What Domain Name Is Right for Your Business?

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May 31, 2013 at 9:46 pm #409

Key Master

Is your San Diego business in need of a website? Your first step is choosing a domain name. But with so much competition out there for good domain names, what do you need to know to choose one that’s effective (and available)?

Your domain name has two parts. The top level domain (TLD) or suffix is the part that comes after the “dot.” More about that in a moment. The first part of the name is typically the name of your business, such as “YourBusiness.com.” However, given how many businesses exist today and how many of them have websites, it’s increasingly common to find that the San Diego domain name you want is already taken.

What can you do if this happens? You have several options.

1)      Buy the domain from the person who owns it. If the domain name is not currently in use, see if you can buy it from the person who owns it. Often people simply “park” domain names with a view to using them one day and never do. To find out who owns the domain name, use our domain name search tool and if the name is taken, you’ll get a link to where you can find out more.

2)      Choose a different domain name. You can pick a variation on your name, such as adding your city to the domain name (“JoesPavingSanDiego.com” instead of “JoesPaving.com,” for instance). This can also help you rank higher in search engines. Just be sure your domain name doesn’t become too long and unwieldy. By the same token, avoid abbreviating your business name in the domain, because search engines may not recognize the abbreviations, which can hurt your results.

3)      Choose a different suffix. Although “.com” is the most popular suffix for business websites, there are other options to choose from. Also consider “.net,” the second most popular international TLD, and “.biz,” which is also meant for business websites.

You’re more likely to find your business name available with a .net suffix or .biz suffix, but consider the risk that if a .com version of your business name exists, customers might go to the wrong website by mistake. For this reason, once you find an available domain name you’re happy with, it’s a good idea to also register other variations of that domain name. For example, JoesPavingSanDiego.com should also register JoesPavingSanDiego.net and .biz, if possible. This avoids similar businesses buying up similar domain names and causing confusion.

Last, but not least, once you’ve found that perfect domain name, be sure to make note of when it expires, keep your contact information with your Web host current and/or set up auto-renewal so that your domain registration renews automatically every year. There’s nothing worse than devoting time, money and energy to building out a business website, only to lose your claim on your domain name San Diego because you forgot to spend a few dollars to renew your registration.

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