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5 Things To Consider When Selecting A Domain Name

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.

Previous Usage

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.

Trademark Issues

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 or or, 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.

Written By

Sarah Danielson resides in Southern California and writes for DVD Duplication which offers bulk DVD replication and Amazing Domains where you can buy a domain and browse through over 1,000 domains in a variety of industries.



  1. joe

    August 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Nice points.. It costs you so you might as well be as careful in choosing the name..

    • Anita

      August 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      Agree. Nice checklist to have when buying domains.
      (Ups, never gave much thought why there are some great domains that seem under-priced. You can get yourself in a lot of trouble by simply not being careful enough!)

  2. Susan

    August 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Yeah, this is a good list, but I would have liked to see some links to important places to check the history of a domain! Like, the web archive (, or checking domaintools ( for history of the domain. As for blacklist checking, you can also check

    What are your thoughts on the new domain extensions to include brands?

    • Sarah

      August 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      Thank you for adding these great resources Susan!

  3. Blake

    August 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    This is a great list.

    There are so many things to consider when choosing a domain name, and so many of them are very crucial. It makes me wish that there were more people out there letting everyone know these benefits and drawbacks, especially things like .biz and .info.

    For right now, internet users are much more trusting of sites that have a .com. But hopefully that will change with the new extension ruling.

    • Sarah

      August 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      I think in time it will change. I’m not sure if it will change anytime soon but I think it’s a definite down the line.

  4. Jamie

    August 11, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Interesting and very informative post! These are great list of things to consider when choosing a domain name. Good point here: “Domain names are a strange and intangible commodity because they can make or break a business.” I totally agree. So, better to be very careful in choosing a domain name for your site.

  5. Kimberly Perez

    August 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I always make sure that my domain name is similar to my keyword. Which is often the reason why I end up purchasing the .net instead of the .com. I feel .net is good and I am grateful to have it since available .com domain names seems impossible to find. I don’t go into buying domains yet, I feel it is too complicated for me. I’ll learn more about it though, I have been hearing a lot about its benefits.

  6. Mark

    August 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    A side note about “previously used” domain names.

    You can easily capitalize on any links pointing to web pages of previous owners that no longer exist by converting you 404 into a 301 to the index.

    Just FYI…:)


  7. briant

    August 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    This is a very great list for aynyone who wants to buy a new domain.. it is very important you know and you could really be troublesome if you are not careful..

  8. Jon

    August 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    .com is good for businesses. .net is good for personal websites. .net has a nice ring to it for personal use IMO

    One might also want to buy up all of the competitor domaines like .net and .ca and .biz and .org if you are using a .com domain.

  9. Smith

    August 14, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I have seen that people here only purchase domain and are not too much caring about the all points that you have mentioned in this post.These points are very essential for the selection of domain name.

  10. jorge

    August 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Yeah.. I agree.. this step is just as important as laying the foundation or choosing a spot for your business..

  11. terry

    August 16, 2011 at 6:47 am

    This might be the first step in getting your business online so better be sure you make a good name for your site..

  12. Ben

    August 17, 2011 at 2:50 am

    All good points, and for some reason it made me very happy you didn’t list having your keyword in the domain as one of your points 🙂

  13. Jackie

    August 17, 2011 at 10:29 am

    It’s all about finding a domain that works well with your overall SEO strategy. If your keywords aren’t in the domain you’re fighting an up hill battle. Make your life easier!!

  14. kevin

    August 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    these are all nice advices to follow in picking or making up the domain name for your site.. It is a rather crucial decision and must be gone through in the most minimal discrepancies and maximum advantages in the future..

  15. RNJ

    August 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I have been just planning to launch my own website which will only promote the coupon codes for the online shopping lovers. It is good read your article and I can say that it will be good for me to choose the best domain name which can be beneficial for me to have more visits.

  16. John Allen

    December 15, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I think choosing a domain name is the most critical part of starting a blog or any website, it is where everything will begin and the decision we will make here will greatly affect its progress in the future. A little research here and there won’t hurt when picking a name to go with, because we want to know what the people search for and we could use that information.

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