Website Design Tips and Hacks for Tech Start-Ups

domain for tech startups

For tech startups, your most valuable marketing asset is a website. This is the first thing potential customers will see, so a great website is crucial to the success of your business. Choosing the right domain for tech startups is equally as important.

Furthermore, there is a lot to think about in terms of what product or service you offer, the industries you provide value to, and who your prospective clients are.

Including all this in your website build is imperative. As a tech startup, you need to provide the right resources, including compelling call-to-actions and ensuring the correct research has gone into your audience before even getting to the design stage – more on that below.

Here are our top 4 website design tips and hacks for tech startups:

1.  Search Engine Optimisation

When designing your website, you need to keep SEO in mind. This means conducting extensive research before writing the content that is to be published on your site.

Writing for SEO is a must and should be generated to high standards determined by apps like SEMrush and Google Analytics for higher visibility.

If you would like to rank for a particular keyword, you must ensure that you are providing the most relevant and valuable information to that related search query.

As a tech startup, you should try and work with the best web designers to obtain the most current and effective frontline web design services.

2.  A Design Strategy

Frequently, people jump into building a website due to the urgency of having one. It is understandable, you have received funding, you have deadlines, and KPI’s so making sure your website is live as soon as possible is important. However, rushing in could prove detrimental, or at the very least, create future headaches. Designing your website should be first on your list of priorities. For example, let’s say you open a physical clothing store selling imported, handmade Kashmir apparel. Can you see how selling premium quality clothing out of a poorly arranged store in a dingy part of town would negatively affect your brand? The same sentiment applies to building a website; it is your digital home and a direct reflection of your startup.

What overall message do you want your website to convey? Are there specific features that will excite your audience and therefore make you stand out? Ask yourself these questions after conducting target market research and let them shape and influence your design.

3.  Keep it orderly

A well thought out, and organized layout and structure to your website will simplify the navigation for your users. When you plan the structure with simplicity in mind, users will find it easy to use and which, believe it or not, has significant influence over their buying decisions. Functionality is the most important thing. Design your website in such a way that it is clear, for example, make sure you have a main menu that links to all your primary pages so that a visitor knows exactly where to go.

Some visitors may not want to know about your background and how he idea for your startup came about. They may see an ad on Google or Facebook, like what they say and immediately want to purchase your product or service.

Therefore, strong call to actions on your website and adverts need to be bold and clear. How should the copy on your website be displayed? Well, it isn’t as if someone is sitting down to read a novel. So, keep it concise – use bullet points, infographics and headers.

4.  Choosing the right domain for tech startups

When it comes to choosing the right domain name for tech startups, you should try to match your website’s extension to your industry or purpose.

Domain names are much more than just a web address; they tell your customers who you are and what you stand for. The good news is, there are new and emerging top-level domains that can enhance your brand campaigns.

By choosing a domain like .icu, for example, you will immediately be seen as a creative and boundary-pushing startup. With our domain extension, choosing a domain name for tech startups has never been easier.

 

 

Local Domain Vs International Domain – Which Is Better?

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working on laptop

When you register a domain name for your personal or business website for the first time, the registrar will ask you what kind of domain you want to use.

A domain or domain extension is what comes after your businesses name on your URL such as .com or .icu.

You have two types to choose from, a local domain such as .co.uk or an international domain like .com or .icu.

Choosing a domain name that is best suited to your business should be influenced by your objectives.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both to help you find out which type will be most effective for you or your business.

Using an international domain

Due to generic international domains such as .com, .net, and .org being used by so many; search engines deeply trust them. This means that websites which use generic international domains may be easier to rank on Google.

International domains can also help to establish a more global online presence for your website. For instance, if your services are offered globally, you will want to go with an international domain because a local domain such as .co.uk may give users the impression that a website is for the UK only, which would be limiting for your business.

So, let’s look take a quick look at the pros and cons:

International domain pros

  • Both users and search engines deeply trust major generic international domains such as .com
  • International domains help to attract worldwide traffic to your website
  • New international domains such as .icu let domain businesses or individuals be more specific with their website domain name

International domain cons

  • Some generic international domains such as .biz and .info have a terrible reputation with users and Google
  • With a generic international domain, it might be more challenging to target and attract a local audience

Using a local domain

While a website’s SEO ranking is usually improved through the use of an international domain, using a local domain could still prove beneficial – depending on what you intend to use it for.

As we’ve somewhat outlined above, the primary benefit of using a local domain such as .uk or .nl is targeting and attracting a local audience.

To better understand, ask yourself this:

If you are based in the UK and you are looking for leather boots online, once you have typed your search query into Google’s search bar, will you be more inclined to click on a .co.uk result, or a .com result?

You would click on the .co.uk result for several reasons; cheaper shipping, convenience etc.

So, it is no surprise that local domains are better suited for local business websites and services as opposed to international domains.

If you are catering to a specific audience, and your services apply only to a particular town or region, then it is best to go with a local domain.

For example, if you are a chiropractor that works out of a local practice, you don’t need to be targeting the whole world.

Local domain pros

  • Great for targeting and attracting local business, if that is your businesses main objective.
  • If a user is searching for products or services on a localised search engine, a local domain may help improve your websites search ranking.

Local domain cons

  • Local domains do not have the global range that international domains do, which means your reach may be limited.
  • Local domains have limited SEO capacity because they are limited to country-specific search queries.

It’s not so much a question of which is better, but more about what suits you best. We hope that clears things up because choosing a domain should be the easiest step towards building a great website that will help you stand out and be seen.

 

3 Things You Need to Create A Website

website

If you are looking to create a website, then there are a few essential things you need to consider first.

Before you start thinking about the content that will go on your site, you need to make some critical decisions.

1.        Choosing a domain name

Domain name for startups? Domain name for corporates? There’s a difference. Regarding a domain name for startups, your domain name should be a combination of your businesses name, with a domain extension that represents who you are as a company or individual.

Choosing a domain name is your first step when starting a website. It is your digital home that people will use to connect with you.

When you see .org, what do you think of? Non-profits, right? You need to bear this in mind when choosing a domain extension.

You can scan websites like GoDaddy and NameCheap for extensions, but finding one that represents your business and allows you to use the exact name you want can prove quite tricky.

At .icu, we represent startups, trailblazers and individuals who are doing authentic things in the creative and tech industry.

Say your businesses name is SmartPets, and you make AI dogs and cats that can accompany you on an afternoon stroll and make you a cup of coffee, placing your name next to an extension like .icu immediately gives people the impression that you’re joining a fast-growing community of innovators.

Get yours today.

2.        Get a business email address

Having an email address that matches your domain name and extention is crucial if you want to be taken seriously.

Why?

Using free email services does nothing for the credibility of your business. Say your name is Victoria. What looks more professional? Victoriasmartpets@gmail.com or Victoria@smartpets.icu?

Unfortunately, internet users are quite judgmental, making their mind up about a brand or business within seconds.

As a result, when you opt for a free email service, many people you communicate with will immediately be under the impression that you cannot afford $5 per month on a business email subscription.

What do you think that says about your reliability?

When people visit your site, most of them will have just found out about you, visiting for the very first time.

If they like what they see, their next step will be to get in touch with you to enquire further. If visitors see you are using a free email service, it could create doubt in their mind about your offering.

It may seem like a minor detail, but as they say “To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.”

So, if you want to build a website that can help you attract new customers and grow your business, opt for an email that matches your domain extension.

3.        Design a logo for your business

Lastly, you need to design a logo and perhaps a monogram to go with it.

By design a slick logo that also ties into the representation of your business, you will be enhancing the brand you are now starting to build.

When it comes two designing a logo, you can go about it in tow ways.

Either you hire a graphic designer, or use an online logo generator.

Let’s look at both options:

Hiring a graphic designer

This option will more than likely get you the most unique result, but it may end up being more costly.

You can expect to pay anything from 100 – 500 dollars for a good one. This depends on who you choose to work with.

This design will typically include a logo with a well-defined company name and mark. The more straightforward, the cheaper, because a logo design with intricate patterns and sophisticated typography will most certainly increase the price.

The key to keeping costs down is by being upfront and honest with the designer you choose to work with from the very beginning. Let them know exactly what you want and spend some time putting together a Pinterest board with visual references.

Using a logo generator

Logo generators allow you to create professional-looking logos without autonomously. This is usually the cheaper and less tedious option.

You won’t have to wait for a real human being and their schedule, but you won’t get a one-of-kind logo design this way either. You will, however, get a professional-looking logo that you can tweak online.

So, in short, whether it comes to a domain name for startups, an email address for your sole proprietorship, or a logo for your personal website, it’s imperative to pay attention to the details.

 

 

Planning Your Personal Website: Ultimate Checklist

Website checklist

Whether you’re a web designer, a photographer or an entrepreneur, one thing is certain – if you don’t have your very own personal website, your reach is limited, resulting in limited sales or “gigs”.

Use this checklist to create a website that highlights the things that make you incredible.

1.  Choose a domain extension for your personal website

The first thing to check off of your list is choosing a domain extension for your website.

Nowadays, your domain name is your brand name. They need to be the same. Therefore, domain extensions for personal websites are just as important as your product or service.

Domain extensions like .com or .org are overused, so the likelihood of you being able to use your desired name is minimal.

Our recommendation? Choose a domain extension that represents your who you are. For example, .org usually represents non-profits. Our domain extension, .icu represents innovation and creativity.

2.  Write an impactful elevator pitch

You need people to understand who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for from the word go. This means you need to grab their attention as soon as they land on your site.

Use your home page to tell them the most important things about you. Make this conversational, but include career highlights such as who you’ve worked for/with and memorable projects you’ve worked on.

It’s important to be yourself, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

This is your elevator pitch. What are you going to say? Limit this copy; you haven’t got much time.

3.  Show them your best work

Now, hopefully, your elevator pitch will have been enough to sustain their interest. If so, the first thing they’re going to look for is examples of your work.

Treat your website as your digital portfolio. This is especially crucial for creatives, such as designers, artists, and photographers.

If you’re in marketing or business, you should use this as an opportunity to include examples of successful campaigns you’ve run, or products you’ve launched. Provide insight into some of the companies you’ve helped, and be specific on the results you achieved.

4.  Include social profiles

People want to know who you are. The more personal your website, the better.  This means including links to your socials such as your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram profiles.

Link to all your social profiles. If you appear anywhere on the web and it’ll make you more credible, mention it and provide easy access to it.

If you contribute or have contributed to any websites, link to them. Your personal site is the perfect place to bring all of this together.

5.  Provide visitors with testimonials

Testimonials are another great way to show your worth. By including quotes from colleagues you’ve worked within the past, or team leaders and ex-employers who have positive things to say about you, you will give people even more reason to hire you, use your services, or work with you on future projects.

Testimonials can help you highlight your soft skills that are somewhat difficult to demonstrate.

Having respected industry players sing your praises is one of the most effective ways of convincing someone that you’re good at what you do.

6.  Visualize yourself

Don’t make the mistake of including too much text though. This tends to bore people.

So, try to visualize yourself, your achievements, and your skillset. This can be in the form of infographics, a well-designed logo, a video and professional photographs of yourself.

This will make your personal website more engaging and aesthetically pleasing.

7.  Include a blog page

Lastly, if you’re looking for ways to boost your credibility, a great way to do this is to share thoughts or methods that relate to your industry. Doing this through a weekly (or bi-weekly) blog is your best bet.

Not only will you be producing unique and valuable content that will help build your audience, but it’s also an effective way to rank organically on search engines.

At the same time, by sharing your experiences, you could establish yourself as a thought leader in your relevant field.

For these reasons, consider adding a blog to your site and use it to talk about the challenges you face as a professional, share your opinions, or give tips to less experienced people in your industry.

 

Now that you’ve got the ultimate checklist for an excellent personal website use it to establish yourself as an invaluable professional, and become sought-after in your field.

.icu is now the 6th largest new domain extension in the world with over 1 million registered domains. Join our collective of trailblazers to exhibit precisely what makes you exceptional.

 

 

Things To Do Before Building A Website For Your New Business Idea

creative

You’ve been working on your idea for ages, probably years. You’ve experienced pitfalls, enjoyed massive highs and now it’s time to launch your idea into the world. Now, you’ve got to build a website.

However, you may come across a hurdle or two, such as picking a domain extension that allows you to use the name you want, creating a sitemap, and of course, deciding on a design and feel.

So, what is the best domain extension for an entrepreneur? Moreover, what do you need to know about design, digital marketing and SEO?

Here are the 5 things you need to do before building a website for your new business idea.

1.      Determine what you want to do

Before you set up a website, you should decide on what you want it to do. As in, what will its primary function be?

Sure, you know that you need a website, and you may see the purpose it should serve but do you have an idea of what you want to your customers about you, your team and your business?

This needs to be decided before you begin building your site. Think about your image, brand tone, and how you’d like to be perceived in the eyes of your customers.

It would be best if you thought about who you are, what drives you, and what the core values of your company are. Your website is essentially the platform for your messaging, and your message is the foundation of your website’s strategy.

2.      Determine what your customers want?

Who are your customers, and what do they want? Once you have decided on your website’s messaging, you need to think about your customer journey.

This can be achieved by conducting thorough market research. You’ll need to determine your ideal customers’ demographics and psychographics such as their age, gender, preferences and location.

In short, you need to form an understanding of what your primary visitors are going to engage with, to ensure they stay on your site for longer and purchase your product or hire your services.

When planning your site build, put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What is that they want to see? What are their pain points? Your business is their solution, and your website should portray that.

3.      Create a sitemap

Now that you’re planning your content and your customers’ user experience, you’ll need to start mapping out the pages you’d like to include on your website.

Your sitemap is the blueprint of your site, and it’s imperative for SEO. Think about the main categories your home page’s menu will include such as “about”, “shop”, “services” and “contact”.

You’ll then need to map out what pages these categories should include meticulously. When doing this, always have your customer at the forefront of your mind. It needs to be easily navigable for them.

4.      Focus on SEO & digital marketing

Digital marketing is essential to your site’s success. You will need to incorporate keywords into the content on your website. Finding the terms relevant to your brand can be determined through extensive keyword research.

Unfortunately, ranking for these keywords takes time, and you need to provide valuable content to do this, which is also time-consuming.

Try Paid Search for instant visibility. Depending on how competitive your niche is, it can be costly but is useful for getting results in the short-term while you start to rank organically through the content you publish in the long-term.

5.      Decide on your domain name

This could be the biggest challenge you’ll face when building your website, but it doesn’t have to be. A domain extension for entrepreneurs is as essential as the services or products themselves.

What should you do when your businesses name is already in use? Don’t panic. Instead of now trying to come up with a new name, why not look at an alternative domain extension?

Extensions like .com, .org or .co.uk are overused anyway. There are domain extensions out there that are just as credible and will allow you to use whichever name you choose, and if the name you want isn’t available, then try being more specific.

For instance, if your company is called NextTech, but the domain isn’t available, try something like NextTech Solutions.

If you’re yet to choose a name, then try being as unique and memorable as possible in your approach, and look to see if the names you’re coming up with are available.

The best domain extension for an entrepreneur is the name that best describes who they are. Don’t compromise; choose the name that represents exactly what you are.

Top .icu Websites Of 2019

After recently becoming the 7th largest new generic top level domain and celebrating one year of .icu, we’d like to showcase some of the incredible .icu websites our end users have created to represent their brands online.

As of June 2019, there are over 900 000 registered .icu websites across the globe! To celebrate this support from registrars and end users, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite .icu live sites. Let’s take a look at how these forward-thinkers have used .icu to get their ideal domain name.

 

1. carolinemalie.icu

Caroline Malie is a fashion and lifestyle blogging site. From beauty and food to interior and travel, Caroline Malie’s inspiration will have you in awe.

This website is a great example of how using a .icu domain extension allows you more freedom to use your name – especially if your ideal domain name has already been taken on a classic domain extension.

 

2. mydrone.icu

Drone News

Using a URL that includes keywords can improve your site’s search visibility. As a business, having a domain name that contains your targeted keyword gets results such as increased click-through rates and higher rankings on search engines.

The keyword “drone” is incredibly difficult to rank for, due to the competition around such a current interest.

For Drones News, having that keyword in their URL is a major benefit – another example of the possibilities with .icu websites.

 

3. devops.icu

DevOps.icu

Another incredibly difficult keyword to rank for, DevOps is a software development practice that is frequently searched for on Google and Bing.

DevOps ICU offers unique DevOps training solutions such as self-paced videos, live public workshops, and on-site private training.

By matching their domain name with the services they offer, they have created a clear user-journey for prospective clients.

 

4. paintedpallet.icu

Painted Pallet

Painted Pallet sells custom painted signs from reclaimed pallet wood. This .icu website is another example of a business using a domain name that accurately describes what they do.

Through this, they are being seen online and offering people around the world access to amazing artwork! This is a great example of how .icu puts the value in your name – to the left of the dot.

 

5. sedgleydentalcare.icu

Dental Care

Sedgley is an area in the north of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. If you lived in Sedgley, and you were looking for dental care, what would you type into the search bar on Google? Exactly.

Not only has.icu allowed this business to have a domain name that describes what they do but one that also specifies their location.

 

6. educationalcourse.icu

Edu course

A great site that was built to offer classes to help everyone! Educational Course have classes on everything from HTML to preparing for college.

Again, their domain name includes a crucial keyword, but also one that would not be available on the common classic domain extensions.

 

7. 996.icu

996

This .icu website is an incredibly interesting one. 996 is a work schedule in China that consists of 60 working hours per week and has led to many employees being admitted into hospital due to burnout.

A particular user started a webpage called “996.icu” to create awareness around this shocking schedule, aiding the “Developers Lives Matter” movement.

An amazing example of our domain extension being used in an inspiring and clever way, resulting in over 20.5k shares across social media.

 

8. beautymakeup.icu

Beauty Makeup

Beauty Makeup is another live site that is a great example of how using a .icu domain can help you get the exact name you want to represent your business online.

Selling beauty make up is a competitive business, but by using an ideal name as their URL, it has resulted in their online store ranking higher on search engines and tell customers exactly what they do.

 

9. travel.icu

Airports & Flights

This online business helps customers find airports and flights by searching by name, city, country or IATA code.

An extremely helpful site that addresses a very common need, Travel.icu made clever use of the .icu extension because they quite literally give users the opportunity to see exactly where they’re going.

 

10. rogeratwork.icu

Roger at work

A portfolio website is an essential tool for getting more business and building your professional brand.

The purpose of an online portfolio website is to give a prospective client an idea of who you are, what you’re capable of, and whether you are the professional they should hire.

Roger@Work is a perfect example of how to upgrade your domain name and let employers know you’re serious about job hunting.

 

So, as you can see, these .icu websites are all examples of how being able to choose your ideal domain name is beneficial for your business or personal brand.

.icu websites are for people wanting to use their ideal name and focus on what is left of the dot.

 

 

What to Do If the Domain Name You Want Is Taken

There’s nothing more frustrating than doing all the hard work involved with starting a business and creating awareness around your new brand through word of mouth, only to find that your ideal domain name has been taken.

You’ve probably already registered your company name, right? So, what do you do now? Well, the last thing you want is a domain name that’s different from your company name.

What do you do if the domain name you want is already taken? We’ll take you through it step by step.

How do I know if the domain name I want is taken?

If you want to check if your ideal domain name is taken, start by typing the URL into the search bar of your preferred registrar. For example, visit name.com and search for a name they will tell you if the domain can be registered or not.

What do I do if my domain name is taken?

If your domain name is already taken, you have a few options.

1.    Use your second-favourite option

If you’re starting a new business, then it means you’re starting a new brand. Hopefully, you’ve done the sensible thing and written a list of your favourite names? It’s generally good practice to check domain availability as well when deciding on your new business name. If you do have a list of potential names, move down to your second-favourite option.

Although a little disappointing, at least you’ll be able to avoid naming confusion or trying to buy the registered domain from someone which could prove very expensive.

If your second-choice name is also taken, then perhaps you should consider registering the one you want with a different domain extension.

2.    Use a different extension

As of 2019, there were  142,558,419 registered .com domains. The chances of your second, third, or even fourth favorite option already being in use? Very likely.

You will find this true with a lot of domain extensions.

What are the most common domain extensions?

  1. .com — This is usually used for big business and the commercial sector
  2. .org — Usually associated with non-profit organizations and forums
  3. .net — This is generally used for networks such as internet providers and technology
  4. .co — Used for major companies and corporations

 

Having .com at the end of your domain name isn’t the be all, end all way to brand yourself online. Not only are many of them unavailable, but the .com domain extension is not the only credible extension anymore.

There are new domain extensions available that represent certain professions, movements, and industries. If you are creating a new brand within an existing company or launching a completely new venture, why not try out a more fitting extension that gives you the ability to really tailor your domain name to your business.

.icu is one of the new domain extensions that is associated with innovators, trailblazers, and modern ventures. By using a .icu domain, you are joining an international community of entrepreneurs and creatives who are doing great things in their own authentic way.

.icu is shorthand for “I See You,”.  It is an extension designed to provide an easy, innovative, and universal alternative to traditional domains.

Our extension has over 100 registrars globally signed up to distribute the names to end users. .icu is also one of the top ten largest new domain extensions with more than 900,000 registrations!

3.    Own your domain!

The bottom line is that you need to have your own domain name. You shouldn’t build your online presence on top of another service’s URL by using their platform to showcase your business.

For example, if your company’s name is Becca’s Pizza. You shouldn’t use a subdomain and let another company truly own your online brand name on another URL’s extension, for example, beccaspizza.shopify.com or facebook.com/beccaspizza. The additional services may be necessary for you to conduct business but this shouldn’t be your sole avenue for customers to find you online. Register your domain name and then direct people to online shopping carts, social media pages and more from your domain.

Ok, but why?

  • Social networks and e-commerce sites govern how your brand looks and functions. They have templates that you have to use, limiting the uniqueness of your design.
  • They can change services or raise rates at any given time – you have no control, if you don’t pay, you lose your site.
  • You have limited access to analytics, making it difficult to track insights into your audience, such as location, age, gender and more.
  • Your site could be removed without notice, and there’s not much you’ll be able to do about it. This is usually through violating their terms of service. Again, so many rules and regulations.

 

Having a social media presence is a good thing but having your own unique website to harness your social media following is imperative to the growth and credibly of your business.

Ultimately, your best bet when it comes to registering a domain extension is to use one of the new domain extensions out there. Check if your ideal .icu domain name is available  . here.

 

How to Choose A Domain Name for Your Personal Website?

Your personal website is about making a lasting first impression.

As you will have experienced many a time, people tend to ask whether you have a website and where they can find you online.

Whether you are hunting for new work or starting a new side project, most people will verify your offering by searching for your name online; deciding on your credibility by checking out your online presence.

Having ultimate control over what information you would like them to see is super important when it comes to shaping their perception of you. Having your own website means you govern this.

The more comprehensive and creative your site is, the more of an impact you’ll make with those looking to hire your services or purchase your product.

Additionally, if you set up your site correctly, you will reach more people in your target audience which means more connections and opportunities.

We’ll get into how to choose a domain name for your personal website in a bit, but first, let’s delve a little deeper into how having your own website will benefit you.

It’s the ultimate portfolio

In the digital age, people are more visual than ever, so the more you can show them what you do, the better.

Treating your website as your portfolio will help with building your personal brand and ultimately getting more business.

With your personal website, you can showcase exactly what sets your work apart from your peers and competitors.

This is particularly crucial for designers, artists, and those that work in the digital industry. A great website will give your prospective clients a sense of who you are, what you’re capable of and whether you are the one they should hire to execute their project.

By featuring some samples of your work, whether that be sites you’ve built, blogs you’ve written, galleries you’ve featured in, anything, your personal website is a digital portfolio of your online work and identity.

Your brand and work will always evolve.  The beauty of showcasing this on your own personal website is that it can easily be updated and reshaped as you grow.

Your creativity shines through

With your very own personal website, you’ll be able to customize it completely. This includes everything from background photos and videos to fonts for the copywriting displayed.

Unlike social networking platforms such as Facebook and Instagram where you need to abide by their default layouts, your creativity will shine through which is a showcase of your flare and personality.

This gives the people looking for you a visual representation of who you are. It should be centered on your positive attributes, illustrating your experience and emphasizing your strengths.

You’re always available

With the internet allowing for international business, it’s imperative you’re always available.

By having your own website, anyone, from anywhere in the world can view your services and portfolio at any time of the day. This means that “business hours” won’t have any effect on you getting work or not.

It is always available to existing and potential clients – a 24hr platform that displays your credentials, client testimonials and expertise.  Exciting times!

Now, let’s look at how you should go about choosing a domain name for your personal website.

Choosing a domain name for your personal website

Now that you understand the importance of having a personal website, let’s look at the three things to remember when choosing your domain name.

1. Don’t settle – Use your very own name

When creating your personal website, you should be able to use the name of your choice – preferably your own. The website is all about you and you should be able to register the exact name that you want.

The problem with domain extensions such as .com, .org, .co.uk or any other major extensions is that the likeliness of your desired domain already being taken is quite high.

Most of them have been around since before the turn of the millennium so unless you have a super unique name, we recommend using a new, but reliable domain extension.

2. The shorter the better

Even though you’re technically allowed to use up to 64 characters in your domain name, we suggest you don’t. Nobody has time for that – especially in a world where the average human scrolls through 100 meters of social media a day.

We’re all processing a lot of information every day and so your domain name should be short so that it’s easier to read and easier to remember.

3. Choose an appropriate domain extension  

There are many domain extensions available, over 400 now to be precise. You need to choose one that is synonymous with your field and industry.

Like .org is closely associated with non-profits and .com with corporations, .icu is associated with creatives – people who are pushing boundaries.

There’s also a huge chance that you will be able to register the exact name that you want, which is the first step towards creating your personal brand. Why not choose a domain extension that is relevant to what you do and what you’re striving to be?

A personal website is vital for getting more business and building your own professional brand. With .icu, the possibilities are infinite.

 

Developers’ Lives Matter Movement Isn’t Showing Any Signs of Slowing Down

Ever heard of 996? Well, it’s a ruthless work schedule that many tech companies in China utilise – 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week.

Developers are fed up and as a result, it has spawned a colossal movement which is growing among software developers across China and the rest of the world. This comes after a user called “996icu” posted a copy of China’s labour laws on Github and named two e-commerce companies that practice the 996-work schedule.

The background

Tech firms in China usually expect their employees to work long hours to prove their devotion to the cause. However, some young Chinese developers are realising that they need to fight for a healthier work-life balance for the sake of their own well-being.

Although developers in China have been questioning the moralities of 996 through regular discussion for some time now, a certain developer called 996icu posted a repo towards the end of March 2019 complaining that working 996 every week could result in people ending up in the “intensive care unit”.

As if a chord hadn’t already been struck in that statement, the user ended off by saying that “developers’ lives matter”, a reference to the activist movement Black Lives Matter and it has since exploded!

For real – It’s gone completely viral across the world

Enter our domain extension, .icu. This particular user started a webpage prior to this called “996.icu”, utilising our domain extension in an inspiring and incredibly smart way. After posting the statement on Github, where do you think traffic was then directed? The repo now has over 238k stars on Github and over 20.5k shares across social media.

It’s as if our domain extension was made specifically for the movement given the play on letters. It’s serendipitous, to say the least, because of what the movement and our domain extension symbolises.

.icu is a domain extension that represents those wanting to do something worthwhile and meaningful in this world and that’s exactly what 996icu has done.

“Serving a company that encourages the 996-work schedule usually means work for at least 60 hours a week,” wrote 996icu on Github and on their separate 996.icu website that was registered on the 18th of March 2019.

“According to the Labour Law, employees who follow the 996-work schedule deserve to be paid 2.275 times of their base salary. Unfortunately, people who work under 996 rarely get paid that much.”

Now, recent studies by AB are showing that “burnout” is the primary cause of 8 per cent of the 101 start-up failures it analysed in China.

The reaction

On WeChat, China’s dominant social media platform, a developer by the name of Li posted on “Moments” (like “Stories” on Instagram), “Life or money, it’s a question. But you can’t get both at the same time.”

The movement has now been featured on sites such as:

Medium

The Guardian

Tech Crunch

Forbes

 

These are just four of the many websites that have covered the “Developers’ Lives Matter” Movement. After the campaign went viral, many people have become extremely vocal about the 996 system which isn’t common in a place that typically suppresses independent thinking.

As a result, Github blocked the campaign.

In response to this though, 30 Microsoft colleagues have written an open letter to their advisors calling for the block to be lifted.

“We have to come together across national boundaries to ensure just working conditions for everyone around the globe,” states the letter.

As of late, Microsoft and Google have experienced mutiny from their American and UK workers with employees even quitting when they haven’t had their way.

This could prove to be detrimental because the campaign is gaining huge momentum which means Microsoft will have to choose between its Chinese operation and its “home employees”. Can you imagine what would happen then?

This is all because one user, 996icu had had enough and decided to call out this archaic, borderline abusive work culture.

We’re super proud that our domain extension is serving such a meaningful purpose and we fully support the “Developers’ Lives Matter” movement.

Choosing A Domain Name for Your Start-Up

Let’s start with a statistic. As of the end of 2018, there are approximately 339.8 million registered domains worldwide. That’s quite a lot, to say the least. Although a little overwhelming, it’s an accurate representation of how competitive the online space is.

As a start-up, your name has so much to do with your brand, your marketing, and in turn, your customer acquisition. It’s your identity.

Your start-up’s domain name is just as important because it is an extension of your online brand and it is how your customers remember you and find you online. Once you’ve chosen one, it is quite difficult to change, as you become known for this domain name.

So how do you stand out? What exactly makes for a great start-up domain name? Well firstly, it’s got to be relatively short, easy to type, and easy to remember, but it’s also got to be unique, relevant, meaningful, and memorable. It also needs to sum up who you are. As in, encapsulate your services or product.

Don’t let it intimidate you, it’s actually an exciting process – a step towards establishing your authenticity. Now, let’s break that down even more.

It must relate to your brand

Your domain name needs to reflect the name of your start-up. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be the full name of your start-up, especially if you have a long name.

Don’t overthink it, there should simply be a connection between the two. Because you may not have the massive brand recognition that companies like Apple.com or Amazon.com have, you should avoid any extreme changes from your start-up name to your domain name so that your customers or future audience can easily identify you.

This means avoiding acronyms that don’t make any sense. For instance, if you’re a freelance photographer going by the name of Selena Drummond Photography, registering a domain name like sdp.net, sdphotogrpahy.com. isn’t going to be your best option.

In this case, the value is in your name. Something like dummondphotos.net or selenadrummondimages.com would work better. That’s if you can even find any unregistered versions of your name on major domains such as .com or .net of course, but a little more on that later.

Make it unique and memorable

Your domain name doesn’t have to be super short as this can make the process more complicated, often leading to unrecognizable names and therefore confusing the heck out of your audience.

Your domain name needs to be unique and memorable. Even more so, it shouldn’t look like any other businesses name. Once you have found a name that you love, you should check to see that it doesn’t infringe on any trademarks.

Once you have done that, you then need to do an extensive search on Google to see that there aren’t any similar names out there. Again, this ties into ensuring your audience don’t get confused.

You ever heard of bounce rate? Well, search engines determine the value of the content on your website by how long people stay on your site. If you have a similar name to an already established business and users keep finding your site and leaving within seconds because it’s not what they were looking for, this will lower your ranking greatly and that’s the last thing you want.

By having a unique domain name, customers will be able to find you easily which is crucial seen as though the modern-day consumer is relatively impatient. You don’t want a potential customer losing interest because it’s difficult to find you – they’ll simply move on to something else. That’s the reality of the digital age.

Choose a suitable domain extension

Ok, so now that you’ve got a kickass domain name idea, picking your domain extension is the last and arguably most important step.

Let’s go back to that statistic. Out of those 339.8 million registered domain names, how many of them do you reckon are .com’s, .net’s or .org’s? Well, the same report states that the .com and .net domains had a combined total of approximately 149.7 million domain name registrations at the end of the second quarter of 2018.

Now, what do you think the chances are that your awesome domain name isn’t taken across those? (insert rolling tumbleweed gif here).

Choosing the right domain name extension is super important for building an authentic online identity. For your start-up, you should look beyond these traditional domain names.

Our domain name is for creators and innovators that want to escape the corporate image associated with traditional TLD’s like .com. In fact, by choosing .icu as your domain extension, you’re joining a global community of individuals who have taken the path less travelled – a global community of trailblazers seeking an authentic identity in a crowded world.

Still not convinced? We’re also number 8 on the top 30 best new domains list. Plus, the chances of you being able to register your ideal domain name is much higher. Our users are building great things using .icu domains. Take a look at how .icu is changing the world.