The first step while setting up a site is getting a domain name.
I think that the primary reason for not starting your web site is trying to get that name right. And finally when you have it all figured, you realize that the name is already taken :-) And it doesn’t stop there. The next 20 names (good or bad) that you can think of will be taken as well. And then rather than searching for the domain name related to the one you initially had in mind, you start playing around to see if everything under the sun is taken.
It comes as a rude shock to the uninitiated that selling and buying of domain names is a trade in itself and a profitable one too.
Choosing the domain name is not easy. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) gurus have a lot to share on how to choose a domain name.
In addition to what the pundits had to say, I introduced a few rules for myself (not necessarily applicable to everyone) to help me come up with a name I’d like to keep.
- Don’t choose a name with hyphens or numbers. I have a personal dislike for them as they are difficult to remember.
- Don’t try to insert a city’s name in the domain name just because you live there. Do it only if your blog covers a specific region. To connect to a geography neutral audience, it may not always make sense to include the city / country in your domain name.
- Two words in a domain name is more catchy than three (or four or five for that matter). Also the name gets to be a bit shorter with two words.
- Don’t use words that others are bound to misspell or misinterpret. mysiteforeveryone.com may be typed in as mysite4everyone.com and your potential readers may never visit your site.
- If you are not into domain name trading, don’t take time bound names. myeuro2008sitehere.com is not going to make much sense since Euro 2008 is now over.
- I for one am not very fond of remembering URLs. Domain names should have an inherent bookmarking capability. The words contained in the URL should be memorable and a person typing them in Google should be able to reach the site with ease. Remember the keywords techno+chakra for your future searches ;-)
- Before making the payment for your domain name, break its name into words and put them up in Google’s search box. If the search results bring up embarrassing or negative stuff which you wouldn’t like to associate your site with, then you may want to give the name a pass.
However, at the end with all the rules and the free advice at your disposal, you will end up taking the name that is available :-).
A free time saving tip: Search for domain + names + ajax in Google and you will come across sites that will do search-as-you-type lookups for domain names. Given that a lot of domain names are already taken, such sites make it faster for you to search for that name you have been looking for.