Why Register a Domain Name?
Never underestimate domain name importance. Imagine a classroom that two students have the same first name. Further compound the situation if they had the same last names. Domain names helps set up your brand, which is first priority. So in the case of Mental Gear; the domain name was already used by a different company. So we used different variations of the name. This dilutes the brand name but can still be efficiently handled (we settled for www.mentalgearunlimited.com, for example). If your only intention is to make a personal website, guess what, you are still a brand! You will be working just as hard to to set up a personal site but in the long view you will have to put in less maintenance. Unless you are one of those people who “re-invent” themselves every couple of months!
My Company Name is already taken!
All hope is NOT lost! Just make sure not to stray too far from your original company name. At this point you would want to start researching SEO (search engine optimization) tips and techniques. Speaking from my browsing habits; if I saw a company name but did not see a URL included my first step to find the company’s online presence would be the www.companyname.com and then its off to the search engines from there. So keep your browsing habits in mind when creating a new domain name. Adding something as simple as “-INC” to the end would work around this problem. You can always take the longer winding road you can contact the current domain name owner directly and buy it from them. But this may prove financially disastrous and time consuming! On the other hand, having a similar domain name could drive business to the OTHER site, so make sure whatever name you choose to always include it in your marketing.
So what makes a good domain name?
It has to relate to the site contents. The shorter and easier to remember, the better. If you are doing a business site, put in the extra money and get a .com domain. When choosing a registrar (such as godaddy) don’t buy into the hype of extra features. All you need is your domain name and DNS control/domain forwarding. Would you buy a car just because you like the paint job without checking to see if it includes the engine? Well, some people might, but its a bad idea!
If you haven’t begun building your website, check out the article Laying the Foundation.
If you are ready to start building, check out the article Ready, Set, Build!.