Selecting a domain is an important step for an individual, or any company, from brick
and mortar shops to completely online ventures. There has been much press about the
lack of domains available and rapid rate of registration however there are still hundreds
of thousands of excellent domains which have yet to be registered.
When selecting a domain it is important to think why the domain name system exists in
the first place. It is there to map computer friendly IP addresses such as 126.96.36.199
to human friendly names such as yourcompany.com. You should think about human friendly
names when making your selection. Here are some pitfalls that should be avoided:
- Avoid names which can be easily confused with other names. You don't want to have users
struggling to get to your site or even worse, ending up at a competitors. An example of
this pitfall would be a company that registers buy4less.com when another company already
has buyforless.com. If you are registering a name that would be easily confused with other
names consider registering these names as well or better yet, register a name which can
not be easily confused with other names in the first place.
In addition to avoiding confusion with other sites you must ensure that your site can be
typed phonetically. This means if you tell someone your domain name over the phone they
should be able to easily type it without you having to spell the entire domain. An example
pitfall in this case would be a domain like online-sales.com where you have to say the
hyphen or they would not reach your site.
Another pitfall is selecting names which can not be easily typed or are difficult to spell.
This includes words that sound different than they spell or domains which use words that
have multiple common spellings.
You can learn a lot from the most popular sites on the internet today such as yahoo,
amazon, and google. These companies domains are short, easy to type and easy to remember.
Remember, keep it as simple as possible; the surfing public is not very patient.