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Choosing a Great Domain Name

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Internet

The first thing you will need before you start your website is a domain name. This domain name is what people will type in their browsers and see at the top of every page of your website. Since your domain name is blasted all over the Internet, you want something that directly relates to what you are offering the public.

Some people don't realize that the .com at the end of a domain name is not the only choice. You could have a .org (organizations), .net (intended for Internet service providers), .gov (government departments), .edu (educational institutions or .biz (for companies). There are some other lesser-known endings we won't bother exploring. In addition, each country has its own code. The United Kingdom gets .uk, Australia gets .au, and so on.

The number of .com names that have not been claimed is rapidly dwindling. I doubt there are any English words.com remaining. Because of the rarity of good .com names, it may be tempting to choose a domain name other than .com that is not the best decision. The .com names have the most prestige and therefore better for your image.

Here's your plan of action. It can be a challenge to come up with a good .com name. There are people who monitor domain names constantly. They instantly buy up any single word domain name if it becomes available, so forget about single word names. Your best course of action is to come up with a two or three word description of your website. You'll probably have more success with a three word name than a two so concentrate on that. If you want to get ranked high in search engines, and who doesn't, think about what your potential customers would type into a search engine. This will require some thought. The obvious search terms may be taken. You might have to add the word "the" or "an" in front on your domain name.

After you've come up with several three word descriptive phrases, go to a domain registration service. Godaddy.com is a common one, but it certainly is not the only one. A search on the Internet will give you multiple choices. Type in your phrase to see if it's still available. If you're lucky, you may be able to find an unclaimed domain your first several tries. Pay your fee, register the name and you're now the proud owner of a piece of virtual real estate.