- You probably want to pick a domain name that ends in .com. People just put more trust in a .com name than any of the other extensions like .biz, .info, .net, .pro and so on. And even though some of the “hacked” domain names that use extensions from other countries may be ingenious, they just come off as odd. For instance, consider bestlifeinsurancepo.li/cies, which uses the extension “li” from Liechtenstein. Clever, but you probably don’t want people wondering why there’s no .com in your name or thinking you’re based out of Liechtenstein. Other interesting but dubious possibilities might be insure.me/now (Montenegro) or insure.it (Italy). (If you want to play around with “domain hacks” for fun, check out DomainTyper: http://domaintyper.com/)
- Some experts discourage using dashes in domain names, as in insurance-for-homeowners.com. They say that names with hyphens are hard to remember, hard to type and hard to verbalize when you tell people the name of your website. But hyphenated domain names are abundant and the good news is that search engines have no problem with them. They don’t even pay attention to the dashes.
- To see if a name is available, go to any of the domain name registrars such as GoDaddy or 1&1. Many other websites will do searches and help you create a domain name. One site I like is called DOM!ZE (https://domize.com/). When you type in a domain name, you instantly see the availability status of what you’re typing and which of the most popular extensions (or TLDs, top level domains, as they are also called) are available: com, net, org, biz, us. Also, when you hover over the extension names (TLDs), you will see a quote balloon that gives you the prices for that domain as offered by several of the leading domain name registrars (GoDaddy, 1&1, dotster and networksolutions).
- If you feel you must have a certain name that is already taken, you might be able to purchase it. Domainr (http://domai.nr/), among others, will tell you if a name is taken and put you in touch with a broker who will help you negotiate with the domain owner. If the name is being actively used by an entity, they are likely to want a lot of money for it. On the other hand, if a domain name is registered but not in use, you can backorder it and if the owner does not renew the name, it’s yours.
- When creating the rest of your website, make sure it’s friendly to search engines by keeping the language simple. For instance, use “centralcitylifeinsurance.com/coverages/life/quotes” and not “centralcitylifeinsurance.com/17/bin/aprsd12/qte32.php.” The search spiders cannot help you if your site is organized with this kind of language.
- Keep in mind that once you’ve purchased a domain name, you are not locked into to using the provider who sold it to you. You own your domain and can transfer the hosting to any provider you wish. Your domain name is sort like your trademark. It’s yours to delegate as you see fit.
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