Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a company name, it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your domain name is your identity on the Web; you want to make sure you choose a name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote. Follow these steps to help you pick the perfect domain.
1. Make it Easy to Type:
Finding a domain name that's easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress,) it may be harder for customers to find your site.
2. Keep it Short:
If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.
3. Use Keywords:
Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. For example; if you’re a glass replacement business, you may want to register GlassRepair.com or GlassReplacement.com. Include the keywords that people enter when searching for your products or services. It helps improve your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) and just makes more sense to your customers.
4. Target Your Area:
If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: PhoenixGlassRepair.com.
5. Avoid Numbers and Hyphens:
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don't know if you're using a numeral (5) or it's spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
6. Be Memorable:
There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that's catchy and memorable is essential. Once you've come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
7. Research It:
Make sure the name you've selected isn't trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!
8. Use an Appropriate Domain Name Extension:
Extensions are suffixes, such as .COM or .NET, at the end of Web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. .COM is far and away the most popular, but here are some other top extensions and how they're often used:
.co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community
.info : informational sites
.net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites
.org : non-commercial organizations and non-profits
.biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites
.me : blogs, resumes or personal sites
Tip: You don't need to build a website for every domain. Just forward any additional domains to your primary website.
9. Protect and Build Your Brand:
To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
10. Act Fast:
Domain names sell quickly. Thankfully, they're also inexpensive, so register your favorite domain names as soon as possible. If you’re having trouble finding an available name, domain registrars will suggest alternate names during your domain search to help you find the perfect name.
1. Reliability and speed of access:
Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low — it really should be 99.5% or higher. The host should provide some sort of refund (e.g. prorated refund or discount) if it falls below that figure. Note though that guarantees are often hard to enforce from your end — especially if the host denies there was any downtime. However, without that guarantee, the web host will have little incentive to ensure that its servers are running all the time.
Data Transfer (Traffic/Bandwidth):
Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as "traffic" or "bandwidth") is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site.
Don't believe any commercial web host that advertises "unlimited bandwidth." The host has to pay for the bandwidth, and if you consume a lot of it, they will not silently bear your costs. Many high bandwidth websites have found this out the hard way when they suddenly receive an exorbitant bill for having "exceeded" the "unlimited bandwidth." Always look for details on how much traffic the package allows. You should always stay clear of any host that advertises "unlimited transfer," even if the exact amount is specified somewhere else (sometimes buried in their policy statements.) Usually you will find that they redefine "unlimited" to be limited in some way.
In addition, while bandwidth provided is something you should always check, do not be unduly swayed by promises of incredibly huge amounts of bandwidth. Chances are that your website will never be able to use that amount because it will hit other limits, namely resource limits.
For the same reason as bandwidth, watch out also for those "unlimited disk space" schemes. Many new sites (that don't host videos or music) need less than 20 MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 100 GB (or "unlimited space",) be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don't let the 100 GB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there. As a rough gauge, thesitewizard.com, with nearly 400 pages in April 2013, used only about 18 MB for all its pages and associated files.
Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7,) all year around? Note that I will not accept a host which does not have staff working on weekends or public holidays. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times. Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent. You wouldn't want to sign up with a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.
FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .htaccess, SSH, MySQL, & Cron:
If you are paying for a web hosting account, you really should make sure you have all of these.
Note that some commercial hosts do not allow you to install PHP or Perl scripts ("What is PHP and Perl?") without their approval. This is not desirable since it means that you have to wait for them before you can implement a feature on your site. The ability to create or modify ".htaccess" files is needed if you are to do things like customize your error pages (pages that display when, say, a user requests for a non-existent page on your site) or to protect your site in various ways (such as to prevent bandwidth theft and hotlinking, password-protect a directory (folder), etc.)
SSL (secure server):
If you are planning on selling any goods or services through your website, you may want to see if the web host lets you set up SSL (a secure server.) You may have seen this on other websites where their web address begins with a "https://" instead of "http://". Setting this up will normally involve additional charges or a higher priced package. At this point, the main thing is do is to check if they are available at all before you commit to the host. You will definitely need to have SSL if you plan to collect credit card payments yourself. If you're relying on a payment gateway instead, and are not otherwise collecting sensitive or private information from your customers, it's possible that you don't need this facility. For those who are wondering about what this is, but are too lazy to click through the link in the previous sentence, a payment gateway is just a third party company, like PayPal, that collects credit card payments on your behalf.
Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding:
If you have your own site, you will probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. Does the host allow you to set up whatever email addresses you want on your domain, so that mail can be forwarded to your current email address, or placed into a mail box on your web hosting account itself? Can you set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a preset message (called an autoresponder.) Can you retrieve your mail with your email software?
This is called various names by different hosts, but essentially, they all allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. Typically, and at the very minimum, it should allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. You should not sign up with a host where you have to go through their technical support each time you want to change a password or add/delete an email account. Such tasks are common maintenance chores that every webmaster performs time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for their technical support to make the changes for you.
Multiple Domain Hosting and Subdomains:
For those who are thinking of selling web space or having multiple domains or subdomains hosted in your account, you should look to see if they provide this, and the amount that they charge for it (and whether it is a one-time or monthly charge, etc.)
Web Server and Operating System:
You should use caution; that while price is always a factor, you should realize that you often get what you pay for, although it's not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best.
Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Payment Plans:
Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. If you are new, you might consider to pay monthly with all new web hosts until I'm assured of their reliability and honesty. Paying monthly allows you to switch web hosts quickly when you find that the current host does not meet your requirements: this way, you are not tied down to a bad web host because you have prepaid for an entire year. Do this even if the new web host guarantees that they will refund the balance if you are dissatisfied, since at the point you sign up, you have no assurance that they will honor their guarantee. Later (usually after a couple of years,) when you are satisfied with the host, you can change payment plans to the discounted annual plans.
A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a frequently updated online personal journal or diary. It is a place to express yourself to the world. A place to share your thoughts and your passions. Really, it’s anything you want it to be.
A blog is also a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).
An Internet forum is a discussion area on a website. Website members can post discussions and read and respond to posts by other forum members. A forum can be focused on nearly any subject and a sense of an online community, or virtual community, tends to develop among forum members.
Forums differ from blogs, the name for a web log, as a blog is usually written by one user and usually only allows for the responses of others to the blog material. A forum usually allows all members to make posts and start new topics.