In the real world, customers can easily find your business by jumping into their vehicle and visiting your physical address with the help of Google Maps. But of course, the address doesn’t really mean anything by itself – except on which street of the city you are located. However, the direction of your business on the Internet can say a lot about your company and the consistency of your brand. For this reason, today we will talk about custom domain name – what it is, why it’s important, and what are some of the top benefits that come with it.
What is a Domain Name?
Before we dive into the concept of having a custom domain name for your website or progressive web app, it is important to understand what a domain name exactly is.
According to Wikipedia, domain names are text-based addresses that serve the purpose of identifying Internet resources such as networks, computers, and services. They are not only easier to memorize than the numerical addresses typically used in Internet protocols, but are also significantly more user-friendly.
Put simply, having a text-based domain name allows your audience to locate you on the Internet, as it will redirect to the IP address of your website. This way, users and potential customers will be able to easily remember your website and visit it directly at a later moment, without having to rely on any other means.
As a result, you will not only improve the appearance of your website, but you will provide a simple tool for users to increase your brand visibility through word of mouth.
What does it mean to have a Custom Domain Name?
If you’ve been browsing for a while on the Internet, you have probably stumbled across domain names that end in wordpress.com, blogspot.com or something similar, and they typically look like this: mywebsite.wordpress.com or mywebsite.blogspot.com.
This usually happens when you use the free or most basic plan of a Content Management System (CMS) such as Wordpress or Blogspot. It means that, instead of having your own unique custom domain name, you will use a subdomain of the CMS (or other service) provider.
For example, in the website “mywebsite.wordpress.com”, the part which says “wordpress.com” will be the second-level domain, and the subdomain will be “mywebsite” – which is usually the name of your brand, or the name with which you intent to position on the Internet.
In most cases, having a second level domain such as wordpress.com shoved within the URL that you are sharing with your audience will immediately tell them that you are using a free service to host and manage your content. Of course, while there is nothing inherently bad about that, it might end up hurting your brand reputation and positioning in the long run.
On another hand, if you register your own custom domain name, you will be able to enjoy a lot of benefits that come with it, and remove the second level domain name that might be impacting you negatively without you realizing it.
Progressive Web Apps
Usually, when people think of a custom domain name, they immediately associate it with having a website. However, this is not the only place in which having it can be highly beneficial. We also have Progressive Web Apps, which are essentially applications that have the look and feel of a regular mobile app, but without the hassle of having to download them on your electronic device to be able to access them.
One of the biggest benefits of Progressive Web Apps (also known as PWAs) is that they are easily shareable with a simple URL or a QR code. This means that they will typically have their own domain name, which companies can use to send people to visit their app instead of having to use an app store as an intermediary.
If you build your Progressive Web App on Beezer, you can give it your own domain name with Beezer’s simple but powerful Custom Domain feature.
In a similar manner to websites, having a progressive web app with a custom domain name can have a lot of benefits for your brand. It will not only look more professional, but users will be able to memorize it quickly and access it at any moment without passing through search engines to search for it. Add that to the fact that your audience doesn’t need to visit an app store if you have a progressive web app, and generating more traffic while increasing brand visibility will be easier than ever!
And now that we have cleared out the most important concepts around a custom domain name, let’s hop right into the benefits:
1. You will establish a solid brand name
More often than not, the case behind a subdomain is allowing bloggers and small websites to test out a CMS before “getting serious” with it. Let’s say that you are someone who wants to start blogging, but you are not sure whether you will keep with it, and if it’s really something that you are going to enjoy.
If you are in a similar situation, you probably want to start out small, see if this side hussle fits you, and then upgrade to a premium service. After all, many bloggers and newly created small businesses don’t want to invest money in their website until it actually starts making them some money.
In this case, it makes total sense to have a subdomain instead of directly spending money on a custom domain name. However, it comes with the implication that your brand’s name might get diluted among with the second-level domain. If users see that your URL ends in wordpress.com, they might wrongly assume that you are related to the brand Wordpress, which will not be the case.
However, if you are serious about your website or PWA and want to keep it in the long run, the first step that you will need to make is to invest in a custom domain name. This will help you establish a solid and consistent brand name which will be much more memorable for your users.
2. Your website will look more professional
No matter in what industry you are operating, if you have a very small or recently established business, the chances are that you will be competing with the sharks in your industry. Let’s be honest: there is not a single big or important company that doesn’t have a custom domain name.
However, if you want to look more professional and capture a high quality audience that will put their trust in your business, you will need to invest in purchasing a domain name. If your website ends in something like wordpress.com, you will give a sign to your audience that you are not taking your own business seriously. And why should your visitors take you seriously if you are not doing it yourself?
As we already explained, most people immediately recognize that a website with a second-level domain from another brand is using a free service. So, they will automatically assume that you are unable or unwilling to afford purchasing a domain.
Just think about it. Imagine that you are trying to become a freelancer, a consultant or a coach – why would people trust you with their money if you are not willing to invest in building a solid reputation?
3. You will have an ownership of your website
Another huge benefit that comes with having a custom domain name is that you will have the ownership of your URLs and email addresses. This means that there will be no brand dilution, and the people who interact with you will automatically associate your domain with your brand name or business, without getting confused with any other brand names that might be included in your URL if you are using the free CMS version.
Additionally, having ownership of your own domain and email address also means more control for your business and your content, which is something that always brings a lot of value on the table.
4. You will not lose your data
Many people start with a free subdomain until they build their way up. They think that once they start driving enough traffic to their website or earning enough revenue, then it will make sense to purchase a custom domain.
And although this sounds great and completely logical, there are some implications that come with it beyond just brand reputation and positioning.
If you have been blogging for more than a year, the chances are that your blog or website has already built up some domain authority. Having a high domain authority score means that Google considers you trustworthy, and have more chances of positioning among the first results for a particular search term. Building up a good score may take years as it is a very long-term process.
However, if you have already built some authority for your domain mywebsite.wordpress.com and you decide to purchase a custom domain name so you can change your address to mywebsite.com, you will lose your domain authority score. Because your address will technically be a completely new one, Google will not be able to transfer your built up credibility and trustworthiness.
Even if you maintain your rankings on the Search Engine Results Page, your domain authority will go to 0 for that new domain.
5. You will get a better exposure in search engines
Another huge benefit of having a custom domain name is getting more exposure in search engines. The majority of search engines, especially Google, prefer to link to root domains instead of subdomains such as wordpress.com or blogspot.com, as they are considered more trustworthy and reliable.
And of course, getting better exposure is not only applicable to websites but also to progressive web apps. As we already mentioned, PWAs can easily be shared with a single URL, which means that they are also indexable by search engines. So, having a progressive web app with a custom domain name will also give you a significant advantage in front of competitors.
6. You remove provider restrictions
One of the best things about having a custom domain name is that you can practically run your website with a lot more freedom and less restrictions compared to subdomains.
Because you are now free to host your own website, you will no longer have to comply with the restrictions established by your provider. You can now diversify your content, make it more interactive, add awesome new features, and remove ads that might be interfering with user experience.
This also means that you can actually host your website wherever you want, choosing the one that fits your needs the best.
7. You can have a custom email
We already talked about ownership, but one benefit of having a custom domain name that really needs to be highlighted is that you can actually have a custom email address to go with your website.
This gives you the freedom to create professional and personalized email addresses such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, which is an instant credibility booster.
Let’s be honest, would you rather a receive an email from email@example.com or from firstname.lastname@example.org? Needless to say, the second one seems significantly less professional as people can often perceive it as spam.
Conclusion: the importance of having a custom domain name
With all of the benefits that we listed above, it becomes quite obvious why purchasing a custom domain name is totally worth it. After all, a domain name is the representation of your brand online, and one of the first things that your audience is going to see that has to do with your business.
When it comes to websites, there are multiple options available for businesses, including domain name registrars such as GoDaddy.com, NameCheap, and Domain.com. Some hosting companies also provide domain registration services, including Bluehost, Dreamhost, Siteground, Hostgator, and many others. Doing some in-depth research is key for selecting the provider that fits your goals and needs the best.
When it comes to progressive web apps, creating a powerful PWA with a custom domain name is right at your fingertips! We are happy to say that Beezer has launched the possibility to create apps with their own unique domain name. Make sure to check it out, and start enjoying all the benefits today!