optimising online revenue

Domain names - what they are and how to get one

September 2009


Quite simply, a domain name is a unique website name. Most of us know plenty - famous domains include ebay.com, amazon.com, wikipedia.org.

It's always worth having your own domain name. Not only does it makes your site look completely professional, it also provides a 'brand' identity and (hopefully!) a memorable name visitors can easily recall - just like the examples above! Above all, if you're planning to put advertising on your site, many companies won't accept your site unless you have your very own domain.

Note that, although we talk about 'buying' domains, in fact they never belong to you entirely, but to companies created right at the start of the web's history. What happens is that your newly invented name is 'registered' and you then pay for the right to use it, usually for a period of one to three years.

You can then continue to renew your contract for as long as you wish.


Choosing a domain

Remember that you'll need to come up with a name that isn't already being used by another site. With millions online, this can sometimes be tricky, especially if you want a .com ending - you may just have to be very inventive!

What's more, it's a really good idea to try to choose a name that has at least some reference to your chosen content area - something like 'fashiontrends' if you're creating a fashion site, for example. This is because having keywords in your domain name title is one of the best Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) moves you can make!

However, if the extensions you require are unavailable, less popular options such as .org, .tv etc are worth considering. Both weebly and 350 will let you know if the domain name you've chosen is currently in use.


Although none of our site creation options supply personal domains automatically both weebly and 350 make adding one just as easy as building your site in the first place. The iWeb08 option is certainly trickier, but hopefully shouldn't cause too many problems - although we'd definitely recommend reading on before making any decisions.



Frankly, adding a domain with weebly is a doddle! Order directly from the Add a Domain section of the site by typing the name of your choice. You'll be told if it's available and if so, taken to the checkout where you can purchase online.

Weebly connects the name to your existing pages, and you'll shortly be able to view your personalized site online.

Although the price you pay for your domain is, in fact, slightly more expensive than buying it separately from a company that deals in domain name provision, if you're a technophobe it's definitely worth the extra dollars.

Connecting a domain to a website can be a nightmare and often causes beginners endless problems. (If you do already own a domain, however, weebly does give the option to use this for your new site).

Once you've added your domain:

Add your own advertising and start to earn money!

We'll walk you through the various options for making money with your site including choosing advertisers and placing ads on your pages.



Like weebly, 350 offers you a similar option to easily add a domain name to your site. Simply click the Domain Name tab in the 350 interface, type your chosen name and purchase.

Again, the price is slightly higher than if you were setting this up yourself, but as we've already said, the convenience is well worth any extra cost.

Once you've added your domain:

Add your own advertising and start to earn money!

Discover the options for making money with your site through advertising.



If you've used iWeb08 to create your site, by far the easiest way to get online is to publish it to your own .Mac account - which you do simply by clicking a button (a .Mac account is a personal online space provided by Apple for an annual fee.)

Sounds great? Well, yes, up to a point. But using this method means your site will be named something along the lines of .mac/simplersteps. You'll almost certainly want to change this by adding a domain, and that's where the potential difficulties really kick in.

In order to personalize your site, Apple itself appears to recommend purchasing a domain name, then having this 'pointed' to your .Mac pages.

We won't go into details about what this actually involves, but suffice it to say that we're delighted you'll avoid this process with our other options above.

It's a potential minefield for the beginner, and a little online research seems to indicate that Apple's own guidance regarding the process is extremely limited, with significant numbers of otherwise delighted iWeb users driving themselves crazy trying to figure it all out.

We wouldn't want this to happen to you, of course, and we reckon there's a far easier way to get round it.

The solution is to buy a domain together with your own web space, then upload the files iWeb08 creates. If you're already squirming at the thought, perhaps the Mac option just isn't for you - but in reality this shouldn't be too much of a problem. So if you're still with us, read about the best way to get your iWeb site online.

Once you've added your domain:

Add your own advertising and start to earn money!

Is the iWeb08 option worth all the extra hassle? Well, it's up to you to decide, but it has to be said that when it comes to ads, iWeb probably provides you with the easiest ways to get up and running with your own advertising.

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