Domain names are your online commercial address. Registering the right domain is absolutely a crucial part of successful blogging. If I had only known how valuable domains would be when I started working online in 1995!
Registering a domain name is a fairly simple process best done through a reputable registrar (company that hosts domain names), which is often different from the company that you’ll host your blog (website) at.
I register my domain names at GoDaddy, however I don’t host my websites with GoDaddy. I use other web hosting companies like Rochen Performance Hosting which consistently give premium performance for a reasonable price.
Many Domain Registrars have tools to help you create a domain name that reflects your brand. They are also all to eager to have you register multiple versions of the domain name such as .com, .net and .org. In most cases this is not necessary unless you are explicitly attempting to protect your brand online from someone who is actively attacking it. Politicians are one exception where it is prudent to register all the variable domain extensions.
In most cases, the best domain extension is “.com” and should take precedent over other domain extensions. Avoid using other domain extensions, especially If your competition already owns the “.com” version
Consider consulting legal counsel if your competition has registered your Trademarked name. You might force the other company to relinquish the domain with proper documentation if you have a clear, documented Trademark history. If not, pursue a different and brand-able domain that will separate and distinguish your business.
Keep the domain name short. Make it easy for your readers to enter the domain name directly in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) address bar of the browser. This is especially important when targeting mobile phone or iPad users, a growing and significant part of search marketing.
To Summarize how to choose a Domain Name:
- Keep it Simple
- Use the .com version over all other domains especially if your competition has already registered and uses the .com domain
- Reflect your brand
- Keep it short
- Avoid Trademarks in your domain unless you hold the trademark. If someone else is using it, pursue it.
- Use a reputable Domain Registrar. GoDaddy is the largest and safest one to work with. I use them for my domains.