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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. Transparent Gif

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 it is more likely that people will find it relevant than if you call it 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)

Buy a domain name now!
You can buy a domain name and get hosting from my site here:

The reason I chose this company (which pays me a tiny commission if you buy here) is because:

  1. The prices are excellent.
  2. They have 24/7 telephone support. The best support I have ever received on anything to do with the internet. Not only are they incredibly helpful, you also almost always get to speak to someone right away.
  3. I got tired of sending off emails with questions, waiting up to 24 hours for a response, and then finding that the person hasn't really read or answered my questions properly and has just cut and pasted inappropriate information from a FAQ which does not answer my questions.
  4. They are big enough that I feel confident they will stay in business.
  5. They are easy to work with.
  6. It is easy (compared to other companies I have tried) to transfer domain names etc.
  7. I get an account that I can log into and manage everything from my account details to hosting and much more.
  8. Their hosting plan guarantees that my website will be functioning 99% of the time.

How do I choose an extension for my domain name? .com? .org? .net?

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 and it is gone, you could choose However if the owner of the 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!

Worlwide Availability

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)

  • .com is a generic top-level domain originally intended for commercial businesses around the world.

  • .net is a generic top-level domain used by many types of organizations and individuals globally; it was historically intended for and is still commonly used by Internet service providers.

  • .org domain is unrestricted, but was intended to serve the noncommercial community.

  • .biz is restricted to businesses.

  • .info domain is an unrestricted domain for websites containing information about you, your organization, your products or any other information you'd like to make available to a global audience.

  • .name is reserved for individuals.

  • .pro domain is restricted to certified professionals and related entities.
    (ICANN, FAQ 2004)

Country Codes

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 website on this page:

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 extension you would need a registered business in Australia and a extension you would need have a registered company in Japan.

Australia:,,,, and For more info visit:

Japan: .jp,,,,,, For more info visit:

Buy a domain name now!
You can buy a domain name and get hosting from my site here:

How much does it cost to own a domain name?
The prices of domain names varies from company to company. These prices were retrieved from the websites listed on the 13th of Nov. 2004. I am in no way recommending these companies (the exception being of course!)

US$8.95 a year
US$8.70 (on sale at the time I checked)
US$9.95 a year
US$19.95 a year (if you register for 5 years)
£12.50 a year
US$9.95 a year
AU$17.50 a year

How do I pay for my domain name?
I think the easiest way to pay is by credit card or Paypal®. Most companies will offer these options and others will allow you to pay in other ways such as by check.

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, 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?
Yes. If it is not locked. This is for all domains except country codes (, .ca, .jp etc.)

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 yours?
It affect everyone.

4. How do I lock my domain name?
For our company you can do it easily by going into your account and clicking on the MANAGE DOMAINS BUTTON. You will see a picture of a lock. Click on this button and your domains will lock. You should contact whoever you bought your domain name from and ask them.

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?
No, if it went through the name would be transferred right away and you would have to go into a dispute, maybe go to court, to get it back. You would probably have to go to court over it.

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.
Most likely you would have to go to court to try and get your domain name back.

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.)
30 days after the renewall is due.

8. What if I change my email address and forget to update my email details with your company, 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)?
That is OK. As long as you have your passwords you can change your email address and details by logging into your account.

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.

Go Daddy Inc. Interview by telephone with technical support advisor 17th Nov. 2004.

ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers), FAQ - June 2004. Retrieved on 13 Nov. 2004 from

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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