A domain name helps to put you in your customer’s mind
Interview with Lucía González, head of communication at dinahosting
How do you see the current domain market? What do you think are the market trends?
The domain name market is stable right now, and the trend is for it to stay that way for a while. According to data collected by Verisign for the first quarter of 2021, there are currently more than 363 million registered top-level domain names (TLDs). The .com extension, which is the most international domain name, covers more than 154 million domains, which confirms that the sector is in tip-top shape.
In terms of trends, the .com extension is gaining more and more registrations, due to the need to digitise small and medium-sized businesses over the past year. Likewise, we are noticing a growing interest in newly created generic TLDs, which help brands to generate more original and unique domain names that differentiate them from the competition, such as .xyz, .online, .site, . top, .club or .shop. You can refer to the full list here.
There are also local domains, such as .cat, which has experienced a very positive evolution in terms of registrations and renewals, with more than 112,400 registered domains.
In the current context, why is it important to have a domain?
This is a much-needed question. A https://dinahosting.com/dominios domain is your brand on the Internet, a unique name with which others can easily recognise and find you, and should be part of the branding strategy of any company, such as the logo or corporate colours. Drawing a comparison to the offline world, a hosting space is occupied by a physical shop or a website, and the domain name is the address we use to find that shop within the zillion addresses a city has. Without a domain name or a postal address, we would move about aimlessly and take a long time to find the shop or e-commerce we want to visit. Hence its utter importance.
In short, a domain name helps to put you in your customer’s mind, so that they remember you and, thus, choose you. We live in a hyper-connected world and go everywhere in a hurry, so I recommend a domain name that is 15-20 characters long at most, as well as easy to write and pronounce. With these four ingredients, we will be generating recall.
What is your view on the use of social media for commercial and transactional purposes?
Our view is that any business, be it large or small, should have an e-commerce setup to sell its products under its own brand image.
On your own website, you have full control of your data and your customers, you can choose what information you want to display and structure it to your liking; position your brand and what you sell; add forms and spaces for interaction with your customers; use branding through your brand image, colours and fonts; carry out campaigns and promotions and segment them as you see fit; and, above all, provide technical support 24 hours a day, among many other things.
On social media, you can also sell your products without needing an infrastructure, but what if Facebook decides to change its sales policies and close your business? What if it considers starting to charge for uploading products to its marketplaces? Not to mention its algorithm, which is constantly changing and will require you to spend a lot of time positioning your company and products. In a marketplace, product differentiation is done almost purely on pricing terms, whereas continually readjusting it to position yourself above your competition entails loss of profits and great effort.
Our recommendation is for the website or e-commerce to be the cornerstone of our business and social media to be another complement or tool to disseminate your products.
How can the world of domains, hosting and tools be brought closer to the general audience and to young people in particular?
The key is training, and schools, colleges and universities are key players. I would opt for including subjects of website creation, app development and cybersecurity in schools. It is not about the future, it is about our present.
By nurturing the digital skills of children, from a very young age they will assume that a website is your window to the world, that anyone thousands of miles away can find out about you and buy in your shop and that you can start a business with very little capital.
How do you assess the role of large corporations that provide digital tools for free?
Free digital tools are great for when you want to learn, but once you have embraced all the concepts, it is important to start building your website or e-commerce on a professional paid service.
Paid services are much more stable and feature superior performance, you get support and customer service, and the information is yours alone. As they say, when something is free, the product is you, and just as we do not leave the keys to our house to anyone, I would not do the same with an e-commerce or corporate website.
Do you think that, in general, there is enough awareness about the value of privacy and cybersecurity?
Generally speaking, we still lack a lot of awareness and learning, but the positive thing is that, with the rise of e-commerce, we are advancing by leaps and bounds. At dinahosting, we have fully embraced these 10 pieces of advice:
– Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, especially for accessing bank accounts, email or social media.
– Disconnect the webcam or microphone when not in use.
– Install antivirus software on mobile phones and tablets, as is usually done on computers.
– Enable double-checking systems when logging in to specific services.
– Check that the site where you make a purchase on the Internet is secure (make sure it has a padlock in the browser, as this symbol guarantees that the server features an active security certificate).
– Make sure that the shop you are going to buy from has a postal address or that its email addresses or phone are not suspicious.
– Check the links you receive by email and click on them only if they are trustworthy or come from known senders.
– Get training in cybersecurity, either on your own initiative or in the organisation where you work.
– Use secure access passwords for hardware and software.
– Use password managers instead of saving them in a text file.
What should a person or business consider that wants to start building their online presence?
First and foremost, take a pen and paper, or open a text sheet, and define who you are and what your value proposition is, what sets you apart from others and why your customers will look for you. To do this, track your competition, look at what they do and try to go further. On that very piece of paper, write down your short- and long-term goals and assess how much time you can spend on your online shop. Constant work is key.
Once you have reflected on the above, it is time to think about your business and what you will call it. If you already have an offline store, the domain name should be similar, although it does not have to be the same. For instance, you have a restaurant called Oasis. A good domain name could be restaurantoasis plus the extension of your choice. Check that the domain (name + extension) is free (https://dinahosting.com/dominios) and make the purchase.
Once you have your brand protected, it is time to choose the hosting. If you need a very basic website, with few menus, a Basic Hosting will be enough, but if your business is an online shop with pictures, videos and different products, my recommendation is to go for an Advanced Hosting, as it offers more space. Thanks to the domain and hosting you will be able to have corporate email accounts for your business with your domain name, which is essential to convey more professionalism.
Finally, it is time to think about other dissemination tools for your website, such as social media, or having your business listed in different directories, such as Google My Business. Think about the time you have to attend to the networks and consider where your customer is. Your business may only work well on one or two networks, there is no need to be everywhere.
What recommendations can you give to a person or business that already boasts a consolidated digital presence?
My advice is to try to improve every day, as there is always something where we can grow. Websites are alive, and it is crucial to optimise them constantly: modify a CTA, make a form more user-friendly, renew the pictures … The same goes for the texts on our website, and my advice is that you listen very well to your client and speak the same way on your website. Copywriting is essential to be able to empathise, to build trust and to embrace it as a task of continuous improvement. Not to mention organic positioning and website performance. It is always advisable to have a blog to position your contents and gain more traffic, as well as to remove files and plugins to make your website faster.
If you want to go further, right now video consumption is on the rise; why not create contents for the website and social media in video format?
What is your distinguishing feature?
This year, we celebrate our 20th anniversary and we do so being faithful to our values and taking care of all our customers, as we are here thanks to them.
We have always been committed to developing and designing our own tools, such as our email service or the Control Panel. This gives us a lot of flexibility, when it comes to meeting our customers’ requests and suggestions and to ensuring that the tool evolves with all of them.
All our products, services and infrastructures are developed and maintained to offer the best performance. Each month, Netcraft auditors acknowledge our company as one of the 10 most reliable hosting providers worldwide, and we are partners of companies such as Cisco, Dell, NetApp, Microsoft or IBM. Furthermore, unlike other companies, we have been offering free NVMe disks in hosting and servers for some time now, which are up to 5 times faster than SSDs.
Our third differential value is to offer an actual 24/7/365 support service, even on 1 January or 12 October. We do not use answering machines, chatbots or automated services. We are people and we work for people.
Why did you decide to sell the .cat domain? What do you think are the advantages a .cat domain can offer?
From the onset, we have always wanted to attend to our customers in their native language and, despite being Galician, we also speak Catalan, English, Basque or Portuguese. All our customers can choose the language in which they want to visit our website, browse their Control Panel or send an email, and that is another of our differential values, i.e. taking care of our linguistic heritage.
Thus, we are committed to selling local domains such as .cat, which are essential for our customers to show their connection with Catalonia. A local domain has many advantages:
– You will be found more easily and you will generate more brand recall by establishing a reference and cultural framework.
– You will improve the organic positioning, as it positively impacts the search engine results for Catalonia.
– You will reach out to a community of more than 13 million speakers.