Every website needs a domain name. An appropriate domain name lends credibility and authenticity to a website. A domain name's function in the world is to make it easy for you to find a website.

For instance, in order to find CNN on the Internet, you wouldn't want to have to remember their IP address is It's much easier to remember CNN.com. The domain name (CNN.com) points to the IP address (

Fortunately, you don't have to wade through understanding IP address mapping or domain name resolution. Just remember: an IP address is how computers find each other; domain names are how people find each other.

Selecting your domain name is the first step on your path to securing a web presence. Here is how to do it:

A domain name is the address people will type into their browser to find you. Like your logo, slogan, colors, brand name or any other expression of your brand, your domain name represents part of your business identity.

Similarly, just like any brand signature, this expression has the power to enhance or detract from your brand depending on how you handle it. You will post your domain name in all of your marketing collateral, from your business cards to your signs. Even your email addresses will be founded on the domain name you select, so it is important to choose wisely.

Your domain name should be easy to remember and should reflect your business efforts. General rules for selecting domain names are:

  • Keep it short, if you can, (but stay away from acronyms—they get lost in the brain),
  • Use your name or some memorable combination,
  • Make sure it’s easy to say and spell,
  • Stay away from using hyphens or special characters,
  • If you’re a business, a .com site is better than a .net or .biz site. People naturally assume (and even hear) .com, even though you might have written or said .net or some other extension, and finally,
  • Ensure your domain name doesn't encroach upon anyone else's branding efforts.

Questions about selecting the right domain name?
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