When you are choosing a domain name you will probably be looking for a .com or maybe a .net. This on the whole is sensible advice, but if you are offering something a little bit different on your website and you want to stand out then there is another path you can take.
First let me give a quick and simple explanation of the different parts that domain names are made up of. Let us start with the top level, this is the end part of any web address such as .com or the myriad of other top level names that are now available. The part next to the top level domain is called the second level domain. The second level domain is the part that you register with a domain name registrar. For my site the second level domain is NameSearchDomain.
The part at the from of the web address is the third level domain, this is excluding the www part. The third level domain is often referred to by your web host as the sub-domain, it is just a sub-domain of the second level domain name. You can set this part up with your web host if it allows you to use sub-domains.
This is a very high level overview of how a web address is made up, there is more to this but for our purposes this is all we nee to know. To clarify here is an example using Google.
- Second Level - Google.com or www.Google.com
- Sub-domain - News.Google.com or www.News.Google.com
You do not need to enter the www part of the address in your browser, just typing in Google.com will take you to the website.
Now you know how a web address is made up you can use your imagination to come up with a clever and distinctive web address. If you take a look at del.icio.us you can see an interesting use of the available domain names to spell the word delicious. Here they have registered the domain name icio.us, the us part is the top level domain that represents North America. A sub-domain of del has been created on their web server which completes the creation of a catchy web address.
Why not use the same principal to create your own web address, there are many top level domains to choose from, far too many to list here. As many of the less well known top level domains are not used there will be a lot more domain names to choose from. You can use this method to create a distinctive web address and become more memorable to your visitors.
Allan is the webmaster at NameSearchDomain.com where you can find out all about Domain names.