Selecting your domain name
Selecting a domain name can be a very frustrating process as a lot of domains have been sold already. With 30.000+ domain names being sold each day it can be a challenge to find the appropriate domain name for your company. So what do you do? Your business name might not be available or be too long. If you did think about doing business on the Web when you started, your name might not be appropriate for the web. What if your domain name is available for the country code extension but not .COM? Should you buy the .CA anyway? How long is too long?
Create a short list of domain names and variances. Talk with people that you trust and opinion you value or ask your regular customers. However, don't wait too long about as 30.000 Domain Names are being sold a day now. Below you will find a few pointers or things you should have in mind when selecting your Domain Name.
Using your business name
Using your business name as your domain name could be a great idea. However if your business name is really long or very complicated you might want to consider searching for an abbreviation or an alternative.
You want it to reflect what you do ... that makes it easier for people to remember your address and will increase the chance of people guessing your web address right without having to search for it.
Choosing a Domain name that is unique can avoid that you loose business to your competitors as it cannot be confused with other domain names. You still have to consider if the Domain name is easy to type and not too complicated. Most unique Domain Names for .COM are gone and a lot have been bought to re-sell a lot more expensive. If you have a look on eBay you will see a lot of Domain names for sale.
A person had already registered the Domain name for Pope Benedict XVI before they announced the new Pontiffs name and had put it for sale on eBay immediately after the announcement. He sold it for $200.000+. Think carefully about buying your domain name from another person. First of all you would have to pay a lot more than registering a new name. Second, you might not have full ownership of it. Maybe find alternatives as the one for sale by a person might never be sold and then end up being available through a Domain Registrar a couple of years down the road.
Easy to type
You should select a domain name that is easy to type so avoid complicated domain names. You would like people to be able to enter your Web Address very easily. Spelling errors might make them end up at the wrong site. Or if your domain name contains a hyphen "-" and your competitors domain name has none. They might end up there instead. One example could be (note that only one is a real site):
These could be very different web sites but the name is very easy to mistake.
Where in the World are your customers?
Should you choose a Country Code Domain like .CA or just buy a .COM? If you are a Real Estate agent and you only sell houses in your town should you then only buy your Country Code domain? Not necessarily. What about the potential clients that are trying to relocate? Are you a local landscaper? Then a Country Code domain might be the best solution. As the domains are selling very quickly now for the .COM then people start to use the Country Code domains more. Clients and potential customers are getting more computer/internet savvy and as businesses are starting to use the Country Code domains more, they will catch on to that quickly.
Multiple Domain names
If you are a business in Canada that expect to have clients all over the world you might want to consider selecting your domain with both .CA and .COM extension. How this would work is that your main web site could be your .COM address but if people type in your .CA address they are automatically forwarded to your .COM address. You have to ask for your .CA to be forwarded to the .COM address. It's that simple and with the low prices on domain names not a big expense.
Another advantage is that if you have a unique domain name you can avoid someone else reaping the benefits of your advertising. People still tries to enter Web Address with a .COM first so if you had bought the .CA address and someone buys the exact name using .COM they would open your competitors web site first.
Author Anette Petersen is Web Consultant with Create IT Simple a Web Design, Hosting and Domain Company based in Halifax, Canada. Their Web Site is http://www.createitsimple.com
For more information, email her email@example.com