A domain name is so important nowadays with everyone and almost every business being online. Your website will be printed on your name card and you will need to refer your clients to your website for them to check out your portfolio, products, services and such. You’d surely don’t want to tell your clients to go to “www.fs-2urhome.com” right? Not only they’d be confused on whether to spell out the “dash”, “two” and “ur” but… what or who is “fs”?
That already gives you a hint of how your domain name should NOT be. The first thing you’d need to do when setting up a website is to think of a domain name that is easy on the lips, easy on the mind and doesn’t make you embarrass when trying to spell it out.
Here are some tips to getting a great domain name.
Think of a great domain name
What makes a “great” domain name? Some tips have already been given out above but to make it clear, it is best that the domain name not contain symbols (the hyphen), numbers or any long words. Also, don’t use acronyms (short forms) unless your company is as well-known as IBM or HP.
On top of that, avoid trademark names or those likely to be trademarked; you wouldn’t want to be entangled in a court battle with McDonald’s over your McD.com domain!
Register variations of your domain
Once you have decided on your domain name, register every possible variations of it. For example, if your site is called justtesting.com, you might want to register justesting.com (note one “T” less) just in case someone misspells your domain and ends up in the wrong place. If the misspelt one belongs to you too, you can divert your site visitors from there or use it as an advertising space.
Register country level domain names
There are times when registering a local, country level domain name gives you an advantage and there are times when an international .com one is better. Local domains help to project a more localized content for your site visitors while if your target audience/customers are from all over the world, a .com one would be more helpful.
Just register both the local and .com ones as they are not very expensive to maintain. You can setup domain forwarding and email forwarding to make the maintenance easier. All your domains can share a general email, so don’t worry about having to manage several email accounts.
Monitor domain expiry dates
What if the domain you want is already taken? Don’t lose hope as domains could become available should the owner decides to discontinue his website. Thank God that you don’t have to keep checking if that website is still up and running, for there are sites where you can register to be put on a waiting list and will be notified should the domain you have in mind becomes available. GoDaddy can reliably help you with this task with their Domain Backorders.
Ask the owner personally
If you really must have that domain and can’t afford to wait for it (if it ever) becomes available, offer to buy it from the owner. Check first if there is already a site up and running on that domain to be prepared for being rejected if there is already a site there.
Before embarking on all the steps above, remember that the most important step is to determine the best domain name. Do not rush and get some feedback, if you need, about the domain that you have decided on. Only then should you proceed to register it or offer to buy the domain from others if it has already been registered!
From my more than 10 years of experience in building and maintaining websites, I am very happy with GoDaddy’s domain name registration services. I vouch for their reliability and credibility. I encourage you to register your domain name through GoDaddy too, just like how I have been doing since more than 10 years ago!