21-Aug-2010

Domain Name Registration

Coming up with a suitable name for my site was harder than I thought. This is not the first time being confronted with having to decide on a domain name, and again it presented some challenges. Most of the good terms have been taken under the .com TLD (top level domain). The use of dash between words in the domain name is a method that I do not prefer. Domain name registrars provide alternative suggestions which include prefixing or postfixing with certain strings such as "my", "new", "free", "site", "online", "store", "now". In addition to not necessarily being suitable, it adds to what is already a long domain name to begin with.

Other TLDs which I considered include .me which is ever growing in popularity. It has the aspect that it can be used to create catchy domain names like "blog.me", "hit.me". However, the .me TLD is not nearly as effective as .com when it comes to search engine results placement. For organic search results, the .com TLD is still supreme. The .us TLD offers very cheap domain names attributable to the fact that it is not in high demand.

I initially came up with ThisThatMore.com which was a decent choice for me as it reflects the content that I intend for my site. After some procrastination over a couple of weeks, I decided to proceed only to find that the domain name had been taken up with a template site established and the domain name put up for sale for around $500. Was this coincidence? After consulting industry contacts, it was suggested to me that there are some who are engaging in this underhanded tactic to buy up recently searched domain names, for higher price resale. When this fiasco took place, I had been doing my searches at instantdomainsearch.com. I cannot prove that they or someone affiliated with them did the underhanded action. However, I stopped using them and proceeded to a couple of other registrars GoDaddy and Namecheap.

To get back to the use of dashes in the domain name. It is an effective method to separate ambiguity in strung together words. e.g. toplane, to-plane, top-lane. Dashes may be used to create an otherwise taken domain name. e.g. this-that-more.com. However, when people speak a domain name, the dashes are not in play. So if someone says "this that more dot com", you are likely to remember thisthatmore.com, as opposed to this-that-more.com. There is also the argument that dashes are not natural to type as a domain name is entered at the keyboard. I tend to think that users click on links as oppose to typing in URLs. However, avoiding the use of dashes in domain names eliminates the clicking versus typing debate altogether.


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