When getting into online business for the first time, you may ask yourself, “Do I need a custom domain name? Why can’t I just use the free web address my website builder gives me?” You’ll soon find out that the answer to these questions is “YES! You need a custom domain name, and no, you can’t just use the free one your web builder provides for you.” This article will explain why.
What Is A Custom Domain Anyway?
In case you’re really green and very non-tech savvy, a domain name is your website’s address. Think of it as your website’s street address. When you sign up for a website builder, especially a free one like Wix or Builderall, they always default your website to live on a sub-domain on their own domain.
Umm. . .What?
What this means is that your website lives on theirs and isn’t truly independent. This is like living in an apartment inside of a larger apartment building. The website provider owns the building, and you rent the apartment inside. Well, you’re more of a freeloader who crashes there because you don’t pay rent. If you created a website called “I Luv Cats,” your free web address would be “iluvcats.builderall.com” I Luv Cats is your apartment number, Builderall is the actual street address.
If you had your own, custom domain like “www.iluvcats.com,” you would be an upstanding citizen living in your own free-standing house independent of your website builder.
Why Does This Distinction Matter?
You might be thinking, but apartment living is great! I don’t have to maintain a yard, someone else is responsible if something breaks, and rent is much cheaper than having a mortgage. However, online, especially in online business, only rookies and lazy people live in apartments. Here’s Why:
A Custom Domains Gives You Authority And Creates a Good First Impression
Not having your own free-standing domain tells people that you either aren’t willing to spend any money, might not know what you’re doing, and/ or are too lazy to set up a proper website. This gives off the wrong first impression to any potential customers.
You can have an amazing business and be the best in your field, but no one will know because they probably won’t click on your website in the Google search results if it even comes up. Google penalizes free subdomain websites. This is because customers, as well as Google, judge you based on your web address. Would you go to the office of a prospective attorney if you found out he worked in a free tenement apartment? Probably not.
By having a custom domain name, you give your website legitimacy and a good first impression to your potential customer.
A Custom Domain Makes You More Memorable
When creating content around your business or creating ads, having a custom domain allows you to speak naturally about your web address. Instead of saying “go to iluvcats.builderall.com,” you can just say “go to www.iluvcats.com.” Most people assume the “www” and the “.com” automatically anyway, so all they have to remember is the “iluvcats” part.
This brings me to a side note. Whenever you’re getting a custom domain, try to get a “.com” whenever possible. People always assume websites are “.com” and if you have a “.net” website, people will always go to the wrong address when trying to remember where you are online.
A Custom Domain Should Tie Into Your Brand
When you’re building a brand online, you want consistency across the board. Many times, your web address becomes synonymous with your brand name. Make sure the web address you choose is your brand name or something closely associated with it.
The Custom Domain Could Be A Hook In Itself
When doing business online, it’s important to have a powerful hook to draw people in. When there is so much online that’s competing for people’s attention, you have to have something that stops people in their tracks.
A cool domain name could be that something. I am a fan of Russell Brunson. You can probably figure that out if you spend any time on this site. He is the master at creating hooks in his web addresses. He has onefunnelaway.com, expertsecrets.com, and dotcomsecrets.com. All of those web addresses are thought-provoking. What am I one funnel away from? What are the secrets he has? I must find out! The domains themselves are drawing you in even before you know what the business is all about.
Keep this in mind when choosing a custom domain for yourself.
Where Can I Get A Custom Domain?
Now that you know why you need a custom domain, let me tell you where to get one. First off, know that they’re not free, but they aren’t expensive either.
A domain by itself is around $10/Year. However, a domain by itself is useless without a website attached to it. This would be like buying a plot of land without putting a house on it. I suggest buying a hosting plan (you’ll need one anyway, hosting is the dirt your house sits on) and getting the domain free from the hosing provider.
Builderall is a great place to start. They have a plan for only $19 a month and they include a ton of tools to get your business up and running. Not only do they offer a website builder, website hosting, and a free domain, but they offer checkout tools and as well as an email system to keep your online business running like a swiss watch.
If you were to source a domain, hosting, email, and check out all separately, you’d be looking at a cost of at least $50/month and a patchwork of integrations to deal with. Save the hassle and get an all-in-one solution.
Take your business to the next level. Get a custom domain and really set up shop the right way online. You won’t regret it.