Steve Burge

Choosing a Domain Name for Your Business

Keep It Short and Sweet

Choose a name that is as short as possible while still making sense. My favorite way to judge good domain names is the “Radio Test”. If people can hear you say the name and easily understand what it is, that‚Äôs great. Long, hyphenated and easily-misspelt names make this difficult.

There are two schools of thought on domain names:

  1. Branded. This will be the name of your business and might not have any association with what you sell. Examples are Google.com, and Amazon.com. These are easy to trademark but will require more marketing for customers to associate your name with your product.
  2. Generic. This will be a dictionary word such as Cars.com or RealEstate.com. These names cannot be trademarked but are attractive and easy for your customers to understand.

.Com or .Org ‚ Nothing Less Will Do

If you’re a business, get a .com address. If you’re a non-profit group get .org. This clearly communicates the nature of your organization. Other domains ending such as .us, .net, .and .info are available but try to avoid these if at all possible. People will tend to forget what your ending is an assume that its .com or .org. If they don’t type any ending, their web browser will automatically send them to the .com address.

Don’t Pay Too Much

You don’t have to register your domain name at the same place that you host your website, so its worth shopping around for a good deal. Some firms such as Register.com try to charge $35, but Netfirms.com, 1and1.com and Hostway.com all offer registration for under $7 annually.

Consider the Future

Domain names are quickly becoming very big business indeed. VIP.com just sold for $1.4 million and Property.com and Website.com both went for $750,000. It’s not hard to foresee the day when domains are sold for $10 million and upwards. Choosing a generic name might give you a valuable investment for the future.

If you find that domain you really, really want you might be able to but it. Sedo.com and Afternic.com are the two largest sites for selling names but there are plenty of others. Two to watch out for are GreatDomains.com which contains short, generic domain names and DomainsInTheSouth.com which specializes in names relating to the south of the U.S.. If this doesn’t reveal that the domain is for sale, go to Whois.com and you’ll be able to send an anonymous offer to the owner.

This article was published in 400 Edition.

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