A free domain can look like this, redpandapublicrelations.wordpress.com; whereas a custom domain name takes out the unnecessary words and creates a more usable domain name, like redpandapublicrelations.com.
Custom domains can be whatever you want them to be, and can end in many different ways, including .com, .co.uk, .wales, .org or many more variations.
The following list contains ten benefits of having your own customised domain name:
1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
• It is harder to get a free domain name into high spots on search engines
• Free domain names only tend to pop up on search engines when people type in very niche or specific search terms
• Custom domain names raise your chances of being seen in competitive searches
• People are more likely to trust your website if it’s a .com/.co.uk/etc.
• People are more likely to trust your knowledge if you show your commitment by paying for a domain name
• With a custom domain, you will have more control over your brand
• A custom domain represents your brand better than a free one could
• You don’t what someone else’s brand name (e.g. WordPress) in your domain name!
• Companies such as WordAds and Google Adsense tend to only accept customised domain names
• A custom domain name will increase your chances of being chosen by advertisers in general
5. Being Memorable
Custom domain names are easy to remember – people are more likely to visit again
• Easy to type in – more likely that people will bother typing it in/searching for it
• It’s also easier to share via word of mouth
• You can make it as memorable as you want – you are in control
• Anyone can have a .wordpress.com but having a domain that says nothing but yourcompanyname .com makes your URLs unique
• Custom domains look neater in social media posts – more concise and better branding
• Should show people exactly what the website is about quickly and simply
8. Professional Email Address
• Although this costs more money again, you can have custom email addresses for the company and/or for individual employees
• This makes your emails look more professional
• People are more likely to trust a custom email address than an @outlook.com etc.
9. The Earlier, The Better
• If you start out with a free domain name for a year, then the website does well enough for you to change the domain name, you may lose some of your built-up domain authority and take one step forward, two steps back
• The sooner you get your custom domain name, the less likely you are to lose significant authority
• You would also need to remarket the new domain name, and changing all past social media etc. is easier if you start early
• In a worse scenario, if you leave it too long, you may find that your custom domain choices will have been taken by someone else, and you may have to rebrand your entire website!
10. It Feels Good
• Having your own domain name allows you to feel truly good about your progress online
• Imagine being the only person in the world to have that domain name
• It feels like your business or website is that one step closer to being ‘real’
Custom domains can be bought from websites such as, godaddy.com, 123reg.com, theukdomain.uk and more. Alternatively, you can buy custom domains directly from your website provider, such as WordPress.com or Wix.com