This section will help you select an effective domain name for your web site and email address.
A domain name is the internet's root address of your web site and email address. It is unique to you. It contains a name and a type. (in the example, mydomain.com, mydomain is the name and .com is the type.) Domain names must be registered and then hosted. Registering is like getting a phone number assigned, and having your domain name hosted is like signing up with a specific phone company provider. SherwoodHosting will register the domain name you select as a part of your hosting plan.
All web sites and email mailboxes have addresses. Having your own domain name shows that you are serious about your business, and don't want to look cheap by piggy-backing on some other company's domain name. For instance, you could have a mailbox using the free service provided by yahoo.com - it is a reliable service and offers good features. However, using a yahoo.com mailbox for your business might indicate to some clients that your company is having financial difficulties or doesn't care about being professional on the internet. Plus, all your outgoing messages have a yahoo ad at the bottom.
Some say that soon the entire English dictionary will be registered as individual domain names. If you do not reserve your name (or a variation of your name) soon, it's likely that someone else will register the domain name you want in the near future. (We think the "entire English dictionary" part is a little extreme, but point taken.)
Your job now is to pick a name that is still available. It must represent you and be easily remembered and spelled. Although many of the "catchy" domain names are already taken, you'll probably want to have as a part of your domain name your own name or your company name and/or some aspect of the products or services you provide. Think of others in your field - do they use abbreviations, names, product keywords? Keep it as short and simple as possible. Start your search with your last name and your service (e.g., SherwoodHosting). If that's already taken, try variations with your first name or shortened or alternate keywords (e.g., SherwoodWebHosts).
Some rules and tips about domain names:
We suggest that you use a tool like Imminent Domains (our tool) to search for and experiment with various proposed domain names. Once you find your domain name, we will register it for you as a part of your yearly invoice, so don't register it yourself with another service-- it becomes messy to transfer it to us, and you will have wasted the fee you paid them. We are happy to provide brainstorming advice for domain name selections.
If you're a small business, select and have us register several domain names for you: these would be variants of your name, alternate phraseology others might use to find you, or misspellings (near-misses) of your domain name. In this way, you can be "user-friendly" for your clients who type in your domain name manually, and lock out your competition from stealing visits from your site. Note two classic case studies:
So with the low rates we offer for additional domain names, protect your name against competitor finagling, and provide friendly alternatives for your URL spelling for those viewers in a hurry or with clumsy fingers. Ask us for advice on alternative "spellings" for your domain name.
The following are reasons to "cover" your domain name "keyword turf" well. If you don't fall into these categories, you may not need to go too crazy - altho we're happy to help you reserve as many as you wish. You can always cancel them next year (before auto-renewal time). (Note: we automatically renew about five weeks ahead of the official expiration date, so notify us as soon as you know you won't be renewing - it's too late when you receive our invoice, since it's already been renewed another year by that time.)
Reserve additional domain names (similar, common typos, .net/.org, etc.) (only) if:
Email or phone to initiate your journey on the web! Be sure to type carefully your domain name, since if you mistype it, there will be a charge for correcting it (it costs us to register a second name).
Your domain name will be registered (it takes 24 hours for the name to propagate throughout the internet, however usually you'll begin to see it after the first overnight) and your account set up (takes us five minutes) according to the plan you choose.
You'll be sent a welcoming email with additional instructions, account name, password, etc., and pointers to our web site for next steps.
Welcome aboard, and happy hosting.