A Rose By any Other Domain Name

A Rose by Any Other Domain Name

Might not smell or test as sweet. Registering a domain name is fairly simple and relatively cheap, but there are a few important details to keep in mind when you are deciding on what your domain name should be.

The most important things are simple: keep it short, unique and relevant to your company. If your company name is Fritz and Sons Conglomerate Inc. “fritzandsons.com”, “Fritz-and-sons.net”, “Fritz.inc”, “fritz.com”, “FritzConglomerate.com”, even the acroynm “fsci.com” are all  domain names to consider, though a little bit of caution when creating  acroynms or running words together to avoid a domain name is saying more than you want it to

If you have a particular branding acronym, “catch phrase” or “buzz words”, such as “Never be on the Fritz with Fritz”, associated with your company you might consider “never-on-the-fritz.com”, unless someone has trademarked “Never on the Fritz”.

Never buy a domain name that is trademark protected. It’s fairly easy to do a search, if you are in doubt consult an attorney who specializes in trademark law. Trademarks and copyright infringements not only can lead you into court, they can also confuse visitors, customers and dilute your brand. It’s best to stick to unique phrases/wording that can easily be associated with your company and brand. Imagine buying and investing in a domain name only to find out thousands of development or advertising dollars later that you are building up a competitors brand or worse, liable for infringement. You might even want to consider creating your own trademark, to make sure your branding remains your property.

Valid characters for a domain name are letters, numbers and a dash (or hyphen) “-“. Spaces and other special characters like the underscore “_”, exclamation mark “!”, or the ampersand “&” are not permitted. Periods (or dots) are only used/allowed to denote the suffix, or top-level domain (TLD). The maximum length of a domain name can be up to 67 characters long – including the .com or other TLD, but generally, if you are using all 67 characters it is going to be too long for the average person to remember, write down or share. In addition, there is no need to add the “www.” before your domain name when registering the domain. You will still be able to use the “www.” prefix for your site URL, but as noted periods or “dots” are not allowed when registering the domain name. For example: “your company.com” is not a valid name because of the space. Use dashes or just combine the words your-company.com, yourcompany.net, yourcompany.org, or even “your.company” (using company as the TLD) are all valid formats and you will have the option of using www.your.company when setting up your site.

One of the other things you might want to look out for when choosing your domain name is

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Traditionally “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.biz” are the more recognized top level domain names, but these days you can use almost anything as more and more TLD’s are being created every year. Whichever TLD you choose it is a good idea to grab the .com version of your name if available. The reason for snagging for the .com version is simply that people will often get confused and type in .com unthinkingly rather than or in addition to your .org or .company domain names. There is one TLD you should probably avoid and its “.biz”. Poor “.biz” has a bit of a bad reputation brought about by some shady practices used by some of its earliest actors and because of this reputation, a yourcompany.biz might not go over as well as you might hope.

So to sum it up: make it relevant to your brand, short sweet and snappy. Avoid lengthy names. Avoid trademarked names. Avoid becoming a dirty joke. Try to grab the .com even if you want the .org or other TLD.