Choose Your Website Domain Name

Edited by Robbi, Eng, Lynn, Inukshuk

To Make a Website You Need a Domain Name

In order to craft your website, you must begin with a domain name.


The domain name is - according to some site designers and builders - the be-all and end-all of the site building process.

To some extent this is true, but there are exceptions that we'll talk about as we move through the process.

A domain name is your address online, and it is the single thing by which you will be known online. If you buy a domain name that you are not happy with you can change it, but it takes a great deal of effort and sometimes causes some real problems. Taking great care in your domain name choice is a very important part of creating your website.

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What is a domain name?

A domain name is your branding, your representation on the internet. It is a name that you lease from year to year, which gives you the right to use that name for housing your website. The domain name is the way that the world can find you. A domain name is nothing more than a unique, alphabetically based aspect of a URL or a universal resource locator.

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The domain name is registered with a domain registrar, of which there are several thousand online today. Most professionals feel that you should never host your domain name in the same place that you purchase it for obvious reasons.

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If there is a conflict in the hosting or if your hosting package is not all that you want it to be, some hosting companies try to keep the domain name and some domain registrars will shut down your site so that you do not have access. Domain names can have several levels, which did in the beginning, designate what they were designed to do.

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For example, dot com was considered to be commercial; dot org was thought to be for nonprofits only. That is no longer the case, however, and anyone may purchase the dot com or commercial domain, the dot org, or organization or the dot info.

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There are one or two exceptions to that, including the dot gov for government sites and the dot edu for educational institutions.

Domain name extensions today include: .com .net .org .mobi .info .co (UK residents only) (Australian residents only) and more.

Steps to finding a good domain name

  1. 1
    You want to keep the domain name closer in origin to what you do if you'll be using keyword based domain names
    Factually, using key worded domain names is a good idea for obvious reasons. When people seek out that keyword, they will find you. For example if your website is about bananas, you won't register the domain name The bounce rate of your site, how many people find your pages and immediately leave again, will, to some extent, be dependent upon how closely matched your domain name and the content which lies upon it mesh together. Keep it as close as you can to what you'll be doing and if the domain name "" is not available, try to spin it a little and use ""
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  2. 2
    There are some very conflicting opinions about hyphens
    Matt Cutts, from Google says that sometimes hyphens can be beneficial. As a general rule, if you're going to use one, you'll want to stick to just one hyphen in the domain name. Avoiding long hyphenated terms is best if you have the option.
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  3. 3
    Adding a number may be the only way to keep your domain name short
    If you must use a number, use the numeral rather than spelling it out. One of the most common myths today says to avoid hyphenated and numeric values and previously that was the case; however the search engine gurus today tell us that as long as the name is easy to remember and easy to type, it's acceptable to use either one if required.
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  4. 4
    Try to keep the domain name as simple as possible
    Typically the shorter it is, the more easily it will be remembered. There are exceptions of course, in that so many bookmark tools are available today, but you'll still want to avoid more than four words in most cases.
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  5. 5
    Registering the dot com domain is always desirable, but if you must go with something else to get the name that you want, use the dot net next in line
    These two were the original domain names, and as such are the ones which people look for more frequently. Neither domain name will stand out more than the other in the search engines, but the dot com preference is typically because people are looking for that name more actively and it will make you easier to find for them.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Ultimate Guide To Build & Promote A Website

Recent edits by: Lynn, Eng, Robbi

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