Name Your Website

Date Tuesday, 25 November 2008  Posted in Category Domain Name & Web Hosting, Web Applications  Tags , ,   Comment No Comments »

Build a Website Step by Step Part 2 of 6

Through Part 1 – Define Your Website, you know what you’re planning to include on your website. Now that you need to come up with a name for it, a domain name.

So, what makes for a good name on a website? Here are 3 criteria that you should consider:

1. Memorable. Why is a social networking website called Facebook.com and an online bookstore called Amazon.com? Simple because it’s easy to remember. Same thing with a portal called Yahoo.

2. Logical. Select a name that logically ties in with what your website do. Examples: babystore.com for a baby products seller and flowers.com for a florist. Try to make the domain name the same as your company name. Airline AirAsia’s domain name is AirAsia.com. HSBC bank’s domain name is hsbc.com.

3. Short. Some people prefer longer domain names for more descriptive, for instance, one budget shop owner has a website www.2dollarsbudgetshop.com. It gets a message across, but will you really remember that when you are online? Shorter, like www.budgetshop.com, is better. Stick with this idea- think about the website name you can anytime recall from your head without going to your bookmarks.

As for what not to do, just a couple of tips:

1. Try to avoid having the “or”, “and”, “the” words and plurals in a domain name. I can never remember if it’s Johnson&Johnson.com or JohnsonandJohnson.com. I bet lots of other folks can’t either. And is Malaysian Airline System (MAS) website malaysiaairline.com or malaysiaairlines.com? Would it better if use MAS.com? And the same case the StarCruises.com, I entered as StarCruise.com.

2. Having the last letter of your first word the same as the first letter of your last word also creates problems, because people can’t figure out whether to use the letter once or twice. For examples, sportsstore, champssports, babiesstore and professionallawyer.

3. Make sure your website name is easy to say. For example, card4u.com or littleangle.com. Try to avoid using complicated short-form where only you know its means- gssckl.com for Global Shared Service Centre Kuala Lumpur- how many times do you need to practice to remember the name?

4. If possible, try to avoid using the word that has different spelling in American English and International (British) English. For example, colorprinter.com could be colourprinter.com and favouritegame.com could be favoritegame.com. If you have no choice, I would suggest to register 2 of them and redirect one to the other.

The Exclusivity Factor

You can’t copyright, patent or register human names and book titles, which means multiple people can have the same name, and different books can have the same title.

But domain names are unique, it is a globally unique identity. So when in doubt, it pays to register any name you might want and hold it, rather than risk letting it go to someone else.

Register your Internet domain name early. When in doubt about a name, register it anyway. Registration can be as cheap as $10 per year when you get the name from ICANN Accredited Registrars (http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/ or http://www.internic.net/alpha.html) before someone else has.

To check to see if the name you want is available, go to: http://www.internic.net/whois.html and conduct a Whois Search on World Domain Names Database . For Whois information about country-code (two-letter eg. .com.cn /.co.uk) top-level domains, please try Uwhois.com (http://www.uwhois.com/cgi/domains.cgi?User=NoAds.)

The maximum length of a domain name is 255 octets. There are domain names being registered every second, with more than 50 million .com domain names registered to date.

What Are the Valid Characters for a Domain Name and How Long Can It Be?

The only valid characters for a domain name are letters, numbers and a hyphen/dash “-“. Other special characters like the underscore “_” or the exclamation mark “!” are not permitted. A domain name can be up to 63 characters long, plus the characters used to identify the top-level domains (TLDs: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .cn, .us). Do not include the “http://www.” portion before your domain name when counting characters.

However, I think a domain name shall not exceeded 20 characters as of today. For example, MyDreamCarStudio.com is fine and still available in Whois.

Registering Your Name

Once you’ve identified the name you want and confirmed its availability, and it’s time to register it.

Remember that if you’re taking advantage of a website building tool from the domain name registrar, registering your domain is often handled through that process, which makes getting your website address up and running even easier for you!

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