As I drive around Cork and pull up behind trucks and vans one of the first things I look for of course is their website address. I literally have nearly crashed into the backs of some of them. having your website on your vans, paperwork and all visible items makes a big difference for and possible new business. You may often see vans parked at the side of the road with their sides placed prominently. They do this as it is free advertising. I am not a big fan of it to be honest as it can be a distraction but it does stick in some peoples minds.
I think some people just buy the vans to have them placed at strategic locations.
There are still however tons of businesses who either don’t have a website or haven’t put it on their vans. If you don’t have a website maybe it is because you think it is a difficult process to get a website name. It isn’t and all you need is a credit or debit card and 15 minutes in front of a PC.
Which Type of Website Address Do I Choose?
As was mentioned in the Getting Irish Business Online post recently a large majority of these businesses have opted for the .com domain name over the .ie.
- A .com domain is one like www.irishtimes.com
- A .ie domain is like www.rte.ie
In the first instance it costs more for a .ie and more importantly it takes a little longer as the IEDR (Irish Domain Registry) require that your prove ownership before you can get the domain.. To create a .com you don’t need to prove ownership of the business name and once someone else doesn’t own the domain name you can get it quite quickly.
So the .coms are winning but the steps to get a .ie shouldnt put you of as it nice to have the Irish TLD.
Sadly when it comes to email addresses it seems that what I see on the back of these businesses vans as I edge closer is that many still have the dreaded eircom.net address and I saw a .iol.ie one the other day.
If you have hosting then it is not a big deal to create a custom email address for your domain and it does look so much more professional.
The Rest of You
There are still a lot of businesses who don’t have an internet presence or at least haven’t put it in their van (stickers anyone?) and it is perfectly understandable as it can be an obstacle for businesses who don’t understand the process and benefits to arriving at a well designed, marketed and publicised website. The first of course isn’t enough and I showed this in my recent slideshare.
Your average Joe or Mary Soap in Cork are busy business people and there is a lack of good resources explaining as opposed to selling the benefits of a website presence. There is an intuitive feeling that it might help (it often doesn’t) but the skill set of website designers is often lacking in showing this as they believe passionately in the product and not the purpose of it.