I am sure that at some point in your career you have thought about and considered purchasing a domain name. Even though you do not know how it works you have probably told yourself “Man, that would be a cool domain name to own.” If this sounds like you, here are a few DO’s and DON’Ts when considering purchasing a domain name.
Top 5 DO’s:
- Think of something original. This will help separate yourself from the competition and keep your website from being lost in the millions of other websites out there.
- Include a keyword or location in your domain name. It is a good idea to specify what it is that your company does or where are you located. This should help you come up with alternative domain name ideas in the event the domain name you wanted is already taken.
- Abbreviate long words. If you have a long business name, consider abbreviating long words to shorten the URL. No one likes to type in a long URL. One good option is to purchase two or more domain names. The full-length name and the abbreviated name. This will help your costumers find you in the event they cannot remember which URL to use. Both domain name should go to the same website. DO NOT create a separate website for each URL.
- Do not be afraid to use an alternate domain extension. “.COM” is the most common URL extension but depending on your website you might benefit from using an alternative URL extension. A good example of this is for a wedding website. Pretend you and your significant other are considering creating a website for your upcoming wedding. You finally come up with a cool or catchy URL only to find out it is taken, bummer… In this instance your website is extremely specific considering what you are using it for, so you may not need something like “.COM”. Instead consider using an extension like “.LOVE”. The chances of getting the URL you want with a “.LOVE” extension are much higher due to fewer people utilizing the “.LOVE” extension.
- Purchase domain name privacy. When you register a domain name there is some personal information gathered when going through the setup process. This information includes your name, email address, phone number, and physical address. All this information is publicized and can be found through a simple WHOIS lookup. Purchasing domain privacy will block all your personal information from displayed online and will replace it with either your domain registrar information or the hosting company you are using. Without domain name privacy expect to get constant junk mail and spam to any digital or physical address you provided. Domain privacy is usually about $20 per year and is worth having to keep your personal information private. You can do a simple WHOIS lookup here: https://whois.domaintools.com/
Top 5 DON’Ts:
- Do not tell everyone you know about the domain you are about to purchase before you purchase it. There is literally nothing stopping someone from going out and purchasing a domain before you and once it is gone, it is pretty much gone.
- Do not do searches online using the domain name you want to purchase. Check to see if it is available and that is it. …Speaking from experience here. If you start doing domain name searches and you are plugging it into various search bars you might be telling someone you are about to purchase a domain name. This is the same as telling someone you are going to purchase a new URL. There is a chance someone will immediately go and purchase the URL before you do.
- Do not buy all the extensions. When registering your domain name you will more than likely be offered a bundled deal to purchase variations of your URL (.net, .online, .org, .store, ….). Understand that there are tons and tons of extensions out there and you do not need them. You can very easily start adding to the cost of your website by purchasing a ton of additional domain names with alternate extensions. If you have extra money to spend put it towards your designer, developer, hosting, or search engine optimization (SEO).
- Do not use dots and/or dashes. You might think you have found the perfect domain name for your business only to find out it is taken. You might think “what if I just add a dash in there?” Do not do it. The moment you have to start spelling out your domain name to people to ensure they spell the URL correctly you might as well give up. It is better to come up with an alternative domain name than it is to start adding dots and dashes.
- Do not forget to look at it as a URL and read it out loud. You may have a domain name that consist of multiple words and letters. Keep in mind the words and letters will not be spaced out with gaps, one word will bump right into the next word. Every now and then you will come across a URL that looks slightly inappropriate or laughable just because of the way you initially look at it. Here are a few examples of what not to do:
- Itscrap.com – IT Scrap
- Expertsexchange.com – Experts Exchange
- Speedofart.com – Speed of Art
- Americanscrapmetal.com – American Scrap Metal
- Choosespain.com – Choose Spain