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Domain names

A domain name such as signifies your own address on the Internet. Because no two parties can ever hold identical domain names, a domain name uniquely identifies you, your company, or your organization or cause. It is how your site visitors and customers will remember you and find you among the millions of other Web sites on the Internet.

How do I choose a domain name?

Choosing your domain name is one of the most important decisions you will need to make. A domain name is your own unique identity -- and will be for as long has you continue to use that name. You probably already have a domain in mind -- certain words, phrases, or characters that have special meaning to you or to your customers.

Search the WHOIS database now

The first step to establishing your Web presence is to choose a domain name. Using our WHOIS database search, you can find information about an existing domain name. In some cases, a WHOIS search will provide you with the contact information of the person or organization that registered the domain name you are interested in.

Search the Whois database now

Domain names are so cheap now that there's no excuse for not having one.

Cost of registering a domain name with Domains by Landmark: $14.95 per year or less. With purchase of Web hosting (as little as $6 per month)during one of our frequent sales, your domain name costs just $1.99 for the first year.

Now that you're ready to get yourself a domain name here are some tips to help you choose a good one:

Dot huh? Choose a domain name extension
There are many different extensions available. If you are a business, we recommend a dot-com suffix. It is the first extension that most people try when searching for a site. Also, since it is one of the oldest extensions, dot-com shows that your business has been around for a while and has a well-established presence on the Web. Dot-org is good for non-profit organizations. Dot-net works for technical firms and social networks.

Beyond the Big Three are several lesser-known extensions that may become more popular as the dot-coms disappear from the market. Dot-US is good for international sites based here, and dot-name works for personal sites. Dot-biz is an alternative to dot-com, and dot-info is gaining ground for informational sites. Dot-TV covers, well, you know, and dot-mobi (with content formatted for mobile devices) is brand new.

Dot-edu is a special case, limited since 2001 to US postsecondary institutions that are accredited by agencies authorized by the US Department of Education. More info on dot-edu here.

You can also register domain names that are specific to a certain country. Besides .US, for example, the extensions .CA, .UK and .DE correspond to Canada, United Kingdom, and Germany, respectively. Here's a list of the most common domain name extensions, and a list of extensions by country.

Size does matter
In the case of domain names, smaller is better. A short domain name may be harder to find, but if you can find one it will have advantages:

  • it's easier to brand,
  • it's easier to remember, and
  • it's harder to misspell.

Avoid trademarked names
Companies are no longer writing checks to get their names back. They are calling their lawyers. And pending legislation will soon make it very difficult to register someone else’s trademarked name.

Relate to your business
Using keywords related to your business or industry will help your search engine rankings. Try to get your actual business name (e.g. or some variant of it (e.g. or as your domain name. Then If Internet users can guess your domain name from your business name, all your off-line branding will pay off online.

Register your domain ASAP
Domain names are being snatched up quickly. The short dot-coms are pretty much gone, but there are plenty of combinations of longer words left. Register now to avoid getting stuck with "". You don't have to have an active Web site or a Web design consultant or even a hosting provider to own a domain name. Just register before you lose the chance to get the name you really want.

One may not be enough
It's a good idea to register several similar domain names. If you have "", register "" so no one else can take it. You can register your full company name and a shorter, easier-to-remember version. Some people even register common misspellings of their company’s name. When you get the Web site up and running, you'll point all the variants of your primary domain name to your Web site. Whether people type,,,, or, they go directly to our primary Web site. It's cheap protection for us, and it makes it easy for our clients to find us.

Consider character types
Domain names can only use letters, numbers, and hyphens. Spaces and other symbols are not allowed, and they cannot begin or end with a hyphen. Domain names are not case sensitive. Most domain names cannot exceed 22 characters, not including the extension.

Ask around
When you have settled on several available name choices, see what your friends and clients have to say. A name that may make perfect sense to you may be too hard for other people to remember. Is your domain easy to say? Is it hard to spell? Do you have to explain why you chose the name?

Go with a reliable domain registrar
When choosing a registration service provider, make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy company. Your domain name and all content associated with it are not to be treated lightly. This domain name could become worth hundreds of thousands of dollars if you're the marketing genius that you think you are!

The registrar should be registered with ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers), the internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management.

Domains by Landmark, our Web hosting company, uses Wild West Domains, Inc., an ICANN accredited registrar, for all domain registrations.

Worth mentioning again: The cost of registering a domain name with Domains by Landmark: $14.95 per year or less. With purchase of Web hosting (as little as $6 per month)during one of our frequent sales, your domain name costs just $1.99 for the first year.

Useful article by Sumantra Roy on choosing a domain name

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