What You Will Learn
– why you need a domain name
– why the right domain name is important to your business
– how to choose the most effective domain name for your business
– how to choose the best variations of your domain name (even if you already own a domain name)
– where to buy and host a domain name
– domain name terminology
Why Buy a Domain Name?
A memorable domain name is a valuable asset for your business. It will allow people to find your Web site more easily, but more importantly, it establishes you as a serious business owner, not a starving wannabe or even a shady character!
I’m always dismayed to see small businesses trying to establish themselves online with domain names that obviously came with a free hosting account. They have URL’s like geocities.com/seattletowing or members.shaw.ca/giftbaskets. URL’s like these immediately mark these businesses as “struggling, not likely to survive.”
If this is you, please go and buy a good domain name right away! People like to do business with companies they believe are successful.
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And on the Web, you can look successful quite easily. That’s how most of us started online. We looked successful long before we became successful, and nobody was any the wiser.
Probably the cheapest thing you will buy for your business is its domain name! Please don’t try to save $5.99 USD a year by using the URL provided by a free hosting account.
IMPORTANT: People think they can’t use their own domain name if they’re using free hosting space on their local ISP. This is not true! A domain name can be parked with the registrar and pointed at any other URL on the Internet.
Tip: Domain names are bought from domain name “registrars.” Later in this article I’ll tell you which registrars sell inexpensive domain names.
What’s in a Name?
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple when it comes to domain names. If you could choose any old domain name and have your Web site “smell as sweet,” there wouldn’t be people buying and selling domain names for thousands of dollars!
So, how do you choose the right domain name?
Let’s pretend our business is called Smith & Sons Towing Company and we’re located in Seattle, Washington, USA.
1. Always buy your full company/business name, if you can. The “&” sign cannot be used in domain names. We need to replace it with “and,” so we’ll buy smithandsonstowingcompany.com.
2. Then buy the nickname or short version you usually go by. In our case, smithandsonstowing.com. If we can get smithandsons.com, we will buy that, too, but it’s not likely we’ll find that still available.