Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How to Select and Manage a Business Domain Name

Selecting and managing a domain name properly can save you a lot of frustration in the future. Here is some guidance I offer my friends and clients when they ask me about this most important task:

  1. Does the domain end in .com? The .com top level domain (TLD) is by far the most popular and most recognized TLD. The most successful and most memorable web domain names will end in .com.

  2. Does the domain reflect your business correctly? The company name is the best route here. When either that is not available or if you are trying to promote a particular campaign, keep in mind that someone should be able to look at or hear your domain name and understand what it is that you do.

  3. How long is the domain name? Not that size always matters, but the shorter the better in this situation. My domain,, is a bit to bite off, but I selected because it is my company name and there is no question as to what I do.

  4. Is your domain easily misspelled? Some examples are (could be or or an uncommon name or word that may be hard to spell. Other examples are intentional misspellings of words so that you are able to find a .com address that is available (i.e. or If you are concerned about this, tell a few people the domain name and have them write it out for you. This will give you a quick idea of the effectiveness of the domain.

  5. Multiple domains for a single company are not a bad idea IF you are planning only on using them to track your traditional advertising efforts. However, I do NOT recommend using multiple domains for your online promotion effort. An important factor in your Internet presence is link popularity and this effort should not be diluted by more than one domain to promote. If you go the multiple domain route, select the primary domain that will be used online with search engines and other promotions and stick with it.

  6. Buying a domain. Purchasing domains is a fairly straightforward process. I recommend for price and ease of use and ongoing management. For less than $10 a year, you can have your own domain name reserved. By managing this process yourself, you can save a lot time in the future (especially if you have multiple domains).

  7. It is also my recommendation that you set up your domain to automatically renew. There is nothing like being successful a year later and all of a sudden your domain expires and your site drops. I’ve seen it happen, it isn’t pretty and, more times than not, it seems to happen just when the site is needed most.

Darryl Parker is the founder and President of Internet marketing and Charlotte web site design firm Parker Web Developers. This series on web marketing is intended to present useful tips for business owners and decision makers. The series precedes an upcoming book compiling these topics. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

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