Domain name

A domain name is both your website’s address on the web and a bit of branding.

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.

Before that, 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 implies. 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 called the “top level domain,” or TLD. There are many new TLDs to chooses from, with varying availability and pricing.

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. The domain “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”.

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.
  • Short. zeta-fitzgerbil-comic.com is 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.

Wrap up

  • Your site’s domain name is its principle address on the web.
  • Choosing the right domain name means considering SEO, readability, and how memorable it is.

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