Finding a Domain Name for Your Website

Registering the right domain for your website can be a big decision if you’re just starting out. There are a variety of issues and strategies regarding the registration of a domain. Now couldn’t be a better time to get your very own domain. If you’re engaged in any kind of business or just want a playground for your thoughts a unique domain could be what you’re looking for.

Your own domain can help you:

  1. Build a brand/identity that gets you recognized

  2. Generate new leads for sales

  3. Land you consulting jobs for your field of expertise

  4. Broaden your horizons with new contacts

Buying a domain is extremely cheap these days, usually not costing more than a couple dollars with cheap webhosting to match. There is no commitment either so the financial risk is very minimal. Generating content can be done by customizing blog or forum software as well as a number of other free and open source tools available depending on your skill level. It’s really up to you and how much time you want to commit.

Getting a Good Domain is Hard

Typically, a good domain is usually:

  1. Short

  2. Memorable

  3. A word or phrase that means something

  4. Ends in .com

Unfortunately, domains these days are a billion dollar business with many companies that have automated the process of domain squatting (buying up domains they have no intention of developing unique content for). Dictionary words and 3-4 character domains are virtually non-existent and also gain a high premium. Although you might not be able to meet all the criteria for an inherently valueable domain, you could easily create something meaningful and memorable.

Here are some tips you can use to come up with a unique domain:

  1. Write out a list of words to describe you or your aspirations

  2. Combine words in unique ways or creatively misspell them

  3. Combine words with nicknames or favorite characters/heroes

  4. Make it descriptive

  5. Your full name

Unfortunately, even if you come up with a unique domain name that you really like, there is a chance that someone already registered it. The key is to be persistent and experiment with a good whois look up tool like Ajax Whois. This tool will show you if the domain is available as you type so you can try all the variations that you can think up in real time.

When you decide to go with a domain, make sure that it’s a domain you want to stick with for a long time. If you are a private person, you might want to avoid a domain that is based on your name or job. However, you don’t want to register a domain that’s named after a passing obsession or would embarass you in the future.

Developing a domain takes time. Don’t give up. If you do spend time developing a domain don’t let it expire because the domain businesses will be quick to snap it up and slap a premium on it if you should want it back. It’s also a good idea to buy up .org, .net, .com, etc. variations if it’s part of a business to avoid squatters registering them.

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