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Domain Name

Domain Name

Your site will need a name. In other words, it will need a domain name, just like the name "makemyownsite.com". The domain name is a unique name which characterizes your website. I highly recommend that you take the time to select an appropriate name for your website, since everyone is going to know you by that name.

Some people fail to understand the importance of a domain name. Just the other day, I was driving along and noticed a company van which had the company info printed on its sides, displaying the company name, telephone and an email address which was "company name"@yahoo.com, as well as a website address www.geocities.com/"company name". In other words, they used Yahoo as the company to have their company email at and Geocities as the company where they hosted their site at. This made a bad impression to me, showing me lack of professionalism on their part. These people should have registered a domain name with their company name (e.g. .com) and use it for their company website and all company emails. By having an email @yahoo.com or @att.com, etc., or a website under www.geocities.com, www.yahoo.com, etc., you are tied, among others, to a specific provider,, whereas by having your own domain name, you are completely independent. With a domain name you build your brand name recognition and you make your website easier and more professionally known to the public.

All domain names are characterized by their name part (e.g. makemyownsite) and their extension part (e.g. .com, .org, .edu, etc.). Each country has its own domain extension. For example, the US has .us, Europe has .eu, the UK has .uk, Greece has .gr, etc. Most countries regulate the domain name registration process through their communications commission since domain names are considered a scarce resource. This, in practice, means that at specific countries you might be denied registration for particular domain names. Apart from the country domains, there are also other types of domains. The most widely known, accepted and used domains, are the .com domains. These domains are normally used by com(panies). Other such domains are the .org (for organizations), the .net and the .edu (for education).

.com domains are so widely used and "popular", that it has become nearly impossible to find one word and even sometimes two word domains available for registration. Some companies are even into the "domain name real estate" business. What I mean by that is that some companies purchase available domain names with a plan to resell those domains at higher prices.

In order for you to purchase and register a domain name, you simply need to visit a domain name registrar homepage, check, through tools which the registrar offers, whether the domain name you want is available, and if it is, purchase and register it under your name and you are set to go. One final detail is that you need to set the DNS (Domain Name Server) server entries to the domain name servers of your web hosting provider. In other words, you need to tell the DNS server at what server to look when getting a request for the retrieval of your site. Registrars are companies who are licensed to register domain names. Usually, these companies offer other services along with the domain name registration, such as web hosting. The cost for domain name registration is around $9-$15 per year. That's very cheap! That's why I would not hesitate at all to register my own domain name for a site I want to build. You are not tied to any registrar. You can at any time, transfer registrars if for any reason you wish to do so.

How to pick a successful domain name

You might now wonder how to pick a good domain name for your website. The domain name you seek should contain at least one major keyword related to your website's theme. For example, if your site is going to be about cooking and offering online recipes, your domain name should contain the word "cooking" or "recipes" or even both, e.g. cooking-recipes.com. It must also be catchy, jazzy and sexy. Some people claim that for domain names which are comprised of three (sometimes even two) or more words, you should include a hyphen, "-", between the words. I would recommend though, unless you have more than 5 words, not to use hyphens for practical reasons when typing the domain name in the browser. You can also get both (with and without hyphens) domain names and have them point to your site, which might be the best solution for you. Check if the domain name you decide of having is taken. If it is then try and slightly differentiate it and try again and so on, until you find an available domain name. The resgistrar usually assists you in that by automatically finding similar names, which might give you an extra hint for your domain name.In short when trying to pick out a name, keep the following in mind. It should be:

  • short
  • meaningful
  • easy to remember
  • your business name (for cases of corporate sites)
  • attractive and jazzy
  • preferably a .com, .org or .net domain

As said though, the domain name is important for the success of your site. It is not the most important thing though. I will say it here and repeat it whenever I can! The most important element for the success of your website is the CONTENT and the services offered. CONTENT IS KING! Remember that "Yahoo" or "Google" do not mean anything, yet they are the two most visited websites in the world. Content as well as the online offered services are the ones who will guarantee the success of your site! If you don't have good quality content and services, the domain name will not do you much. We will come to the content issue at a later stage though.

Now you have a name for your site!

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