Choosing a Domain Name

When you’re choosing a domain name, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • short is good
  • avoid unusual spellings
  • go for names that are easy to spell
  • you can have as many domain names as you want (although you should keep it to just one if you want people to remember it)
  • it doesn’t have to be your business’ name
  • you can only have letters, numbers, and dashes in the name
  • don’t get attached to a name idea- odds are that the name you want is taken

Check to see if your domain name idea is available at dynadot.com. Note that some registrars like Network Solutions are known to register domains people check for availability. In my experience, Dynadot is trustworthy and an excellent registrar.

When I picked waldowebdesign.com, I wanted a name that would be fun, memorable, easy to spell, and instantly let people know what I do. So I added webdesign.com to waldo (which I chose out of the air). I tend to get smiles at the name waldo. And I think it’s a domain name that is fairly easy to spell, although it would be nice to have a shorter name. Later on, not satisfied with that, I chose the new domain waldo.ws which I think is still easy to spell and shorter.

Fortunately, at around $10, you can pick up a couple domain names if you can’t decide…

Once you have a domain name, you will receive notices from the place you registered it when it’s time to renew- you’ll need to renew it annually or pay for multiple years at a time. If not, the domain name you purchased will lapse and someone else will be able to purchase it.

Unfortunately, there are also companies out there hoping to trick you into paying them for the domain name. You’ll receive emails and mailers ‘reminding’ you to renew. However, pay attention to the name of the business on them. If it’s not identical to the business you paid for the domain name, it’s probably what I call a pirate registrar. While most of them will in fact renew your domain name once they take your money, they’ll also be the business you have to go through in order to renew going forward. Don’t be fooled!