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How to Choose The Best Domain Name For Your Brand

Choosing a domain name that fits your brand could possibly be the most important thing that you could ever do for your website. It is pivotal for your success. A good domain name can be an extremely profitable marketing tool to help grow your brand. 

A strong domain name can create so many opportunities for your business, such as professional credibility, visibility, and mobility. Your domain name can also help you in search engine rankings. As you begin to grow your business, your name will become more recognizable by Google, in turn, drawing more customers to your site. 

The actual process of choosing a domain name can be intimidating. If you choose the wrong name, you risk damaging your brand or hurting your search rankings. Your name should compliment your business and create a lasting impression on your customers. In this article, we will share tips, tools and steps to choosing the best domain name for your brand.  

1. Use a .Com Domain Extension 

There are tons and tons of different domain name extensions available today, ranging from .com, to .net, .org, .online, .wine, .life, .jewelry, .photography and so on! There are 280 Internet domain extensions in total, so you would have a wide variety of extensions to choose from. We recommend choosing a .com extension, as they are viewed as the most credible type of website. As cool as it would be to have a unique looking domain name, stick with the .com extension. Believe it or not, .com is the most memorable domain extension. Those who aren’t as “tech-savvy” will automatically tack .com to the end of your domain, whether or not it ends with .com. It might be smart to just avoid the creative extensions and stick with ‘ole reliable.

2. Keep Domain Name Short 

It is important to include keywords into your domain name, but don’t overdo the length. Keep it short so that it is more memorable. Standard rules say to keep your domain name under 15 characters or less. Anything longer than 15 characters can start to get hard for users to remember. Longer domain names also come with the risk of a misspelling, deterring those users away from your site 

3. Keep it Brandable and Unique 

Along with making sure that your domain is short and ends in .com, you should also make sure that it’s unique and creative. Your business name should stand out in your users’ minds, so they never forget it! Before choosing your name, do some research on other blogs/websites and find out what words and names they are using. That research will come in handy more than you think. In the midst of creation, it will help keep you away from a copyright nightmare, yet inspire you to create something that fits your brand. Think of some names that are catchy, yet brandable. For example, websites like Amazon, Google, Target, and many more have very catchy business names that have shown to be wildly successful over the years. 

4. Leave Room to Expand 

When choosing a domain name, do not limit your options. If possible, think about where your business may be in a few years. If you see your business expanding, then do not limit your business! For example, a hair stylist might choose a domain name such as hairstylespace.com, but later might want to offer more services. Instead of branding the website hairstylespace, the hair stylist may want to consider a different business name that would encompass all of the services they offer. Keep in mind that moving your site to a new domain can be a pain in the rear end! Not only that, but it can cause many downfalls, including losing search engine rankings. Our advice is to do yourself a solid and create a flexible name from the very beginning. 

5. Avoid Hyphens and Double Letters 

Stay away from creating domain names with hyphens or double letters. Hyphens can easily be mistaken for suspicious content or spam, which will deter users from visiting your site. Domains with hyphens are also more prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with a hyphen, users may get confused and end up on your competitors site instead. It’s also a good idea to avoid using double letters because it increases the chances of making a typo. For example, let’s say you decided to make it: egggrass.com. Notice the three G’s in the domain name? That kind of a domain name will end up causing typos. Do your best to avoid things that would cause confusion! 

Choosing your domain name may seem like a daunting task, but at the end of the day it should be a fun and creative process. This is your opportunity to define your brand’s message and mission! If you need help with this process, the Hostirian team is filled with creative professionals who’ve done this for years! If you’re running out of ideas, they can help you determine the perfect domain name for your website. If you want to check to see what domain names are available, we have that too!

Is WordPress Dying? The Answer is Simple

A Typewriter Printing out a ppaer that says WordPress

For quite some time, WordPress has been known as the most powerful content management system on the market. With an estimated 35% of the Internet powered by WordPress, it’s immeasurable popularity doesn’t seem to be fleeting anytime soon. It’s hard to imagine that such a powerful system could possibly be close to death. 

WordPress has made extensive strides since its release in 2003. The powerful platform has evolved from a simple blogging tool into a comprehensive content management system. Would you believe me if I told you that WordPress is still growing? Yes, that’s right! To all those negative nellies out there that believe WordPress is even remotely close to death, look at the facts! 

What do researchers say?

There are over 2 billion websites in existence. As stated before, WordPress powers 35% of those active websites. That’s a huge number! WordPress websites also make up 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world. Giant companies utilize WordPress to operate their website, such as NBC, TED, CNN, UPS, Best Buy, and many more. WordPress is also known to handle outrageous amounts of traffic on a daily basis. In fact, the powerful platform receives nearly 20 billion page views per month. 

As easy as it may be to point fingers and assume that WordPress is on the brink of death, think about how many people use it every single day. The platform continues to dominate the market; It shows no sign of slowing down. 

Given these statistics that clearly show the steady incline of WordPress success, it would be hard to imagine that such a system could possibly take a hit. What’s even more shocking is that people think the platform is actually dying! Everywhere you look, there are videos and articles pointing to seemingly prejudiced opinions as to why WordPress is headed for the junkyard. 

Why do people suggest WordPress is dying?

While the idea that WordPress is dying simply isn’t true, the reasons for such baloney should be addressed. When you take somebody who already dislikes WordPress and combine it with negative personal experiences, you get somebody who is fully convinced that the platform is on its way to the grave.

WordPress grew into its massive size because it has provided the simplest process for getting a website up and running. As the years have progressed, other web builders like Drupal, Joomla, and Wix have jumped into the competition in an effort to make a simpler web design process. In an effort to compete, those sites created their web design process to be as simple and easy as possible. Those sites were designed for the ultimate beginner, and as a result, making sites like Wix, Drupal and Joomla more restrictive. People started flocking to other platforms because they wanted a website that was easy to use and more limited.  

This placed WordPress in a very awkward position as it became people’s second-choice. People no longer considered WordPress a “go-to” solution. Although things have certainly changed, the platform is still dominating the market.

So? What else?

On top of the tempting competition, people consider WordPress on the brink of a brutal death because of its use of older technologies. 

WordPress uses a programming and scripting language called PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), which used to be extremely powerful and prevalent back when it was first created. It is still powerful, but not as powerful as it used to be due to the advancement of technology in other areas. PHP is a server side scripting language that is embedded in HTML. Its purpose is to manage content, session tracking, databases, and build e-commerce sites. Users do not need to know PHP in order to use or manage WordPress. Users just need to know that it operates with PHP. Although PHP has come a long way since its first release in 1994, people do not consider using it as often because of the creation of other, more efficient, scripts. 

The rise of JavaScript has taken over the minds of web creators all over the world, convincing them that WordPress is officially behind the times. JavaScript has most recently been ranked first among programming, scripting and markup languages. PHP was ranked 9th among that list. Although both programs can be used and enjoyed by developers, many people consider the popularity of the script language when deciding what to use, resulting in WordPress moving further down the list of content management systems that people most enjoy. 

No, it’s not dying…

While it’s true that WordPress has some hefty competition and uses older programming, the platform is still considered the most powerful content management system in the world. Keep in mind that technology is ever changing. It would be unfair to “pin” WordPress on the programming that has made them undeniably successful for years and years.

Despite what people may believe, WordPress is still growing and making changes. It is very alive and continues to dominate the market because of the number of people who are using it. Although WordPress might get a bad rap, there is no other content management system out there that can match its speed, efficiency, flexibility, adaptability, and support.

If I have enticed you to use WordPress for your website needs, then follow this link and my team and I will help you get started.

The Advantages of Paid Hosting

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I pay for web hosting when I can get it for free?” 

Your decision to use free or paid hosting is completely dependent on your website goals.  Let’s say that you wanted to start a blog. You would most likely benefit from using a free hosting service. Maybe instead, you want to start a business website, where you intend to sell products and services. In this case, you will need paid hosting. 

Think of it like this: You wouldn’t show up to a race wearing flip flops, right? And you wouldn’t show up to the beach wearing a snowsuit, would you? No, of course not! You’d show up to each occasion prepared for what each activity requires you to wear. In the same case, you wouldn’t use free hosting if your goal was to create a booming business. You probably also wouldn’t purchase hosting if you were not going to utilize all of the benefits.

The type of website you want to start completely depends on your goals. A free website might sound great in the moment, but if it doesn’t fit your website needs, you would be wasting your time! 

Before you make your decision, you should know the differences between free hosting and paid hosting. In a previous article, I listed the advantages and disadvantages of free hosting, which will help you better understand the concept of free hosting. To help you better understand paid hosting, I’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages below. Although, paid hosting has many more positives than negatives. One of the biggest upsides to paying for hosting is that things are headache-free from the very beginning. 

  1. No Advertisements 

One huge advantage to paying for a web host is that your website visitors will not be overwhelmed by ads! Ads are usually displayed on “free” websites in order to cover the cost of the free site. Web providers are able to give away free hosting because they make money from the ads on their free websites. The disadvantage of ads are that they can make your website look unprofessional. With paid hosting, you won’t have the deal with those distractions. Instead, you can focus on improving other parts of your site. You actually have the option to include ads on your paid hosted website if you so choose. You’ll even make money on them! But, it’s up to you to decide whether you want them on your website or not. You have the control!

  1. Better Customer Service

When you are paying for hosting, you are also paying for exceptional customer service. Most, if not all, web providers are available to paying customers 24/7/365. This means that if you have a problem with your website at 2 a.m., you can call your provider and they will assist you with whatever you need. It really means anytime of the day, week, month or year. Free hosting does not usually provide this asset. For example, the Hostirian Customer Support team is available 24/7/365 for all customers!

  1. Control Over Domain Name 

Paying for a web host also means that you have control over your domain name. This means that you can choose your domain name, without worry of having to use the subdomain of your free host’s name. This will ultimately free your domain name of any ads, help you rank higher in searches, and leave more room to be taken seriously as a business. It also shows that you have total ownership of your website. It has also been proven that businesses are taken more seriously when having a “.Com” domain extension. So, let’s say that your domain name is (yourname).com. You will have hit the goldmine!

  1. More Disk Space and Bandwidth

The great thing about paid hosting is that the disk size is almost unlimited. It may not seem too important when you start your website, but disk space will be incredibly necessary down the line. Paying for a web host will secure unlimited space on your website so that you can get creative, add more pages, images and things to make your website YOURS! Paying for a host also guarantees you more bandwidth (which allows for more people on your site per month). A paid site legitimately allows you to grow and expand as a business because it gives you the resources to do so.

  1. Better SEO 

Using a paid hosting service gives you a better chance at being ranked on search results. For starters, those who pay for hosting receive access to tons of plugins to help with SEO! This is a great deal because better SEO will ultimately increase your traffic and make you more money. Those with better onsite SEO, such as using high-profile keywords, have a better chance at ranking higher in search engines. Being ranked higher in search engines will give you a much better chance at being found when people search for similar products to yours. The more visitors you have, the more likely you are to convert those visitors into customers, resulting in more revenue per month. 

  1. It’s Not as Expensive as You Think 

Paid hosting is not as expensive as you might think. You don’t have to spend hundreds on hosting to receive all of these awesome benefits. There are some rather inexpensive hosting packages that you could use that would be better than free hosting. Before you choose your paid hosting package, do some research on different providers and packages that would fit your needs. But, we REPEAT, you do not need to spend a fortune per month or per year to receive the benefits of paid hosting. 

There are many more advantages to paying for a web host which include accessing Google Analytics, having unlimited plugins and themes, and having the option to add Ecommerce to your site. You may be on the fence because you are trying to avoid having to pay another bill per month (we get it!). But, believe us when we say that it is worth it! The only disadvantage of paid web hosting is that it requires you to pay for the service. Before you choose a paid hosting service, be sure to do some research to find a company that best fits your needs.

Before you do this, check out the provider’s reviews, website, packages they offer, and overall reputation of the company. Chances are, if other people say they like the company and have had success, you will too. The Hostirian team is proud to offer two different hosting packages that have been molded to fit the needs of our customers! Check them out, below!

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Hosting

The day has come! You have decided that you are finally going to start your own website. How exciting! After some research, you come to find that you need a web hosting plan. To your surprise, there are two options: free hosting and paid hosting. While you are staring at your computer screen, mentally analyzing the differences between the two, you immediately begin to think “Well, what’s the difference?” 

You may be thinking, “I just need a website… The free version will do!” 

For those new to the world of websites, the “free version” may seem like the better alternative because… well, it’s free. But, think again! There are a handful of obvious differences between free hosting and paid hosting that may cause you to consider dishing out a few extra dollars per month. 

What is Free Hosting?

Free web hosting is just how it sounds. It is a web hosting service that is offered free of charge to the public. A majority of free hosting plans include free server space, global reach over the web, a free domain name, and other limited capabilities. All this sounds great, right? Well, it comes with a catch… or a few. 

The only real advantage to using a free hosting service is that it is free! A free hosted website is really just a limited version of what you could really do with a paid plan. But, let’s get something straight. Anything that is considered “free” online actually comes with a price. You are not legitimately getting any service for free. If you are not paying for the product, then you are the product. This includes free web hosting. If you are not paying anything for your service, then you are accepting that there will be some kind of exchange. The option to sign up for a free site is just a way to get you to upgrade for their paid plan. For this reason, almost every feature of the free plan is limited in some way or another.

5 Disadvantages of Free Hosting

Expect to deal with these five things when signing up for a free hosting plan.

  1. Ads- EVERYWHERE

You will be seeing many more advertisements on your website when you sign up for free hosting. As annoying as ads can be, it is actually a fair trade. The service is free because of the potential money that the web provider could make from you. Every time you click on an ad on your site, your web provider makes money. Since you are not paying for any kind of service, they have to make money on you somehow, right? Your web provider has to pay for the space and equipment to host your site. Because of this, your website is basically an advertisement. If you don’t mind the ads around your content, this might be a good route for you.

  1. Limited Access to Customer Support 

With a free hosting plan, you can expect to receive limited access to customer support. Most web providers that offer free services say that you will receive 24/7 support. Though, take that promise with a grain of salt! That’s not to say that you won’t receive help if you need it! But, your free site will most likely not be their #1 priority. Customer support was created for the convenience of the paying customer. Paying customers will have their website issues figured out right away, while you may be waiting a while to get yours fixed. 

  1. Domain Name Branding

Free hosting plans will not provide you with a real domain name. You will be given a sub domain name that includes their name in your URL. For example, let’s say you created a free website with WordPress. Your domain name would include “WordPress” in the URL: such as, Janedoe.wordpress.com. Web providers do this for branding and advertising purposes. With a free hosting plan, you do not have complete control over your domain name. Remember, your domain name is an important element of your brand. If you don’t mind sharing your domain name with your web provider, then this plan might be for you. Your web provider will always give you the option to upgrade to a hosted plan to receive a real domain name, if you so choose.

  1. Limited Features

Surprise, surprise! Your free hosting plan comes with limited capabilities. Many free plans restrict the number of free pages that each user receives. With a free hosting plan, you may only receive a few pages that you can utilize for your website goals. Once you have used up those few pages, you will be given an option to upgrade for a low price. With this plan, you will also receive limited bandwidth. The bandwidth is the amount of visitors allowed on your website per month. If you use more bandwidth than you are given, most web providers will force you to purchase a paid plan. Lastly, you will have limited data transfer speed. This means that your site might be slower due to sharing the server with many others. 

  1. Nearly Impossible to be Indexed  

Unfortunately, it is pretty difficult to optimize a free website. Google’s ranking algorithm includes many different pieces that all work together to get websites ranked at the top of the page. Things such as web speed, mobile-friendliness, security, the domain name and much more play a part in being ranked. Those things, and many more, are not possible with a free site. Part of this reason is because free sites are more vulnerable to spam content, which Google blocks and prevents from being indexed. Because of these reasons, and more, search engines prioritize paid hosted sites over free hosted sites. Free hosted plans may also restrict your access to site analytics. Some web providers may give you access to some free statistics about your website, but sites like Google Analytics won’t allow free websites to hold an account. 

If you are still on the fence about spending money on a hosting plan, then consider the differences. Think about what you want to accomplish with your website and then choose your plan from there. Chances are, you will accomplish many more of your goals with a paid hosting plan. A free hosting plan would be perfect for someone who wants to learn the basics of creating and operating a website. If you don’t expect much traffic to your site, you’re not bothered by the lack of webpages, you don’t mind the ads, or the domain name, then this would be a perfect option for you! Though, if you are a brand or a business who needs to establish an online presence, you will be much better off paying for a hosting plan!