Close your eyes and picture this… (well, don’t really close your eyes or you’ll never read the rest of this article – just pretend to)
You’ve written your business plan. You have a great company name. You even have your marketing strategy all mapped out. Now it’s time to create your website. But first, you have to pick out a domain name…
The sound of brakes squealing… followed by a crash… followed by a fiery explosion!
Your eyes snap open! What the—? How could such a simple thing like a little ol’ domain name create a 43 car pileup on my superhighway to market dominance? Very easily… if you’re not careful. But let’s back up for a moment.
If you’ve never had one before, a domain name is the part of a website address that you choose. It comes after the “www.” and before the suffix (like “.com” or “.net”). It is the part of the website your visitors are going to remember (if you want them coming back to your site – and obviously you do or you would be reading our other blog, “Picking a Crummy Domain Name for the Business You Want to Run into the Ground”). For instance www.mybigfatpuppy.com could be owned by someone who loves their pet very much (and subsequently spoils it by allowing it to eat too much).
Once you’re happy with a possible domain name, you can register it on a yearly basis – provided the name is still available. Unfortunately, a lot of names, especially simple ones, are long gone. According to http://www.domaintools.com there are currently over 128,000,000 active domain names, and 140,000+ new names being registered every day, with the majority of these being “.com”.
What does that mean to you? Probably that your first one or two (or 100) choices may already be taken. If that’s the case, you have two options. 1.) Purchase the domain name you really want (if it’s for sale) and pay through the nose, or 2) Get creative and come up with another domain name that is available and still works for your business.
The perfect name for your website may be the name of your business. If your business name is Joe’s Bar, then www.joesbar.com would be a great domain name for you, but it’s so short and simple that it’s probably not going to be available – unless you want to pay a lot for it from someone who originally purchased it to resell to someone that really wants it, like yourself.
With a little creative thinking, you can still find a “.com” domain name that can work for you, as well as make it part of your marketing campaign. If you find your desired domain name is available, it’s wise to purchase it immediately. Remember, over 140,000 new domain names are registered daily. We’ve known people that have searched for a name, then waited a couple of days before purchasing it – only to find someone else nabbed the domain in that short period of time.
Don’t let a bad domain cause your business to skid out of control on the information super highway. Use the above tips to steer clear of pitfalls associated with choosing your website name.
To help you, we’ve added a domain search below so you can start your quest for the perfect domain name immediately, or try your luck at one of the countless hosting sites – such as GoDaddy.com.