How to Register Domain Names Domain Name
How to Choose and Register a Domain Name

September 18th, 2008:

How to Choose and Register the Right Domain Name

Why Do I Need a Domain Name?

Although there are many server hosts out there who will host your website for free, the URL (the address under which the website can be found) is not usually easy to remember. Nobody will remember a website address like this: or

The domain name (for example: is your website's identity on the internet. This is also the address under which your website can be found online, and the name that people will associate with your online business or website. Domain names can be registered with a domain name registrar for a minimum period of one year. Once you have registered a domain name, this domain is yours to use and nobody else can register the same domain name with the same extension. A domain name is unique. Domain registration fees vary from under $10 to over $100, depending on the registrar and domain extension. Many registrars offer .com domains for under $10/year.

What are gTLD Domain Names?

Domain names come with several extensions: .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .name, .ws and many more. These domain names are considered gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain) names.

What are ccTLD Domain Names?

There is another group of domain name extensions available for registration that identify various countries and are called ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) domains. For example: .de for Germany, .jp for Japan, or .ca for Canada

How to Choose and Register a Domain Name:

One of the first things you need to consider when planning your website or online business is a suitable domain name that describes either your business, the product you are advertising or selling, or your business name (if you want people to find you easily by your business name).

For example: If you want to sell flowers on your website, you should try to get a domain name that contains the word "flowers" or "flower." If you are selling computers, pick a domain name with the word "computer" or "computers" in it. In addition to helping your visitors associate your website with your product, the URL name is also essential for search engines and for search engine placement.

Choose a Short Domain Name

The shorter the domain name, the easier it is for your visitors or potential visitors to remember your domain and thus your business's and your website's address.

What Domain Extension Should I Choose?

This depends on your target audience. Are you looking to reach people all over the world, or are you looking to reach people in a specific country or region only?

If you are looking to reach people internationally you should probably go for a .com domain name extension. A .com extension is the most recognized domain extension worldwide.

If you are looking to reach people in a specific country only, you should go for the relevant ccTLD or country code domain.
For example: If you are looking to reach people in Germany, you should go for a .de domain extension. If you are looking to reach people in Japan, you should go with a .jp extension.

What About Hyphens in Domain Names?

I do not recommend domain names with hyphens ("-") in them, since most people do not remember hyphens in website addresses. However, if you can't get your ideal two- word domain name without a hyphen, you might try to select a domain name in which two words are separated with a hyphen - !

My Ideal Domain Name is Not Available with a .com or Desired Country Code Extension

In the likely event that your desired domain name and ideal extension are not available, register a domain with another extension. Popular extensions include: .net, .info, .us (if your target audience is in the United States), or .eu (if your target audience is in the European Union). The domain extension .org indicates a non-profit organization and is not recommended for businesses.

There is also a wide variety of other domain extensions available, which vary in popularity and registration fees. However, keep in mind that most people do not remember domain extensions other than .com or the country code extension of the country they live in!

It may take some time to find that perfect domain name that is still available, but it is definitely worth investing some time in this search. After all, your domain will stay with you and your business for a long time. You will also want to advertise this domain and possibly invest a lot of time and money into marketing your domain or online business. It can be a pain in the a** to find out down the line that your registered domain name is not the ideal option.

The Domain Name I Want is Registered With Someone Else. What Can I Do?

An alternative to finding a free domain name is buying an already registered domain name. Many registered domain names are up for sale by their owners. This may be a little more costly than registering an available domain, but it might be well worth it. Registered domains sell for pretty much any amount of money, from U$ 10 - U$ 10,000.000 depending on various aspects.

There is a variety of marketplaces on the internet for buying and selling domain names and websites. Here are some that we recommend:

If your desired domain name is not listed for sale, try contacting the domain owner and asking if they are willing to sell the name. To look up the email address of the owner or administrative contact of a domain name just go to Whois.

Backordering a Domain Name

This applies to already registered domain names: Some registrars offer the option of backordering a domain name. This basically means that for a specific fee, the registrar will attempt to register a domain name for you as soon as it becomes available. This might be a good option if there is one specific domain name that you absolutely want, and if you have the patience to wait. Keep in mind, however, that you might have to wait several years before the domain becomes available. It might also never become available, or someone else may have placed a backorder on that domain name before you. Overall, this is not something I would rely on. The chances of getting a great domain name through backordering are rather slim.

What are IDN Domain Names?

IDN Domains are "Internationalized Domain Names," which allow for the use of special non-English characters (i.e. Umlauts like "ä", "ü" und "ö"). HTML normally uses ASCII code, which does not allow special characters. These domains are subject to many temporary technical restrictions. For example, users need an IDN-compatible browser to visit them.

How to Register a Domain Name

You can register your unique domain name with the registrar of your choice. But you should make sure that you register your domain with an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) accredited registrar or sub registrar.

gTLD - generic top level domain
ccTLD - country code top level domain

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