Domain names can be thought of as a way to find your website, and the information it contains.
Links to content in your website always begin with your domain name.
This website's domain name is smallbusinesswebsiteprimer.com.
This particular page's web address is smallbusinesswebsiteprimer.com/domain-names.
Domain names are suffixed with a top level domain (TLD). Amongst the most prevalent TLDs are .com, .net, and .org. There are literally hundreds of top level domains from which to choose.
To date, there have been approximately 299 million domain names registered. With so many domain names having been registered, chances are your preferred domain name is amongst them.
Finding the right domain name might prove to be a time intensive endeavor, so you might want brainstorm a list of several options and alternatives.
I've compiled the key points of an outstanding blog post by Just Add Content that explores several important considerations.
Type the web address below and press Go!, or open up a new browser window and type the URL into the address bar.
The more specific the domain name, the greater the chances it'll be available.
Domain name relevancy to the content of your website is an important ranking factor for search engines.
Shorter domain names are easier to remember, and easier to type into browsers. Of course, shorter domain names aren't always better.
When possible, give preferences to .com TLDs. They are typically seen as being more authoritative, however .net, and .org are sufficient if your preferred .com domain name is unavailable.
There's a perception that domain names using TLDs such as .biz, .blog, .info, .ninja, etc. are not as reputable.
Typically registering a domain name, you have the option to do so in increments of 12 months. Some registrars may even offer you a discount if you pay for multiple years in advance.
Most registrars offer an opt-in feature to automatically renew your domain name for you.
Rather than risk losing your domain name, I recommend you enable auto-renewal. Save yourself from future frustrations and hassle.
This will be a very time intensive and expensive endeavor. Unless you have a large budget, the domain name is critical to your company's brand, and you are willing to invest the time to purchase the domain name, it's probably best to look for a different one.
When domain names are registered, it is required that administrative contact information be collected and made publicly available. This information is known as a WHOis record.
As you might suspect, the act of searching for such information is called performing a WHOis search.
Fortunately, virtually any registrar you purchase your domain name from will offer you some sort of anonymity service for a few more dollars a month.
If you opt for this service, your registrar's information will be listed in the WHOis record, and they will relay any messages to you.
There are currently 349 english based top level domain names. View the entire list in greater detail on wikipedia.
|.accountant||accountants and accounting firms|
|.accountants||accountants and accounting firms|
|.adult||adult entertainment (pornography)|
|.archi||architects and architect firms|
|.attorney||attorneys and legal organizations|
|.audio||"stereo/sound systems, music"|
|.bar||Bars and related industry|
|.bargains||coupons and online sellers|
|.beer||breweries and beer aficionados|
|.black||those who like the color black|
|.blackfriday||"Black Friday, retail"|
|.blue||those who like the color blue|
|.boo||ghosts and spooky business|
|.buzz||marketing and social networking|
|.cab||cabs and taxi companies|
|.camp||camps and camping|
|.cancerresearch||"Organizations, research institutes and individuals interested in ending cancer through research"|
|.club||"groups, organizations, assemblies, communities, general"|
|.coach||travel (flights and motor coaches)|
|.codes||computer and/or encryption code enthusiasts|
|.coffee||cafés and coffee aficionados|
|.community||"social groups, neighborhoods"|
|.contractors||Remodeling and independent businesses|
|.cruises||cruise businesses and travel|
|.dance||Dance studios and companies|
|.deals||online shopping and couponing|
|.democrat||Democratic Party politics|
|.design||graphic art and fashion|
|.diamonds||diamond and jewelry industry|
|.dog||dog stores and owners|
|.eat||restaurants and [foodie]s|
|.energy||energy industry and marketing|
|.engineer||engineers and engineering firms|
|.esq||"lawyers, law firms, legal professionals"|
|.estate||real estate businesses|
|.faith||religion and churches|
|.farm||farms and agriculture|
|.fish||"fishing businesses, sports, and interests"|
|.fishing||"fishing businesses, sports, and interests"|
|.fit||Fitness and exercise|
|.fitness||Fitness and exercise|
|.flights||airline businesses and travel|
|.flowers||florists and gardens|
|.football||soccer and American football|
|.fyi||for your information|
|.gallery||photo and art galleries|
|.gives||charities and gift-giving|
|.glass||window sales and repairs|
|.gold||gold and luxury|
|.gop||Republican Party politics|
|.hiphop||Hip hop culture|
|.hiv||AIDS and HIV|
|.holdings||real estate or financial business|
|.holiday||holiday gift industry|
|.homes||individuals interested in real estate and home improvement|
|.horse||horse-related businesses and interest|
|.house||real estate and construction businesses|
|.ing||"Verbal suffix: e.g., ""jump.ing""."|
|.ink||creative printing or tattooing|
|.kitchen||food industry and remodeling|
|.lawyer||lawyers and legal organizations|
|.legal||lawyers and legal organizations|
|.lgbt||"the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community"|
|.link||connecting to information|
|.loan||banks and lenders|
|.loans||banks and lenders|
|.lol||LOL: laughing out loud|
|.luxury||businesses catering to the wealthy|
|.market||marketing services and retailers|
|.markets||financial and stock markets|
|.mba||Masters in Business Administration|
|.media||general media interests|
|.meet||"social gatherings, meeting new people"|
|.moe||Japanese otaku culture|
|.movie||movies and cinemas|
|.name||"individuals, by name"|
|.onl||"short for ""online"""|
|.organic||"organic gardeners, farmers, foods, etc."|
|.parts||manufacturing and consumer auto|
|.party||nightclubs and social gatherings|
|.photo||photography and photo-sharing|
|.photography||photography and photo-sharing|
|.photos||photography and photo-sharing|
|.pics||photography and photo-sharing|
|.pictures||photography and photo-sharing|
|.pink||those who like the color pink|
|.poker||Poker players and sites|
|.porn||adult entertainment (pornography)|
|.press||publishing and journalism|
|.prof||"Professors, teachers and learning"|
|.recipes||recipes and cooking|
|.red||those who like the color red|
|.rehab||Rehab centers and support sites|
|.rent||Real estate professionals and small businesses|
|.repair||general repair/maintenance businesses|
|.republican||Republican Party politics|
|.rest||Restaurants and related industry|
|.rich||businesses catering to the wealthy|
|.rsvp||Invitations and replies|
|.run||running and jogging|
|.sex||adult entertainment (pornography)|
|.show||entertainment and vlogs|
|.space||as a creative space|
|.studio||"art, fitness, & entertainment"|
|.tel||Internet communication services|
|.theater||theaters and cinemas|
|.tips||general help topics|
|.training||training and how-tos|
|.travel||travel and tourism industry related sites|
|.university||"young adults, university life"|
|.vet||veterans and veterinarians|
|.villas||real estate and/or travel businesses|
|.vodka||Vodka-related businesses and interest|
|.vote||democratic elections and campaign websites|
|.wang||general Wang is also a common surname in mainland China.|
|.webcam||Web cam shows and video sharing|
|.wed||engaged couples and wedding-oriented businesses|
|.win||"games, Microsoft Windows"|
|.xxx||adult entertainment (pornography)|