1) Choosing a Name for your Domain/Brand
(a) Relevance to Product or Service
Most companies want their website name
to be the
same as the company name/brand, and will pay dearly for that privilege.
On the other hand, a dot-com company might prefer to create
the DN first, and then use that as the brand name for the company. But
what type of name should you choose, for your Brand/Domain?
are marketing a new soft drink, you might want to
This type of name will be very helpful for a startup seeking
attract new customers: it serves both as an advertisement
platform for the
company's specific product or service, and as a way to
remind customers how they may get in contact.
Flexible Branding: For well-funded
businesses, the Brand/DN need have no apparent
relationship to the product. What about that billionaire who
chose to name his book company "Amazon.com",
instead of "Books.com"?
What do books have to do with the Amazon river (other than
books about the Amazon river)? And yet, the name caught on,
because the company had the deep pockets to make the company and its DN
famous. Uber.com is another example.
This site, "UpsideDown.com"
is an example of Flexible Branding: the term is
peculiarly vague and nuanced: it CAN refer to
physical orientation, but also to fickle or zany or disoriented.
It could make a great brand name for an edgy fashion company,
or for a
magazine or TV show which explores the unexpected or the unusual. The
producers of the Hollywood movie "Upside Down"
liked it. As did the producers of this Music Video.
b) Brief is Better
The idea is to make it easy
for customers to
remember and type out a site. That means, the fewer,
and more familiar
the words, the better. But don't be discouraged just because
the "good" ones are taken, and are expensive: there are
billions of potential letter and word combinations still available, for
each. And plenty of "taken" ones whose cost is dirt
relative to their potential value for companies and organizations.
As far as "Familiar"
is concerned, you can test your candidate domain names by using Google
or Bing: If you type in the DN's
source term/s -- in this case, "Upside Down" (include the quote
marks) -- Google will show nearly 100,000,000
results. This confirms what you already knew --
that this is a very familiar term and ought to be easily
c) Try Variations
can't find exactly what
you want (e.g. UsedCars.com), try something similar:
UsedCarMarket.com. Or, of course, settle for the
instead of .COM
extension. Here is a site
that will help you think of all sorts of variations.
Preferences: Extensions and use of Dashes
universally considered the most highly valued and prestigious, usually
valued on resale at 10-20 times as
much as the almost as familiar .ORG, .NET, and .CO extensions.
But the extra oomph you get from .COM only matters
businesses or those in the DN resale market. For a small
just starting out, there's nothing
wrong with using those far less expensive (and far more available)
extensions -- there'll be plenty of time (and money) available later on
for buying fancy names and gold fittings, if things work out .
Use of dashes
in a name
is discouraged because those dashes make it harder to remember when a
customer sees it flashed on the TV screen. And you can obtain
same effect which use of dashes provides (making a long
series of letters immediately legible) by instead using
capitol letters or spaces in your advertising: e.g., instead
"used-cars-for-sale-cheap.com", use the undashed version this way in
your advertising: "UsedCarsForSaleCheap.com".
Acquiring Your a Domain Name
Creating a Brand New Name
Once you come up with a catchy Domain
may want to open an account with a registry
service and submit
your DN for registration: if a quick
search determines it is
available, you can register it immediately, so
things get more complicated if you want to determine availability
but you DELAY REGISTRATION to give it some more thought.
While you are thinking, your DN may be getting stolen.
well known that since the beginning of the internet, the problem of
domain name "FRONT-RUNNING" has
existed, and may be a potential threat to you being able to
register your DN. The problem occurs if you use some
registry or other "whois" services to determine if the name is available: unless you register
once the registrar confirms its availability, hackers may have
time to intercept your DN search, and buy "your" DN cheaply to hold for
you DO want to take your time, there is a safe way to determine its
a pristine pure link directly to the official Internic Whois database
(once there, just enter the basic name and extension, such
This locks out any middlemen from peeking. More discussion
and solutions can
be found HERE.
Even so, it's best not to wait longer than necessary -- and
share your new DN even with a friend who might quite innocently check
on the internet.
If you're feeling lazy, you COULD just
proposed website, in quotes: "whatever.com" (use
marks): there may be lots of false negatives (ie, actual
may not show up), but lots will. It's doubtful even hackers
the resources to cull out such searches, from all the other millions of
searches per minute.
b) Buying an Existing Name
If it turns
out your desired domain is not available as a new registration, it
still may be available "For Sale". Usually the best way to
that is to enter the DN in the address bar of your browser and navigate
to the site. If the DN is not actually being used in a
you will usually see a For Sale template with contact information
possibly a price. Alternatively, the internic Whois
database provides an email link to all listed sites.
Estimating the Market Value of Existing Domain Names
Shopping: The most inexpensive way to estimate
value is side-by-side
comparison to prices other DN's have sold at. For instance,
site, one sees that Framer.com
sold for $250k, and Botay.com
and Strahovka.com sold for about $60k.
Looking at the entire list may give you a clue as to
where the domain name you want to buy or sell might fit in.
These sites (some free, some by subscription) attempt to do
impossible: to ascribe a accurate monetary value to what will
ultimately be decided entirely by human emotion. Some sites
better than others, and they may be quite useful in filtering out the
few winners from thousands of candidates, on the basis of site data.
Note that some appraisal sites may drastically undervalue
(or overvalue) DN's: for instance, the DN
sold for $1.2M, but was listed by one free appraisal site as
worth $56. That's because computers have no gut feelings!
c) Domain Name Brokers:
These are the only true "experts", and this option is really
going to be available for high-priced premium names.
d) Patience Multiplies Market
will probably come out much better if you aren't in a hurry.
those trying to "flip" a domain name (like "flipping" homes), profit
margins may be very thin or non-existent because it takes time for a
new domain name to make the rounds, especially on auctions:
are so many DN's for sale that the odds are tiny that your's will even
be noticed by someone actually wanting to buy it for business purposes
(i.e., willing to pay top dollar) -- unless you or your
have the time to make contacts, and so potential buyers have time to
run it by the CEO and CFO, etc.
buy or create a
domain name, you'll need to set up a website: here
is a super-helpful link.
If you are just starting out, remember that it is possible to
create/buy your own domain name for $10. Purchasing
an already existing DN (like UpsideDown.com) will be more expensive,
but for an existing or new business, it might be the cheapest way to
expand through brilliant marketing.
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