Choosing a Domain Name
How to choose the right domain name for your business
So, you’re ready to jump onto the web – all you need is the perfect domain name (i.e. website name). It sounds easy but one view of your Domain round-up® (your search for the domain name you want) tells you that every possible combination of words you considered is already taken. Now what? Here are some tips to help you find a great domain name for your business – despite all the competition out there.
- Use short, easy to remember keywords that describe your business. The website’s name should reflect your company’s name, describe the services and/or products provided, or describe what’s sold. Keep the name as simple as possible, so customers can remember it. Typically the best names are usually the key words of the name of the company. For example, a pet store that calls itself Posh Pets would want the URL Poshpets.com.
- If you are a US-based business, keep the name in English. For example, some people won’t connect that you design and sell chairs with chaise.com.
- Personalize your name by geography or come up with a synonym. If two companies are using the same name, try to differentiate your website from theirs. For example, PoshPets.com might be located in Chicago, but yours is located in New York City. Try PoshPetsNYC.com.
- Can’t register it under “.com” – try the other extensions. Such as .biz, .net, .org. The extension at the end of your domain name is called a Top Level Domain (TLD). Although .com TLD’s are always top of mind, others are gaining popularity and may offer more availability for the domain name you desire.
- Try the secondary market to purchase pre-registered domains. As the supply of new (un-registered) domains decreases, there is a growing demand to purchase domains that have been already registered but are not in use – so don’t abandon hope yet! You can search for available ‘premium domains’ at many domain registrars. But the caveat, once again, is price. Purchasing a pre-registered domain name can cost anywhere from $100 to over $1 million, depending on the quality of the name.
- Don’t use symbols. Your domain name needs to be at least two characters long, and can’t contain symbols, such as $ # or @. For example, if your business provides tracking services for the stock market you’re not allowed to use $tocks.com.
- If your company name is taken, go to WhoIs to find out who has registered it – maybe they will sell the registration to you. You can find registered users of the domain you desire by searching the WhoIs database but beware – some domain name owners might ask a higher than expected premium for a highly desirable name.
- Watch your expiration dates! A domain name isn’t forever and needs to be renewed. Be careful not to accidentally allow your domain name to expire, and have it become available for registration by others. Add your expiration date to multiple calendars so that you don’t forget to renew the very key to your online business – your domain name.
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