Naming your site after your domain may seem obvious to some of you, but you’ll be surprised to learn that not every website is named after the domain name even when the webmaster owns that domain name.
Naming a site after its domain name is important, for the simple reason that when people think of your website, they’ll think of it by name. If your name is also your URL (ie, web address), they’ll automatically know where to go. For example, when people think of da-manager.com, they don’t have to wonder what web address to type into their browser to get there. The name of the site is also the URL.
Imagine if your business (or website) is called “Acme”, but somebody else holds that domain name. Instead, you have some obscure domain name called, say, “mybusiness.com”. What happens when your customers, recalling that Acme has a product they want, type “www.acme.com”? They’ll end up at your competitor’s website. One lost sale.
In the modern world of the Internet, where people automatically turn to the Web for information, it pays to have a domain name that reflects your site or business. There are just fewer things for your customers or visitors to remember. Moreover, you don’t seriously think that they’ll try to memorise (“memorize” inUS English) an unrelated URL just because you want them to, do you? The only people who’ll commit it to memory are your competitors who want to compare your prices.
What if you cannot get the domain name of your choice? It really depends on how committed you are to that particular name. If you have an existing brand name that you’re known for, you’ll probably not want to ditch that name just because you couldn’t get the domain name. After all, it took you a lot of time and money to establish that name. If so, you might simply want to try to buy over the domain name from the current owner. Check up the “whois” information for the domain, and contact that person listed to see if they’re willing to sell it. You probably should be aware that they are likely to want to charge a higher fee than you’ll normally get when buying new domains (assuming they want to sell it in the first place).
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, you might prefer the cheaper alternative of trying to obtain a domain name first, and then naming your website (or business) after the domain that you’ve acquired. So if you’ve acquired, say, the domain name “acme.com”, then your website and business might be named “Acme” or “acme.com”. I know this seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse, but that’s the reality if you don’t want to lose out on the Internet.
Generic Names Or Brand Name Domains?
I know that a number of people seem to think that your domain name really must be some generic name like “cars.com” if you are selling cars. Witness, for example, how much money those generic names are being sold for. But seriously, if you were looking for a car, you’ll probably already have some brands in mind, and you’re more like to try out things like generalmotors.com or toyota.com rather than just cars.com.
COM, ORG, NET, etc?
One common question I encounter is from people who can’t get the “.com” domain of their choice, but find the “.net”, “.org” or other country-specific top level domains (TLDs) available (like .de, .nu, .sg, etc). Should they try for these?
The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. If your website or business caters to the local community, such as a pizza delivery business or recruitment agency or the like, then it makes sense to get a country-specific domain. You actually benefit from having such a local domain because the people in your country know that they’re dealing with a local entity, which is what they want. After all, if they stay in (say) the United Kingdom, they’re not likely to want to try to order pizza from pizzaparlour.com, which suggests an international site. You’ll have better luck calling it pizzaparlour.co.uk, ie, with a UK domain.
Others settle for the “.com” suffix and no less. As grounds for their arguments, they cite the browser algorithms used to locate a website when a user simply types a name like “acme” into the browser. Apparently, the browser searches for a domain name “acme.com” before attempting “acme.net”, etc. As such, people who do that will be delivered to your competitor’s site if you do not also own the “.com” extension. Indeed, even if people do not rely on their browser to complete their typing, many simply assume a “.com” suffix when they type a domain name, so if your business is “Acme”, they’ll just assume your domain name is “acme.com” rather than “acme.net” or some other such name.
In case the forest got lost in the trees (or the reverse) in my arguments here, let me reiterate the main point of this article: get that domain name before you start your site or business.
Don’t make the mistake of attempting to retrofit your domain name to your business or website. If you need help getting that domain name, check out our web site www.da-manager.com or contact us at 07835 214836.