Domain Name Selection Tips

Your domain name is your company's address on the Internet and is how customers find your business online. When you pick your domain name, keep the following tips in mind:

Domain names can only use letters, numbers, and hyphens ("-"). Spaces and other symbols are not allowed, and domains cannot begin or end with a hyphen. Domain names are not case sensitive. They can be between 2 and 63 total characters, not including the domain extension.

People who do not know your domain name may try to guess what it is based on your company name (e.g. www.yourcompanyname.com), so it is in your interest to choose a domain that is as close to your company name as possible. If your web site is based around a specific brand or division of your products, you may prefer to choose a domain name based on that brand or product (e.g. www.yourproductname.com).

Try to register the .com version of your name first. When people look for your site on the web, they are likely to first try your company name with the .com suffix. If .com is taken then consider using .net, .org (for noncommercial), .us, info, or .biz.

Keep your domain name short, but not too short. Shorter names can be easier to remember, but only up to a point. Be careful not to abbreviate your name so much that it becomes unrecognizable. If you must use abbreviations, focus on the one or two words in your company name that have the most impact, and work your abbreviations around those words. For example, Financial Times might choose www.financialtimes.com or www.ft.com.

Choose a domain that is easy to say, understand, remember, and spell. For example, you may not want to select www.scents.com because that could be confused with www.cents.com or www.sense.com when said over the phone,  radio, or by word-of-mouth. Also, be careful with the use of hyphens and numbers, as they can make domain names harder to type and recall. You don't want to lose potential customers because your domain name is difficult to use. Test out potential names with friends before making your final selection.

Consider registering other similar names. If you're registering a .com address for your business, consider registering the .net and .biz extensions as well to keep them out of the hands of competitors. You may also want to consider securing similar-looking addresses that contain alternate spellings of your name or common typos. For example, Dick's Sporting Goods, might register additional domains like www.dickssportinggoods.com, www.dicks-sportinggoods.com, and so on. You can register additional domain names at WeekendRUSH Domains. With the WeekendRUSH Domains service, you can use web forwarding to redirect traffic from these other urls to your main site.

Please also read Why should I register more than one domain name?

What Do .net, .org, .us, .biz, or .info mean?
When you select a domain name, you can choose from several different extensions. These extensions can help indicate the type of business or service you are providing online or your geographical location. Different extensions may also have different domain names available in inventory. For example, newer extensions such as .biz may have more available names than the more mature .com extension. Read Top-level domain categories for more info.

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