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How To Choose A Domain Name - Part I

Sharon Housley -- So, you have an idea or a product.... now you need a domain name for a Web site. How do you choose a great domain name? Here are a few ideas...

Brainstorm

Create a list of words or phrases that relate to the product, service, information, or brand that will be promoted on the Web site.

Experiment

Experiment with variations of the words in the above list. Change the order of words in phrases to create unique combinations for possible domain names.

Check availability

Check the availability of the potential domains, using Network Solutions or a similar domain registrar. If the desired name is already taken, most domain registrars will provide a list of alternative similar domains that are available.

Check trademarks

Search to see if a trademark exists for a specific word combination. The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) has one of the largest searchable databases of trademarked words or phrases at http://www.uspto.gov/

Check search engines

Enter the potential domains in the various online search engines and examine the results. Do the desired domains already have existing websites? Will the selected domain result in any marketplace confusion?

Test it out

Pose the potential domain to friends and acquaintances. Ask how the name makes them feel, and ask for their initial reaction to the names. Ask people from other countries, too! Remember: words do not always translate well into other languages, or not as you might expect. If you sell in a global marketplace, you do not want to unintentionally alienate or insult your audience with an offensive or confusing domain name.

Purchase it (and variations)

Once you have settled on a domain name, purchase it... before someone else does! Domain names are relatively inexpensive, so we recommend that you also purchase variations of the domain name, in order to lock them up as well. You can then redirect the any traffic from the variations to you primary domain.

Tools For Selecting Domains

• Domainr - http://domai.nr/
• Dot-o-mator - http://www.dotomator.com
• Bustaname - http://www.bustaname.com/
• Domize - https://domize.com/
• DomainsBot - http://www.domainsbot.com/
• dnScoop - http://www.dnscoop.com/
• StuckDomains - http://www.stuckdomains.com/
• Nameboy - http://www.nameboy.com/
• dyyo - http://dyyo.com/search_form.php
• DomainTools - http://www.domaintools.com/
• Ajax Whois -http://ajaxwhois.com/
• DomainTyper - http://domaintyper.com/
• Instant Domain Search - http://instantdomainsearch.com/
• Make Words - http://www.makewords.com/
• CNames - http://www.pcnames.com/
• Domain Pigeon - http://www.domainpigeon.com/
• ChoiceBits - http://www.choicebits.com/
• Wordoid - http://www.wordoid.com/
• Squurl - http://squurl.com/
• Unwanted Domain Names - http://unwanted-domain-names.co.uk/

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds, and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.

© 2010 Sharon Housley

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal or medical professional.