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How do I choose a domain name?
Domain names are also called web addresses, urls & website names. Choosing the right domain name can range from being quite important to critical depending on the purpose of your site. Listed below are some factors to take into account when choosing a domain name.
1. Spelling - If your clients/websurfers can't spell your domain name they are less likely to visit and re-visit your site.
2. Easy to remember - If your domain name is easy to remember people are more likely to type it into the web browser and therefore visit your site on multiple occassions. If they haven't written it down or bookmarked it they may never find your site again unless they can remember keywords which will enable them to find your site again in the search engines. Or it is easy to find in the search engines.
3. Length - if the name is too long it will be tiresome to type it into the browser all the time (and you will most likely do that more than anyone else). the maximum length of a domain name is 57 characters. (Planet Ocean, 2004 p7)
4. Keywords - If you use keywords it could increase your number of visitors. For example, if someone is looking for a therapist in Tokyo and you call your website http://tokyotherapy.com it is more likely that people will find it relevant than if you call it http://shirleyssupersite.com. When looking through search results at Google or Yahoo for example, or if your site is on a list of links on another site, having the right name will make people more likely to click on your link and view your site. (Planet Ocean, 2004 p7)
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The reason I chose this company (which pays me a tiny commission if you
buy here) is because:
How do I choose an extension for my domain name? .com? .org? .co.jp? .net? com.au?
Easy to remember - try to choose an extension people will remember when they type it into a browser. If you are a plumber living in Canada and only plan to service customers in Canada a .ca extension may suffice. However if you have written a book on plumbing and plan to sell it worldwide, you should consider the fact that the rest of the world may not be familiar with the .ca extension.
A .com extension which is popular worldwide may be more appropriate. It would also be legally possible for you to use .biz, .info, .net and .org. I myself have trouble remembering other extensions except perhaps .org, so I would say it is likely other people do too. Therefore I recommend using .com unless the domain name you want is already taken or you are making a site for a non-profit organization that would fit the .org category.
If you want the website www.plumber.com and it is gone, you could choose www.plumber.net. However if the owner of the www.plumber.com website is running a business which you are directly competing with this may not be a good idea as it is most likely that many of your customers will type in the .com extension by mistake!
These domain name extensions are available to people worldwide: .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro domain names available for registration on a global basis. (ICANN, FAQ 2004)
You may have seen websites with extensions such as: .us (United States) .jp (Japan) .au (Australia) .ca (Canada) .uk (United Kingdom). These are called country codes and some of these are reserved for people living within that country. Rules vary from country to country. (ICANN, FAQ 2004)
To see a full list of country codes and where to buy them check the ICANN.org website on this page: www.iana.org/cctld/cctld-whois.htm
Each country offers various extensions, these are examples of some of the possibilites in Australia and Japan. They are not open to everyone. For example for a .com.au extension you would need a registered business in Australia and a .co.jp extension you would need have a registered company in Japan.
Australia: asn.au, com.au, id.au, net.au, and org.au. For more info visit: www.auda.org.au/domains/au-domains
Japan: .jp, co.jp, or.jp, ne.jp, ac.jp, ad.jp, ed.jp. go.jp For more info visit: http://jprs.jp/en/jpdomain.html
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How much does it cost to own a domain name?
How do I pay for my domain name?
If you plan to keep your site for a while it is convenient to set it to automatically renew each year. You will be sent a renewal notice by email and asked to update your credit card details.
You can also choose to buy it long term, say for 10 years at a time. BUT make sure you keep the company up to date with your changes of email accounts as they won't be able to contact you in 10 years time if you have changed your email address. This could cause you to lose your domain name.
DANGER DANGER!!! Don't be a space case with your domain name or you may lose it!!! PLEASE read the interview below and keep your domain name safe.
INTERVIEW WITH TECHNICAL SUPPORT AT GO DADDY INC. (They give tech. support to NaturalHealingCenter.com, Godaddy and Wild West. They are one of the largest companies.) (Go Daddy Inc., Nov. 2004)
1. If somebody wants to buy a domain name I already own, they can apply
to do so. As of the 12th of November 2004 due to ICANN's new policy, I
will have 5 days to respond to an email which will be sent to me regarding
this matter. If I do not respond to the email (perhaps because I'm on vacation,
the email gets sent to my bulk mail folder or I don't realize it is an
urgent email) I could lose my domain name. Is that correct? Is this just
for .com domains?
2. So "locking" the
domain name will prevent this from happening won't it?
3. Does this affect all domain name registration companies or just
4. How do I lock my domain name?
5. What if I have paid for my domain name for say 5 years, and somebody
tries to buy my website name (it isn't locked and I don't answer the email
within 5 days for some reason). Does this mean that in 5 years time they
will take ownership of my domain name?
6. Doesn't this mean it is going to be like Christmas for website poachers?
They will just buy peoples domain names and sell them back to them?? There
are so many people who are not aware of the changes.
7. What if I have a domain name registered with you and I change my
email address and forget to tell you my new email address. My website comes
up for renewal (it is locked) but I don't reply to any of your emails.
How long will it be until I lose my website name and my website would be
taken off the internet? ( Of course if nobody else buys it I can always
buy it back.)
if I change my email address and forget to update my email details with
but still have my login & passwords. Will
I be able to update to my new email address or will you send an email to
my old account asking for confirmation of the changes (which I would be
unable to answer)?
FINAL COMMENTS Lock your domain name. Bad things do sometimes happen to nice website owners. If you haven't read the interview with Tom Morris on the home page please do! Keep you renewal dates and passwords where you can find them! If you are not good with this kind of thing you should put someone else in charge of taking care of it.
ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers), FAQ - June 2004. Retrieved on 13 Nov. 2004 from http://icann.org/faq/#regglobal
Planet Ocean Communications, Nov. 2004. The unfair advantage book on winning the search engine wars (Version SE99). Planet Ocean Communications, Captain Cook HI.
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