In order to be seen on the Internet, a website needs two things. First, a domain name and second, a physical address on a website server.
Your domain name should contain the most important keywords that are associated with your website. Think about what words people might use to search for your website or product.
Your domain name should be a .com name if at all possible. The .com extension is the first one that people think of when they can’t quite remember the name of a website.
The most used domain extensions are .com and .net. Other domain extensions can be used for indicating the country that a domain is located in, such as .uk for United Kingdom or .dk for Denmark. Other domain extensions include .tv and .moab. You may want to register your domain under more than one extension to protect it from people who want to “copycat” your website and get traffic from your efforts.
You can have your domain name be the same as your company name if you aren’t especially worried about getting traffic from search engines. If your company is a public service or non-profit company, it might be easier to find a .org domain name.
If the domain name that you want has already been registered, you can contact the person it is registered to and ask him if he’ll sell it to you. He may surprise you with a “yes.” You could also add a prefix to the domain name, such as the, my or your…if it makes sense.
Keep your domain name as short as possible. Long domain names make them more difficult to remember. It’s also more difficult to use long domain names in advertising campaigns. On the other hand, don’t abbreviate the name to the point that it’s unrecognizable.
There are opposing views about hyphenated domain names. I always try to get a non-hyphenated domain first. Then, if it’s not available, I get the one with hyphens. I’ve also heard that Google recognizes hyphenated domains better, but I don’t know if that is really true. It would be a good topic to research!
When you have decided on a final choice for your domain and you are ready to register it, there is one more thing you might want to think about. Privacy. When registering, you will be given the option of keeping your domain private. This means that your domain information (your name, your email address and your personal address) from appearing in Whois searches – and thus being available to anyone who wants it. Using private registration does help to lesson the spam going into your email box. This option does cost a bit more than registering a domain without privacy, but it may be worth it to you.
So, you see there is more to registering a domain name than you might think. Registering a domain name like MyPoopsie.com might look cute, but will it bring people to your site? Probably not. Choose a sensible domain name that relates to your website content. You’ll look a lot more professional.