Register a Domain Name

The first technical step to starting an online business is registering a domain name.

Choosing a Name

Although registering a domain name is a relatively simple process, do not underestimate the importance of selecting an appropriate name. Your domain name represents the internet identity of your online business and should take into account several factors. Review the following tips to help you choose the best name for your business:

  • Keep it Relatively Short. Short domain names are easier to remember or type into a browser, fit into logos, and generally recognizable.
  • Make it Unique. Unique names are easy to remember. Names that are too similar to already registered names could end up sending viewers to the wrong domain.
  • Include Keywords. Including keywords will help produce the most hits for your business in search engines and make your business’ purpose clear.
  • Dot Com. Although there are many different domain extensions the majority of internet users either don’t know that or instinctively type .com. Other extensions such as .org, .net, and .info may cause your site to lose potential traffic

Be aware of and comply with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s laws regarding Abusive Domain Name Registration of Personal Names.

Avoid Trademarked Names

As with traditional businesses, trademark laws apply to online businesses and their domain names. Using a domain name that has already been trademarked will hurt any chances of becoming a successful business and could get your business into legal trouble. Be sure run a trademark search to see if your name has already been registered.

If you believe someone is using your trademark in a domain name, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has a short list of appropriate actions to resolve disputes.

How to Register

After you’ve chosen the name you’d like to register, the process is simple and cost-friendly.

This process involves registering your chosen name with an organization called InterNIC – Public Information Regarding Internet Domain Name Registration Services. Registration is completed through a domain name registrar. Where to register your name is up to the discretion of individual businesses. Registrars such as First To Move Hosting is an example of one of the largest domain name registrars on the Internet. ICANN has approved a list of Certified Registering Authorities.

There are many websites that offer domain registration services – some of these are reselling names obtained from accredited registrars. If you do not know who your registrar is, you can perform a WHOIS Search for your domain name.

Once you have selected a registrar, you are ready to register your domain name. Registrar websites will take your through a short process and officially register your domain name for a small fee. Each registrar can offer initial and renewal registrations in one-year increments, with a total registration period limit of ten years. Fees and registration periods can vary significantly from registrar to registrar.

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