Domain names are the primary way your business will get found on the Internet. Your website, email and many other services will carry this name to identify your business anywhere in the world.
Selecting a new domain can be a difficult task. Here are our tips:
Each domain name must be unique across the whole of the Internet. This means that most good quality names will already be taken or reserved by other organisations. Evenmore, having your website confused with other sites because of similar spelling is certainly not a great idea. Coming up with a good idea for a unique name is probably the place to start (and also the hardest).
The ideal domain name will contain your most important keywords. Even if you are not yet thinking about search engine optimization at this early stage, this can give you an edge over the competition when you are getting your pages ranked later on. For example, if your business is related to shoes then you may want to include the word “shoes” in your domain name.
Depending on the target market of your business, you may want to consider a geographic domain. These are domains that are suffixed by a country code and are relevant to a specific region. Whilst you ideally book all variations of your selected domain name, this is not always possible. You may therefore want to use a local domain such as .CO.UK in the case that the .COM variation is taken and in the case that you mostly target the UK.
The choice of domain name may seem like a small technical factor in your overall business plan. It however has huge marketing implications and should therefore be taken with your marketing plans in mind. Simple rules like making it memorable and easy to remember apply. Branding is another factor in this decision as well as customer expectations. For example Hotmail.com and WebMD.com are some great choices since they provide unique names that are short, memorable and convey great customer expectation of what the business offers.
No Hyphens, Please
I know that creating a unique new domain for your business can be a headache, but adding a hyphen (or hyphens!) to an existing domain is not the solution. Avoid this at all costs.
Next Generation Domains
Although traditional top level domains (TLDs) remain the most popular and sought after, such as .COM and .CO.UK, ICANN (the Internet authority that assigned domain names) regularly issues new domain ranges. These are less known and recognized since they are new, however they can be considered if you run out of more conventional domains. Here are some of the newer domain extensions:
Once you get a shortlist of desired domains, you may use one of the many free domain availability tools on the Internet, such as www.domjax.com and www.checkdomain.com.
Registering your domain can be done from any one of the many domain registrars such as GoDaddy.com and OpenSrs.com. It is often best to purchase your domain through a trusted vendor that can provide the additional services you will also need, such as website hosting, DNS and email since these are inter-related services whereby dealing with a single vendor is often more convenient.
Following the initial registration, domains need to be renewed periodically. Domains that are not renewed are cancelled and will be lost. It is therefore very important that the chosen vendor administers your domain to ensure that all keeps working well.
Webcraft Domain Services
Webcraft is an authorized agent for multiple global domain registrars including GoDaddy.com and OpenSrs.com. Since 1996, we have been registering and administering domain names for business of all sizes. We also provide total web solutions including website development, ecommerce and much more.