5 Reasons You Want Your Own Domain Name
What do people type into their web browser to get to your site? In a perfect world, it would be something like www.nameofyourshow.com – but there are other options. Particularly if your budget is tight, you might be looking at web addresses that match formats such as:
- …and other similar options
The problem with these? Well, they’re a bit unwieldy. All websites have a domain name. Domain names often end in “.com” or “.edu” or something like that. So in the above examples, the domain names of those sites are blogspot.com, google.com, and weebly.com. Now all of those options are better than having no web site for your show at all, here are five reasons getting nameofyourshow.com is so much better.
Let’s get this one out of the way right up front. It’s just plain cooler for your show to have it’s own domain. Imagine the producer of a Broadway musical handing you a business card reading, “Check out our web site at http://sites.google.com/sites/spring-awakening” Of course not. You expect to see “www.springawakening.com”
2.) Easy to remember
Will they remember a long web address or get out a pen and paper to jot it down? Maybe, but probably not.
If the name of your show is the web address, that’s so much easier to remember. Imagine you’re talking to someone at a party and the show comes up in conversation. You chat for a few minutes and a few people are interested in learning more. Will they remember a long web address (which us computer geeks refer to as a URL, by the way) or get out a pen and paper to jot it down? Maybe, but probably not. If all they need to do is type in the name of the show and add a “.com” at the end, though, there’s a good shot they will remember.
It may surprise you to learn that buying a domain name is not very expensive at all. It can be had for less than $10/year. That’s affordable even by theatre budget standards. The way they get you, though, is to upsell you on a hundred addons you don’t need. When you are getting a domain your focus needs to be on getting in, getting your domain, and getting out.
4.) Search engine optimization
Without getting too geeky, let me just say that search engines give strong consideration to the domains of the sites that show up in search results. If you do a search for “broadway musicals” in Google, the sites that show up at the top of the list have domains like broadway.com, broadwaymusical.com and allmusicals.com. That’s no coincidence. Google knows that your domain name is a very good indicator of what your site is about, so when it matches what people are typing into the search box (such as the name of your show) it pushes your site higher up the page. And the higher up the page you are on search results, the more visitors you get.
5.) More credibility
Perhaps most importantly having your own domain name shows the world that you are serious. People who are trying to check you out to decide if they want to buy tickets are coming to your site to see if you are worth spending their money on. If you aren’t at least willing to spend $10 to get your own domain, how much effort have you really put into the show? There are great shows without a domain and dreadful shows that have spent all kinds of money on their web site, so it isn’t really a fair indicator – but it is something that goes through people’s minds.
How do I get a domain name?
Getting a domain name is pretty easy. Head over to GoDaddy (or any of the other thousands of domain registrars out there) and the biggest thing on the home page will be an area to type in the domain name you want to buy. Once you’ve bought the domain name, you may need a friendly nerd to help you get your web site set up, depending on your level of comfort with all things computer. The buying part is easy, though.