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Selecting A Domain Name For Your Website

Jun 17, 2008
It can be a complicated task when deciding to create a website; but selecting the correct domain name is even more complicated. More traffic can be driven to your website with a good domain name, and a not so good domain name can cause an inactive website. The purpose of your own website is to effectively represent your purpose, whether it is personal or business. Once your website has been created, you should and must register your own domain name.

So what exactly is a domain name?

A domain name is a unique alphanumeric name which identifies your website on the World Wide Web. A domain name includes a maximum length of 67 characters, which includes the 0 to 9 numbers, English alphabet composed of 26 letters, and the hyphens. However, it is not possible to use hyphens at the beginning or end of a domain name, only within the name.

Suffixes are included in domain names, which are referred to a Top Level Domain (TLD). These TLD's are based on the category of organization that they are related to. Listed below are several of the most popular TLD's:

- com for commercial business domain
- edu for education institution
- gov for government agency
- net for commercial network
- org for nonprofit organizations

Because identity is given to a website through the domain name, selecting the correct one can be a rather complicated task. The key is to select a name that is simple to remember, search engine optimization friendly, and essentially a domain name that refers to the content or products and services that you are providing on your website. Ultimately, the selection of the correct domain name can make or break you.

Do's and Don'ts of selecting a Domain Name

Of course, your websites content should be reflected in your domain name. If you sell shirts, then do not select a domain name such as pants. This will only confuse visitors and make no sense at all.

As mentioned above, a domain name should be easy to remember. Never select a name that is too long. Think about which one is better:

- yourshirts, or
- your-shirts-available-in-many-colors-and-styles.

However, after saying this, a short name is also not advisable. This is because a short name will not give as much impact in driving traffic to your website. Attempt to purchase a domain name with few keywords that are relevant to your websites content. Again, think about which is better:

- yourshirts, or
- shirt

Incorporating keywords when selecting a domain name with assist you, because this will give higher search engine results. When selecting a domain name of yourshirts, the fact that the website is about shirts is immediately recognized. However, when selecting a domain name of yoursite, gives no indication as to what the website is about, which will loose you potential website traffic.
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