Now that you have analysed your thoughts and ready to “acquire” your space on the web, think of a name. In what name is your website going to be known to the world. It is mandatory. Your formal name is good, if you are planning a personal profile, even for a personal blog. But if you seriously want audience to shout your concern, you need to be a bit more creative in your naming.
The domain should be of a reasonable name. What could be a greater turn-off for your visitors than to spend forever typing with horrible laptop keys? While short names are edgy, easy to type and remember, don’t get into a fallacy as they are both ambiguous and exorbitantly priced. Some short names are marked as premium and may cost you thousands, even millions of dollars!
Name as per your content
Your site’s name is the first impression on your visitors. Remember, the first impression is the last impression. If your name is irrelevant to the content, your visitors may be misled into thinking otherwise. If you plan an art gallery, use names that signify art and creativity. If you are creating an opinioned blog, or something likewise, the theme in the domain is a good place to start. Seemingly random names sometimes work, but that’s a big gamble.
Experimenting with the TLD
The TLD is the part that comes after your name. Dot Com, Dot Net, Dot Org and et cetera. There is an increasing trend of using fancy TLDs. With a lot of generic TLDs and others made available by ICANN recently, it is a good way to make your website stand apart from the masses. Based on your name, you might even come up with a beautiful “domain hack”. Here is a well-known example – del.icio.us, the bookmark sharing site uses a crafty domain name hack. It uses the “del” sub-domain on “icio” as the domain name and “us” as the TDL.
Here comes the part where you actually need to empty your pockets a bit. The name you just thought is brilliant – but wait. Is it available? Simply typing a domain name and checking for a 404 or “server-not-found” is not the way it is done. Domain names can be parked – where it serves out dummy content but is up for sale. Or it can be blocked – it has no trace on the web, but still is not-for-sale.
Head over to an accredited registrar such as GoDaddy and make a lookup.
Look for domain names with various registrars. You might end up paying more just to find out some other dealer had a discount! Keep your eyes open. Remember, domain names are leased not sold. Renew your registration before it expires else that could be a great embarrassment.
Domain names are usually priced a few dollars (except the pricey premium ones). However, look out for hidden terms and unnecessary costs – setup fees, transfer fees etc. There is absolutely no point for a setup fees as they actually don’t do anything other than a small DNS entry and paying a very little ICANN fee. Stay away from registrars who ask for transfer, handling or release charges.
Stay tuned for more tips and tips on blogging.