What's A Perfect Domain, Anyway?
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.
Before wasting time by throwing darts at names on a wall, it's best to maintain focus and recognize a few naming parameters. First off, it's paramount 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.
While it's a good idea for a domain name to describe the site, it's equally important 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 simple for first-timers to find.
If you're after serious traffic, 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.
Now that you're armed with these factors, 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.
The company I work for recently survived the re-naming process and we still have the bruises to show for it. Originally named RadioFire.net, we're a site that allows people to discover unsigned music artists in their own communities and across the country. With a complete redesign underway to amplify a more community-oriented experience, our design firm said the “.net” name had to go. The “.com” version of our domain name wasn't available, so we followed the steps above. After much brainstorming and research, we feel we've hit a home run that will elevate our site's experience. Curious? You'll have to stay tuned for the re-launch.
In the meantime, dive into your own website with a great domain name.
[Via Domain Informer]
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