Choose a domain name for your website
Plan your website before you start building it -> Choose the right domain name
-> Check your selected domain name here
-> Register your domain name
It is a good idea to occasionally visit the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) website and get familiarized with some of their ongoing effort to have coordination among the vast network of addresses on the Internet.
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet.
ICANN does not control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it does not deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.
TLD & SLD
The website or domain names have two parts to it. Firstly, there are Top Level Domains (TLD). For example, .com, .net, .edu, .info, .org, etc. Secondly, there are Second Level Domains (SLD). Those are the names directly to the left of .com, .net, and the other top-level domains. As an example, in the domain mywebsiteworkout.com, "mywebsiteworkout" is the second-level domain.
After you chose the subject and researched and collected material for it, naming your domain or website is the next crucial decision. In the modern world of the Internet, where people automatically turn to the Web for information, it pays to have a domain name that reflects your website or business.
I selected mywebsiteworkout.com because websiteworkout.com was not available. When I typed in websiteworkout.com, at the time of this writing, in the address field of the browser, there was not a single page to that name. But it is registered. So I chose what I did.
Generic Names or Brand Names (gTLD)
Instead of generic names - cars.com, pencil.com, etc. a domain name that matches your brand name is very important. The very name that you use to advertise your product is the name that you will want for your domain, because that is the first thing that people will try in their browser. It is also the easiest thing to remember.
A draft Applicant Guidebook for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), is now available for review and comment at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-comments-en.htm. The draft Guidebook provides information for those interested in applying for new generic top-level domains.
Long or Short Domain Names
Domain names can be of any length up to 67 characters. In the Internet world, there appears to be some disagreement about whether a long or short domain name is better.
Some argue that shorter domain names are easier to remember, easier to type and far less prone to mistakes or typos. Others argue that a longer domain name is usually easier on the human memory.
Some of these arguments are actually academic. It is increasingly difficult to get short meaningful domain names. If you manage to get a short domain name though, the key is to make sure it is a meaningful combination of characters. Long domain names that have your website keywords in them also have advantage in that they fare better in a number of search engines.
It is easy to forget the hyphens when you type a name.
Even when you remember, it is hard to type in the hyphens.
When people recommend your website to their friends verbally, having hyphens in name leads to more potential errors.
Search engines can distinguish your keywords better and thus return your website more prominently in search results.
The non-hyphenated name may no longer be available. At a minimum, you still get the domain name you want with hyphens.
Plurals, The, and My forms of the Domain Names
Quite often these days, if you cannot get the domain name you want, the domain name registrar will suggest alternate forms of the name you typed in. It will contain The, My etc. before the domain name you requested. That is how I ended up with mywebsiteworkout.com. It is just that when I promote my website, I write the complete URL like http://www.mywebsiteworkout.com.
COM, ORG, NET, etc.
The most common TLD name is the dot com. Dot net is also increasingly being used. Dot org is mostly used for non-profit organizations. Instead of getting websiteworkout with dot net TLD, I chose to register mywebsiteworkout with dot com TLD. It was just a personal choice.
In a Nutshell
It is preferred, but not necessary, to have a website name that represent your business. The very name that you use to advertise your product is the name that you will want for your domain.
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