Domains 101: How to Choose A Winning Name; Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

What’s in a name? When choosing one for your domain, it could mean the difference between success and failure. Giving birth to a website requires the same thought and effort you’d put into naming your flesh-and-blood babies. After all, you’re going to have to live with it for a long time.
So you need to choose something you’re not only going to love, but will also work to your benefit.

Let’s begin by examining domain extensions that
are available to you:

1) .COM- Still the King and the best
choice for most online businesses

2) .NET- In the beginning this was meant for ISP’s
but now it’s the most common alternative
when the .com extension of a domain you really
want is already taken.

3) .ORG- Designed for Non-Profit sites

4) .INFO/.BIZ- Fairly new but starting to spread in usage

5) .US- Country extension domains are also availalbe
for most counries

As you can see, you have many extensions available to
choose from but if possible, always go with .com.
It’s the most widely recognized and still
the default people use when looking for a website.

After registering your .com name you may want to “lock up”
the .net version to keep out any would-be competitors
from registering it and trying to
infringe on your traffic. You can also use these
other domains as “mini-sites” that concentrate on
one aspect of your business that also link to your
main website.

The next step is choosing your name. If you ask ten
people how to pick a domain name you’d probably get
ten different answers. Get out a sheet of paper and
just start writing names that appeal to you or that
pop into your head. Keep the following pointers in

1) Keep it Short- Under 13 characters is the ultimate in length.

2) Include Keywords- If possible, try to include your
most important keyword in your name. You’ll hear many
conflicting stories on this, but opt for a keyword in
your domain name if possible. It helps with the search
engines and is also more descriptive of your site
and what you do.

3) Odd Characters- Stay away from dashes and numbers
in your domain name. This will make it harder for
people to remember it when they go to type it in.

4) Be Memorable: Try to choose something that will
stick out in people’s minds if you can.

5) Spelling: Make sure it’s easy to spell. You don’t
want people mis-typing the name in and not being
able to find you at all, do you?

6) Trademarks: Make sure the name you choose is not
trademarked to avoid any problems down the road.
Do a free quickie search here…

If you’re having problems coming up with good names
you may want to try an online
“name generator” services for some quick inspiration:

1) Type in a primary word or if you
like, a secondary one and hit go. NameBoy will come
back with a list of names showing what is and
isn’t taken.

2) Type in a keyword and choose
a category, then hit search. The list generated
shows what’s available and what’s not.

3) Type in a domain and choose a
theme for a complete list of what is and isn’t

4) Type in a primary and secondary
keyword and choose your industry.

5) Maximum Edge:
Type in 1 or 2 keywords to search and click for a list
of possibilities.

For even more tips on domain names check out..

So now that you have taken your list of possibles
and have finally narrowed it down to your best
selections, so where do you go to register your
new found beauties? In part 2 of this series we’ll
discuss some of the cheapest and best places to
register names, the fine art of buying expired and
deleted domains and some of the best domain
management tools to help you keep track of your new