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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

What's In A Domain Name?

As a new hire Business Consultant at a well known web development company in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I see it all.

Domain names that are short and sweet, and domain names that stretch way past the logical point of naming conventions into the absurd.

Since the gold rush days of the available extensions has arguably been over for quite some time, people have taken to calling their domains basically whatever they like. I am the first person to challenge any move to limit choice, but there needs to be some logic injected when making the right one for your company's "web estate".

Generally, short names rule. They're easy to work with, easy to remember and even better if worked into some kind of intelligent or kitchy acronym. It's always a delight to see a domain name that has been intelligently conjured by its' owner; and the owners are generally quite delighted to tell me the story behind their domain name if I show interest. Showing interest is my job.

Getting caught up in the dot com name game is easy enough. Rescuing a website from a rogue domain name isn't. For example, let's say your domain name is "". The branding methods the site designers use will tell you what "abc" is all about with images and text and all of the nice things that go into branding and marketing a website. The fact that the domain name is only three letters long is a long term bonus and will inevitably work to the benefit of the site when considering search engine optimization.

Now let's consider the domain with "". Don't think they're out there? Watch carefully and you will see. People are picking dot com for the wrong reason due to a basic misunderstanding of what domain names actually do. Just because your site is a dot com doesn't make it any easier to find; in fact, it may be harder simply due to the irregularity of the name provided. If your site is about soup, call it soup, not "vegetableandcarrotsoupstore".

There has been a plethora of new name extensions released in the last twelve months, and there's sure to be more to come in the very near future. The dream of having a dot com might be over, but the dream of having a dot info, dot dance, dot wiki, dot futbol, dot ink are not.

Extensions come into popularity and take hold in a flash, which is why it's so important to keep abreast of what's happening at your registrar's house. Go there. Become familiar with registrar sights and pay some real attention to your new domain name and what it actually means to your business.

Sometimes when I ask for their domain names, people hesitate - even they have a hard time with the long naming convention. Generally, your registrar is there to help. Ask them what they think of your name before you marry it because as we all know, divorce sure can get messy.


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