Your domain name (the www.MyBusinessName.com) is your business’ address on the internet, like google.com or imarketsb.com. It’s important that you own your domain name and that you have control of it. But how do you choose one and get it registered?
Choosing a domain name
Here’s my advice for choosing a business domain name: keep it as short as possible, easy to spell and make it unique and brandable.
A short, easy to spell domain name is easy to type, easy to remember and fits well when you have to display it on business cards or ads. Word of mouth relies on the domain name being easy to remember and spell. This also means you should avoid hyphens in your domain. Business Email addresses are also easier to work with when short domain names are used.
If you’ve got a long business name such as Professional Inspection Services Limited, then it makes sense to use the first letter of each word to create your domain name instead of spelling it all out. This is especially so if you already refer to your business by its first letters, such as PISL. Wouldn’t you agree that www.pisl.co.tt is a considerably better domain name than www.professionalinspectionserviceslimited.com?
.com, .net, .co.tt?
The letters after the final dot on a domain name are referred to as Top Level Domains or TLDs. By far, the most popular TLD on the internet is .com. As a consequence, most, if not all shorter .com domains have already been registered and are unavailable.
Some people though purchase domain names with the intent to resell them to other interested buyers at a significant profit.
My advice is to first attempt to find an available .com domain name for your business. If pisl.com were available, I’d advise them to get it. I’m sure though that at the time they decided to look for a domain name it was already taken so they went with a .co.tt domain name instead.
Get the .com or .co.tt. Most people who use the web assume that ‘.com’ is all there is. If you do business in Trinidad & Tobago, I advise to get a .co.tt domain name as it may help you rank better in search engines and it is patriotic to get it. You may also be able to get short domain names where the .com has already been taken, for example pisl.co.tt as opposed to pisl.com.
Searching for your domain name
After you brainstorm your options, it’s time to then find out if they are available. You need a tool to search for your prospective domain name’s availability.
If you’re looking for a .com, the search tool at GoDaddy is easy to use. It will tell you instantly if your domain is available or not. If it is, register it immediately. You would need a credit card but it costs less than US$15 per year to own your piece of real estate on the web.
Registering a domain name is very easy at GoDaddy, once you follow the steps they lay out. They will try to upsell you on other products as you go along but they are not necessary. Just say no thanks and move forward. If you’ve ever bought anything online, it’s a simple process.
If you decided to go with the .co.tt domain name, you would need to visit the Trinidad & Tobago Network Information Centre website to do your search and create an account. They can be found at http://nic.tt/. A .co.tt domain name costs US$50 but that covers the first three (3) years. It must be paid all at once. You create an account on the website, complete the search and the registration details. They email you an invoice that’s valid for up to one month. You can pay via cheque, cash, wire transfer or online (yay!).
Register your domain name for as long as possible. You can register a .com domain name for a maximum of ten years. If you can afford it, go ahead. But if you can’t you should set the domain name to renew automatically annually.
You can also use a coupon to get a lower price for your GoDaddy domain. Go to RetailMeNot.com, search for a GoDaddy coupon and use it to get a discount on your domain registration. You could save yourself about TT$75 on the first year’s registration!
Registering a domain name is a simple process and its something every small business should add to their branding arsenal.
Let imarketSB help you to register your domain name, build a website and get business email.