Finding the perfect domain name for your company website is just as important as determining its business name. Whether you're a first-time domain buyer or a veteran in the domain industry, there are many factors to take into account before committing to and ultimately registering a domain name. I know the domain world is one with many loop holes, which makes for easy mistakes that can cripple your business if your domain is not registered properly. To make the registration process a little less confusing, here are some helpful domain do's and don'ts to consider the next time you register your domain:
Do: Register yourself as the owner of your domain
When you register a domain for your business, make sure to register it under your (the business owner's) name. Domain ownership is determined by whose name is listed in the Whois as the owner. Even if you are the owner of the company, many people make the mistake of purchasing their domain from a reseller and not a registrar like Dynadot. Resellers are not ICANN accredited and typically register the domain on your behalf, but truly own the domain themselves. You can read a story about this exact situation in our recent blog post, Are You the Owner of Your Domain. Another thing to consider when setting up your company account is making sure your webmaster or another employee doesn't register the domain under their name, as then they are the owner of your business domain. You don't want another individual to be responsible for receiving important emails about your domain (like when it expires), which could create an extremely difficult situation if they ever decided to leave the company. Even if you are the owner of the company, if someone else is listed as the owner of your domain and they leave and don't give you access to your domain, there really isn't much you can do to get your domain back other than hope they don't renew it and try and pick it up in expired auctions or when it's re-released after 75 days. Be sure to visit our blog on how to properly set up your company website.
Do: Remember to renew your domain
First thing's first, check to make sure the email address associated with your account is valid. Our system automatically sends notices 60, 30, 10, and 3 days prior to the expiration date of your domains. Another option would be to register your domain for multiple years (many domains allow up to 10 years) and/or set up auto-renewal and link an active credit card so you don't have to worry about signing into your account and renewing your domain on a yearly basis. Keep in mind - if you lose or cancel the credit card attached to your Dynadot account, please remember to update this information on our site to prevent you from loosing your domain. If your domain is vital to the success of your business we definitely recommend checking out all our options on how to prevent your domain from expiring.
Don't: Rely on .COM domains as your only option
If you've ever shopped for a domain, you've probably noticed the majority of .COM domains are already registered. Luckily, we're in the process of adding hundreds of new TLDs that are targeted to industry specific categories such us .PLUMBING,.FLORIST, and .CAB - all of which are currently available for registration. The beauty behind these hidden gems is that since they were recently released, you have far more opportunity to find a domain name you want. Though many people think of .COM as the natural go to when creating a website, it's important to keep your options open and consider what other domain extensions could be beneficial to your business. I would highly recommend checking out the list of domain options we offer, including the many country code top level domains (ccTLDs). Some countries such as Germany, whose ccTLD is the popular .DE, find their ccTLD to be more popular than any other domain extension. Country code domains can also be a creative way to use the domain extension as a part of your domain name. Companies such as About.me have chosen to register a unique domain hack. So the next time your .COM domain name isn't available, don't be afraid to shop around - there's definitely a number of options out there!
Don't: Use dashes, abbreviations, or numbers in your domain
After your fifteenth or twentieth try, it gets a little frustrating realizing that all your ideal domains have already been registered. Here's a little encouragement - keep trying! There are plenty domains waiting to be registered, and if you think adding a dash in your domain is a clever idea, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but don't do it. I don't mean to make the domain searching process any more difficult than it already is, but your domain needs to be as easy to spell as it is to say and you don't want to have to say the word 'dash' when giving people your domain name. Even though someone took the time to register supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.com (*face palm), I would not recommend someone following in these footsteps. Incorporating abbreviations, numbers, and ambiguous words that have multiple spelling options like colour vs. color for example, can actually complicate and confuse others when trying to visit your site. If you are registering a name that can easily be misspelled, it also helps to register some of the common misspellings of your domain and redirect traffic back to your main site to ensure your audience doesn't mistakenly visit another site. For example, we took the opportunity to register Dyandot.com, Dinadot.com, and a few others in case people accidentally make a mistake searching for our website. Just remember to keep it simple because you want your domain to be a a quick and catchy name that your audience will remember.
Post by Kathleen Borg