Perfect Domain Name
Before you set up shop on the internet, you need to find a home… page. The domain name (www.yourname.com) becomes like your physical address. It’s a big pain to pick up and move, so you want to choose the right name at the outset. Here are some tips and tools for finding your new web home.
First, let’s talk about the extension. This is the final few letters of a domain name. .COM, .NET, and .ORG are the big three. (Actually, those three are called Top-Level Domains or TLD) Originally, they stood for Commercial (business), Network (like an internet provider), and Organization (non-profit) but due to mixed use and the real-estate value of names, those meanings have basically fallen to the wayside. Ideally you want to find a .COM name.
In the minds of your customers, it’s the standard. If they don’t know your website, the first thing they will guess is yourcompany.com. Even if you have a .NET domain on your business card, there’s a good chance of people typing in .COM first, just by habit. It’s worth getting a different .COM domain name rather than settling for a .NET. (Although, at about $8 per year, I encourage you to pick up multiple variations of your domain name)
The other domain extension you may consider is a country code. Every country in the world has its own domain extension. I have a .CA domain for Canada. You’ve also likely visited a .CO.UK for a site in the United Kingdom. I don’t recommend going outside your own country for a domain (to avoid confusion) but certainly check out the options.
Now comes the task of finding a domain name that is available! Chances are, the domain you really want (RyanIsCool.com) is already gone, and you need to do some creative adaptation to find a match. There are two tools I use in the hunt for a new domain. Hop on the internet and go to whois.sc . They offer a tool called the Name Spinner.
When I type in a couple words like “your company” it tells me the availability of domain names using those words. (While yourcompany.com is taken, it offers suggestions like shopyourcompany.com and yourboxcompany.com… both of which are available) If you want to get serious, click on the next tab for the Domain Explorer. This offers a more advanced search, and more results.
The other tool I mentioned will save you when you hit a dead end on finding a good domain. It’s the new version of an old book… thesaurus.com ! You can find other related words to use in your search for an available domain name, and perhaps stumble upon a better name that you had to begin with.