The use of repositories to store and manage packages is very common among companies and developers. These repositories enable organizations to store software packages and distribute them to machines with ease.
A domain name is the part of a repository address that shows the name of the individual or company to which the repo belongs. Many repo hosting platforms provide platform-branded or generic domains by default, but it is recommended that you use a domain of your own.
A custom domain for a repo is a branded domain name that is unique to your repo. You can buy them from providers to fit your brand. By hosting a repo on a custom domain, the URL of the repo will have your name of choice and it will not feature the name of the cloud service hosting your repo. For example, when you create a repo on packagecloud.io, instead of getting a generic URL of the form https://packagecloud.io/nic/xyz, your repository’s domain URL will be something like https://packages.xyz.com/productname/.
The benefits of a custom domain for a repo
The following are the benefits of using a custom domain to host your repo.
- Branding: Hosting your repo on a custom domain will help you to promote your brand. Folks will not be guessing whether it belongs to you or not when visiting the repo.
- SEO: A custom domain can improve the discoverability of your repo on search engines. Search engines such as Google consider the root domain on sites. A custom domain with your name is more relevant to what users will be searching for than a generic one. Thus, your repo that uses a custom domain will be ranked higher.
- Trust: With the many phishing scams happening on the Internet, most people fear clicking URLs they don’t recognize. Having a custom domain that reflects your brand can help you to create trust and encourage people to visit your repo.
- Looks Professional: Nobody will trust you on the Internet without a custom domain. A custom domain will also send the signal that you are committed to your repository.
- Easier to Remember: A generic domain can annoy readers and may even discourage them from visiting your repository. However, a custom domain will make it easy for users to visit your repository because it’s easier to remember.
Hosting a custom domain repo with packagecloud
Packagecloud can host repos on custom domains. With packagecloud, you can have a blog with your own branding and enjoy all the above benefits. Companies often want custom domain names instead of using repos through the domain packagecloud.io.
For example, GitLab and Rundeck have hosted their repositories with packagecloud at https://packages.gitlab.com/gitlab/gitlab-ce and https://packages.rundeck.com/pagerduty, respectively. The domain name (first part of the URL) is no longer packagecloud.io but GitLab and Rundeck’s own domain names.
By hosting your repo on packagecloud’s custom domain, you will make your brand stand out and strengthen your user experience.
Examples of custom host names with packagecloud
When you host a repo on packagecloud.io to distribute your software, your repo will be given the URL: https://packagecloud.io/<username>/<reponame>/. However, you can choose a custom host name for your repo, and then your repo can be found on your own domain. For example, your package repository could be at: https://packages.xyz.io/product.
Some of the popular OSS software packages that use packagecloud include GitHub, GitLab, and RabbitMQ. GitHub uses packagecloud.io to distribute the popular Atom text editor loved by developers (which is hosted here). GitLab has a custom domain repository (hosted here). This repository is hosted through packagecloud, but it shows up as a GitLab domain.
RabbitMQ uses packagecloud to host their robust message queuing servers (which are hosted here).
Rundeck is another example of a custom host name. The Rundeck repository is hosted here. This is a packagecloud repository hosted via the Rundeck domain.
Check out the packagecloud free trial to see how easy it is to host your repository and distribute packages throughout your entire organization. You can do it with a custom host name! Never worry about the scaling, consistency, or security of your packages again.
Why you may need to use a generic domain
There are still some good reasons to use a generic domain for your repositories. Below are the reasons you may need to use a generic domain for your repo.
- It is easier to set up a generic domain. It saves users from doing the additional configuration that is normally required to host a repo on a custom domain. A generic domain can help you get your repository to the web in seconds.
- Most cloud service platforms can host your repo on a generic domain for free or at a cheaper cost. However, you will incur an additional cost to host your repo on a custom domain.
A custom domain is a branded domain name that is unique to your brand. You can host your repo on a custom domain and use the name of your choice.
They also help to improve the visibility of your repo on search engines. Custom domains are easier to remember than generic domains. Site visitors are more likely to trust a custom domain than a generic domain.
Packagecloud can help you to host your repos on a custom domain. It is a cloud-based service for distributing software packages to machines and environments.
Packagecloud allows its users to store all the packages required by their organization, regardless of the operating system or programming language. The packages can then be distributed repeatedly to destination machines.
Sign up for the packagecloud free trial to get a custom domain for your repo and distribute packages to the destinations of your choice.