With more than 3Billion people using the internet as their primary source of information, and with the increasing reliance on the internet to grow their businesses by Small and Medium Enterprises, owning a website has become indispensable to the survival of any business.

In the past, businesses manifest offline, take a stronghold on their target audience and then consider online presence to consolidate their grip and expand their reach. Well, as good as this strategy is, it can no longer suffice in our times because the table has turned round to favour businesses with a digital presence. Businesses manifest online first before taking root offline or at best, grow their offline and online presence simultaneously.

Popular beneficiaries of the internet include comedians like MC Lively – Barrister Mike, Mc Macaroni, ZFancy, Taaioo and a whole lot. Content developers like cooks, instructors have also not been left out in this development.

One way to manifest your business online is through a business website. A website is like your business branch. It is much more than just text and images. It is your virtual office, your mobile enquiry desk, your cashier desk and everything you will need in a business outfit.

But the problem many at times comes from choosing your website address, more officially known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Your web address speaks a lot about your business: the nature of the business, the security of the website, location of your business, services and much more information. A typical web address is

This article is about understanding the various segments of this URL. Let’s take some time and break this down to fully understand what all these jargons are all about.

https://

This is the Protocol and is short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secured. It is used to secure communication across the internet. Information fly all around us in an encrypted format and it is possible for a hacker to intercept the information, decrypt it and collect or alter the information. While some of the information is in the public domain and thus, no reason to secure it, others are very private information and needs every sense of privacy to protect it. Some private information may include ATM card numbers, access code, password, transaction pins, documents etc.

A website that is just http://… without an “S” is an easy prey for even newbie hackers because it is not secured. The “S” which stands for secured forces all the information of the website to go through a secured path from the server to the user (browser), making it really difficult for hackers to intercept the information. A secured protocol is enabled in a website by installing an SSL certificate on the website.

So whenever you get into a website without an https, never put in any personal or sensitive information on it because you may just be setting yourself up. And if you plan on doing any online transaction on your website or you want a membership website that requires login, then you must force all your information to go through a secured path by installing an SSL certificate on it.

WWW

This is short for World Wide Website often colloquially referred to as web. The www is a network of online contents that are formatted through HTML and accessed through an HTTPS path. www links all the HTML pages of a website that can be accessed over the internet.

Domain-Name

This is where the business owner comes in. The first two will be handled by the web developer but this is totally at the discretion of the business owner. Think of this segment of the web address as a folder on your desktop computer where all your data pertaining to a certain project is stored, the only difference is that your desktop computer is now a server owned by a hosting company and who will offer you a certain amount of storage to keep your files. The web address is unique as no two folders can have the same web address.

Your domain name should reflect your business the most as I stated earlier and here are some tips to help you go about that with easy:

    • Your domain name should be the exact name of your business or a variant of it. For the sake of branding, your registered business name should be used and maintained. But sometimes, it may be impossible to get your business name because it is already in use by another company. In such a situation, you should resort to a variant of your business name or an acronym for your business.For example, our web name Benchmark is different from our business name, Benchmark Digital because as at the time I wanted to purchase the name, it was already in use.
    • We once got a job to design a website for a client and his preferred name was championsprojectafrica.com. That’s too long. We had to advise him to shorten it and he did to champsproafrica.com. Isn’t it easier to remember and spell champsproafrica without making mistakes than championsprojectafrica?Make it as short as possible. For the sake of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), your web address should not be too long like thisismywebsiteaddress.com. Who will remember that? And even if they do, can they spell it correctly at once? Apart from ease of committing shorter web name to memory, shorter web name helps your website to load faster whenever it is called upon.
    • Make the name catchy. Catchy names are easier to remember, fun to pronounce and easily catches on your target audience. In being catchy, it should also reflect your business perfectly.We at Benchmark Digital is currently undertaking the study of a logistic project with the web name ikuku. The name ikuku is a native Igbo (South Eastern Nigerian tribe) name for wind which depict speed of delivery and you can agree with me that speed is the most important factor in logistic business. The name is catchy and contagious.Local names and slags catch-on the most provided it is applied within the right situation taking into cognizance your audience, their location and the nature of the business. Names like Iya Ounje (mother of food) can suffice for people in catering services with the Yoruba tribe of South West Nigeria as their primary target.
  • .com

This is called the website domain extension or top-level domain. It talks about the type of business you run and can help you in getting partners and collaborators in your business. Some popular domain extensions, their full meaning and usage are shown below:

Commercial

Used for purely profit making ventures like e-commerce websites, consultancy outfits, catering and bakery etc. many of such sites have a payment gateway to receive payments.

Organization

For organizations and Non-Profit making ventures like churches, NGOs, Charity, Donation outfit etc.

Government

This is for government institutions and requires an adequate license in some countries to run it.

Online

For online ventures with little or no offline presence.

Network

For telecommunications or other network providers like MTN, Orange, Glo etc.

Education

Used for higher institution of learning like universities, polytechnics and other types of learning. Some secondary schools use it.

School

Used for lower learning institutions like secondary and primary schools

Nigeria

This is an extension indicating businesses locational and operational in Nigeria. Many of the extensions have a “.ng” sub-extension indicating that they are based in Nigeria. E.g. .com.ng, .org.ng, .edu.ng etc.

Ghana

This is an extension indicating businesses locational and operational in Ghana. Many of the extensions have a “.gh” sub-extension indicating that they are based in Nigeria. E.g. .com.gh, .org.gh, .edu.gh etc.

Many other countries have their own localized sub-extension

Directory

This is a directory type of website