By Adrian Lawrence
You should think about registering a domain name before you
actually do it. Many people come up with a catchy name, or
the need to lock in their name, and rush out to buy a domain
name. But there are several things to consider in your domain
name. After all, your domain name is an extension of your
business and your imageódon't you want to project the right
These ten tips will help you to pick just the right domain
for you and/or your business.
1. The extension you select makes a statement to user about
where you are and who you are aiming to attract. For example,
.co.uk tells people you are operating out of the United
Kingdom, and .ca tells them you are operating out of Canada.
that is important to you, then register accordingly. If you
would rather give them impression of being a global company,
based in the US, then pick a .com name.
2. Use a reputable registration service. Unfortunately, some
domain registration services are little more than a scam. They
are only middlemen. You tell them the domain name you want,
they register it, for a fee higher than you would pay! In the
worst case, they actually register the domain name using their
information, so it becomes very difficult for you to do
anything with your domain name.
Do some background research into the company before you
register a domain with them.
3. Use keywords in your domain name. These will sometimes help
search engines in ranking your website. For example, if you
sell gourmet dog treats online and from your own store, but
your business name is "Laura's Homemade Snacks," you might
consider two domain names: one for your business name, and one
for keywords. In this case you might select
"gourmetdogtreats.com" as your domain name to represent to the
search engines and searchers what you are about.
4. Short names are easier to spell correctly. What's easier to
remember and type in: gourmetdogtreats.com, or
5. Avoid trademarks from other companies. Companies have been
known to sue website owners for copyright and trademark
infringement, so be very careful if you try to play off an
existing business. Make sure that you register a domain name
good faith, and think about the possibilities and connections
that might exist between you and another business.
6. Avoid hyphens. Sometimes you must use hyphens because the
straightforward name is gone. In that case, a better idea is
come up with a completely different name. The problem with
hyphens is that users may end up visiting the wrong site. If
you try to register gourmetdogtreats.com but it is already
taken, you might choose to register gourmet-dog-treats.com
instead. But you run the risk of someone trying to find you
typing in the first address. This means you lose business.
Better to try and register a name like homemadedogtreats.com
7. Consider buying several different extensions so no one else
can infringe on your success by registering a similar name.
example, if you register homemadedogtreats.com, you might also
take .net and .org (with the same name), since these are the
most popular extensions after .com. That way, no one can
register homemadedogtreats.net and try to piggyback of your
8. Look for companies that offer telephone support. If you
trouble with your domain name, you need to be able to contact
the company and talk to someone. If there is no phone contact,
that may be a sign that you are not dealing with a reputable
9. Look for accreditations (i.e., ICANN). Reputable companies
will seek out accreditations because they know it boosts their
business image to be part of a group that enforces good
business ethics and practices. Failure to have an
does not necessarily mean the company is bad, but it could
that. If the company you are looking at does not have an
accreditation, make sure you check for other things like phone
support, payment procedures, etc.
10. After you find a company you like, do a search on Google
for "domain registration." Does your company of choice appear
in the first couple of pages of results, or just via Adwords?
If the latter, they may not have been around for a long time
and may not be reputable. A legitimate company with a solid
track record will be ranked in Google's search engine,
especially within the first couple of pages. Beware of
registration companies that you can only find in Adwords.
These ten tips will help you as you seek to register your
About The Author: Adrian Lawrence is the webmaster for
Domains, one of the UK's leading Domain Name Registration
Companies. Please feel free to republish this article provided
this resource box remains intact together with a working