What’s A Domain Name?
Imagine a restaurant or a store in your local area. If it is located in an easy-to-find place where people can conveniently locate and arrive, people visit there more often as long as they find value. If it is not easy to locate, then no advertising method can be effective.
A domain, is the address of your website on the web. The more friendly your website’s domain name, the more easy it is for your visitors to visit and remember your web address.
It is therefore important that you plan a good name for your website. In other words, you will have to think of choosing a suitable domain name for your website.
How To Choose Your Domain Name
To name your website properly, you will have to know what your site will be for, whether it will represent your personal or business profile, and what audience it will be intended for. Based on these parameters, you can choose a good domain name.
Choosing a Domain Name is a decision that depends on your branding strategy.
Your domain name represents your website, and that represents you and your business on the internet. Therefore, your branding goals should drive your domain name. Keeping that in mind, here are a few important tips to help you choose a good name for this purpose:
1. Your brand name or company name make a great domain name
If you can register a name that’s the same as your brand, business or personal name, grab that and use it.
Keep your domain name and your company name consistent. Ideally, if you tell me your company name, I should be able to figure out your web address by simply adding .com.
2. Your business idea may give you a great domain name
You may not have a company name or even your name may be so long that you may not want a domain on your name. But you may have an idea around which you want to start a website. If you think about it, your idea may give you some great domain names.
For example, let’s say you want to start a website where people will come to read inspirational story collections. Now, you may generate some great domain names with this idea such as:
While all of these above names may not be available, you may be able to find a website around this idea when you do your research.
3. Your domain name should be self-explanatory
The name of your domain should be easy to pronounce. The name of your domain should be easy to remember. As much as possible, your domain name should avoid any hyphens or underscores.
In some cases, you may not be able to get a short name for your domain and that’s okay as long as it makes it easy to remember and pronounce. In such cases, having a longer but more self-explanatory domain name may be better than a shorter one that you have to spell out or explain.
4. Your domain name should be a .COM domain as much as possible
Looking back, .COM was the first of the domain name extensions available for commercial use. Therefore, it remains the most popular domain extension even today.
If someone doesn’t know the extension of you domain name, they will automatically try .COM after it.
Not only that, if you type a partial URL in your browser’s address bar and leave off the extension, the web browsers will automatically add a .COM to the end. You may want to try it out right now.
So, if you really look at what is happening in both of these scenarios, if you have a .COM extension for your domain, you have an additional advantage.
There are a few restrictions on certain type of domain extensions such as .US, .PRO etc. Here’s Wikipedia’s list of domain extensions and the restrictions and requirements around them.
How To Register Your Domain Name
Now that you have selected a domain name for your web address, it’s time to register it. You can register your domain name for a period of time (between 1 and 10 years). You can register your domain name with one of the domain registrars such as GoDaddy or NameCheap.
There are many registrars out there, with different prices, offers and features. They all have access to the same central database of domain names. I recommend GoDaddy or NameCheap, although you should compare both to find out the best deal that suits you.
Reserve All Popular Extensions Of Your Domain Name
With so many deals every day, the prices of domains most probably can’t be a challenge. If you register for more than one year at a time, and if you register more than one domain at a time (GoDaddy and NameCheap both offer bulk domain registration discounts); the price comes down even more.
For your brand reputation, it is important that you purchase multiple extensions of your domain like .NET, .ORG and .TV etc. If you really want to lock out any word around your domain name, you may start to look at other variations of your domain name and reserve them all.
For example, let’s take for an example, one of the domain names I mentioned above. Let’s say you register InspiringStories.com as your domain name. Now, you could also register:
…and so on. You have many other variations of this name. That is now for your homework for your favorite domain name for your brand, your business. All the best to you as you are going to have a lot of fun through this process!
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