How Do I Choose a Domain Name

As you know, a domain name is a quick and easy way for someone to find your website on the Internet. Without a domain name, people would have to remember a series of numbers, or your IP address, and enter that to locate your site.

One of the first things to think about when choosing a domain name is even though they can be hundred of characters in length, the shorter the better. Domain names can contain letters, numbers, and hyphens. You should avoid using hyphens if possible, because sometimes they make it hard to communicate your address to other people, and an easy understanding is very important. One drawback to shorter is that a lot of the shorter names are already taken, so your first choice may already be in use. You may have to add to it, or make some small changes to find a short name that is available.

You will also need to decide what top-level domain (TLD) or domain extension to use for your domain. There are many choices, such as .com, .com.ng, .net, .org, .org.ng,and so on. Recently, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who oversees all of this added several new TLD's, like .biz, and .museum. The TLD doesn't matter much anymore, so you can use whichever sounds best and is available. If the .com of your choice is taken, maybe the .com.ng version is available.

When selecting your domain, if you are operating a business website, you want it to reflect something about your products or type of business. For example, if your business is Joes Online Store, but your main product is blue widgets, your domain should be something to show that, like bluewidgets.net, or joesbluewidgets.com. People shopping for blue widgets will find you that way when they do a search. (It does take a long time and some effort to make yourself visible in a search unless your product is very unique and/or one-of-a-kind. That is called "search engine optimization") If you just use joesonlinestore.com as your domain, unless people know your name already you will be hard to find.

So, the key points of domain name selection are to keep it short, keep it simple and make it mean something relating to the purpose of your business. You can have more than one domain name pointing to the same website, in fact this may help improve your search engine rankings.

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