(12 general DO's and DONT's of domain names)
1. DO know the domain name format. Domain names can generally be between 2
and 63 characters long (not including the extension), and contain the
characters a-z, 0-9 and '-' (hyphen). Domain names cannot start or end with
'-' (hyphen). Domain names are not case sensitive and should generally be
displayed in all lowercase. You can now also register multi-lingual domain
2. DO know your target audience. Choose domain names that are appropriate
for them. Depending on who you are targeting this could mean choosing names
that sound sincere, cool, current, active, professional, or that use key
words from the industry for example.
3. DO keep domain names short and simple. Generally, the shorter the domain
name the easier it is to remember or write down, and the less chance of
users noting and remembering it incorrectly. Restrict the domain name to
one, two or three words at most. (The one exception to this is the next
tip). All other things being equal, give preference to words with fewer
syllables and words that are easy to pronounce. Short is good, but don't use
difficult to remember acronyms, such as qmxf.
4. DO register a long domain name containing a list of relevant words for
your web site to achieve a higher ranking in some search engines. Several of
the major search engines rank web sites much higher if the search terms are
contained in the domain name. You can use up to 63 characters to create a
long domain name with keywords and automatically redirect visitors to the
real web site.
5. DO use the appropriate pluralization. For example, newhomes.com is
probably better than newhome.com if the web site is not relating to "a"
6. DO use words that can be visualized. Vision is the strongest of human
senses. Even better, use words that involve several of the 5 senses. This
usually involves choosing more common nouns (names or objects), verbs
(actions), and adjectives (descriptions). For example, the word "fire" is
easily imagined. It includes strong cues in four of the five senses - visual
(red and yellow flames), auditory (crackling and other noises), feeling
(heat), and smell (smoke).
7. DO plan for the future. If you are planning on releasing other products
or services from this domain name in the future then don't limit the
relevance to the initial product or service. That being said Internet
marketing experts believe that your web site should have only one subject or
focus. All products or services listed on the web site should be related. A
web site with a broad focus is not as appealing to someone who is looking
for particular information.
8. DO register the domain name in the correct global or country level
domain. For universal appeal use a .com, .org, or .net domain. For local
appeal use an appropriate domain in your country, such as .ca, or one of the
new choices like .biz, or .info Note that many domains have restrictions on
what domain names can be registered. In some domains you can only use a name
that is derived from a registered business or organization name.
9. DO check that you are not infringing on an existing trademark or other
name that rightfully belongs to another company or individual. An available
domain name does not necessarily give you the right to register and use it.
10. DON'T use hyphens between words if possible. A domain name with hyphens
is harder to describe when said aloud. It is commonly accepted that a domain
name with multiple words does not include hyphens.
11. DON'T use confusing spelling. If your domain is targeted at a worldwide
audience then stay away from words that are spelt differently throughout the
world, such as words ending in ize(US)/ise(UK). This also applies to many
words that have different meanings throughout the world. Some common English
words are even offensive in other languages.
12. DON'T choose domain names that are very similar to others if possible.
After all, you want customers coming to you, not your competitors! An
exception to this rule is if you register the domain name of a commonly
misspelt word, in the hope of catching additional customers.
Like any brand name, logo, or trademark, your domain name represents part of
your business identity. Customers will associate it with your particular
product, service, company and so on, if you name it correctly. Remember that
you domain name will probably be used for several purposes, including your
web site, email address, and possibly an ftp or other server. It will be an
integral part of your marketing campaign.
If your domain name can be easily remembered then you will attract more
customers. People will use your web site or email address to get immediate
and convenient access to the information or service that you are providing.
Domain names are portable. You can move physical address, change phone
numbers, change Internet service providers, change the company that hosts
your web site, and still keep the same domain name. This provides an
extremely flexible method of keeping in touch with your customers and users.
We hope that these tips have been of some benefit to you. Save or print them
and use them as a checklist when registering your next domain name.
Domain Registration Team