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Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a good domain name is one of the biggest secrets to web site success. Learn strategies for choosing high performing domain names. Keep reading for information on domains vs. subdomains, choosing domain extensions, and more on domains...

Domains vs. Subdomains
It is important to know whether your web site needs its own domain or could use a subdomain. A subdomain is also known as a "third-level" domain, and is a great way to create memorable web addresses for various areas of your site. For instance, Yahoo! uses subdomains for its services, i.e., mail.yahoo.com, music.yahoo.com, etc. You can create subdomains for co-workers, family members, or to build separate sub-sites. 

A subdomain is similar to a domain but it tacks your name onto the web host's domain such as (yourname.20m.com.) Subdomains create a longer URL, but are often provided free, which is their main advantage. Subdomains for business websites look less professional. If you are a business go ahead and register your own domain.

Choosing the Domain Extension
When you register a domain name you have to know which extension you want for your domain. The domain extension is the letters following the dot (or period) at the end of a domain name. (ex. .com) These letters on the far right following the dot are also called the top level domain, or TLD. The TLD tells about what type of site the domain refers to.  For example, dot com refers to commerce sites, dot edu to education sites and so forth. The most popular TLD's to use are .com, .net, and .org. .us and .ws are growing in popularity as well.

Choosing the Domain Spelling
After you've chosen the extension for your domain name the next thing to consider is the actual name and spelling of that name. Some issues to consider regarding the spelling of the domain name are: the use of hyphens, numbers, length, trendy spellings, profanity, and trademarks. In short hyphens are okay, shorter is better, don't use profanity, and be careful not to use someone elses trademarked name or you may be sued.

The best domain names are short, easy to remember, and easy to spell names with a .com extensions. These are the easiest to advertise and spread the word on by word of mouth. If you are unable to secure a .com domain as most are already registered, try a .us or spelling alteration of the domain. Or consider buying an already registered domain from an aftermarket salesperson. Read on for more on buying and selling domains.

Related Article: Buying & Selling Domain Names >>

 
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