My Web Maestro

Choose Your Domain Name Carefully

Posted on by Nathan Lyle

Your domain name is a little like a business card in that it makes an impression about your business. Once you’ve had a domain in use for a while, it can be difficult to switch to a new one, as you often then have to update all your print marketing and get your customers to to change their habits when finding you online. It pays to put some thought into choosing your domain name at the beginning.

When picking a domain name, the .com is still the most popular Top Level Domain extension. However, there are many more available these days aside from the familiar .com, .net, and .org that most of us are used to. Some of them are more expensive, but it can allow you some freedom and creativity. 

Worse than a domain name that doesn’t quite fit you right though, is a domain name that seems to say something else. For example:

  • penisland.net (Pen Island)
  • whorepresents.com (Who Represents)
  • wintersexpress.com (Winters Express)
  • therapistfinder.com (Therapist Finder)
  • speedofart.com (Speed of Art)
  • dicksondata.com (Dickson Data)
  • gotahoenorth.com (North Lake Tahoe)
  • masterbaitonline.com (Master Bait & Tackle, these guys probably did this on purpose)
  • analemma.org (Analemma Society)
  • oldmanshaven.com (Old Man’s Haven)

Hopefully you see the point. 

Some good rules of thumb are to try to keep your domain name as short as possible. And if not short, at least easy to remember and spell. Check for unintentional word combinations (see above list) and try to avoid picking a domain name too similar to an existing one.

When using your domain name in print, you can use “camel case” to make it easier to read. For example, MyWebMaestro.com is easier to understand and remember than mywebmaestro.com, just by using capital letters for the start of each word. NOTE: Domain names are case insensitive – this means it doesn’t matter whether you type upper or lower case letters into a browser, they will always be converted to lower case by the browser. This means you can use the upper case as a way to increase readability by humans with no negative side effects online. 

Final note – avoid using hyphen or numbers in your domain name if possible. So many spammers and hackers have used these that by including one you risk appearing “spammy” to antivirus filters. For example, if you were able to register face-book.com, you could probably trick people into giving up their Facebook password if you built a close enough look-a-like login page. 

If you need to register a domain name, we can help you with that. You can check the availability of a domain name below, and then register it with us.

 

 

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About Nathan Lyle

Nathan is a father of four, an amateur musician, and an aspiring photographer. He started programming in 4th grade on an Apple II+ and many years later spent much of his college years freelancing website design for college departments. Nathan is a veteran of the Browser Wars, and will gladly talk at length about the changes he has seen in Web technology if you accidentally ask him.

Visit Nathan's Website or View all posts by Nathan Lyle


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