"> Website Archives - 3SixT5
BlogBusinessdomainHostingStartupWebsite
[ December 5, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

What is a Domain Name? Domains Explained for Beginners

Domain name is essentially your website’s equivalent of a physical address. In the same way that a satellite navigation needs a street address or a zip code to provide directions, a web browser needs a domain name to direct you to a website.

A domain name takes the form of two main elements. For example, the domain name Facebook.com consists of the website’s name (Facebook) and the domain name extension (.com). When a company (or a person) purchases a domain name, they’re able to specify which server that the domain name points to.

Domain name registrations are overseen by an organization called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN specifies which domain name extensions are available and keeps a centralized database of where the domain names point to.

Every website that you visit effectively consists of two main elements: a domain name and a web server.

  1. A web server is a physical machine that hosts the files and the databases that your website is made from and sends them out to people across the internet when they visit your site from their machine.
  2. The domain name is what people type in to access your site, and it points the web browser to the server that stores those resources. Without a domain name, people would need to remember the specific IP address of your server — and that’s just not going to happen.

How Do Domains Work?

Domain names work by acting as a shortcut to the server that hosts your website.

Without a domain name, anyone who wanted to visit your website would have to enter the full IP address. But the problem is that an IP address is difficult for people to memorise or to include on advertising materials.

In our case, 3sixt5.co.za is the domain name. Let’s say it points IP address is 100.90.80.70. The IP address points to a server, but it doesn’t resolve the website if visitors try to use it. That’s because for an IP address to resolve a website, the remote server needs to be using port 80 with a default page (i.e. index.html) stored in its web-apps directory.

As you can see, messing around with server defaults and IP addresses can be both confusing and time-consuming. That’s why the vast majority of website owners opt to use a service like 3sixt5 which offers bundled domain names with annual web hosting packages.

Domains can also use redirects, which essentially allow you to specify that if people visit your domain, they’re automatically forwarded to another. This can be useful for campaigns and microsites or for forwarding people to dedicated landing pages on your main site. They can also come in useful for avoiding confusion around spellings. For example, if you visit www.fb.com, you’ll be forwarded to www.facebook.com.

Different Types of Domains

Not all domain names follow the same formula, and while .com domains make up for 46.5% of all global websites, that still leaves plenty of room for other domain name types like .org and .net. Overall, the most common types of domain names include:

TLD: Top Level Domains

A top level domain is exactly what it sounds like: a type of domain name which is at the top level of the internet’s domain name system. There are over a thousand TLDs available but the most common include .com, .org, .net and .edu.

The official list of TLDs is maintained by an organization called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and can be viewed here. IANA notes that the list of TLDs also includes ccTLDs and gTLDs, which we’ll talk about next.

ccTLD: Country Code Top Level Domains

ccTLDs use just two letters and are based upon international country codes, such as .us for the United States and .jp for Japan. They’re often used by companies which are building dedicated sites for specific regions and can be a good way of signaling to users that they’ve arrived at the right place.

gTLD: Generic Top Level Domain

A gTLD is essentially a TLD that doesn’t rely on a country code. Many gTLDs are intended for a specific use-case, such as .edu which is aimed at educational institutions. That said, you don’t have to meet any specific criteria to register a gTLD, which is why .com isn’t only used for commercial purposes.

Other examples of gTLDs include .mil (military), .gov (government), .org (for non-profits and organizations) and .net, which was originally designed for internet service providers (ISPs) but which is now used much more widely.

Other Domain Name Types

While the above-mentioned domain categories are the most frequent, there are other variations that you can run into.

Second Level Domains

You’ve probably seen these domain names before. We’re talking about a domain that sits directly below a top-level domain name. We’re not going to get too technical here because it’s easier to show with examples, particularly when it comes to country codes.

For example, British companies occasionally use .co.uk instead of .com, and it’s a perfect example of a second level domain. Another second level domain is .gov.uk, which is often used by governmental institutions, and .ac.uk, which is used by academic institutions and universities.

Subdomains

Subdomains are useful because they don’t require webmasters to purchase an additional domain name to create divisions within their site. Instead, they’re able to create a subdomain which effectively points to a specific directory on the server. This can be super useful for campaign sites and other types of web content that should be kept separate from the main site.

For example, Facebook uses developers.facebook.com to provide specific information for web and app developers who want to use the Facebook API. Another great example is support.google.com

How to Register a Domain Name

Different name providers use different systems and so while this answer covers what the process typically looks like, it may differ slightly depending on the provider.

You’ll usually start by running a domain name search. Most domain name providers will allow you to type in your desired domain name and to see whether it’s available. Here on 3sixt5, we also provide plenty of suggestions for other potential domain names, which can be useful when the domain that you searched for was already taken.

Searching for a new domain name using domain checker tool

From there, it’s just a case of completing the checkout process and paying for your new domain name. Once it’s registered, you’ll be given access to a control panel with all the essential management tools.

How to Transfer a Domain Name

Domain names can also be transferred between registrars. Though there are a few special conditions that must be met:

  1. 60 or more days must have passed since the registration or last transfer.
  2. The domain must not be in Redemption or Pending Delete status.
  3. You should have your domain’s authorization code (also known as EPP code).
  4. Domain’s ownership details must be valid and privacy protection services must be disabled.

While it is not mandatory to transfer your domain, having all services in a single place can greatly simplify the management process.

Here on 3sixt5, you can perform a domain transfer from any registrar. The process can take somewhere between 4-7 days to be fully completed. However, our dedicated customer success team will be there to assist every step of the way!

Difference Between a Domain Name and Web Hosting

Going back to the start of this article, if the domain name is like your physical address then web hosting is like the physical building and the contents stored within.

Domain names are used to create a handy little shortcut to link what visitors type into an address bar to the server that’s used to host the website. They’re entirely digital and stored in a centralised database.

Hosting is a little different because it requires a physical server that’s located somewhere in the world and connected to the internet. It’s essentially like a computer hard drive that stores all of your website’s files and databases. It’s called a server because it literally “serves” your website to your visitors.

When you type a URL (i.e. www.3sixt5.co.za) into your web browser, it sends a request to the specific server that your site is hosted on. The server then uploads the files and transmits them across the internet to the device that you’re using, which downloads the files and displays them.

So, What is a Domain Name?

Domain name is essentially the web hosting equivalent of a postal address. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. A domain name is your website’s equivalent of a street address.
  2. They consist of a website name (i.e. 3sixt5) and a domain name extension (i.e. .com).
  3. All domain name registrations are overseen by ICANN.
  4. Domains work by forwarding visitors to the appropriate server.
  5. .com domains are the most popular, powering 46.5% of the web.
  6. ccTLDs use country codes and designate geographic areas (i.e. .cn or .es).
  7. gTLDs tend to be designed for specific use cases (i.e. .org for organizations).
  8. Every domain name registrar has a different signup process.
  9. You can use domain search engines to find available domain names.
  10. Domains can be transferred from one provider to another.
  11. Servers are physical machines which store your website’s files.
  12. If you need help, our support team will be more than happy to help.

Final Word

In this tutorial, we’ve learned all there is to know about domain names and how they work. We have also covered the basics of domain transfer and registration process.

If you have any extra domain name related questions, feel free to submit them in the comments below!

BlogBusinessDigitaleCommercemarketingWebsite
[ November 28, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

Why Sell Online? The Importance of eCommerce in Your Sales Strategy

BusinessDigitalmarketingseoStartupWebsite
[ November 27, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

10 Free (or Nearly-Free) Marketing Strategies for New Entrepreneurs

You don’t need me to tell you that creating a marketing plan for your business is essential.

We all know how important it is to market your business; the trouble is, marketing strategies—and the tools to put these strategies in place—can often be pricey.

That being said, there are plenty of free (or very low cost) ways that you can market your business. Plus, these strategies allow you to get creative, and really focus on adding value through your own voice and expertise within your industry—which is a win all around.

Read on to see my list of 10 marketing strategies that won’t break the bank.

1. Build your email list

If you’re looking for free or low-cost marketing strategies, email marketing should be at the top of your list—which is why it’s at the top of this one.

Email marketing is the bread and butter of a startup or small business marketing strategy, and for good reason: it’s a solid, basic way to market your business, it’s flexible, and it generally only costs time.

Drip is the gold standard for free email marketing tools, as it offers a free plan with advanced marketing automation capabilities (you can upgrade to the paid version once your list grows to a larger size). It’s the email tool we use at Bidketch.

There are tons of resources on how to build a strong email marketing campaign (this article by Drip is a good starting point), as well as plenty on how to build your email list. While the specifics will vary by industry, creating some type of lead-capturing initiative on your website is generally the first step. This could be anything from a download that collects emails, a popup where visitors can sign up for your newsletter, or some other type of content that involves the exchange of email for a free asset (we’ll talk more about what that could look like in tip six).

2. Try content marketing

In terms of free and low-cost marketing initiatives, content marketing still reigns supreme. While plenty of content marketing strategies might not be exactly free (it does cost some money to create a blog, for example), they tend to be one-time or low expenses that you can then take advantage of for an extended period of time.

So, while content marketing is perhaps more costly in terms of both time and money than some other suggestions on this list, no marketing strategy is complete without it.

The world of content marketing is vast and ever-changing, so I’ll just touch on a few of the can’t-miss aspects here for now:

Leverage social media

These days, having some type of social media presence is pretty much a given, no matter what industry you’re in.

However, when approaching social media from a content marketing perspective, it becomes clear that it’s less about just throwing something against the wall and seeing what sticks, and more about creating a cohesive strategy for your business via social media.

This might mean critically evaluating your business, and determining which channels align best with both your offering and your goals. Is your product, service, or branding highly visual? A channel like Instagram is probably a good bet. Is your goal to create an interactive community? Facebook may serve your needs best. Trying to reach a wide audience, engage in conversations, and position yourself as a thought leader in your space? Twitter might be right for your business. It’s important to also consider the demographics of your target audience, and see which platforms are the best match.

While you may have to do a solid amount of research at the outset, you’ll emerge with a clearer idea of which platforms are going to give you the biggest bang for your metaphorical buck. While free, social media marketing can be hugely time-consuming—so narrowing your focus from the get-go is ideal.

For more on creating a social media marketing campaign, this guide by MeetEdgar is a good starting point, as well as this one by Social Media Examiner.

Blog or create another web presence based around thought leadership

Creating a blog is standard advice for any new business owner, and for good reason. By having an SEO-optimized website and blog, you’ll be able to build a web presence, increase your placement in search rankings, and be found by more people.

However, if you approach blogging solely from this standpoint, it becomes a chore at best, and an ineffective, transparent marketing ploy at worst. Rather, think first about where you can best contribute to your space and position yourself as a thought leader by creating great content.

Maybe this looks like creating a traditional, written blog—or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you’d rather create a YouTube channel with educational videos. Maybe you’d rather bypass blog creation entirely and use Medium as a place to share your content.

The make takeaway here is that at this point, “start a blog” is such standard marketing advice that it starts to ring a bit hollow. The really important piece of advice is to remember that content marketing should be about creating valuable content first, and should be a place for you to share your expertise with a wider audience based on the value of what you bring to the table. Determine what that is, and how best to share it, and go from there.

3. Join local Meetup groups or networking organizations in your area

Networking can be hard, especially for those of us who are introverted. However, establishing yourself within your local community can be a hugely successful marketing strategy. Word of mouth is still one of the most trusted referral types, period—so even if you don’t directly acquire new clients or customers through a Meetup or networking event, you can get the word out about your business to people who may recommend you to others in their larger circle.

To start, Meetup.com is likely to have plenty of networking-specific groups in your area (and a quick Google search of “networking events near me” will also turn up dozens of options).

However, don’t feel confined to events that are strictly billed as for the purposes of networking. Attending events based around areas of personal interest can also be a good strategy, as you’re likely to have an opportunity to mention what you do and pass out business cards. It should go without saying that a light touch is essential here, but once you realize that every event is a networking event to some extent, you’ll be able to take advantage of the free marketing opportunities these types of events provide.

For more on how to use Meetup for networking, see this article by the Huffington Post, and this one by Shopify.

4. Use HARO for free, low-effort publicity

HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, is a fantastic resource for entrepreneurs looking to both build their credibility as thought leaders within their space, as well as increase links back to their website.

With HARO, you can answer questions posed by reporters, writers, and others seeking expert opinions or examples of personal experience (like yours truly), and in return you’ll be quoted and have a link back to your website included in an article, news story, or other publication.

It’s a great way to share your expertise on a subject with a new audience, and expose your website and business to new eyes. You can also add these publications to your own website or share them with your social channels, further cementing your reputation as a thought leader in your industry.

5. Contribute thought leadership outside your own avenues

Similar to HARO, consider contributing your own authorship to sites within your industry. As mentioned above, this enables you to build yourself as a reputable voice within your field.

Start by researching sites within your industry that publish articles from guest authors. You’re likely already familiar with some of them, as they may make up your current reading material. From there, see if the sites in question have a submission portal or process that you can follow.

Not only does this strategy expose you and your business to new eyes, as with HARO, but it is an even stronger way to demonstrate your expertise within your industry, as you can potentially have more of a role in the content creation process.

6. Create free resources

You have plenty of knowledge about your industry, otherwise you wouldn’t have made it this far. What are you an expert in? How can you convey this information to others?

Consider creating a free resource, like a downloadable tip sheet, an ebook, holding a webinar, and so on. Offering free assets like these help cement you as an expert in your space, and, as a bonus, work as lead capturing tools to help grow your network (and your mailing list).

7. Implement a referral program

Remember my earlier note about word of mouth? That comes into play here, too.

By creating a referral program for your existing customers, you’re both incentivizing them to bring in new business, and strengthening those potential business relationships by using social proof.

The great thing about referral programs is that the sky really is the limit; you can tailor your referral program to your exact needs. If you’re hesitant about using a referral program; read up on the seven common myths of referral programs (by Ambassador).

8. Use your branding to help market your business

I’m a major sucker for great branding.

Here’s an example:

Last year, I took a small road trip from my home of Portland, Oregon, up to Seattle, Washington. While there, I visited General Porpoise Doughnuts. The doughnuts were great, and I’m looking forward to eating them again—but what really struck me was the branding. I love everything about it, and I’d really love some merchandise with their logo—a t-shirt, coffee mug, sweatshirt, you name it. I think it’s cute, and I’d get a kick out of it. I’ve also told lots and lots of people about their shop (there’s that word of mouth again).

Does your branding cause a similar response? If not, maybe it should. Now, I understand if “cute” isn’t one of the notes your brand wants to hit, but this is merely meant to underscore the fact that if you position your branding in such a way that it is appealing to customers visually or on an emotional level, you may be able to get them to do some of your marketing for you.

This will obviously look different for different businesses, but it’s worth keeping in mind. If you can create a logo or similar brand imagery that is appealing to your target customer, and find a way to get it out into the world (via stickers, wearable merchandise, or a highly-Instagrammable store feature), you may be able to passively market your business via your customers.

9. Comment on other blogs, social media sites, and so on

Make sure you’re joining in the conversation.

This continues to build relationships within your field, but it also has an added bonus: by commenting on popular, high-traffic sites, you’re getting your name and the name of your business in front of new eyes.

So, you’re continuing to build yourself as a thought leader, as well as increase exposure. Moz has some great content on the subject of “comment marketing,” which cover the topic in more depth: Recommendations for Blog Commenting as a Marketing Strategy and Comment Marketing: How to Earn Benefits from Community Participation.

10. Build a cross-promotional relationship with complementary businesses

Strengthening your network is always a good idea, but consider leveraging your connections for a mutually-beneficial marketing relationship—or, reach out to new contacts.

This could look like a web designer partnering up with a copy writer and offering a bundled rate on services, and cross-promoting on each other’s social profiles and business sites. Since neither business competes with the other, and clients often are in search of both services at similar points in time, the partnership benefits both entrepreneurs.

What is your favorite free (or low-cost) marketing strategy? Are there any here that you have not tried yet, but plan to implement? Let me know in the comments!

BlogWebsite
[ August 26, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

15 Reasons why your business needs a website ASAP!

why business needs a website

Are you starting a business and got confused about the fact that why business needs a website? You’ll be shocked to know that around 46 percent of small businesses didn’t have a website in 2016 but within a year the percentage dropped to a staggering 29 percent.

 So what made people change? Why does customers are showing lot of interest in online stores?

 Here are 15 reasons that will tell you why your business need a website

 1 .Open 24 x 7

 You won’t ever have to put up a closed for the business sign after you have a business website. Customers can take a look at your products and buy them even when you aren’t available. It means you are selling your services and products 24 x 7. However, you need to have a support of a experienced and skilled web development team for assistance.

 2.  Target a Larger Market

 When you have an offline business, you only cater to a limited number of clients, but when you are online, you can target a larger market. Your working hours are longer than the usual and no matter what you sell, products or services; you are doing so at the place at very minimal costs.

 3.  Global Presence

 Nowadays, it is all about putting your company on the global map. The more countries you cater to the more successful your business will become. And that is exactly why your small business needs a website. You have a small price to pay to cater to clients all across the seven seas without being there physically.

 4.  Capturing the Attention of Youth

 Young people spend a lot of time online and prefer online shopping than actually visiting the shopping centre. Having an online business means you can attract the youth, who spend on gut instinct rather than doing their research.

 5.  Educate Customers About Your Brand

 Customers are always interested in knowing what inspired your company to start. When you are in charge of publishing about your company, you have a better chance of impressing the client because no one knows your business better than you. It doesn’t mean you brag about your brand, but you can help engage your clients and increase their interest. Add a blog to your website so that your customers feel that you are giving them something and not only interested in making money.

 6.  Social Proof

 If you are running a business, it is obvious that you will need to have social media presence on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It increases your brand’s value, especially if you upload creative photos, interact with your customers, and host giveaways and competitions that will attract you quality attention.

 7.  Marketing Plan

 Websites are the step one of any marketing plan and come before designing brochures and business cards.

 why business need a website Make sure that every marketing campaign you start should be on the landing page of your website so that visitors see it when they open your website. Design your website in such a way that you convert these visitors into clients.

 8. Improves Credibility and Legitimacy of Your Brand

 Having a business website makes your business more credible and legitimate. We live in a digital world, and it is a common notion to think that if you have a website for your business, your company is real and isn’t fooling people, just like a couple of decades ago it was important to have a physical address. However, it is essential that you present your business in an attractive and glamorous but a well-structured manner.

 9.  Customer Support

 Improve your interaction with your clients by having a customer support page on your website. It helps especially when catering to more than one country. It is beneficial for businesses that can’t afford a phone service. You can also upload an FAQ page for customers so that they can get their queries solved before bothering you.

 10.  Achieve Business Goals

 A business website brings you closer to your business goals. You need to be true to your work and profess quality and value to make your business a success. To feel accomplished and stay competitive, create smaller goals rather than a large one. It also gives a structure to your business, and you get a clear idea about how to run the company.

 

11.  Online Sales

 Report says in 2016, the e-commerce industry in India was $675 billion, which means if you don’t have a website you are losing out on a lot of money. Percentage of online sales is growing exponentially every year. You don’t need to give up on your physical store because it is important as both combined together will give you maximum revenue.

 12.  Test New Ideas

 Develop your business website with CMS that allows you to test new ideas and visitors can tell right away if it is working or not. You aren’t wasting any money because you can try the ideas free of cost. Planning to introduce a product? Put it on a website for a couple of days and make it look as attractive as possible and see if people are liking it or not.

  13.   Free of Cost

 You can open a free website on WordPress initially if you are low on budget. See how it works, earn some money, and when you have enough money, contact a e-commerce web development company and seek their assistance in making a robust full-fledged website.

 14. Competitor Business Websites

 It is simple. Because your competitor has a business website, you need to have one as well. Customers research a lot before buying a product, and if you don’t have a website, you are helping your competitors gain traffic. It also means that you are failing to keep up with the latest technology and giving up on making your business a success.

 15. Resource Centre For Staff

 Website is not only for your customers but employers as well. Create a subdomain for your employees, which they can use to upload pictures, instructional videos and guides to help customers. It will also make your employees feel valued. Your staffs are not an expense but an investment that will reap you long-term benefits when treated right.

 Conclusion 75% of people judge a company’s credibility by going through their website. 85% of B2B customers check online regarding price of a commodity before buying them. It has been estimated that soon, more than 60% of internet traffic will be through mobile phones. And moreover, people spending their time on social media is increasing day by day. So if you wish to be successful you can’t avoid your company’s online presence. It’s high time that your business should have a website as a beacon of your online presence be it for business or a company website.

Credits – www.probytes.net