Choosing a Domain Name

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Things to remember when choosing a domain name:
  1. Get your domain name now. It is getting harder and harder to find good ones.
  2. There are two main types of Registrars:
    • Network Solutions and a couple of other Registrars: These are full service Registrars who will bend over backwards to make sure you control your domain name but to also protect it from someone else getting it.
    • The Cheap Registras, which include GoDaddy, etc. - Use these only if you are the type of person who would never lose your username and password as they can be difficult to deal with if you don't have that information.
    • There are other official registrars and most hosting companies will use one of them since they are cheaper.
  3. You want a name/url/address that is associated with you:
    • Keep it as short and easy to remember as possible.
    • Use a keyword with your company name, or your state or city or other words or numbers.
    • Think of how easy it would be to remember if you ever wanted to put it on a billboard.
  4. If at all possible, you want a ".com" not a ".net", ".org" or any of the newer things.
    • Browsers can be set up so that one can just type in the main part of a domain and the browser will assume the ".com" which means that if someone forgets to put the ".net", etc. they will go to another site.
    • Companies with a ".net" find that people will forget the .net and send off email to the .com and they never get it. So you know that with other extensions, it will be worse,
  5. Pick something that is easy to spell out over the phone in case anyone calls and asks you for your website address
    • It should not be too long because 1) The longer the phrase someone types out, the more likely there will be typos & 2) It needs to fit easily on your business cards, etc.
    • It should not contain frequently misspelled words.
  6. It is true that all the "keyword" domain names are gone, but if you are a local site, you can mix a keyword with the initals or abbreviation or full names of your state or city, etc. If you are a national company, you may be able to mix the name of your company with a keyword (with or without a hypen in it).
    • There are all kinds of places to check on domain availability including the site of the company I work for at: MIS, Inc.. Test out all your possible combinations to see what might still be available.
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This page last updated February 18, 2006
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