How to Choose a Domain Name for a Web Site

by eHow Internet Editor

A domain name reflects your business or personal identity. Choose wisely.

Write down the name of your business. Remembering that short and sweet domain names are the easiest to remember, create a list of possible names using your business name (for example, smithauto.com, smauto.com, smitheys.com).

Create a list of services your business provides and a list of possible names from those services (for example, autorepair.com, fixcar.com, brokedown.com).

Use catchphrases from your brochure and other promotional materials to create additional possibilities.

For personal domain names, use your name, your pet's name, your hobbies, your surname or even your child's name.

Visit the Whois Web site (www.whois.org). Using Whois, you can type in your favorite picks and see if they're taken and by whom. If they are taken, keep trying with your alternate choices.

Use other organizational suffixes, such as .net or .org, if the .com name is taken. However, since users randomly searching for your site may be directed to the .com site first, .net and .org names are usually best for personal rather than business domain names.

If you're really set on using a domain name that has been taken, contact the owner of that domain name by checking the Administrative Contact section on the Whois site. Domain-name owners sometimes sell domain names they don't use.

Tip

  • check Ask family, friends and associates for their opinions of your choices. What seems funny to you might be incomprehensible to someone else.

Warning

  • close Don't use the name of a well-known company or product, or any variation of that name, in hopes of attracting people to your site. Not only is this unethical, but it may subject you to legal action.

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