This page is part of a series Before you build your Website. Read it from the beginning.
A domain name is the text people type into their web browser in order to view your website. This effectively means that a domain name is the first contact people have with you and your organization. 1st impressions count and it is worth spending some time brainstorming a good domain name.
Selecting a good domain name for your website is both an art and a science. Depending on the size of your organization, you may want to include your Branding & Marketing department in the brainstorming session.
Here are a few tips for selecting a domain name:
- It should make sense in the context of your website. If you’re selling hats a domain like buycars.com makes no sense at all. Search engines use your domain when matching against user searches so it would help your cause if your domain name makes sense.
- Make it easy to remember. What’s Microsoft’s domain name? Microsoft.com. Advertising & Marketing is about getting your organization name out there. Use it in your domain name.
- Keep it short. Remember that users will likely have to type in your domain name in order to reach your website.
When selecting a domain name, there are also a few things to watch out for:
- Don’t includes hyphens in the domain name unless it makes sense. It’s easier to tell people “My website is Buy Cars dot Com” than it is to say “My website is Buy dash Cars dot Com.” There are exceptions to this rule including the following…
- Your domain should be free from unintended words. Look at the domain experts-exchange.com which is an actual website. Now let’s remove that hyphen: expertsexchange.com. Did you see the naughty word? And did you notice how it changed the domain from “Experts Exchange” to “Expert Sex Change”? When selecting a domain, write it down and check if unintended words appear. Also, speak it out as if you were giving the address to a potential client. There is an apocryphal story about the original owner of hotmail.com, an online email provider. When he told people about his website service, they thought he said “Hot Male dot Com”.
- Avoid being too clever. With new top-level domain names (TLD) becoming quickly available, it is tempting to use them in your domain name. But keep in mind that the .com, .net and .org domains have been around for much longer and are therefore more familiar to users. If you want to use newer TLDs like .co remember to make your domain easy to remember.
When you buy a domain name you have to provide your personal details to the registrar: your name, email, phone number among others. They need this information for a few reasons:
- To know who to contact when it’s time to renew your domain name.
- If someone wants to buy your domain name, they know how to get in touch with you.
What you need to be aware of is your personal details are freely available online. A simple WHOIS search will reveal your name, email address and phone number which spammers & scammers can use for their nefarious schemes.
Domain Privacy protects your personal details. A trusted third-party will substitute their information in place of yours while still recognizing you as the rightful owner. This protects you from junk mail & scams while also allowing legitimate requests – like domain purchases – to reach you.
Note that different service providers use a variety of names to describe this service: Domain Protection, Domain Guard etc… Whatever name they use, make sure it ultimately protects your information from public eyes.
All domain names purchased with Caveena Solutions come with domain privacy. It is our service to our customers to keep their details private.
Multiple Domain Names
You can certainly own multiple domain names and have them all point to the same website. There are some advantages to owning multiple domain names:
- Your organization may go by different names. Here at Caveena Solutions, our website is reachable via caveena.com and caveenasolutions.com.
- People may mistype your domain name. If you can anticipate this, buying the misspelled domain name will help users find your website. Have you noticed how gooogle.com (with 3 O’s instead of 2) still takes you to Google’s website?
- Protecting your Brand. When Microsoft released the Xbox One, gamers who were not impressed by the console ridiculed it by calling it the Xbone. If you visit xbone.com, you will notice that it takes you to Bing.com and displays the search results for “Xbone”. Microsoft also owns the Bing.com search engine and by purchasing xbone.com they prevent other people from abusing the domain name. Read more about it at CNET.
Now that we’ve covered Domain Names, let’s move on to Web Hosts, Dedicated Service Providers & Website Builders!