Is an Ireland domain name really necessary? If you are based in Ireland or trading in Ireland, then there are two vital reasons why you need an Irish domain name. The first reason revolves around your brand. If your brand relies on your Irish status, then an Irish domain name is expected. The second reason is the most important. The second reason is that you leave your business and your website open to manipulation and online crime if you do not buy an Irish domain name.
When your business or website becomes popular, there are teams of local trolls, competitors, Chinese hacking groups, and Russian malware builders that will look for any way to exploit your success. The most popular (and easy) method is to buy the alternate internet version of your website.
For example, if you were based in the UK and your website was called “www.findoutfree.co.uk,” a nefarious party may simply buy the .com version, set up an almost identical website, and wait for people to hand over their passwords, and maybe even make orders via the fake website.
If you are based in Ireland, and you have a .com website, then that is fine, but if somebody starts advertising a .ie version of your website, isn’t it possible (nay, very likely) that potential viewers and customers will see the .ie version of your website and assume it is genuine? Is it really worth the risk, especially when buying the .ie version of your website’s domain name is going to be ridiculously cheap when compared to buying the .com version?
Let’s say that you now have the .com version of your website and the .ie, and maybe others such as .co.uk. You should not create three different websites. This is probably the most frequent mistake when people have more than one version of their domain name.
Simply pick a version of your domain name, and then have the other versions redirect to your website. It is a simple case of adding code to your other domain names so that people are redirected to a single website. This will not trigger spam blockers, and it will not harm your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It is quite a common practice and is not that difficult. Do not think you have to create two or more versions of your websites with new and original content on them.
Let’s say you have a .com, and you also want a .ie. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, you do not have to set up different websites for each domain version. You can simply set up a redirect so that viewers all end up on the same website.
A common complaint is, “Oh, well I have the .com version of my website, getting the .ie version is a lot of hassle.”
In truth, getting another domain version of your website is as simple as buying the domain name, setting up a single home page, adding in the re-direct code, and that is it. You do not need to add content, you do not need to add Google analytic code, and you do not need advanced security measures.
Let’s say you already have a website, like an example called “www.findoutfree.co.uk” and you want an Irish top-level domain. You do not have to change the name of your website. You can visit a domain registration website, enter your domain name, which in this case is “findoutfree” and then buy the Irish version so it looks like this, “www.findoutfree.ie.” You do not need to change your domain name.
The only exception to this is if somebody else has already bought the Irish version of your domain name. Somebody else may already have a website called “www.findoutfree.ie.” If that is the case, there are more mistakes to avoid.
As per the previous section, let’s say somebody else already has your desired domain name. The first thing you should do is put the domain name in your address bar and check out the website. There is a strong chance the website has nothing on it or has been abandoned.
The first mistake people make is to find the owner via a website such as WhoIs domain tools, and then contact the owner asking to buy the domain. There is a strong chance that the domain has been abandoned and is probably likely to expire soon. Your smartest bet is probably to wait and search for providers who offer alerts whenever a domain name is back on the market.
People still remember the dotcom crash, which happened because people bought up domain names for hundreds and thousands of dollars, and then discovered they were worthless. Some people still have dreams of their domain being worth millions, such as how the BufferApp paid millions because a Seal-Guard company wouldn’t part with the domain name “buffer.com” or AltaVista.com who ended up paying $3.3 million for their domain name. In short, do not contact the domain owner unless you want to part with a hefty sum. It may simply be better to go without the .ie version of your website and keep an eye on whoever owns it to routinely check if they are duplicating your website in any way.
If you do not have a website, and you are starting out with a .ie domain name, then you need to pick a website name. If you can put your branded business name comfortably into the domain name, then do so. Something such as “BarrysButchers.ie” is perfect.
However, if your company has a name such as “P. P. Hanlen & Zackery Pen Island” then you are going to have a hard time getting it into your domain name. For example, go to Register.ie and enter “P. P. Hanlen & Zackery Pen Island” and it will auto-change your name to the closest a domain name will allow, which is “pphanlenzackerypenisland.ie” Obviously, this sort of domain name is never going to make the “How to find a domain” hall of fame. Yet, a simple tweak could change it to “Hanlen-Zackery.ie” would be perfectly fine.
There is some controversy about the use of hyphens, such as with the previous example of “Hanlen-Zackery.ie.” As with the previous example, a domain name such as “Hanlen-Zackery.ie” is the lesser of two evils.
In most cases, you should probably avoid using hyphens in your domain name. However, these days, fewer and fewer people type domain names into URL address bars. Most people start typing part of the domain into Google and then use the Google suggestions to find the website. So, if you do add hyphens, do not worry too much. A URL with hyphens will still work with cloud computing tools too, such as the Google Suite.
In the old days, having a domain name that was easy to say was vital. However, these days, there are so many ways to share links that people do not say them to each other anymore. Why tell somebody a domain name if you can send the link via WhatsApp, email, SMS text, or tens of other ways.
Making your website easy to say is not vital, but it should be a consideration. This is especially true if the domain version affects what is said. For example, if your website was called “Dot Com Dot Com,” then it will sound confusing when somebody says “DotComDotCom.com.”
On the other hand, some Irish people have used rhymes to make their domain names more fun to say, such as “www.azzurri.ie” Be careful if you dabble with this idea because it can sometimes go wrong. For example, the company Swissbit has the Swiss version of its website which ends with .ch, so their domain name looks like “Swissbit.ch”
You can get your Ireland domain name for a low price. You can get your name cheap because it is all about how much competition there is for each name, and there is far more competition for .com than there is for .ie because .ie is more for Irish websites whereas .com is used worldwide.
If you already have another website such as a .com domain website, then simply buy the .ie version to make life harder for online criminals, to make it easier for Irish people to find you, and to reassure people that your company has an Irish identity. As you can see by this article, even the most common mistakes are forgivable these days thanks to how the online world has evolved, so don’t worry too much about getting everything perfect.
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