a dollop of branding. That’s a funny word. “Branding.” Haha. Anyway.
Every web page has an address, and the domain name is the first part. Take a full web address like
http://www.getgrawlix.com/docs/domain-name. The domain name is the first part: getgrawlix.com. Well, OK, it’s the second part. The real first part,
http:// simply says, “this is a web address.” That’s called a protocol.
There are a few other protocols, notably
https://, which means “web address with security,” and
ftp://, which means what it says. Generally you’ll visit websites with http, not https. If a website fails to load with https, try changing it to http.
The next part, the one ending with .com, .net, .org, etc, is the domain name proper. The domain of the site you’re reading now is “getgrawlix.com”. As in, get the Grawlix CMS. That’s the branding side of things: A domain is sometimes readers’ first contact with your website. Setting the right impression is important.
Choosing a name
Your site’s domain name identifies the site in two ways: Both as the permanent address where people can read your comic, and as what the comic is about. Think about it.
zeta-fitzgerbil.com may reflect your main character’s name, but it doesn’t tell us much more.
zetafitzgerbil-comic.com at least tells newcomers in what medium you’re publishing.
Why doesn’t everyone append -comic to their domain name? In many cases, it’s not necessary. The tale of a hamster in the Hamptons during the Roaring Twenties is distinctive enough. I mean, how many hamsters have tales? Adding -comic does give the domain name a little more SEO value, as search engines will figure out “comic” faster than “zeta”.
Gerbil, hamster. Tomato, potato. Point is, you should think about what your site’s domain name is going to be. In particular:
- Easy to spell. “Zeta” is easy to figure out from saying “zay-tah.” “Fits-jer-buhl,” not so much.
- Easy to remember. Something clever. Something catchy. “Fitzgerbil” is a play on words. It could work.
zeta-fitzgerbil-comic.comis too long for comfort when considering a) printing on cards, b) asking people to type or write it down.
- Accurate. For Zeta’s sake, don’t register fitzgerbil-comic.com when your story is about a cat named Pete. Be honest with your readers. Save your surprises for the plot twists.
Getting a domain name
Although they require an annual fee, you can buy domains on the cheap. Most web hosts offer them for under $10/year as part of their services.
Managing a domain name
- Name servers
- Hosting vs domain name