Domain Name Selection Tips
Your domain name is your address on the Web and is how people find you online. When you pick your domain name, keep the following tips in mind:
- Domain names can only use letters, numbers, and hyphens (“-”). Spaces and other symbols are not allowed, and domains cannot begin or end with a hyphen. Domain names are not case sensitive. They can be between 2 and 63 total characters, not including the domain extension.
- People who do not know your domain name may try to guess what it is based on your company name or other information about you (e.g. www.yourcompanyname.com), so it is in your interest to choose a domain that is as close to your company name or identity as possible. If your web site is based around a specific brand or subject matter, you may prefer to choose a domain name based on that brand or subject matter.
- Try to register the .com version of your name first. When people look for your site on the web, they are likely to first try your company name or identity with the .com suffix. If .com is taken then consider using .net, .org (for noncommercial), .us, info, or .biz.
- Keep your domain name short, but not too short. Shorter names can be easier to remember, but only up to a point. Be careful not to abbreviate your name so much that it becomes unrecognizable. If you must use abbreviations, focus on the one or two words in your company name that have the most impact, and work your abbreviations around those words. For example, John’s Fishing Tackle might choose www.johns-fishing.com or www.johns.com.
- Choose a domain that is easy to say, understand, remember, and spell. For example, you may not want to select www.scents.com because that could be confused with www.cents.com or www.sense.com when said over the phone or radio. Also, be careful with the use of hyphens and numbers, as they can make domain names harder to type and recall. You don’t want to lose potential customers because your domain name is difficult to use. Test out potential names with friends before making your final selection.
- Consider registering other similar names. If you’re registering a .com address for your business or personal website, consider registering the .net and .biz extensions as well to keep them out of the hands of competitors. You may also want to consider securing similar-looking addresses that contain alternate spellings of your name or common typos. For example, John’s Fishing Tackle, might register additional domains like www.johnsfishingtackle.com, www.johns-fish.com, and so on. You can register additional domain names with us here at Dryline Hosting and we can park those over your existing website for you, or forward them to your existing website if you are not currently hosting with us.
What Do .net, .org, .us, .biz, or .info mean? When you select a domain name, you can choose from several different extensions. These extensions can help indicate the type of business or service you are providing online or your geographical location. Different extensions may also have different domain names available in inventory. For example, newer extensions such as .biz may have more available names than the more mature .com extension.
Here are definitions for some of the extensions you can choose from:
- .com represents the word “commercial,” and it is an unrestricted global domain name extension. Many businesses prefer a .com domain name because it is a highly recognized symbol for having a business presence on the Internet. But, the number of available .com domain names is shrinking as more and more businesses go online.
- .net represents the word “network,” and is an unrestricted global domain name extension most commonly used by Internet service providers, Web-hosting companies, or other businesses that are directly involved in the infrastructure of the Internet. Additionally, some businesses choose domain names with a .net extension for their intranet web sites.
- .org represents the word “organization,” and is an unrestricted global domain name extension that is primarily used for non-commercial sites. However, many commercial entities register the .org extensions corresponding to their .com domain names in order to protect their brands.
- .biz is a restricted-use global domain name extension used for business web sites. As a relatively new type of domain, .biz offers a company the opportunity to get the domain name it really wants and enhance its presence on the Web with a domain name that means business.
- .info is an unrestricted domain name extension that creates an opportunity to reach a worldwide audience with information about your business and ideas. .info is growing in popularity, but still has many great names available.
- .us is a restricted-use country code that may be used by any individual or organization with residence in the US or its territories, including foreign organizations that do business in the US.