Domain names are special, self-sufficient part of WWW and a profit-making kind of business in the Internet. There is a huge number of IT companies that sale/purchase/estimate domain names. The times when You could get an exclusive free domain name from Your hosting-provider had passed. Now, in order to purchase a good domain You may visit some of the websites that specialize in domain names sale (for example Sedo.com) and buy the domain You liked (of course, if You are ready to pay about $10.000 for it, though, many of domain names are much more expensive). If You are not - You will have to select domain name from those, which are being sold as vacant. Here is what You should take into consideration while choosing a domain name:
1. Domain level
It's preferably to have a second-level domain name. For example, in "www.design.com" the "www" prefix means World Wide Web; "design" is the domain basis (see below how to select it); "com" is the domain zone. Third-level domain name is a little bit different - "www.logo.design.com", forth-level domain will look like "www.pixel.logo.design.com" - the number of domain components increases depending on its level. Domain components imply words that affiliate domain name and are separated by dots. The more components are in a domain name, the higher is its level and the less valuable it is. The third and higher level domains are being often distributed cost free. When purchasing a domain name for Your company (or Yourself), make sure it is a second-level domain.
2. Domain zone
There is a huge amount of domain zones, each of them having its own meaning, and it is important to choose the most appropriate one. There are Generic Domains and Country Code Domains. Among Generic Domains are: "com" - commercial project; "net" - network, related to WWW; "org" - organization; "biz" - business project; "info" - informational project; "TV" - television channel; and many others. Country Code Domains are domains that reveal ownership of a particular domain (website) by a country. Each country (including those that don't already exist) has its own domain zone. For example "us" means USA site; "de" is German; "co.uk" stands for Great Britain","ru" refers to Russia; "fr" denotes France. So, what domain zone would give the best fit for Your domain? If Your Internet project is going to have regional restrictions (for example e-shop meant for sale in USA only) - do not hesitate to choose the domain zone of Your region. If Your project isn't attached to a particular country, You will have to choose from the "Great Five" of domain zones: com/net/org/biz/info. These zones are the most valuable and popular in the Internet. "Com" is one of the best, being a universal domain zone. "Net" matches with IT forums and sites related to domain names. "Org" suits perfectly to web directories. Almost all of the best great directories have domains in "org" zone (dmoz.org; lii.org; vlib.org; botw.org). "Biz"- will be a brilliant solution for e-shops and projects that have to do with online sale. "Info" is right for blogs and personal pages. But You don't have to be consistent with these meanings - they are conventional. Though, there are domains which You can't purchase without having a competent authority: "gov" - government establishment; "mil" - military department; "edu" - educational establishment; "int" - international organization; "museum" - museums and so on.
3. Domain name basis
Domain name basis is the most important domain component. Let's emphasize 2 completely different methods of selecting a successful domain name basis:
- As a basis for a domain they use euphonic, well-remembered word that isn't associated with company's activity, products or services. Such domains are often being called by company's name. For example Google.com and GoDaddy.com are remarkable, short domains that don't have terms characterizing their activities, like "search", "host", "domain", "web". They are figured on exclusiveness, brevity and memorability.
- The second method comprises that domain name will consist of a term/terms relating to company's (project) activity. The terms here serve as keywords of a given site. For example "www.design.com" contains a keyword - design. It is counted on to promote the domain in search engines. Some search engines (e.g. Google.com) take domain name into account while giving search results. Domains of this kind stick to the memory without being unique and may be easily found by entering them in a browser's line. Such domain names are typical for purely Internet projects.
4. Number of words in a domain
The more words are in a domain name, the less valuable it is. And vice-versa - the less words it contains (ideally one) the more value it represents. For example, "www.design.com" has one word - design. This word is polysemantic to the maximum, because it can denote landscape design, interior design, web design, 3D design and other notions relevant to design. Such domains are appreciated highly. "www.webdesign.com" consists of 2 words - web and design. The value of this domain is a little lower than that of the previous one, because it has more narrow meaning that bounds its scope. "www.customwebdesign.com" includes 3 words - custom web design, and is therefore still less valuable.
5. Brevity and memorability
It doesn't make sense to include more than 3 words in a domain name - its value and ability to stick to the memory will decrease owing to the length. The shorter is a domain, the more precious it is. Short domains are easily remembered, You can dictate them by telephone without difficulty, have them displayed as an advertisement in public transport and be sure they will be noticed, etc.
6. No hyphens and digits
Hyphens and digits degrade domain's value. Exception to the rule are the cases when digits form an integral part of a domain concept. For example "3D", "mp3", "formula1".
7. Logical abbreviations
Sometimes, in order to insert multipartite expression into a domain, they use abbreviations. But as far as domains are concerned, they often do this incorrectly. For example, it's necessary to apply" full flash web sites " notion to a domain. To do this, they often abbreviate the expression, leaving only the initial letters of each word. Based upon the received "ffws", it's impossible to understand what this domain means. It's not being "read" by search engines and is poorly remembered in spite of its brevity. That is to say, the given domain has more drawbacks than advantages. How to correctly abbreviate the expression like this? We should define its main idea/concept, which will serve as a keyword of the future site. In our case it will be "full flash". The rest of it -"web sites" is of minor importance, so we can abbreviate it as "ws". As the result, we have "www.FullFlashWs.com" domain. This domain has obvious advantages when being promoted in search engines at "full flash" query, reasonably long and is not hard to remember.
8. Domain's first letter
In itself the first letter of a domain name is of minor importance. But there are nuances that may have a beneficial effect on popularization of a future site. The fact is that many of web directories have option to sort websites alphabetically, and some of the directories have this option dissembled. Thus, the sites whose domain names start with the first letters of alphabet are being visited much more frequently than the rest in a directory. This factor should be taken into account when inventing a proper and brief domain name.
Finally, if You purchase a domain which is not new and has been displayed in the Internet for some time, consideration must be given to:
- Age of the domain name.
- Domain's history, its scope in the past.
- Make sure that this domain doesn't have punitive sanctions in search engines and its e-mail is not recognized as a spam.
- Make sure that other companies/persons don't make claims on this domain.
- PR and Alexa statistics of this domain.
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