5 Tips for the perfect domain name
What is a domain name? A domain name is the location of your website on the
Internet. Your domain name will be what you become known by online so it's
important to get it right.
Each website on the Internet is labelled with something called an IP address
which is the actual address of the website online. A typical IP address looks
like this: 220.127.116.11. Remembering a string of numbers like that is difficult
so a domain name translates all those numbers into something like www.amazon.com. This is far easier
#1 Dot what?
Each domain has what's called an extension. The most well known of these
extensions is .com. This, however, is not the only type of domain extension
available. There is also:
If you can't find your preferred .com domain name you could always choose the
same domain with a .net extension. It might not have the same ring as a .com but
is still as just useful as a .com.
These domain extensions were orginally designed for educational and more
formal websites. Anybody can register a .org however so you have more options
for domain selection.
A more recent introduction to the domain name game are .info domains. Many of
the valuable .info domains were bought up overnight but there's still a huge
range of good .info domains available. With a little creativity you could really
make a .info work for you e.g. www.moviereview.info.
Bear in mind that most web surfers tend to remember .com more easily than
#2 Branding vs Business Name
There is an age old debate on the whether or not you should establish a brand
name online or use a domain that more actually reflects your real business.
Let's look at Amazon as an example. Amazon sells books online. Most people
setting up a business would have chosen say www.booksonline.com instead of www.amazon.com. Amazon has since
established itself as a brand name of global recognition - proving the value of
building a brand name.
You'll need to choose between the two. Brand name or your own business name.
Consider how your domain sounds, how it might look on a business card and how
well it relates to your business.
There's no one right answer to this question. You need to choose what makes
most sense for you, your website and your business in general.
#3 Hyphenated or not
This is another area of debate. Should your domain be one single word or
should the words be separated by hyphens? There are advantages and disadvantages
to both approaches. Single word domain names can be easier to explain, use on
header paper and lend themselves to brand names very well.
Single word domains are in very, very short supply.
Hyphenated domains names can be slighltly more difficult to explain, may not
look as well on headed paper and possibly harder to establish as a brand name.
There's no shortage of multiple word domains.
The single biggest advantage a hyphenated domain has is that searche engines
can "read" the domain more easily. For example in a domain like www.foreignholidaysonline.com the search engine can only read the
first word "foreign" and that's it. It can't tell anything else about the
website domain name.
If you hyphenated that to www.foreign-holidays-online.com the search engine can read
"foreign", "holidays" and "online" as separate words and therefore knows that
this website is about foreign holidays.
A well chosen hyphenated domain name can be just as effective as a single
word domain name.
#4 Your Domain Registrar
These are the people you pay to register the domain for you. There are dozens
if not hundreds of these companies out there so which one do you choose? This
takes some research but things worth checking are:
- Do you retain sole ownership of the domain or do the registrar keep some
level of control over it?
- Search Google for any horror stories relating to the registrar
- Does the registrar allow you to transfer the domain to another registrar?
- Is there an online control panel for domain administration?
- How easy is it to change the domain Name Servers?
Shop around for domain registrars. What you really want to find is a
previously satisfied customer to ask questions before you buy.
#5 Cheap Domain Names
Oddly enough some of the cheaper domain registrars are more reliable, have
fewer horror stories and offer equally good customer service as their more
Are there any disadvantages in using a discount domain registrar? Will it
affect your website in any way? The answer to both is a definite No.
back to the articles page