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How to Choose the Right Domain Name for Your
As the editor of DomainNameWire.com, I'm
frequently e-mailed by people asking for
domain name advice. Specifically, what
should they look for when registering a
domain name for their company? This may be
basic for some of you, but I hope some of my
readers gain value from this.
Let me start with the things to avoid when
registering a domain name that will be used
for your main company web site.
1. Never use a hyphen. If your domain is
some-name.com, many people will forget the
hyphen when typing your name into the
browser or sending e-mail to you. This can
result in lost business.
2. Avoid digits if possible. Using digits
requires you to spell the domain name out to
people. For example2.com, you need to tell
people it's the digit "2" rather than the
word "two" or even "to".
Here are the positive things to look for in
a domain name.
1. .Com extension. It's imperative that your
domain name be available with a .com
extension. I've seen businesses and major
web sites try to get away with .net or .org,
and perhaps half of their intended visitors
land on someone else's web site. Or worse,
confidential e-mails are sent to the wrong
2. Easy to spell. Keep in mind that your
spelling might be better than most people!
3. Short. Try to keep it to 2 words, 3
maximum and 20 characters or fewer.
These are general guidelines applicable to
your main company domain name. There are
instances where hyphens, numbers, and
non-.com domain extensions are fine for
secondary sites and search engine-optimized
sites. But your company's main domain should
follow these general guidelines. Good luck!
Andrew Allemann is editor of Domain Name
Wire, a news and opinions site for the
domain name industry.