Monday, November 07, 2011

How to Choose a Perfect Domain Name?

The domain name is your Internet ID, a cornerstone of your online presence, and thus should be chosen carefully. With the ongoing increase of broadband penetration at the world level and, more importantly, rapid personalization of the user online presence, the domain is assuming even more significant role in creating a virtual destination. In general, there are three ways of using the Web space (personal, business and community), which affect the domain name choice.


Personal
Clearly, the domain name usually matches the personal name. However, before rushing to claim your name, perform a short search engine test first. If it is already registered on multiple extensions, a new registration will only reduce your chances of eventually becoming recognized by a wider Internet community. In this instance, the last name or the nickname could be a great alternative (of course a search engine test is recommendable).
As for the extension, gTLDs (generic top level domains such as .com, .net, .org) are more commonly used than ccTLDs (country-code top level domains such as .de, .es, .ru, .us) since they are targeting wider audience. However, if traditional extensions (.com. .net, .org etc.) are not available, consider registering one of the sizzling new ones that may add personal flavor to your virtual home.

Business

The key feature of your business domain name is memorability – the more memorable, the more chance to be re-visited. What makes this online memorability? Three things: length, call-to-action and a nice extension.
A short domain is, by default, easy to remember and perfect for sharing across online and offline social media. For instance it saves characters on Twitter, fits on your business card, spreads rapidly through the word of mouth etc.
Call-to-action is what makes a website URL appealing. This concept urges users to act immediately and get the domain (permanently) stuck in a consumer’s head. For instance, .ME is perfect for creating domain hacks consisting of Verb + Extension – just try to forget addresses such as Advise.ME, Join.ME, Blog.ME or even those including newly coined words such as Themify.ME!
Finally, the extension plays an important role – if you start/launch on a ccTLD it is more than recommendable to register a gTLD, since at some point the company may go global. Nonetheless, do not register it at any cost. Should there be shortage of suitable names on mainstream extensions, keep in mind that some new ccTLDs (including .ME and .CO) may be a good option since they be geo-targeted in the Webmaster Tools. Therefore, you can set them to any location regardless of their country of origin.

Community

In general, community implies usage of web space for online portals, forums, databases, organizations etc. The most commonly used domain for community websites is .org, so it is by default the primary choice. Still, all of the above (memorability and use of alternative extension) should apply to community websites as well.
In addition to these general guidelines, there is a number of tools across the web available for public use such as WHOIS, domain suggestions, registrar and registry websites, domain auction tools and dropped domains tools etc. that can make your quest easier. If used along with the piece of advice provided above, these tools will give you a pretty good idea of what should be your dream domain name. In the end, instead of getting the domain you really want, you will register the domain you really need.

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