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Why should I buy a Domain Name?

There are many reasons to buy a domain name, and with the recent drop in prices, getting your own domain name is more affordable than ever.

  Domain names build credibility on the Web
If you are trying to do business on the Web, a domain name is essential. It's like owning your own store. And with registrations for as little as $20 a year depending on the registrar, this is a very small price to pay for increased credibility in the eyes of potential customers.

If your site is just a personal homepage set up for fun or as a hobby, you don't actually need a domain name. But you'll still find it easier to get your site noticed and for people to remember where it is if you register a domain.

  Domain names are portable
A domain name is just like a sign pointing to your site. "It's over there" the sign says. You can move the underlying site (change web hosting services) and with a very minor technical adjustment (your new hosting service will help you) the domain name will point to your "new" site. This way, you are free to change hosting services to find a better deal, or if the service you are currently receiving is inadequate. The important thing is that none of your visitors' bookmarks will need to change, nor will the move break any links to your site! This is impossible without a domain name...

  Domain names can be used to give yourself a unique, permanent email address
Many companies will set you up with email forwarding, where messages sent to will be redirected to your existing mailbox as provided by your ISP. This lets you choose a truly unique email address and keep the same email address regardless of which ISP you use to access the Internet.

  Domain names improve your promotion chances and therefore your site's "visibility" on the Web
Domain names which include common keywords can improve a site's ranking in search results returned by major search engines. However, this is only the beginning of the benefits as far as web promotion is concerned. Many large Directories (sites listing or reviewing other sites) will not accept to list any site that does not have its own domain name. Yahoo! for example has a tendency to "favor" sites with their own domain name. And the "free" websites always have advertising (banners or pop-ups) which have scripting at the beginning of your page which interferes with the search engine searches.

There are various reasons for these policies, but for our purposes it  really doesn't matter WHY the search engines and directories are doing this - the fact is that they ARE! As the Web continues to grow at a breakneck pace, the situation is bound to get worse for sites that do not have their own domain names.

  Domain names produce a feeling of professionalism
This goes hand-in-hand with the credibility produced by a domain name. Rightly or wrongly, there is a perception that sites hosted under their own domain names are more professional than other sites. This idea comes from two facts: all the major, famous sites have their own domain names... and there are a lot of junk sites (as well as some good ones) hosted on free or ISP hosting services.

Sadly, it really doesn't matter what you or I think about this, as a certain amount of prejudice has already built up against commercial sites without their own domain names... So while you CAN be successful with a free site or an ISP-hosted site, you can be MORE successful with your "own" site.

  Domain names are easier to remember
Which of the following URLs is easier to remember:-

The top URL is where the "mysite" website used to live before it was allocated its own domain name. After being set up with a domain name, traffic to the site will increase dramatically in a short period of time. It is clear that people will remember the URL and will come back to the site to visit.

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Courtice, Ontario   Canada 

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