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How to Buy a Domain Name
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You need an Internet domain name if you want your business to have an online presence. Your domain name is your website’s unique Internet address. Web browsers will locate your website using this domain name.

Web domain names have variations. However, most online sites opt for domain names that have the following parts:

  1. “www” which stands for World Wide Web
  2. The domain name itself, which can also be the name of your company
  3. The extension (.com, .net, .org, co.uk, etc.)

Domain names are integral parts of any business since they establish your business and the services it offers in the eyes of your customers. It is important that your domain name is so simple that customers can easily remember it. Good names have the following five characteristics:

1. Names should be short
A good domain name should be short! Short names are good because they are easy to memorize and spell without errors. Recently Art-U-Frame.com acquired art.com for $450,000. Think of how hard it is to remember Art-U-Frame.com compared to art.com. Guess what . . . sales nearly doubled after the name was changed.

Most short names have already been taken. Be creative. Look at www.ryze.com, a business networking site. The founders probably couldn’t purchase rise.com so they thought of something equally catchy and short. Ask your peers to suggest good catchy names and tell them you’ll pay them $100 if you end up using a suggested name for your business. $100 is a lot cheaper than buying a name for several thousand dollars in a secondary market.

2. Names should be easy to remember
Remember that not all short names are memorable. For example, it is hard for anyone except for the founders of Charles Perkins Victor Zack Stevens Inc. to remember their company website, www.cpvzs.com. So whatever domain you use, make sure that it is easy for customers to remember; otherwise you are going to have a tough time promoting your website.

3. Names should relate to your core business or company name
Let’s say you have a pet care business and your domain name is www.pc.com because “pc” refers to pet care. People who are looking for personal computers will visit your website, but people who are looking for pet care will get distracted. Most people relate PC to ‘personal computer’ instead of ‘pet care’ by simply looking at your domain name. You will be better off if your domain name is www.petcare.com.

At times, it may be hard to come up with a good name for your business. Try to visualize a new name that is catchy and market it in a way that establishes your brand name. Some of examples of catchy names that don’t really reveal the nature of their businesses are: www.ebay.com, www.amazon.com, www.yahoo.com

4. Hard to misspell
If your customers find your domain name hard to spell after hearing it orally, you should stay away from that name. Many people can’t spell things properly and are poor typists, so it is best to stick to domain names that are memorable and easy to spell.

Some examples of really good domains are:


All the above domains are catchy, short, hard to misspell and easy to remember.

5. .com is better than .net or .biz
Most people automatically type .com after your domain name. So, you want to buy a .com name if possible.

Moreover, if someone already owns a .com domain name that is an established brand name, you will find it hard to market a .net with the same name. It is counterproductive to use a well-known domain name with a different extension. For example, marketing www.google.biz or www.google.md is a futile attempt because the more you market your domain name, the more people will go to www.google.com accidentally!

Where should I buy my web domain?
Try one of the following websites.

What if the domain that I really wanted to use is already taken?
Each domain name is unique and therefore, if the name that you want is already taken, you will have to buy the name at a higher price or make some adjustments to the domain name you desire. Irrespective of the adjustments, make sure that your domain name has the above described characteristics.

If you want to check if your domain name has already been taken, simply type it into your browser. If you can’t find a website with the domain name, the name might be available for sale. Go to one of the following websites to check:

Domain registration, similar to real estate, is a big business. People sell domain names for prices that range from $100 to tens of thousands of dollars. The above sites list domain names that are for sale and provide contact information so that you can contact the owner and negotiate.

Buying a domain name has uncertainty because the name might not be available. If you are considering starting a web-based business, get the domain name you want first. Then you need a hosting service for your website. Many hosting companies provide discounts if you buy the domain name and hosting package together. You can own a domain name for several years; most businesses are able to save money by purchasing their domain name for more than a year.

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