When registering a domain, a lot of consideration should be put into the domain name you choose. Your domain is how the online world finds you online; after all, your domain name will be an extension of your brand. If you are known by the name “mybrand,” you should try to register.“mybrand.com”. Or the closest variation to the name you feel comfortable with. The domain you choose can also be the foundation of any links you may build in the future. An example of a subdomain link is facebook.mybrand.com could link to a Facebook page or profile; I will go into this later in the post.
Buying Your Domain
Registering a domain is easy enough, but you may want to shop around to get the best price or deal on offer. Note that most web hosting companies will try to sell you web hosting when you register your domain. This may not be the best option, as your domain and hosting do not need to be with the same companies.
How Domains Work
Unfortunately, I will need to go into the technical side of domains. This will be the simplified version, but it is needed, so later on, when I explain my method for building links, it will be better understood. For the creator, with regard to domains and links, domain, IP address, and hosting are the main concerns.
Every website is hosted on a server, and every website server has an IP address attached to it. A domain name is linked to an IP address. As mentioned before, a domain and web hosting do not need to be with the same company. When a domain and hosting are with separate companies, pointing your domain to the hosting you have brought can be done via two methods:
- Changing the nameservers for your domain to nameservers provided by your hosting company This will also transfer your DNS record settings to your web hosting.
- Change your domain A record’s IP address within your DNS record to the IP address provided by your hosting company.
IP address → Web server→ Hosting→ Domain→website
(Your domain’s IP address forms part of your DNS Record)
A subdomain can have its own separate IP address from the main domain. This allows your main domain “mydomain.com” and “mysubdomain.mydomain.com”. to be hosted on separate servers or with two different web hosting companies. One thing about subdomains is that they can be redirected. So within your hosting control panel, you can create a subdomain like links.mydomain.com and use this as the base for your links structure.
You can create two types of redirects one that redirects the whole subdomain like the example I used below:
facebook.mydomain.com redirects to facebook.com/myprofile
This type of redirect I recommend for social profiles and similar.
albumname.mybrand.com redirects to the album page/profile
The other type of redirect is built around the domain subdirectory structure
For an artist releasing music, this could be:
Subdomains can also be created to categorize links into relevant groups:
Products Subdomain (Links)
Podcast Subdomain (Links)
Affiliate Subdomain (Links)
These links can be placed in your social media posts, blog posts, and within your social media profiles. When clicked, these links will redirect to product pages, podcast episodes, or one of your affiliate links.
Keeping Your Links
I mentioned before that subdomains can have a different IP than the main domain. This is very important to understand. Over time, as the number of visitors to your site grows, you will need to upgrade your hosting. So it is important that you choose a hosting company that can cater to your needs as you grow your online presence. Ultimately, your needs may outgrow what your current hosting company can provide you.
Your next move should be to migrate your website to a company that can better provide the resources needed to support your growing online presence. Most often, this means migrating your website to dedicated cloud hosting, often with a different hosting company. The downside to this is that, depending on your choice of type of dedicated cloud hosting, you can lose hosting features, i.e., the ability to create redirects.
Cloudways, for example, offers excellent hosting Managed cloud hosting, however, does not offer the ability to create redirects like the type mentioned above. The workaround for this is within your old hosting control panel. Go to the DNS section. Then change the main domain. A Record IP Address to the one provided by your new hosting company. This preserves all your exciting branded links and saves you a tonnes of time by not having to recreate all your links with your new hosting company.
The downside is that you would be paying for two hosting packages. One to manage your links, this can be a basic hosting package. The other would be to manage your main website, however in the long run it would be well worth it.