What’s a domain name? It’s www.whatever.com. It’s a pointer that points to a group of files that reside on a web server.
It’s best to check for domain names even before you start your business and register your business name. You don’t want to register your business only to find there are no domain names that work for it.
Search Engine Keywords
All else equal, it’s better to have the keywords people will search for in your domain name. For example, if your company name is ACME Corporation and you sell Widgets, having the domain name www.widgets.com will help you with the search engines. People will be searching for widgets, not ACME Corporation. Try doing a Google search and see how many of the results have your keywords in the domain name. Probably some of them will.
Speaking of keywords, I highly recommend reading my article on Google’s Keyword Tool before you pick a name.
.COM, .NET, .ORG and so on
Get a domain name with .com unless there’s a compelling reason to do otherwise. Even then, I would strongly recommend getting the same domain in .com also since many people will remember your domain name as .com. .Net and .org are available to anyone, unlike .edu, .gov, .mil, which have special requirements.
Dashed and Dashless
Seriously consider registering the dashed and dashless version of your domain name. For example,
both point to the same thing. The dashed version is much easier to read, isn’t it? But the dashless version is much easier to say. Imagine telling someone over the phone that your domain name is steps [dash] to [dash] starting [dash] your [dash] business.com Very awkward. If you have a long domain name, get both.
If there’s a common misspelling for your domain name, you might want to grab that, too. For example,
even though “kidz” is spelled with a “z,” many people still will spell it with an “s.” So this business registered both.
as of 4/26/2012
|Hammock Registration (That’s us)||$19/year|
|GoDaddy.com||First year cheap, thereafter very hard to determine.|
|1&1||First year extremely cheap, thereafter very hard to determine.|
Visit www.hammock-registration.com to register your domain name.
How to Register a Domain Name
Visit www.hammock-registration.com or any of the thousands of other registrars.
Registering with Hammock Registration
- If you ever lose your login info, I can help you out.
- My prices are mediocre at $19/year
Registering with other registrars
- If you lose your login info, it can be a nightmare.
Web Site Hosting, The Next Step
For information on hosting your web site, visit www.hammock-hosting.com
Confused? Registering a domain name and hosting the web site are two completely different things. A domain name is just a “pointer.” It points to a group of files on a web server. Hosting a web site is basically renting space on a web server where your web site then resides. It’s kind of like getting a toll free number. You can get an 800 number, but you need a physical phone that will ring when someone dials the 800 number. Similarly, you can get a domain name, but it doesn’t do you any good until you have a web site (a bunch of files residing on a web server) for it to point to. Hosting these files is what web hosting is all about. Most companies offer both services, but they are two different things. Just as a phone company sells phone service, and they may sell phones, but phone service and the phone itself are two different things.