Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Before your website can be 'on the web' you must have a domain name. This name needs to be officially registered to ensure that you own it and that nobody else can use it.

Before you can register your domain name you should decide on one or more possible names and ensure that nobody else already owns the name you have in mind. You can check on the 'availability' of one or many possible domain names by using our domain name check facility

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Choosing Domain Names: Factors to take into account

Before registering domain names try and ensure that it has most of the following characteristics. This may take a little time, but the effort will pay dividends.

Choosing the best possible domain name can make a significant difference to visitor traffic. Just by including your keywords you can improve your search engine listings. Because some names are easier to remember.

Domain names should be as short as possible
Example: www.abc.com :

Include the name of your company
Example: www.anglo-american.co.za

Domain names should be easy to remember or guess
Example: www.cocacola.com

Be easy to be understood when spoken aloud.
For example, domain names like manny.co.za might be heard as mannie.co.za or even many.co.za! (see 'telephone test' below)

Include your most important keywords
Example www.steel-engineering.co.za. Some search engines give better listings to sites that include important keywords in their domain names. Think of keywords that people might search for when looking for what you have to offer

Of course, it is usually impossible to include all the above characteristics in domain names (especially since many names are already taken) but they ARE worth TRYING to achieve before your domain name registration.

Some believe that using a hyphen between words helps search engines differentiate between words.

For example that www.engineering-news.co.za is better than www.engineeringnews.co.za. But, be warned, such domain names can be difficult to communicate over a telephone! Many people are not sure whether a hyphen is a - or a _ or a ~ !

The Telephone Test

Domain names MUST be able to pass the telephone test. Try saying your potential domain names to several people over the telephone. Do you find that you have to spell it out? If so your choice could be a mistake! We have a slight problem with CyberFACE. Some people think we are saying CyberSPACE.

More than one Domain Name?

You might wish to include several keywords in your domain name, for example: www.galvanized-steel-products.co.za. BUT, this is going to be difficult to communicate over the telephone and is rather long for the printed media. A solution is to also register www.steel.co.za. You then 'point' the latter at the former and get the best of both worlds.

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