Understanding domains

A domain (also known as a site URL or a link) is a unique address of your website on the Internet. People use the domain to locate and visit your site. Besides, it defines your brand and produces an instant, but lasting impression. It also affects your site position in the search engine results as the right keywords in your domain name improve your SEO ranking.

The domain name appears in the address bar of your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari):

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A domain usually contains:

  • The main domain name — a word or words related to what your website represents. In the above example “ecwid” is the main domain.
  • A subdomain — an optional addition to the main domain. Subdomains are created to organize and navigate to different sections of your website. In our example, “support” is the subdomain.
  • A top-level domain — the last label in your domain name, in the above example it is .com.

When you register an Ecwid account, you get a site with your store – Instant Site. Together with the Instant Site, you get a free domain for it. You can customize the domain so it represents your business and makes it easy for the customers to find your store.

Free domain for all Ecwid users

By default, all Ecwid users get a free domain or URL in the form of https://store12345.ecwid.com, where 12345 is the ID of your store and .ecwid.com is the Ecwid domain.

You can change the subdomain name "store12345" anytime, so it reflects your business. As a result, your Instant Site domain will represent your brand.

If you are using a free domain for the Instant Site, the Ecwid subdomain will remain unchanged, and your store domain will look like this: mystore.ecwid.com.

Custom domain for the Ecwid Instant site

It’s also possible to make your Ecwid Instant Site available via a custom domain. It will make your business look more professional and can help get better placement in search engine results.

If you already own a domain name, go ahead and connect the domain to your Ecwid Instant Site. In case you don't have one yet, you can buy a domain from any third-party company that sells domain names. Refer to our step-by-step instructions to connect a domain bought from the below domain registrars:

Secure connection to your site

You may also notice an HTTPS or an HTTP prefix in your site URL. HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure — a protocol used for secure data transfer on the Internet, while HTTP shows that a site is insecure:

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Since customers share their private information when they purchase from your online store, it’s crucial to keep these sensitive data secure from hackers and data thieves. Thus, a special SSL certificate is issued by a trusted authority to help provide your data security.

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is linked to a specific domain or subdomain and ensures that all information passed between a user and the site is private. Having an encrypted store also helps to improve search engine ranking and conversions as Google search engine ranks sites with SSL certificates higher in search results.

Using an SSL certificate and running your site via a secure HTTPS connection help to increase your online store’s credibility. Besides, many payment services require secure sites in order to support their payment gateway. For example, Apple Pay works only with HTTPS.

By default, your Ecwid store is always launched using a secure HTTPS connection. You can verify this by inspecting your store’s network sessions. To confirm checkout is secure, Ecwid shows a message on the checkout page:

This means that if you are using an Ecwid Instant Site, you do not need to take any extra actions to make your site and store run through a secure HTTPS connection.

To make it obvious for the customers that your store is secure, you can add a McAfee SECURE Trustmark to your store with the help of McAfee SECURE app. This app adds the McAfee SECURE Trustmark to your store pages and scans your site for malware, viruses, and other malicious activity.

In case you’ve added your store to a custom site, you need to provide that the site has an SSL certificate. This is important since Ecwid protects only your store pages using an SSL sent via HTTPS, other custom site pages might be insecure. Learn more about securing your entire site.

Best practice: Tips on choosing a domain name

The URL is the first thing your visitors will see. It affects the way customers perceive your brand. That is why it’s crucial to come up with the domain name that will help your business. Below are a few tips on how to choose the right domain name:

  • Keep it short. Aim for 6-14 characters, when it comes to the domain name — the shorter, the better.
  • Use a familiar domain extension (.com, .org, .net). According to research from DomainNameStat, 43% of all domains have the “.com” extension, as “.com” is the most familiar and easiest to remember.
  • Choose the name which is easy to type. Your domain name should be easy to spell and pronounce. Avoid hyphens and numbers, as they make it more difficult.
  • Use business-related keywords that reflect your site. Keywords are good to improve your SEO. If you choose to use keywords, put the keywords at the beginning of your domain. That’s where they’ll be the most powerful for your ranking.
  • Try out domain generators. In case you run out of ideas, try using Wordoid, Lean Domain Search, or DomainHole. These tools allow to come up with ideas that contain your keywords.
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