Perhaps the most poignant scene in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible happens at the end when the protagonist, John Proctor, refuses to sign his name on a false confession. When asked why he refuses to sign the document, even though it could save his life he cries out in anguish, “Because it is my name. It is the only name I will ever have.” It is a heartfelt and stunning reminder that our identity begins at birth when our parents name us. A web site also depends on its name, which is why choosing a domain name that best represents your site and its purpose is something to be done very carefully indeed.
Choose the right name
When you are ready to start a web site don’t just run to the first registry you can find and type in the first thing you think of. Sit down and do some research about your site and what you hope it will accomplish. What is the goal of your site? What kind of images do you want customers to associate with it? If you could sum up your site in one word, what would that word be? The best domain names tend to be names that are short and easy to remember and something to do with the topic or service your web site provides. If you are going to attempt humor with your domain name, make sure it’s a joke that not just you can understand. Overall, the name should add to the quality of your web site not distract from it.
As you’re picking a name for your web site, one of the common things to happen is you find the absolutely most perfect name possible, go to the registry and type in the name in the lookup box and lo and behold – its already taken. Then you have a problem. You’re already sold on the idea, and now it’s not workable. Make sure to have a lookup box from the registry available as you are choosing the name for your domain site so you can check availability instantly. You should also check names that are similar to the domain name you are choosing to make sure there won’t be confusion later on in and your advertising doesn’t accidentally send your customer to someone else’s site.
Pick the right extension
Many registrars will also let you choose the extension along with your domain name. That means that you get to choose whether your domain name will be a.com. or .net .biz or any of the other approved for public use extension names. Be sure to pick one that does not mislead your customers or clientele. If you’re really selling something, choosing an .org which is largely for nonprofit organizations or a .net which is for social networking, may seem like a brilliant way to get people to your site. However, customers know when they’ve been conned and it tends to backfire on the business. Choose the proper extension for what you’re doing and let your site’s integrity sell itself.
What’s in a name? Everything. Careful and thoughtful picking and use of the name for your web site will help keep your enterprise on the top of its game.