Choosing a Domain NameIf you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to find your place online! And one of the very first things that you’ll have to do is establish your web address – your domain name. When you make a website, it must act as your storefront, your salespeople, your customer service desk, your news board, and so much more. You should treat your website just as you would treat any business and so the ancient rule still applies: “the three most important aspects of opening a new business are location, location, and location”.
Domain names vs. business namesAlthough your website or business and your domain name don’t necessarily need to be the same, making sure they’re similar is generally a good move. Think about how websites enter our speech, such as “Google”. Now consider how difficult it might be to find these sites if their domain names were nothing like their business name, for example if Google was found at “the-most-successful-search-engine-ever.com.”
LengthYour domain name shouldn’t be too short or too long. It’s easy to see why you don’t want your domain name to be too long – not only do words in long domain names become difficult to read, but the domain names are also easily forgotten altogether. It may seem strange, but short names can sometimes be just as bad – especially if you use a long acronym that seems like a random collection of letters.
Too long: www.howtochoosethebestdomainforyourwebsite.com
Too short: www.htcadn.com
Just right: www.chooseadomain.com
SpecificityIf the everyday web surfer was looking to buy a shirt and wanted to find info online, they probably would probably start at a search engine, such as google.com, and would type the name of a shop, or a kind of shop, and a location, such as “clothing store San Francisco”. They probably wouldn’t search for just “shirts” because they knows that the results won’t be what their looking for. When you’re creating your domain name, think about what your clients may type into search engine. If your domain name is made up of words that people type into their search engines, or keywords, you’re much more likely to appear near the top of their search results list, and more likely to get visits to your site.
Too specific www.ChooseYourNewDomainName.com
Too general www.naming.com
Just right www.chooseadomain.com
Ignoring the www., every domain name has two parts to it – the text before the ‘dot’, which is the main part of the domain name, and the extension after it. The extension you chose can work both for and against you. For example, imagine you’ve picked chooseadomain as your website name, but find the chooseadomain.com domain name isn’t available. You might register the chooseadomain.net domain name instead. This allows you to keep your original name, which is good, but you also run a certain risk of people typing in the more common .com suffix when they try to find your website. This can be a problem if the chooseadomain.com name belongs to one of your competitors. Consider all your options when you pick your extensions, and be sure that you specify your entire domain name when you talk about it – especially if you aren’t a .com. Also, our experience tells us that Google favors .com web addresses over the others.
Extension Who uses it
.com Primarily commercial enterprises, but open to anyone
.org Non-profit organizations
.net Originally for Internet service providers
.info Informational sites
.mobi Websites that are meant to be viewed on mobile devices, like cellphones or Blackberrys
Once you’ve found a domain name you prefer make sure it’s not already registered by searching for it online.