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How to Perform a Domain Name Search

Jul 5, 2008
When you decide to create a website, you are deciding on more than just what to put on your pages and how to make them look pretty. You need to find a home for your site, also known as its domain. For that, you'll have to create a domain name and then find out whether it's available for your use. This is called a domain search or domain check.

To start your search, first start by making a list of domains you would like to register. Consider choosing names that relate in some meaningful way to the products and services your business provides, and one that is easy to remember and spell. You want people to be able to find you!

Once you have your list of potential domains, hop online and start searching. Enter the name you want into the Address field of a web browser. If you are taken to a website, that domain is already owned. If you get an error message, you're in luck: The site is probably not registered.

Another way is to go online and look for one of the myriad sites that allow you to search for domain names. This one-stop-shopping approach may save you some time.

When you find a domain that isn't registered, don't rush to register the first available one. Check out several combinations before making up your mind. And don't automatically run for the .com version of your domain. Although the most popular option, a .com suffix may not be necessary for your business. If you can't find an available domain name that you want with a .com extension, consider trying one that is particular for your own country, such as co.uk for the U.K. If your business isn't necessarily international, there may be no good reason to give up the name you want just because the .com version is taken.

That being said, if your business is based in the U.S. or if you plan on doing international business, stick with a .com version rather than a .biz, .net, .tv or any other suffix available if at all possible. Otherwise, you will potentially lose business to the more popular .com site.

Don't get your heart set on one particular domain name; that's a recipe for disappointment. Make sure each domain name on your list is one you could happily live with, because chances are good that at least one of them will be available. If you go into your domain check with the intention of only being satisfied if one of your top three is available, you are almost sure to be disappointed.

If you start to get discouraged during your domain check, keep this in mind: In some industries, there are domain names for every two dictionary words. That is near impossible competition! But with a little patience you can find a great domain name. Try using synonyms for the keywords you want to use, or try an alternate (but still memorable) spelling. For example, if your business is called Cut n Paste but www.cutnpaste.com is already taken, consider www.cutpaste.com instead. It's still easily associated with your business and easily remembered!

Finally, another way to perform a domain name check is to use software. There is a variety of software choices out there that can quickly and effortlessly generate thousands of potential domain names based on the criteria you specify.

No matter how you perform your domain check, it is important to approach the process with an open mind and a measure of patience. You may not be able to snag your first, second or even third domain name choice, but that doesn't mean you can't end up with a memorable domain name that will help drive traffic to your site and make your business a booming success!
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More information on how to search for a domain name is available at http://www.domainnamehostingblog.com/
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