It is a good idea to avoid unnecessary hyphens and words that are tricky to spell or are convoluted in nature.
You will need to be reasonably imaginative in coming up with the desired name because most generic words such as holidays.com or onlineshopping.com will have been snapped up years ago and simply will not be available to you.
In fact virtually all the 3 and 4 letter word combinations have already gone.
If you can afford to and it is important to you from a business perspective it would be a good idea to register your selected name (and potentially misspellings) in all the available top level domains. The following list displays some of the currently available options: –
The clear favorite for most people registering a domain is the ever popular .combut as can be seen above that is by no means your only choice these days and you may even find that one of the other options is a more suitable alternative.
For more information on domain names and how they are used you can visit the Nominet website. Be sure to have a look at the terms and conditions when you are on the site and visit the FAQ’s list which is very good for providing the information you need.
Nominet UK is the registry for .uk registered Internet names where all UK unique domain names are registered using a numerical address that is mapped to a more memorable name. Different countries have different registries but they all operate in a similar way.
Domain name registration can be likened to a post code i.e. the numerical address is a part of the full address and is used to point to the server where the website is located.
The numerical part of the address is not visible to the website visitor but when a URL (uniform resource locator) is entered into the address line of a browser, the numerical address associated with that URL is used to locate the server where the website resides i.e. the Domain Name System (DNS) translates easy to recall names (domain names) such as http://french-holidays-aude.com into a numerical address and that address points to the server where the website resides.
It is the domain names that are used in advertising, are placed on business cards or listed by search engines in order to help people find them on the Internet. From a search engine perspective if the domain name is something that is likely to be included in a search query (keyword or keyword phrase) then the chances of the website being listed first in the results are increased.
The choice of a domain name depends on a lot of factors , it could be an existing brand name, a completely new brand starting from scratch, a company trading name, a trademark or perhaps a generic service being provided. But whatever is selected must be unique and they are issued on a first come first served basis. You can use hyphens, numbers or underscores to make the name unique but generally if you can avoid these options that is considered better although I have to say if it works for you, you like it and people will remember it then I don’t see a problem.
The best way to find a name is probably just by sitting down and brainstorming a list of about 20 names for yourself which ideally would be no more than 7 characters long. This will be more difficult than you think but is a worthwhile exercise.
To search for a domain name, check it’s availability and cost you can go to 123-reg by using the banner below.
123-reg is an Internet service provider (ISP) and they will act as your agent to submit a domain name to one of the national registry’s on your behalf.
When you do this you will be entering into two separate binding contracts firstly with the national registry and secondly with the ISP who acts as your agent. Make sure you understand your rights and obligations with respect to the contract with the ISP particularly in the event of a breakdown in commercial dealings with the ISP.
This may sound a bit daunting but it is the safest way to ensure that the name is registered in your name and that no one else can take it from you for instance if the name became really valuable for some reason.
One other thing you should be aware of is that you do not own the domain name and if you do not renew the contract with the registry the name can be made available for other potential applicants, normally after 2 years. So make sure you do not let the contract expire.
A further alternative for both domain registration and hosting is Hostazar which has come highly recommended to me and will appeal more to the American market as it is a US company.