Any tips or suggestions on how to narrow down the choices? thanks!
ANSWER: What a FANTASTIC question! You are right that the world of domain names may be a tad bit overwhelming at first. With that said however I would add that there are a few tips to help make the process a little more simplistic or at least give you a good place to start.
1. Keep it short
Try to register the shortest name that your customers and visitors will associate with your Website. The general rule of thumb is, keep it under seven characters if possible. (Not including the suffix.)
2. Dot What?
There are many different extensions available for domain names but we always recommend a .com suffix. It is the first extension that most people try when searching for a website.
3. Avoid Trademarked Names
Although I'm sure you've heard stories of someone buying a multi-million dollar trademark name and selling it to the company for millions of dollars; however not only is that nice, it just isn't true anymore. Companies are no longer opening their pocketbooks to get their names back. They are calling their lawyers.
4. Register Your Domain NOW
Domain names are being snatched up faster than ever before. Remember you don't have to have a website in order to get a domain name. You can simply register domain names and leave them 'parked' until you decide to use it someday. Doing this at least provides you from ending up with "the-domain-name-that-no-one-wanted.us" and gives you the opportunity to get the name you really want.
5. One May Not Be Enough
Sometimes, it isn’t a bad idea to register several similar domain names. If you have "yourname.com", register "yourname.net" so no one else takes it. You can register your full company name and a shorter, easier to remember version. Some people even register common misspellings of their company’s name or domains that describe the business in addition to the actual business name.
6. Character Types
Don't try to be too creative with domain names. Just a reminder. Domain names can only use letters, numbers, and dashes. Spaces and symbols are not allowed.
7. Ask Around
When you have come up with several available name choices, see what your friends and clients have to say. A name that may make perfect sense to you may be too hard for other people to remember. Is your domain easy to say? Is it hard to spell? Do you have to explain why you chose the name?
8. Don’t Shell Out Large Amounts of $$$
At one time, companies were able to get away with charging reservation fees plus a "mandatory" $70 InterNIC fee however, it was decided that other companies should be able to compete to sell domain names. This has lowered prices dramatically. Shop around. Paying more than $10 for a domain name is silly.
9. Write it down
One of the most common mistakes many people make is that they forget to write down the domain name and READ IT. It is amazing to see what the eye does when it reads words, without spaces, in a domain name. Take a look at your domain name and see how others may read it, before deciding to purchase it. If you're a therapist you might consider therapist.com - but take a look at that domain name and see what else your eyes might read.
Remember, if you think that if you have found the right domain name, but you're not quite sure if it's the one... register it anyway before someone else does!
Computer Tips are provided by MyBizNow.com. Various tips may also be found in the PassTimes Paper. Please feel free to contact MyBizNow.com with any computer, internet and/or website questions you may have.