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name that relates to your existing business presence. Although many domain names
have already been purchased, there are still lots of options available.
Choosing a Domain Name
Describe Your Business. Although there is a long-standing trend to use “fun” words
as domain names (for example,,,,,
and so on), think carefully before doing so. Domain names for traditional
businesses and organizations are the foundation of the organization's Web
presence and should include the business name or purpose.
Be Brief, if Possible. Although most people find new Web sites with search
engines, some of your visitors will type your domain name in a browser. A
shorter domain name is preferable to a longer one—it's easier for your Web
visitors to remember.
Avoid Hyphens (“-”). Using the hyphen character (commonly called a dash) in a
domain name makes it difficult to pronounce the name. Also, someone typing
your domain name may forget the dash and end up at a competitor's site! If you
can, avoid the use of dashes in a domain name.
There's More Than .com. While the .com TLD (top-level domain name) is still the
most popular for commercial and personal Web sites, consider also registering
your domain name with other TLDs, such as .biz, .net, .us, .mobi, and so on.
Commercial businesses should avoid the .org TLD, which is the first choice for
nonprofit organizations. You don't have to create a Web site for each domain
name that you register. You can arrange with your domain name registrar (for
example, for the “extra” domain names to point visitors to
the domain name where your Web site is located. This is called domain name
Brainstorm Potential Keywords. Think about words that a potential visitor might
type into a search engine when looking for your type of business or organization.
This is the starting point for your list of keywords. If possible, work one or more
keywords into your domain name (but still keep it as short as possible).
Avoid Trademarked Words or Phrases. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) defines a trademark as a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combi-
nation of words, phrases, symbols, or designs, that identifies and distinguishes
the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A starting point in
researching trademarks is the USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System
(TESS); visit and
click on the link to TESS. See for more information about
Know the Territory. Explore the way your potential domain name and keywords
are already used on the Web. It's a good idea to type your potential domain
names (and related words) into a search engine to see what may already exist.
Verify Availability. Check with one of the many domain name registrars to deter-
mine if your domain name choices are available. A few of the many sites that
offer domain name registration services are listed below:
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