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Choosing a Domain Name for Your Website
One of the first steps in building your website is choosing a domain name. There are several important things to consider when deciding on a domain name for your website.
Following are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a new domain name:
If possible, opt for a domain name that is easily recognizable and describes your business. This will be helpful when you promote your site.
Keep your domain name as short, simple and easy to remember as possible. The shorter it is, the easier it will be to remember. Although a good number of the short and simple .com domains are likely already taken, you may have the option to purchase a domain with a different extension, like .net or .us.
Your domain name can be 2-63 characters long (excluding the extension), and can contain the characters a-z, 0-9 and '-' (dash). However, domain names cannot begin or end with '-' (dash).
If your first choice is not available, try to utilize synonyms, rearrange the words, add dashes, or use abbreviations or acronyms to find an alternative.
You now have several options to choose from for extensions as well. Following is some information about some of the extensions you can choose from:
.com denotes the word "commercial," and it is an unrestricted global domain name extension. Many businesses prefer a .com domain name because it is a highly recognized symbol for having a business presence on the Internet. However, the number of available .com domain names is shrinking as more and more businesses go online.
.net represents the word "network," and is an unrestricted global domain name extension most commonly used by Internet service providers, Web-hosting companies, or other businesses that are directly involved in the infrastructure of the Internet. Additionally, some businesses choose domain names with a .net extension for their intranet web sites.
.org represents the word "organization," and is an unrestricted global domain name extension that is primarily used for non-commercial sites. However, many commercial entities register the .org extensions corresponding to their .com domain names in order to protect their brands.
.biz is a restricted-use global domain name extension used for business web sites. As a relatively new type of domain, .biz offers a company the opportunity to get the domain name it really wants and enhance its presence on the Web with a domain name that means business.
.info is an unrestricted domain name extension that creates an opportunity to reach a worldwide audience with information about your business and ideas. .info is growing in popularity, but still has many great names available.
.us is a restricted-use country code that may be used by any individual or organization with residence in the United States or its territories, including foreign organizations that do business in the US.
What about .TV, .WS, .FM and .CC?
Although often marketed as such, .TV does not mean television and .WS does not mean web-site or world-site. .TV is the country code extension for Tuvalu a small island country located in the Western Pacific Ocean with a population of approximately 11,000 that gained independence from the UK in 1978. .WS is the country code extension for Samoa. Samoa, also in the Pacific, gained independence from New Zealand in 1962 and has a population of around 180,000.
.FM masquerades as the TLD (top level domain) for radio stations, but is actually the country code for Federated States of Micronesia. .CC is the Internet country code TLD for Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian territory, but has been promoted for international registration as "the next .com".
About the Author: Teresa Frady is webmaster of several sites including webmastertips.us where you can purchase domain names, learn about webhost, view webmaster related articles, and shop for webmaster products including computers, books, software and more.