Choosing a Domain Name

How to Pick a Domain Name

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Getting Started

Choosing a domain name may seem a daunting task.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

First, keep it simple.  Think about what it is your website is intended to do.  What is the function?  The obvious choice for most websites will be the name of the company itself but there may be any number of options depending upon your goals.  If you’re building a website that will be an online shop, think about the type of products you will offer and go from there.  Something like mikesmugs.com might be appropriate if you are Mike and you sell mugs.  The idea is to make it easy to remember for us humans and to be somewhat related to the service or product on offer.  That’s not to say that your domain must include either your company name or product type, but it’s a good place to start.

Second, make a list of alternative domain ideas.  Many domains are registered with the intention of selling them later  We call this “squatting a domain” and it’s very common.  You may have thought of the perfect domain name only to find out it’s already registered.  It is sometimes possible to purchase these domains from the registrant, but it may be expensive.  Having a list of alternates is a good idea and will make your search more productive and less painful.

Third, be creative and have some fun with it.  Having a succinct and memorable domain name should be the goal.

Easy right?  Don’t worry, it may take a little time but you’ll get there.  If you approach the process with the right expectations, finding the perfect domain name can be a fun and creative endeavor.  And who knows?  You might get lucky on the first try!

Frequently Asked Domain Name Questions

What’s in a domain name?

In order to request web pages from the internet, you must know the location of the website’s file system. This location is the numeric IP address (72.52.144.36 is ours). Using an IP address to access your favorite websites would be a bit cumbersome, so we use a human-friendly domain name (www.dkddi.com) instead. It’s sort of like a well-known business location or landmark. For example, if you wanted to see a Cubs game in Chicago you could give a cab driver the street address, 1060 W Addison, or you could simply hop in the cab and say, “Wrigley Field, please”. Both will get you to the game, but one is much easier to remember.

What do TLD and SLD mean?

TLD and SLD stand for Top-Level Domain and Second-Level Domain. The TLD refers to everything to the right of the dot; .com, .net, .gov. The SLD is the unique name to the left of the dot; the dkddi in dkddi.com. For us, dkddi is the SLD and com is the TLD.

What TLD should I choose?

There are literally hundreds of TLDs available. You should choose a TLD that makes sense to your business. For example, if you are a not-for-profit, you would probably want to go with the .org extension. Note: we only display the top five TLDs for registration at dkddi.com. If you need another extension, let us know.

What if my domain name is already registered?

This is a common problem and can be discouraging. But there are a few options:

Try a slight tweak to your original idea. If exampledomain.com is not available you could try mydomain.com – a slight variation could be available.

Try another TLD. If mydomain.com isn’t available, try mydomain.net.

What does WHOIS lookup mean?

WHOIS (pronounced “who is”) is an online service which provides basic information regarding registered domains such as the expiration date, current registrar, registrant contact info. https://whois.icann.org/en

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