In the beginning, there is the Domain Name.

Say I have a moving business. OK, maybe DavesMovingTruck.com will never have the recognition that Amazon.com or Google.com do, but nevertheless, it is a great domain name. And here is why.

Because it tells immediately who I am and what I do. Honestly, that little factoid will serve you and your business very well. DavesTruck.com would not be nearly as good. Unless I had an awesome truck that I created a website for.

So, always, if you are considering a business website, try to emulate the above. Sure, the name you want may be taken, but you really need to explore as many creative ways as it takes to get the desired result.

The above example really is, for most purposes, the holy grail of how to choose a good domain name. Sure, you could choose something that makes absolutely no sense on any level (think eBay) and spend money to brand the heck out of it, but most small businesses simply do not have the time, nor resources, nor desire to do so.

Many make the mistake of choosing the .net version of their domain name if the .com is not available. That is rarely a good idea. The .net extension is meant for those who provide Internet Service, like Comcast or Verizon. Similar to the way .ORG is for non profits. Sure, many others have played fast and loose with that, but really, is MyHairdresser.NET really a good idea? No, it is not. I would even say if there is a name you must have, look into some of the newer extensions available. The choices now available would amaze you. But none of these have the mind share that .com does, so tread lightly.

For instance, if you were a tech related startup company, the .IO extension is super hot. And it costs three times what a .com will cost. Ouch! (even still, only $30 bucks) And yet, for the right company, it can work very well. It is short. It stands out from the crowd, and it could be construed to stand for Input/Output which is a very techie term.

But DavesMovingTruck.IO just does not have the right ring to it.

Some tips:

  1. Unless you really know what you are doing, always go for a .com for a small business domain name.
  2. Unless you have extenuating circumstances, never use the dash. Tempting, but always less than ideal.
  3. When you find a good name, go ahead and buy it right then. Better to lose ten bucks that to come back 3 days later and find it is gone.
  4. Any domain name is NOT case sensitive. I use capitalization like this DavesMovingTruck.com to make it easier to read on business cards. A nice trick.

Where do you go to get a Domain Name? Simple. Go to Name Cheap, setup an account and start looking for what is available that would suit you. I have been using them for over 15 years with hundreds of domain names. They rock. However, be careful to use them JUST for domain name registration. They will want you to setup hosting and email and everything else under the sun, just like most online companies. Be strong.

I have carefully chosen the companies that I do business with to bring you fast and reliable hosting, superb email, and awesome reliability all around. I will get to hosting and email in time.

But that does bring up a good point. One of the biggest yet most under rated benefits to having your own domain name is that it puts you in charge of your email as well. For instance, dave@gmail is long gone. But dave@DavesMovingTruck.com is available. And the same is true for any employees you might have. Their email will be available too. And just think, every time someone receives an email from you it BRANDS your company name (domain name) for FREE.

Imagine if you were working with a Comcast employee and they said, just email me at whoever@Yahoo.com. Yikes! Not good!

OK, I know you thought this was going to be easy. But although it is simple (choose a domain name) you can see that it might not be as easy as one might think.

Brainstorm with friends and employees. And your friendly WordPress consultant.

What if you do not have a business but just want a personal blog? In that case, you have two choices. One, your own name. Always a good domain name to control for many reasons. Two, say what the blog will be about. Like DavesTravelBlog.com.

It is always good to keep in mind what the use of the domain name will be in the future. Are you wanting the company to be around in years? Decades? Then it is all that more important to choose one that works. If it is just for a temporary project then it is not as critical. I myself have a few domains that I use for practice and testing.

Because if you are investing heavily in your business, you do not want to have to change domain names down the road. You can, but it is a lot of work and not fun. Just think, you would also need to change all of your employee email dresses as well. Ouch.

Also worth mentioning. It used to be thought that you needed to register all the various endings of you domain name to protect yourself.  Although this can sometimes be a wise move, generally it is not necessary these days. The same goes for misspellings of your domain name. Move on to other more valuable ways to market your business.

That said there may be cases where it would be wise to purchase the .net and .org of your .com domain name.

They say that sex.com sold for 6-12 million dollars. Funny, no one even mentioned the .net variation. For sure, domain names can be tricky.

They should do a song, similar to Shirley Ellis “The Name Game” and have it pertain to domain names 🙂 It seems appropriate at times when trying to get just the right name 🙂

OK, that’s a wrap. Get ready next week for some hands on WordPress stuff.

Rock on. Be kind.

Dave

PS: I did, at one time, own a company called “Dave’s Moving Company”. Long before a domain name as even a gleam in an engineer’s eye. Further details are redacted. Yo Nick, whut up?

 

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