By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
This is the first of several articles I intend to write in hopes of helping some of you better understand topics such as domain names, websites, web hosting, web design, search engines, etc. and how they relate to chiropractors. I should not have assumed (isn’t that a lesson for practice) that you already had been introduced to this information as many of you have emailed or called with questions about these topics. Yes, Planet Chiropractic does provide web hosting as well as other web related services. Email me if you want more info on that. For now, I wanted to answer two of your questions.
Q: What is a domain name?
A: Your domain name (also called a web address) is the core of your Internet identity, your online brand. Your patients/practice members will remember this name (hopefully) and use it to find your web site. And since no two parties can ever hold the same domain name (web address) simultaneously, your Internet identity is totally unique.
Technically, a domain name is a way to identify and locate computers on the Internet. While computers use Internet Protocol (IP) numbers to locate each other on the Internet, people find them hard to remember. Therefore, domain names (web addresses) were developed to permit the use of easily remembered words and phrases to identify Internet addresses.
For example, the domain name (web address) planetchiropractic.com represents a Planet Chiropractic web site. When you type planetchiropractic.com into a Web browser or send e-mail to someone at planetchiropractic.com, the Domain Name System (DNS) translates planetchiropractic.com into the IP numbers used by the Internet and connects you to Planet Chiropractic.
Planet Chiropractic’s Internet Protocol (IP) number is 22.214.171.124 but could you imagine me going around saying, “visit our website at 126.96.36.199” instead of, “visit our website at planetchiropractic.com”? That would be like promoting your office using your state license number instead of your name. While the state board may know you as DC23128, the folks in your community would likely know you as Dr. Smith.
Internet Protocol (IP) Number: A number computers use to locate other computers on the internet.
Domain Name (web address): A name people use to locate computers on the internet.
Domain Name System (DNS): Translates the name into the number so the computer can recognize it.
Q: Why is my name not available?
A: Let’s say for example your office is called Smith Family Chiropractic and you are located in San Diego, CA. Even though you may be the only such named office in San Diego, chances are that is not the case nationwide (or even worldwide). If Dr. John Smith of Kansas registers the domain name (web address) smithfamilychiropractic.com before you do, he will likely retain the rights to the domain name (web address).
That does not mean you can’t have a domain name (web address), it just means that the smithfamilychiropractic.com name has been taken. You still have several options. Other good choices could be: smithfamilychiro.com smithchiro.com smith-chiropractic.com etc… this list could go on and on as there are many combinations available. (however, some are also already taken) Also, you can use other extensions such as .org or .net to name two.
With a bit of creativity you can come up with a great name for your website. Some of the domain names (web addresses) that I own and use for chiropractic websites follow… choosehealth.com, fulloflife.com, whosyourchiropractor.com, allchiro.com, and chiropracticpediatrics.com just to name a few. Like in Rain Man, for chiropractors, there are lot’s available, lot’s and lot’s available.
Remember, in the first paragraph I mentioned that your domain name (web address) is your online brand. Once you have a domain name, you’ll want to do something with it. We’ll get into that on another day.
Help me help you, email me with your web related questions and I’ll put together another article with some answers.
planetc1.com-news @ 9:23 am | Article ID: 1011115419