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BitGenesis Software periodically publishes articles about domain name selection, web site creation, tool and technologies which we utilize for our clients and their sites. Customers may subscribe to our RSS feed below to receive these articles.  We also encourage you to join our mailing list through our Contact Us page.


Selecting the Right Domain Name - Part II

posted Jan 15, 2012, 1:48 PM by Neil Levine   [ updated Feb 4, 2012, 8:20 AM ]

Bit Genesis Software welcomes you to Part II in our series of articles regarding domain name selection for your business or organization.  
If you have not read Part I of our series you can find it by clicking here:  


Once again, we continue by addressing some of the nuances of selecting the optimum Domain Name for your small business or organization.  In this article we answer some of the questions which we've encountered from our customers and also mention some things to be wary of.  As always, you can enlist us to assist you as we have significant expertise and experience which we then bring directly to you.  
Contact Us to Request a Quote or for further information: 

 







 



In this article we continue to address questions regarding domain name selection:
Domains
Q. Should I Choose a Domain Name Which Exactly Matches my Business Name?

A. Ideally Yes.  But, Let's Qualify That..

To begin with we will start by giving you the bad news: by now virtually every one word Domain Name has been taken by someone else as well as virtually everyone's last name.  You can also give up on: candleSticks.com, greetingCards.com, jonesDeli.com, fredMiller.com, handyman.com, and probably threeStar or fiveStar anything dot com.  You have to be realistic as you are competing for a namespace with virtually everyone else on the planet now!  

In addition, if your business does have a fairly common name such as:  "Sue's Flower Shop", "Larry's Pizza", "Main Street Market", or "Springfield Photography" then there will likely be many more businesses with the same or similar names across the US and other countries which will confound and confuse your visitors as well as those who search for your site.  There are ways to mitigate this problem which we employ, but you have to be flexible or you will likely encounter some of the other pitfalls we've seen our customer's hit in the past.

Q. How Do I Deal with Special Characters in my Business Name (such as apostrophe, ampersand, hyphens, etc.)?

A. For Starters Let's Address That By Saying That it is Normally a Mistake to Try and Include Them...

For starters, apostrophe's are not even allowed in any Domain Names.  So, if you own "Henrietta's Bridal Shop", your best case match would be: henriettasbridalshop.com (which is available at this time by the way...).  If you happen to have an ampersand in your business name, such as:  "Dewey Cheetham & Howe" (a law firm) you are likewise out of luck as ampersands are also not allowed in Domain Names.  Often times we find that the business owner is so bent on matching their business name, that they resort to replacing the ampersand with the word "and" or sometimes just "n".  In this case your best case match would then be: deweycheethamandhowe.com (also available at this time), but that is quite tedious to type, not to mention ugly to look at and error-prone to remember.  Even deweycheethamnhowe.com is not much better in our opinion.

Hyphens are allowed, so if your business name was "Jackman-Hough Landscaping" you could actually purchase "jackman-houghlandscaping.com" (which is also available).  Before you get too excited by this you should realize that most people won't remember that your domain has a hyphen in it.  In addition, if you were hoping to exactly match your business name by adding some hyphens (which don't already exist in your business name), please give that up now.  For example, if your business name is "Three Star Cleaners", it is highly unlikely that your customers will remember to find you at "three-star-cleaners.com".

Numbers are fine also, in-fact your entire domain name could be a number (not 8675309.com though, which is already taken). However, in practice this is not really all that useful for most of our customers.  Again, there is a tendency with some of our customers to try and replace "Hairshop For Men" with hairshop4men.com or "DirectMail To You" with directmail2u.com in order to exactly match the business name, which of course in our opinion is a mistake as your own customers will have to remember it and type it.





Selecting the Right Domain Name - Part I

posted Dec 30, 2011, 5:46 PM by Neil Levine   [ updated Feb 3, 2012, 8:27 AM ]

It seems like a simple thing, but alas it is NOT.  Choosing the optimum Domain Name for your small business or organization has many factors to be considered.  In this series of articles, we will cover some of the nuances and factors to be considered when choosing a Domain Name for your small business or organization.  At Bit Genesis Software, we have many years of experience helping our customers with this, and have observed that selecting the wrong Domain Name is often the first (and most common) mistake that inexperienced owners make.  In addition, it can often be a costly and time consuming mistake to correct once the Domain Name is deployed and used by your business or organization.

In this article we will address a couple of questions regarding domain name selection:
Top Level Domains
Q. Should I choose a .com, .net, .biz, .org for my Domain Name?  Does it actually matter?

A. In short:  YES!  It really DOES matter.  First let us digress with a bit of background info...

These domain name suffixes are actually formally known as Top Level Domains (TLDs). The list of available TLDs and their identity/purpose is controlled by an international organization called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).  Periodically ICANN approves new TLDs, some which are restricted, others which are available to anyone to register without restrictions upon their organization, business, etc.  There are also a large number "country code" Top Level Domains (such as .us for the USA).  

So, here are a few reasons why the Top Level Domain in which you register your site with really DOES matter:
  1. Although, some of the more recent Top Level Domains have received some traction over the last few years, the most common by far is still .com (which accounts for more than 50% of all websites on the internet).  Other Top Level Domains are FAR less common (i.e. in the single digits of all websites).  
  2. Most customers who are looking for your site will just assume it is a .com.  If you chose a .net or .biz it is quite likely that some of them will navigate to the wrong location, not remember the URL for your site and/or not find you on the internet.  
  3. Assuming that one of your competitors actually owns the .com domain name of your site, some of your customers will inadvertently land at your competitor's site instead of yours!  
  4. Should you give out an email address which your customers need to remember (and later type in) in order to send you an email, some of them will not enter the correct suffix and their email will bounce or never get to you
  5. Some of the Top Level Domains are not restricted, but they do have certain "connotations" associated with them which might contradict with the purpose of your site, business or organization.  For example, .org is unrestricted, but it was originally intended for non-profit organizations and is still largely associated with that purpose today.  Given this, would you really want your "for-profit" business registered using the .org Top Level Domain?
There are additional factors to consider, but in-general we typically recommend that our customers select a .com domain name for their business, and only select one of the other Top Level Domains if they are a different type of organization (such as a non-profit).  

Q. Should I buy my domain name in multiple Top Level Domains if they are available?

A. This depends upon your budget and a few other factors...

This used to be a more common practice which is still promoted by many domain registrars today in order to "protect" the domain name for your organization or business and of course, to generate more sales and $$$ for them.  Imagine for example if typing "www.apple.com" into your browser took you to Apple's website, but if instead you typed "www.apple.net" it took you directly to Apple's competitor's site (assuming they had such a thing).  For a little extra money you could potentially buy both: MyCrazyBusinessName.com and also MyCrazyBusinessName.net, possible even  MyCrazyBusinessName.org and MyCrazyBusinessName.biz if they were also available.  This would block any of your potential competitors from grabbing those domain names and capitalizing on someone inadvertently landing at their site when they actually intended to search for or navigate to yours.  In theory it sounds great, but it can also get very expensive and result in a combinatorial explosion of domains which you now need to buy.  

Let's look at another example:

Let's say that your business is a small bakery called:  "Snookie's Cookies Shop".

Now you want to buy some internet domains for your cookie shop.  Let's assume that all your choices are available.  First you start with the most obvious one: snookiescookiesshop.com.  It's a bit long, awkward to spell, but its your business name so you buy it.

Now you defensively choose to buy a few other domains so that no one else does: snookiescookiesshop.netsnookiescookiesshop.biz

Then you realize someone might think that: snookiescookies.com should also take them to your site.  Maybe even: snookies.com.  Now what about the .net and the .biz versions?  How about someone who forgets that the "cookies" in your name is plural?  Do you buy all those domains also?  Now you can see just how this quickly this can become a really expensive proposition!

So ultimately, this is not such a simple question to answer.  At Bit Genesis Software, we typically recommend that you secure the .com domain for your business or a different top-level domain if you have another type of organization.  Depending upon some additional factors, such as they type of business you have, the name of your business, number of competing businesses you have in your market segment or local area we may recommend that you also purchase some additional domain names.  If so, we provide a detailed explanation and justification for the additional costs and we set up those additional domain names so that they redirect to your primary domain.  For example, you won't have to create a website at www.snookiescookiesshop.com as well as all the other domains you purchase.  We create your website at www.snookiescookiesshop.com and configure the other domains so that if a customer was to type in: www.snookiescookies.com or www.snookies.com it will seamlessly redirect their browser to your main site.

See our next article in the series regarding Domain Name Selection:


Welcome to Our Clients...

posted Dec 26, 2011, 9:14 PM by Neil Levine   [ updated Jan 11, 2012, 11:35 AM ]

Welcome

Bit Genesis Software would like to welcome our existing and new clients to our site.  Thank you for visiting us.  Our goal is to provide helpful information which will benefit our clients and encourage more small business owners to use the internet, our tools and a site which represents their company as well as providing useful services for their customers.  Please take the time to register for our mailing list and we always encourage feedback from our visitors.

Sincerely,
Bit Genesis Software, LLC

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