The first step in building your online presence is purchasing a domain. Your domain name, also known as a Web address, tells people who you are, and helps validate your presence. Whether you’re a blogger, small business owner, or a large corporation — your domain helps the right people find you. Here are some tips on choosing a domain name.
Enhance Your brand name…Keep Your Domain Name and Your Website Name the same
It might seem obvious, but not every website is named after the domain name.
Naming a site after its domain name is important. When people think of your website, they’ll think of it by name. If the name of your company is also your URL, they’ll automatically know where to go. The very name that you use to advertise your product is the name that you will want for your domain. For this reason it’s best to try to obtain a domain name first, and then naming your website (or business) after the domain that you’ve acquired.
Naming a site after its domain name is also important because it can become one of the keywords in the body of your copy as well as headers. This is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) once your website is launched.
Register your domain name as a private domain
Every day, spammers from around the globe mine data from the WHOIS database to find your personal contact information. They use this information to send you SPAM or simply sell your name, email address, and other contact information to the highest bidders. The WHOIS data base is public information by law! When you purchase Private Registration services, the Whois database lists the ISPs name, mailing address, and phone number instead of your personal contact information, so it protects your identity.
It also protects you from DNS hijacking or DNS redirection which can be achieved by malware that overrides a computer’s TCP/IP configuration to point at a rogue DNS server.
Private Registration provides a variety of benefits. It helps you:
- Protect your identity
- Stop domain name-related spam
- Thwart harassers and stalkers
- End data mining
- Maintain personal and family privacy
- Prevent your domain from being hijacked
- Shield legitimate entrepreneurial business endeavors
- Voice political and other First Amendment speech
.com or .net
What if you can’t get the Top Level Domain (TLD) of your choice? Should you purchase a .net or a .org? There isn’t anything wrong with a .net or a .org., but there are advantages to purchasing a .com domain name. When you simply type a name into the browser the browser algorithms searches for .com before attempting to search .net or .org. And if you don’t own the .com, it will no doubt bring you to your competitors site.
Get creative with your choice of domain names if you can’t own the .com. Often using “the” or “my” in front of the company name will be available. Just remember to always use your full domain name when advertising.
Long or Short Domain Name
Domain names can have a maximum of up to 67 characters. Aside from the obvious reasons, choosing a long name is difficult to remember, takes too many characters to type in, and usually doesn’t fit well in marketing material like a business card. Many times a short name ends up being too obscure and meaningless. It’s important to choose a domain name that has your website keywords in it because it has a better advantage with search engines. Many search engines give preference to keywords that are also found in your domain name.
The first commercial Internet domain name, in the TLD .com, was registered on 15 March 1985 in the name symbolics.com by Symbolics Inc., a computer systems firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. By 1992, fewer than 15,000 .com domains had been registered, and as of September 2012 132 million domain names have been registered.
Welcome to the World Wide Web!