If you’ve invested a lot of time into your website, chances are you’ve probably encountered this situation before: you are happy with how your website looks, what is says, and who might check it out. You may have even noticed that you’ve earned some visits to your website. However, not a lot of people are engaging with your content; they’re not contacting you or buying your product/service. What gives? While there are plenty of tools you can use to analyze your website visitor behavior, this post discusses how you can tweak your website copy to get more customers. Continue reading
If you’ve spent the time building a website, you know how important it is to rank high in the search results. We all want to be “seen” by Google and rise to the top position.
There are a ton of great resources out there to help you learn about improving your website’s SEO and visibility on the web. But one question you may have is what role your domain name plays in that ranking. Does Google count your domain name as a keyword? What about new TLDs (Top Level Domains), such as .design, .tech, .store? Do these new TLDs impact your website’s ranking? Continue reading
When it comes to a business’s first impression, it’s not an exaggeration to say that it all begins with the domain name. The moment a customer sees the website, they attach meaning to it which creates an imprint in their mind. What do you want your customers to think of your business when they see your domain name?
Here’s an interesting take on this: the more emotional their response, the better it is for your brand. An emotional response could be intrigue, surprise, trust, comfort, reassurance, and if you are as creative as Porkbun, may be even excitement, hunger pangs or salivation! The idea is to build a strong association between your website name and a positive emotion that they feel to establish a solid positioning.
The new domain extensions come to aid in creating an instant positioning for your business website. Since the new domain extensions are meaningful words, they make your domain name contextual and memorable from the word go, as well as create a lasting legacy for your business.
It is for these reasons (and more), some of the top brands and new businesses are all getting on the b(r)andwagon and picking new domain extensions for their businesses. Check out some of them below:
This is Viacom’s tech focused portal for the developer community. It is meant to propel Viacom’s belief in open source and invites the global tech community to join Viacom Open Source Software repository on Github.
It is what the name suggests. An online store with all the top magazine in one place. Through its domain name, it clearly establishes what it is and what it does. The website, which is owned by American media conglomerate Meredith Corporation, offers 300+ magazines on its store.
Freedom Of The Press Foundation is dedicated to helping support and defend aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government. Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, Edward Snowden is the president of this organization.
King Host is a web hosting agency that amplifies human connections on the Internet, simplifying access to the best technology choices to developers and creators, generating value through excellent infrastructure and expert support. They recently moved to king.host from kinghost.com.
Louder Online is one of the world’s leading digital agencies that specialize in intelligent & effective search, content & social marketing. It helps brands amplify their presence and reach in the online world. Its co-founder, Aaron Agius, is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with some of the world’s largest brands, including Salesforce, Coca-Cola and Target.
This is the website for Emirates Airline’s official merchandise store. They offer travel accessories, aircraft models, as well as lifestyle and fashion products for men, women and kids!
Asgardia, also known as the Space Kingdom of Asgardia, is a group of people who have launched a satellite into Earth orbit. It has gained visibility as the world’s first ever space nation – a global, unifying and humanitarian project.
Stronger specializes in high-quality, customized, internet-technology training and services worldwide. Partnering with their clients, they empower organizations to create stronger, more efficient and more secure cultures.
As part of Google My Business, small business owners are able to take their business online with a with free one page website on BUSINESSNAME.business.site subdomain domain. The service is available globally to all merchants enrolled in Google My Business.
This is the official online merchandise and music store of Lorde, the world renowned singer, songwriter, and record producer. When she was 17, she became the youngest solo artist to achieve a number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 since 1987.
So, you are ready to make your next website.
What’s in a name?
When you’re born, you inherit a name and a surname in which you (usually) have no say. It’s the byproduct of being born in a certain family. Now you may like this name or you may spend years thinking of names that could have better fit the personality you’ve worked so hard to build.
The process of coming up with a domain name too falls somewhere on the same wavelength. But here the situation is a bit different. This name isn’t inherited. It has to be created, which requires thinking. And thinking is often hard, but you can do that.
Domain name selection can be a tortuous, caffeine-infused process where multiple lattes are consumed while brainstorming on a whiteboard in a brightly lit conference room. You then think of a name and pop over to a domain registrar’s website only to find that it is already taken.
So we’re back to square one, or are we?
This ‘domain name block’ does not have to stop you from choosing a name that you love for your exciting startup, and this article will show you how. However, before we dive into that, let’s understand the two key aspects of a successful domain name:
- Searchable: a successful domain name must be searchable. This means you need to take SEO principles into account and choose a domain name that has the right keywords which allow you to maximize search engine performance. And as we move into an era of voice search, your domain name needs to be such that Alexa and Siri can understand it at one go.
- Marketable: your domain name must connect with your target audience and properly reflect what your brand stands for.
How do you select a domain name that fits the bill?
- Brevity is key
Brevity requires creativity. Short, simple and clear names stand out and are memorable. Visitors will most likely forget a long, vague or misspelled domain name. This is where domain extensions come into play. Chances are a short domain name on a usual extension might be expensive or, worse, unavailable.
To avoid this, pick a domain extension that highlights your industry and establishes your niche. The benefits of doing this are truly exciting.
- They are easily available at standard prices
- They enhance your business persona
- They help in brand awareness and overall brand recall
To get you started, check out some of these new extensions that you can choose for your domain name.
- Memorability is imperative
An emotional response to anything makes it memorable. A good domain name should therefore evoke some sort of an emotional response too. It doesn’t have to make the reader break down in tears or burst out laughing. It just has to instigate a thought process. It has to make people want to dig deeper or find out more.
New domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .PRESS, .ONLINE, .SITE, .WEBSITE, etc help induce that emotional response because they stand out — something that you are working so hard to do.
For example, if you sell funky or a sitcom inspired apparel you can go with:
For almost $6 dollars that’s a pretty sweet deal.
- Keywords help with SEO
Remember searchability? This is where it comes in. Keyword rich domain names help in getting on-topic backlinks which adds a lot of SEO juice to your website. It’s great to include relevant keywords if they naturally fit into your domain name. The new domain extensions help with that in a big way. This benefits both the key components of a domain name – searchability and marketability.
Additionally, for Google to give precedence to your website over your competitors, your website needs to be really good in terms of content quality. So, your website should be like a quality store which is:
- appealing to the eyes,
- well-laid out,
- filled with easy to understand words and descriptions.
- New approach impresses
The new domain extensions help with establishing a clear branded online presence that can include your full business name. These new domain extensions lend a chance for you to stand out in a way that strengthens your brand positioning. Businesses that adopt these new domains can easily incorporate them into their branding efforts. Here are some top players that are doing it:
These extensions act as a hook to draw both potential and loyal customers into a conversation that can lead to conversion. Additionally, it offers an opportunity to engage with them which is what you want.
- Relatable and intuitive
“If you believe that a member of your target audience could immediately associate the domain name with a good guess of what they think you do, that is a big positive,” explains Rand Fishkin, co-founder of Moz. “Meaning they could look at your domain name and say, ‘Oh, I’m guessing they probably do this. This is probably what that company is up to.’”
The chances of you attracting organic search engine traffic from people who are unfamiliar with your brand increases when your domain name is creative and intuitive.
Your ideal domain name should be short, simple, descriptive and memorable from a branding perspective. It should also act as an SEO boost to help your business get discovered in the search. To come up with a name that checks out on all these parameters, start by giving a serious thought to your brand value proposition. Once you have that in place, get your team in a room to choose your new domain name.
Alisha Shibli is a Content Marketing Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, such as .TECH, .STORE, .ONLINE, .SITE, .WEBSITE, .PRESS, .HOST and .SPACE. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
Having your portfolio online doesn’t necessarily mean not having it in print. You can have two versions of the same book; and there are several benefits to both. A print portfolio might be more memorable in an industry where print is all but dying, but it doesn’t capture a designer’s ability to work in the most common medium. However, having your work showcased online means you can share it easily, and you don’t have to figure out mailing address or spend a lot of money printing it every time you need to update your work. An online portfolio can easily flow from the recruiter’s inbox to the creative director’s desk. Here are a few things to consider when making the switch from print to web:
Keep it straightforward
Hiring managers and recruiters have a lot of candidates to sift through. They will look at several portfolios and resumes over the course of the hiring process and it is imperative to capture their attention as soon as possible. They will value you taking their time into consideration.
For the most part, your information should be compartmentalized with the recruiter’s needs: build out a page for your work, one with your history, and possibly one with your resume. You can always attach a more descriptive cover letter, and full CV in the email introducing your portfolio.
If you build your portfolio following best practices, it can itself be an example of the work you are able to do. Your portfolio should be polished and follow best practices so that employers can see these skills in your work. When working with clients you won’t always have the opportunity to follow best practices. Clients and other circumstances can pull your work into more restricted directions. It is important to showcase your ability to work within those frameworks but take your own portfolio and brand as an opportunity to build out the ideal scenario. Nothing is in the way but yourself, so have fun with it.
One of the key benefits of having an online portfolio is being able to fit as much content as you can. Just because you’re able to, however, doesn’t mean you should. Find the pieces that best represent your skillset and creative thinking and feature those. Spec pieces, or pieces that weren’t made for an actual client, that better capture your creative thinking and skillset should take priority over work that may be more common. Clearly label the work you did for clients and as spec, and clearly mark what role you played. This will help answer a lot of questions your recruiter might have and give you more time to talk about yourself as a creative.
Make it memorable
With all the templates available for designers, it is important to find the best combination of attributes to make your website memorable. Squarespace, Wix, even Weebly all offer templates for the designer that is more front-end, while Adobe offers several options for coding your own site. Regardless of the builder you use, make sure your designs are the best option for communicating your work. Consider the scope of work you have to showcase, the number of pieces you could ultimately add, and how you want others to navigate it. A little UI/UX never hurt anyone, even when using a predesigned template.
Of course, try using a new domain to make it stick. Why compete for an expensive, and generic .com when you can host your work with your name at .design? Maybe you consider yourself an artist and want to showcase at .art or an illustrator at .ink. It’s 2018 and .com isn’t the only option anymore. Explore the newest extensions and create something truly descriptive and unique. Your website will not only stand out in the sea of .coms, but it will be short and to the point. Recruiters will remember it, and you.
The last days of unencrypted HTTP
It’s accepted wisdom that every website should be served over a secure HTTPS (SSL) connection. HTTPS encrypts browser traffic, protecting your customer’s passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information from eavesdroppers and hackers. In recent years, the price of SSL certificates has plummeted, and the advent of free “Let’s Encrypt” certificates means you no longer need to spend a fortune — or anything at all — to assure your site’s visitors that their data is safe.
All of this will come as no surprise to most Porkbun customers, who by virtue of registering their domains at the Bun find themselves in the vanguard of the push towards a totally-secure web. Porkbun was the first registrar to provide free SSL certificates to every customer on every domain without any renewal fee or upcharge.
Unencrypted HTTP isn’t just unfashionable, it’s about to go the way of the Dodo. As of April 2018, over 70% of all website traffic is now served over HTTPS, up almost 10% from a year ago. Google recently announced that starting in July of 2018, any site not served over HTTPS will be marked with a large grey “not secure” icon in Chrome’s URL bar — not exactly instilling of consumer confidence.
.app and HTTPS
With the release of Google Registry’s new .app domain extension, Google has taken their commitment to a secure web a step further by enforcing mandatory HTTPS across all .app domains. That means if you register a .app domain, you can still host a site over unencrypted HTTP — but no modern browser will load it.
How did Google achieve this feat? Well, it just so happens that Google maintains a special list known as the HSTS Preload List. Anyone can submit their site to the list, which tells every modern browser: “insecure HTTP is disabled for this domain.” What makes .app unique is the entire .app zone has already been added to the HSTS Preload List, no exceptions allowed.
Thus, if you try to load a .app site over unencrypted HTTP, your browser will refuse, instead displaying an error message that can’t be bypassed. This protects all .app domains from a wide swath of so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks wherein an eavesdropper intercepts traffic for nefarious purposes. It also improves site loading time as the browser won’t even try to connect to the unencrypted channel first, skipping directly to HTTPS.
.app and Porkbun
.App’s HTTPS requirement can seem scary, but compliance is easy at Porkbun. If you’re hosting your .app site via our site builder or shared hosting package, HTTPS is automatic; you don’t have to do a thing! Want to host your site elsewhere? You can still use your free Let’s Encrypt certificate with a 3rd-party hosting company. For more info, check out our article How to use your free SSL certificate. Already purchased a traditional certificate? That works, too.
Still have questions about .app, Let’s Encrypt, or HSTS Preload? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ambassadors are traditionally diplomatic posts given to high-rolling party donors rather than people with actual diplomacy and skill. You know, give a few million dollars, get a fancy car and apartment in an exotic foreign land. At Porkbun we’re both disgusted and enchanted by this behavior. I mean, cronyism is terrible unless you’re offering that car and apartment to me.
In launching a program for our most active customers to refer us to their friends, we wanted to steal a little from column A and a little of column B. We wanted to reward loyal behavior with cash, money, dollars but we also wanted to be working with the smart people that use and appreciate our site and have obvious skills in domaining, building websites, design, and networking!
Introducing the Porkbun Ambassador Program! You can apply here – and yes we do read and research what you provide so don’t just mash your keyboard 😐 In fact, tell them that “Andrew sent me” to receive a quick goodie.
The premise is that we pay against most everything that your referred friend, second-cousin, or gullible acquaintance buys on the site. As you know, we have the lowest prices around so sometimes we can’t share as much. We do give you 100% of the markup on products where we charge zero markup though!
If you’re a domain-type or webmaster or web designer or someone sending lots of referrals, those pennies will add up. Others may not be cashing out to impersonate Rich Uncle Pennybags anytime soon but will still save some real amount on their own renewals.
There is a nice way to scale and make money on the program if you work with designers since .design allows for a $20 payout against free trial names. This is the most interesting part of the program given the popularity of .design at Porkbun and the high payout. Eligibility for this payout is judged separately from the rest of the Ambassador Program so if you intend to use it please mention it in your application and how/why you have good networking abilities with designer types.
So, in summary:
- YES, we now have an affiliate program
- YES, we share revenue on nearly every transaction where we make money
- What the heck?! $20 commission for free .design domains? YES, that is a real thing and YES we are patrolling for fraud but hot damn if you are a design student, a professional designer, or random design fan that hangs with designers and has sway with them, you might just be able to get them to finally stop eating all your snacks and instead help out with the rent. Or at least buy more snacks.
Let’s face it. .com is popular. Everyone knows what it is. You don’t have to explain it to anyone. .com is associated with how we think about the internet, simply because it has been around so long and because there are 126 million (yes, million) registered domain names. Maybe you’ve had inspiration recently to start a side hustle, or to showcase your artwork. Maybe you’ve got a business plan and want to launch your brand online. Either way, when you go to register the name you want, you find that your name isn’t available under .com. This article discusses what to do if your .com domain name is taken.
Your first thought might be to do the classic word hack. If, say the name you want is “Smart Link”, you could get clever and snag a .ink domain name, and your website name could be smartl.ink. Another example of a word hack is if you had the name “Show Biz”, your domain name could be show.biz. Word hacks are tricky, though, because it all depends on the name or phrase you want. Keep an open mind, but don’t rely on this option.
Browse The New TLD List
A better option is to take a look at the long list of new TLDs (Top Level Domains) available. Browse the list and see which one stands out at you. You’d be surprised to find that the domain name you want is probably related to one of the TLD extensions on the list! For example, if you have a hobby of creating glass art, you could grab a .art domain name. In fact in that scenario, a .art name would be more relevant than a .com name because it describes exactly what you do in the address bar. You make it easier for people to get that “aha” moment when their brain is deciphering what you do.
Search For Your Name With a New TLD
Once you’ve spotted a few TLD extensions that are related to what you do, start searching for your domain name with those extensions. If someone makes 3D animation, for example, and they work with other people, they could get a domain name that has their business name, plus an extension of .studio. They could also get .tv or .video because they produce video, or they could get .design because animation is a form of design. These are just stream-of-consciousness examples, but you get the idea.
Spend some time to think about how your business or your activity can be categorized. What industry does it fall under? Chances are, there is a TLD that is relevant to what you do. The more closely related your business is to the TLD extension you choose, the better. Google will reward you as well, because it looks at the content on your website along with your domain name as it matches your website with users’ keyword searches.
The moral of the story is, don’t get discouraged if the domain name you want is taken under .com. There are plenty of other options that could be helpful. And it might actually be more unique.
Announcement: the 2018-2019 .design Student Portfolio Competition Is Approaching!
Attention interior design students and teachers!
Porkbun has teamed up with IDEC.org to host a design challenge that will help get students set up with their very own online portfolio on .design.
this competition is a unique opportunity to help your interior design students prepare for today’s digital job market and incentivize them to take their online portfolio seriously.
by entering the competition you get your first year of .design for free. This includes a website builder, email hosting, and a bunch of other features. The winner of the competition will win an Apple iPad Pro, valued at $1,400. 2nd and 3rd place will receive 10 years of free .design domain credits and email hosting, valued at $600 and $300, respectively.
Participants can submit their websites between June 1, 2018 and October 31, 2018.
For competition details, please visit idec.design