Domain Name Registration

Domain name registration can be one of the trickiest parts of operating your own web site. A good domain name is both short and memorable; it's the modern equivalent of a catchy 800 phone number.

The most obvious choice for a domain name registration is to use the name of your business. If your business name is already taken, you'll need to be a little more creative. There are a few suggestions you can follow to come up with a suitable domain name.

  • Always use a ".com." extension. While ".biz" or ".info" extensions are gaining in popularity, most people will automatically assume a web site address ends in ".com."
    Be brief. Use as few letters as possible in your domain name registration.
  • Avoid hyphens and unusual spellings in your domain name registration. Research has proven that these make it harder for visitors to remember the address of your site.
  • Don't select a domain name registration with the numeral "0", it's too easily confused with the letter "O".

Some people will register unclaimed domain names and try to sell them to business owners for a substantial profit. These cyber squatters claim thousands of domain name registrations each year. If the domain name you want has already been registered with one of these unscrupulous individuals, you can always try offering to purchase the domain name. If your negotiation efforts are unsuccessful, you may have to wait until the domain name registration comes up for renewal. Many people will accidentally let their domain name lapse, since domain names can be registered for as long as 10 years at a time.

You can complete your domain name registration at http://www.godaddy.com, http://www.register.com, or a similar domain name registration service. Some web hosting companies will take care of your domain name registration as part of their package. The nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages the domain name system to ensure against duplication, maintains a list of verified domain name registration services at http://www.icann.org.

Once you find a suitable domain name, you might want to consider registering any applicable variations of the name to prevent your competition from setting up a similar web address and to direct potential customers who may have simply misspelled your domain name to the appropriate address.