Tips on Choosing a Good Domain Name

Before you rush out and choose your domain name or name your website, you might want to consider the following points:

1. Your Domain Name Should Be Your Website Name

Naming your site after your domain may seem obvious to some of you, but you’ll be surprised to learn that not every website is named after the domain name even when the webmaster owns that domain name.

2. Generic Names Or Brand Name Domains?

I know that a number of people seem to think that your domain name really must be some generic name like “cars.com” if you are selling cars. Witness, for example, how much money those generic names are being sold for. But seriously, if you were looking for a car, you’ll probably already have some brands in mind, and you’re more like to try out things like generalmotors.com or toyota.com rather than just cars.com.

3. Long or Short Domain Names?

Domain names can be of any length up to 67 characters. You don’t have to settle for an obscure domain name like avab.com when what you mean is AcmeVideosAndBooks.com.

Having said that, there appears to be some disagreement about whether a long or short domain name is better.

4. Hyphenated Names?

Should you get a hyphenated name? There are a few things to consider here:

a. Disadvantage: It’s easy to forget the hyphens when typing a name. Many users are used to typing things like freecpluspluscompilers.com but not free-c-plus-plus-compilers.com. They’ll probably leave out the hyphens and wind up at your competitor’s site.

5. Plurals, “The”, and “My” Forms of the Domain Name

Very often, if you can’t get the domain name you want, the domain name registrar will suggest alternate forms of the name you typed. For example, if you wanted website.com, and it was taken (of course it is), it might suggest forms like:

thewebsite.com
mywebsite.com
websites.com

6. COM, ORG, NET, etc?

One common question I encounter is from people who can’t get the “.com” domain of their choice, but find the “.net”, “.org” or other country-specific top level domains (TLDs) available (like .de, .nu, .sg, etc). Should they try for these?

7. In Conclusion…

In case the forest got lost in the trees (or the reverse) in my arguments here, let me reiterate the main point of this article: GET THAT DOMAIN NAME before you start your site or business.

Don’t make the mistake of attempting to retrofit your domain name to your business or website. thefreecountry.com did not originally start out with that name, and I encountered a huge hassle (and lost visitors) as a result of the URL changes. Don’t make that mistake too.

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2 Comments

  1. Good advice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. […] infortech2k put an intriguing blog post on Tips on Choosing a Good Domain Name.Here’s a quick excerpt:a. Disadvantage: It’s easy to forget the hyphens when typing a name. Many users are used to typing things like freecpluspluscompilers.com but not free-c-plus-plus-compilers.com. They’ll probably leave out the hyphens and wind up at your … […]


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