So, you’re excited and ready to have a website built so that your customers can finally find your business online. I don’t blame you for being excited but choosing a domain name is something that really shouldn’t be taken lightly.
What is a Domain Name Anyway?
Every website has it’s own unique domain name. The one for this website is OnlineRebooted.com. It’s what your customers will come to associate your business’s online presence with so careful consideration should go into choosing the perfect domain name for your new website.
There are some important factors to consider before you pull the trigger and register a domain name.
We can’t provide you with legal advice when it comes to choosing a domain name. With that being said, there are some things that you may want to consider or speak with your own attorney about before you register a particular domain name.
You could find yourself in a big legal mess if you happen to choose the same or very similar domain name that someone else is already using or doing business as. For example, you might want your website to have the domain name “bing.com” because your last name is Bing.
When the Internet was just starting out, pretty much all websites used the .com domain extension. Nowadays, there are so many more to choose from, including but not, limited to .net, .org, .biz, .info, .tv, and .us.
You might be tempted to register a domain name like “bing.net” and think that you’re good to go because it has a different domain extension. Many people actually use this tactic but doing so might not be the best idea. Microsoft happens to own the trademark for the word “Bing” and they very well may have a problem with you using a derivative of their trademarked word.
As mentioned above, we’re certainly not qualified to offer legal advice when it comes to choosing a domain name. What we will say is that we advise you to do your own due diligence and consult with a qualified attorney if necessary.
Helpful Tips to Get You Started
Some tips to get you started in selecting a domain name are to do a comprehensive Internet search using several variations of the domain name that you are considering registering.
You might also want to do some of your own research and check to see if the domain name that you would like to use is already trademarked or is similar to a registered United States trademark. You can do your own search at uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database.
Simple is Often Better
Remember, that you’re going to want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you online. If you own a business that provides landscaping services such as lawn mowing, hedge trimming, edging, and shrub planting, it wouldn’t be a good idea to choose the domain “lawnmowinghedgetrimmingedgingandshrubplanting.com”. Your customers would NEVER be able to remember that name and can you imagine how big your business card would have to be?
Keeping in mind that you want your existing and potential customers to be able to actually navigate to your website simpler is usually a better option. Something that still coveys the type of business you are in such as something like “qualitylandscaping.com” might be a better choice.
Don’t Overlook the Fine Print
One thing that is VERY important when you register a domain name is that you provide your actual and accurate contact information to the company that you register your domain with. This is required by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) that you must abide by when you register a domain name. The information that you provide will be public record and accessible via an online service such as whois.net.
Most business owners don’t have a problem providing their contact information because they want their customers to be able to find them and get in touch with them. There are, however, certain circumstances where website owners may not want just anyone to be able to do a whois search to find out things like their name, phone number, and address.
For example, if you’re having us built a website that you plan on using as a family blog where you’ll post photo’s of your family, friends, and home, you may want to keep your personal contact information anonymous.
Fortunately, it’s easy to do this. When you register your domain name with name.com, all you have to do is make sure that you also purchase what is called “Whois Privacy” for the domain that you would like to keep anonymous. As of today, 5/16/2015 the price is only $3.99/year per domain.
You still have to provide true and accurate contact information when you register the domain but if you purchase whois privacy, when someone tries to search for the contact information associated with your domain, instead of your personal information being displayed, a searcher will see something like the information posted below:
Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
PO Box 639
Kirkland, WA 98083
More Information on Selecting a Domain Name
For your convenience, here’s a link to an article that is published on problogger.com called 4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Domain Name that might be helpful to you. If you choose to read it, don’t forget to come right back to OnlineRebooted.com when you’re done!