Discount Domain Names

The real work of domain name system happens is a very distributed, very desentralized way

Month: December 2015

Helpful Tips For Choosing The Right Domain For Your Business


The domain name is a critical factor in the success of a startup business venture. Making a poor choice when registering your domain can result in negative first impressions, lost sales, and a substantially decreased flow of traffic.

First impressions matter enormously online. In fact you have only a few seconds to capture a prospect’s interest and if you fail, they’ll be off to investigate something else.

If your domain name doesn’t make sense, people may disregard an invitation to visit your site. And if your domain name relays an incorrect message, you could lose traffic because prospects don’t understand what you are really offering.

Ideally your domain will be of reasonable length and will state very clearly what your site is about. You can use product names, company names, customer benefits, or special attributes relating to any of the above when formulating your domain name.

Also if at all possible utilize a good keyword or keyword phrase in your domain. This will be a great first step in optimizing your new site for the search engine results.

Keep the domain simple, but do your best to select a name that has some punch to it. When a potential customer sees or hears your Web address you want them to form a positive word-picture and to get a sound idea of what you can do to improve their life.

However you arrive at your domain name selection, here are two rules of thumb I highly recommend:

1. Always go with the .com selection when possible. People tend to think .com by default, and if you register something obscure like a .info, .biz, or even a .net you’ll probably be sending traffic to whoever owns the .com a fair amount of the time.

2. Be sure your domain name passes the radio ad test. In other words, if your target visitor heard the domain name on the radio, would he or she be able to immediately navigate to your site without any problem?

In keeping with the radio ad test rule, you should avoid using odd spellings and inside jokes for your domain. You might think it’s cool to spell a “C” word with a “K” but again you’ll be funneling your traffic to a competitor if you do this.

The best domain names are also catchy and easy to remember. In fact this attribute is so important you could even forget about most of the other suggestions here (aside from the radio ad test) if your domain name has enough zing to it.

For instance,,, and are almost nonsensical as words go. But who doesn’t instantly know what each of these sites is about when they hear the domain?
Going this route is risky. The above companies have each spent a fortune in name branding and public relations. You might come up with a very cool, though less sensible name, and still flop in a bad way if you don’t have the muscle to brand the new name.

This is a judgment call you’ll have to make. But for 99% of new businesses it’s smart to play it safe and choose a powerful but practical name.

Of course many visitors will not even see your domain name before landing on your site. These people will have clicked a link somewhere online and ended up on one of your pages.

But it’s wise to assume a good percentage of your target customers will be exposed to your domain name as part of your promotional efforts. Therefore it’s important to remember the tactics in this article when registering the domain for your new program.

How Domain Names Work

Most people understand that a domain name is simply the basic web address of a web site, but few people actually understand how domain names work. If you’re struggling to understand the basics of how domain names function on a technical level, then the information contained herein may prove to be quite useful.

A domain name is actually a lingual representation of an IP address, which is a series of numbers separated by dots. Every web site is given an IP address, however it is much more difficult to remember this segmented sequence of numbers instead of remembering a simple phrase. This is the basic concept of domain names, but the process through which an IP address is translated into a domain names is a bit more complicated.

Domain Name Levels

Domain names are divided into three different levels that represent different parts of a domain name. The first level (also known as the top-level) of the domain is the extension of the domain. For example,  in the domain name “,” the .com  portion of the domain is the top-level domain (TLD).

There are also country code top-level domains that are referred to as ccTLDs.

In all, there are over 200 top-level domains (TLDs) or domain name extensions to choose from, most of which are country code TLDs.  Generic TLDs contain three or four letters, like .com, .net, .org, or .info, while country code top-level domains usually contain two letters following a .co, such as (United Kingdom) or (India).

A complete list of country code TLDs can be found on the official IANA web site.

Domain Name Formatting

Domain names have to be at least two characters long and cannot exceed 63 characters total (minus the TLD). Domain names can include any combinations of numbers, letters and hyphens, but cannot contain any other symbols or spaces. The first and last characters of a domain name cannot be a hyphen.

Connecting Domain Names to IP Addresses

When you type in a domain name in the address bar of your browser, you’re actually connecting to a specific IP address. The domain name is directly associated with this IP address upon registration, and the connection of domain names to IP addresses is managed and regulated by ICANN ( Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

The best analogy for domain names and IP addresses would be vanity phone numbers – you can call some numbers by inputting a word or phrase into the keypad of the phone, but in reality, you’re actually accessing a phone number through your telephone line. Technically, you can enter the IP address of a web site into your browser and it will appear as usual, but this is rarely done because it is much less convenient.

Domain Name Registration

In order to associate a domain name with a web site or an IP address, you must first register the domain (by purchasing it).  Registering a domain name is simple and requires no special skills or prerequisites.
ICANN continuously maintains a list of accredited domain registrars from which you can purchase domain names.

Domains are registered for a specified time period, after which the domain expires and is open for new registration by another individual or business. When a domain registration is about to expire, the registrant of the domain is notified via email or phone call within two weeks of the expiration date.

It is important to note that intellectual property rights do apply to domain names, so you are not legally allowed to register a domain name that contains a term or phrase that is trademarked or copyrighted.

Pointing a Domain Name

After registering a domain name, it is necessary to point the domain name to a web site. This can usually be done within the control panel of the domain registrar’s web site. Simply change the name servers of your domain, and it will be pointed towards whichever nameserver you’d like.

Usually, you will need to obtain the names of these nameservers from your web hosting company.  Most web hosts will include information on how to point your domain in the proper fashion.

It is important to note that it can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to several days for a domain to become active on the internet after the official completion of registration and nameserver adjustments.

How to Create the Perfect Domain Name

We all know the Internet is an endless spring of community, entertainment, commerce and information. Unlike traditional mediums (print, TV, radio, brick and mortar businesses), the web promotes interaction by enabling everyone with a computer and a connection to cautiously dip their toes or cannonball full force into the world’s biggest pool party. Encouraging that do-it-yourself spirit in each of us are an endless line of designers, programmers and hosts who are anxious to assist even the most technically timid to sprout wings with their own site. However, you’ll never make it out of the nest if you don’t have the perfect domain name for your site. And thus, the search begins.


1. Make sure that the domain name doesn’t confuse potential visitors. Strive for a site name that sounds exactly like it’s spelled so you don’t need a search engine to find it. A quick trip to Alexa’s Top 100 U.S. sites shows there are few exceptions to this rule. With most basic words already spoken for, be prepared to get creative, mixing words together or coming up with an appropriate onomatopoeia.

2. Try to come up with an original name that is catchy enough to be passed along at the water cooler. Look no further than domain names Yahoo or Google. While these names really don’t reveal much about two of the web’s most visited sites, they’re easy to recall and short on syllables, making it easy for first-timers to find.

3. Commit to securing a “.com” name. It only takes a quick trip to Alexa to discourage any thoughts of settling for less popular “.org,” “.net” or “.info.” Of the Top 100 traffic-ranked sites in the United States, only 10 ended with something other than “.com.” At the end of the day, why argue with 90% of the country’s most-visited sites?

4. Cross check the domain name quality with others and consider their opinions. You may discover that what you thought was a great domain name idea is actually not so. If you are very secretive about the domain name, use Domometer in private mode and check the domain name quality grade. Anything above C+ is usually considered a good domain name.

5. Head over to your favorite domain name registrar. Don’t get too discouraged when you discover the fabulous names you’ve painstakingly researched are already spoken for. This is your opportunity to recruit family and friends to get involved by emailing them your naming guidelines. Don’t be surprised if someone who isn’t invested in the project suggests the perfect, available name.

Why everyone should register a domain name

That’s a key reason why each of us needs to be one of the voices (preferably the most prominent) defining us. To the extent that they live public lives in any way – and like it or not, it’s getting harder not to be public in some way – tomorrow’s adults will need an online home that they control. They need an online home, a place where they tell the world who they are and what they’ve done, where they post their own work, or at least some of it.

Of course, the students and most of their parents have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr and all sorts of other places. The value of conversation and sharing in general is enormous, and these services offer great convenience. But to cede our online presences – in a way, our very identities – to these entities strikes me as a mistake.

Now, LinkedIn and the other services aren’t likely to alter what we say about ourselves in our profiles and other postings, and they offer convenience plus teams of people who handle issues like security, not to mention visibility for users. Yet, we all need to remember who’s in charge at those social media sites. You and I are just visitors, suppliers of content they hope to use to make money.

Again and again, we’ve all seen the risks of putting our proverbial eggs in these corporate baskets. Again and again, we’ve seen that “free” always comes at a price, whether it’s using the data we generate to make money, outright invasions of privacy, or the real possibility that the service might (and sometimes does) disappear at the whim of the owner. Google’s decision this month to shutter its Reader product, which helped countless people (including me) organize our information intake, is only one recent example of such a corporate move.

Getting a domain is easy, and cheap. For the price of a few cups of coffee, you can register a domain. I use, which is run by a friend, but there are lots of reputable registrars from which to pick. (The always valuable Lifehacker lists some others here.) Unless you have an extremely uncommon last name, you’ll be unlikely to find it available. But you may well be able to get your address – I own, for example – and even if you can’t you can use other domain suffixes or find a name that is still useful. Remember, most people find websites via searches, so don’t worry if you can’t get your exact name.

Let’s say you’ve gotten your domain name. How do you create your presence? Most registrars will help you create placeholder sites – a page or two that you can edit. My advice is to do something better: start a blog. One of the easiest ways is to get a account, and use its powerful blogging tools. The company has demonstrated a powerful commitment to the open web by also offering its software, open source, for others to download, use and modify. For a reasonable fee, you can have WordPress point your blog to your own domain.

You can also install your own blogging software. This gives you more flexibiity, and takes a bit more expertise, but many low-cost hosting companies – the internet providers that provide (typically shared) servers that power your domain – will set up blogs for you. My own provider has web-based software that makes it simple for me to create new sites.

I don’t update my personal blog all that often anymore, though I’ve decided to get more active than I’ve been. Like many other people who’ve flocked to social networks, I’ve cut back on posting to my own sites while increasing my activity on social media, especially Twitter and Google+. (I no longer use Facebook in any public way.)

Again, I recognize the trade-offs. Those services’ huge size means I can get my ideas and information in front of thousands of people easily without having to lure them to my own blogs. Then there’s convenience: I have to update my personal blog software (it’s easy), while the online giants do it for us.

These trade-offs will only grow more difficult, I suspect. But there’s at least one I won’t make: giving up control of who I am and what I believe to people who may or may not be my friends in years to come. To the extent that I possibly can, I will control at least this much of my own destiny. You should, too.