Here’s a personal question: do you own your own domain name yet? Benefits of doing so include being able to post your own photo gallery online without having to rely on Facebook, or having a custom email address (regardless of whether you choose to access it with gmail or not).
It’s okay if you don’t have your own personal domain yet. But you may want to consider getting one for the future.
Here’s a business question: do you own your own domain name yet? You’d be surprised at how many businesses still don’t have their own website or email presence, and instead figure that posting their information on Facebook is good enough.
Nobody cares about whether you’re on Facebook. They do care if they’re able to get information about your company or products in a fast, reasonable manner.
So maybe it is time to register your own domain name, and it can be a pretty easy and inexpensive process. (Of course, Web Watch recommends BUYING YOUR DOMAIN NAME HERE, but there are plenty of other places you can go too.)
But when it comes time to actually choosing your domain name, what are some things that you should consider in order to maximize your new purchase?
- IS YOUR DOMAIN NAME UNIQUE? You don’t want to make it sound too similar to someone else’s company or business, where a typo or mispronounciation could send someone to the competitor by mistake
- STICK WITH THE .COM In today’s search engine world, it does not matter where your domain is listed – it doesn’t matter if you do .NET or .CO or any other variation. But .COM still rules the roost in terms of familiarity. People may not remember the difference between DOMAIN.NET or DOMAIN.COM, but they’re definitely going to try typing the .COM version first
- KEEP IT AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE. Use as few letters as possible, and avoid adding hyphens or numbers unnecessarily. If you have to force your domain name to be overly long or filled with dashes or more, then maybe you need to rethink what domain name you’re trying to obtain. It also helps if your domain name can be pronounced, even if you’re making up the word.
- IS IT TRADEMARKED? Be careful with your domain decision if there’s any chance that someone else owns a trademark on that word or phrase. If you already own the trademark on the term, then move forward immediately with the registration. Heck, you should make buying the matching domain name part of any trademark process you and your legal team are working on.
- HOW DOES IT LOOK WHEN SPELLED OUT? Be careful about how your domain name will look on printed material. Remember Arrested Development’s job title combination of Analyst + Therapist, which came out to be AnalRapist? Yeah, domain names can be just like that, as capitalization isn’t required for a domain name to work.
And remember – just because you have a domain name, that doesn’t mean you have to have an associated website. You could always redirect all requests for your domain to your Facebook page, Twitter account, or company website. That’s all up to you; let the website itself come later if you have to – as long as the domain points somewhere when someone types it into a web browser.
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