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Posts Tagged ‘domain’

Tips on Choosing Domain Names

posted by admin
Lunes, octubre 19, 2009

In the beginning there was … a domain name. Yes, it’s very relevant the way you name your site. The small wording between the www and the .com (or whatever) is very relevant to search engines, users, programs and a lot of different components of this complex internet system, so, why don’t we give it a little analysis before rushing into any name we may comeup with.

In this article we are not going to elaborate about the registration process or dns, or any particular technical detail on domains, but on the simple and complex task of choosing a good domain name for your website. And, from a lot of experience,I’ve clearly concluded that all depends on what is the objective of your website, what is the underlying motive for your publication effort. So, let’s begin.

First of all, what is you wan’t to communicate? Some consider this a simple paraphrasing of their company, project, etc., but I believe it’s more, much more than that. Mainly, the domain name can be used to provide information about the site content. If the site is commercial and you wan’t to sell houses, probably a good domain name would be sellhouses.com, if the site is institutional and you’d like to provide information about yourself, maybe JohnGrisham.com can be a good domain name. If the site provides information about a humanitarian cause, maybe giveforlove.org could be a good domain name. As long as there is a message, a domain name can be an excellent first “grip” on your visitors attention (of course we are supposing you want your website name to be a factor of attraction, not a diterrent of internet surfers).

So, if the domain name should provide information about your venture, obviously the first place to start is to understand your underlying motive for the website.

Commercially, there are usually endless ways to provide information in a domain name. You can provide information about your service or about a product. For example, a company that sells ships can take shipsforsale.com as a good example of a combiantion of both. Maybe, as a branding strategy you could add your company name in the domain, and combined with a product, this can be illusionships.com.

In my experience, the best domain names usually come from understanding what your potential internet reader may find related or familiar. If a person is looking for a particular car, and you want to provide information about cars, maybe carinformation.net can be a good option. This combines the product and the “information” keyword he will most likely expect to find in regards to your websites content.

I’ve seen thousands of sites named teracorp.com, where we don’t know the sites objective unless we take the time to enter the website, and considering the vast amount of information we can accumulate via the internet in a few seconds, this can be a setback as a search engine may not find your website “related” and simply disregard you as an option to the issue, and if the search engine still shows you, the user will probably filter your website himself. On the other hand, this can be the objective of the site’s owner, and only users best known to his services will be invited to enter his website.

Also, what about length and complexity? A good rule of thumb is… if you’d have truble remembering your website please don’t use it. For example, “shipsforsale.com” is a  12 cahracter long domain plus extention (the .com), and mywebforu2c.com is similar in length, but unless you are familiar with contractions, the first domain will be a much better option to remember, at least to me, than the second.

So, after some thouhg, and with various ideas on hand, you are decided to reach a good domain name, but… what are your available options?

Usually, as you may have already guessed, domain names (considering only normal – not taken or high demmand names), are usually already taken. There is always someone that was there first. The solution is to be a little more resourceful. There are some sites, domain suggestion sites (for example http://domain-suggestions.domaintools.com/), that can help you acomplish this task. They will test different semantic combinations and aproximations to a word, series of words or phrase you may input, and will also check availabitlity. You can still go the simple way either, like with http://www.networksolutions.com/, where you enter a list of domains and the website will guide you in availability and the process of registration.

A word about localization, as maybe you aren’t registering a simple .com but maybe a .uk, .es or whatever. Please take into consideration that, for example, spanish/latin characters as á or ñ, or many other non-standard english characters dont usually go well with search engines, and if they can be registered via your nic authority, that does’nt mean they will be properly indexed by google, or even typed in international users keyboards!

Finally, the extention matters. Users expect .com domains to have a commercial underlying motive, .net to be informational, .edu to belong to an educational institution, etc. Don’t get creative, as if by any means you get to register a .org for an commercial website, you will only confuse and gain the distrust of the internet community.

If you’d like some more advice, or simply need help, please contact me.