A domain name is a unique web address that can be entered into the Address Bar of a web browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or other) in order to visit a web site; for example, the domain Google.com connects to the Google search engine site.
Choosing a good domain name can help a web site be successful and bring in additional visitor traffic.
If you have created a web site with WebSpawner you can use your own registered domain name with your WebSpawner site; just contact WebSpawner Customer Service for assistance. If you have an Enhanced account, the configuration of your site to work with your registered domain is available at no additional cost!
Your selection of a domain name must be unique and not registered by another individual or company in order for you to be able to register it. The easiest way to tell if a domain is already registered is to visit a domain registrar such as Misk.com, type in the domain you are interested in, select extensions (discussed below) and click the Check Domains button as shown here:
But exactly how does one choose a GOOD domain name? Following are some tips to help you select a good domain name that will benefit your web site.
Select a domain name that is short and easy to spell and remember. The domain eBay.com is much easier for people to remember (and to type) than a longer one such as ASiteWhereYouCanAuctionAndBuyStuff.com, and the selection of that simple domain name likely helped lead to eBay’s success.
For a business site, a domain name which matches your business name or brand name is an excellent way to go (examples: Apple.com and Amazon.com). If you are just starting your business, you may want to find and register a domain name first, then name your business accordingly to promote branding.
For small businesses who do not have well-known household names, domains containing relevant keywords are highly recommended. Consider a domain that contains keywords related to the type of business you provide and reflects your offerings… for example, GreatHaircuts.com might be a wise choice for a hair stylist who does business under his or her own personal name rather than under a business name. Hyphens may also be used to separate multiple keywords in a domain, as in Reliable-Automotive-Service.com.
While shorter domains are generally better than longer ones, don’t abbreviate excessively or just use business initials as the domain name may end up being harder for people to remember… for example, FireHouseBBQ.com is longer but may be more easily recalled than fhbbq.com.
If your site advertises a business which serves only a local clientele, the inclusion of a town or city name in the domain may be beneficial to pinpoint your location and describe your offerings even if the city name is not part of your actual business name… for example, JacksonHoleBBQ.com.
While one-word domains are short and easy to remember, many of those domains will already be taken. Don’t be discouraged though… be creative and look at two- or three-word phrases that represent your site’s content.
Consider the most appropriate extension (.com, .org. .net, etc.) for your domain. The extensions are also called TLDs (Top Level Domains) and are intended to generally organize the internet into sites of different types. The .com extension represents commercial business sites but is usually highly desirable due to being the most well-known TLD in general. The .org extension is typically used for non-profit or service organizations, while .net is used for networks. Other extensions include .edu (educational institutions), .gov (government agencies), and .mil (military), just to name a few. You may also think about using a country-specific TLD extension – such as .co.uk, .ca, or .eu – if you are offering products or services only to people who live in your home country. For a list of country-specific TLDs, see this wikipedia article.
Consider legal trademarks of other businesses when selecting your domain and select something that will be uniquely yours… you don’t want to invite confusion which may lead to unnecessary legal action.
Finally, remember that you never really own a domain name; you only have control of the domain for the period of registration. If you let your domain expire without renewing in a timely manner it is entirely possible for someone else to register it! Mark your calendar and set yourself a reminder to renew your domain’s registration BEFORE it expires.