Domain names are a crucial element of every website. A domain name has to be carefully
chosen and registered. In this article we guide you trough the process of choosing and
registering a domain name
Usually you register your domain either at your web hosting company or at a separate
registrar. Sometimes it can be more useful to register at a registrar instead of
your web hosting company, that way your can separate your domains from your web hosting services.
One drawback in doing this is that you will have to additionally configure your domain's
One of the most popular and reliable registrar today is
godaddy.com. There you can register your domain name, as well as use some
other very useful domain services.
There are lots of top-level domains (TLD's) at the moment. A top-level domain is the
last part of an domain name, that is, the letters which follow the final dot of
any domain name. For example, in the domain name www.website.tld, the top-level
domain is .tld. The most popular is .com, but the are many others. A .com
domain is usually the best to go for, because that's the name people usually associate
with the web. This is my recommended list of TLD's to consider:
Your domain name should be a compound word made up of two or more individual words
related to your site. Two words is easier to remember, one
word is ideal, but only if you can get it. For example: if you want to sell cars
you can be reasonably assured that cars.com will be already registered, so try a
name like carsauction.com, carsworld.com,
cheapcars.com ... There's a good chance
that one of these will be free. Getting the "cars" keyword into the domain name
may or may not give the site a boost in search engine terms. Generally speaking,
highly competitive keywords tend to get filtered out by search engines.
Next, you will
want to check domain name availability. Simply going to your browser and the domain name
will generally tell you nothing as most domains
aren't developed (they don't yet have a site associated with them). Instead
you should use a whois lookup. A good website that offers a whois lookup is
whois.net. There you can find out if a domain name is free. You could also see lot's of useful
information about already registered domains, like when they expire and which web hosting company they are mapped to.
Sometimes good domain names become available at eBay in their Domain Names
or Website's For Sale category. It's tricky to find good names amongst all of the useless
domains out there, and buying anything at auction requires practice and
caution. An undeveloped domain name with some decent
listings can be had for under $100. You can also get a fully developed website along with the domain, but such website's are extremely costly.
If a site or domain name is being sold with claims that it's long established or
has traffic you will need to check. You can use the alexa.com website for that, it provides
a detailed listing about website traffic.
Tens of thousands of domain names become available every day. Without professional
help, the average person has no chance to secure the most valuable expired domains.
That?s why it is a good idea to backorder a domain via an automated backorder domain
system. Such systems monitor the domains you backorder, and once they expire,
they are automatically registered. There are many backorder systems,
I would recommend godaddy.com which provides
such a system.
Have in mind that if there is much competition for the domain you
are ordering then backordering can fail. If there are many different people using backordering
systems for a single domain, there will be only one that will register it, that is, the best
one, so before backordering anything make sure the system you are using is a reliable
One drawback with domain name development is the issue of Trademarks. Very often,
the name you're using may be a trademark belonging to somebody. This is most likely
when redeveloping an expired name, but it can also be a problem for new domains.
One typical example is this - a well known company say has a trademark on part of
its name, to the extent that any webmaster creating an site that contains that part
in his domain name may find himself in legal difficulties. Make sure that your domain
name is not substantially the same or similar as any major company or trademark.
The US Patent and Trademark Office is a good place to start checking for trademarks
for any site with a US presence. The Patent Office in the UK also holds trademark
information, as do several other national trademark offices. If in doubt, seek the
advice of a professional or use an online Trademark Service to check. If you have
bought an expired name, then check also the Internet Archive and look at old copies
of the site to see if any trademarks are claimed. A search of the web using your
favorite search engine should help too. If you accidentally violate a trademark,
you will probably be required to surrender the domain name, but possibly anything
you've earned with it too. For this reason it's best to try to find a fairly unique