Whether you’re looking to start a website for your business, you want to begin a blogging adventure, or you’re simply protecting your name for future use, there are several things to consider before you buy domain on the internet. First and foremost, you should consider what you want to get out of your venture. Plenty of people have shelled out for names that they never end up using and can’t hope to sell, eventually letting their purchase lapse without getting any value from their expenditure. So you need to consider long and hard before you take the leap and saddle yourself with a virtually useless domain. But once you have opted to move forward with your plan, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
What’s In A Name?
The domain name you choose is of the utmost importance for several reasons. For starters, you want it to be short and to the point so that your visitors/customers can easily remember it (for brand appeal), but also so that you will show up on a broader spectrum of keyword searches. You need something that is not only indicative of your product or service, but is also catchy. So if you’re wondering what’s in a name, the short answer is: everything.
It’s important to seek out the history of your domain name. With thousands of new sites popping up daily, you never know what sort of previous life your domain may have had. The idea is that you don’t want to start a site with a name that was previously used by an adult entertainment company or a spamming operation. Previous users may try to hide this information in order to sell the domain as new, but you need to go to great lengths to ensure that this stigma is not associated with the name you select.
Every now and then you find a top level domain name that is surprisingly inexpensive. You might wonder why it’s going for so cheap when it seems to have mass appeal. The answer is usually some sort of legal issue attached to the name. Since anyone can buy or sell a domain name, you never really know if you’re getting a lemon. And if a domain name seems just too good to be true, probably there is some sort of trademark issue (and possibly even a legal battle) at stake.
What Comes After The Dot?
When it comes to choosing your domain, you want to go top level, which generally means a .com. While you might have more luck finding the name of your choice with a .net or .biz extension, remember that people will almost certainly try to go to the .com version (and probably your competition) first. So try to find the best option that comes with a .com. And remember that new extensions are on the horizon. A unanimous vote by the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) board last month approved the addition of new top-level domains, including trademarks. So you could soon see domains like www.sony.sony or www.bestbuy.bestbuy or www.you.yourbrandname, just for example.
This could be the last thing you consider, but it can quickly become important. Domain names are a strange and intangible commodity because they can make or break a business. They can cost you pennies or go as high as hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the relative public appeal. You’re simply going to have to decide if it’s worth it to get the name you want, or if you might be willing to settle for something else.