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Newbie's guide

A Newbie's Guide to the Wonderful World of Domain Names

Rebecca Hubbard

A Newbie's Guide to the Wonderful World of Domain Names

Competition is tough on the net. It's a dog eat dog world out there. Every webmaster is vying for the web surfer's undivided attention. What's a poor webmaster, who has toiled for hours and hours, pouring blood, sweat and tears in creating that all perfect website to do? Why, get a unique domain name, of course.

Getting a domain name is a must for webmasters who want their sites to be taken seriously. Online businesses thrive on site traffic and a memorable domain name can make the difference between making it big and packing it up. For webmasters who create personal websites, having a unique domain name is a form of self-expression. It is the finishing touch that could give a website an extra kick.

So how does one get a domain name you ask? Well, first of all a webmaster's got to think of a name that fits the site. Preferably, something that describes the site clearly. A name that tells what the site is all about or what its contents are.

It should be easy to remember. Picking a really long name might not be the best thing to do. Ideally, the shorter the better. It should be something that is attention grabbing and memorable. If possible, special characters like hyphens and underbars should be avoided. It could cause confusion to possible visitors. Sending a potential customer to a rival's site is never a good idea.

After picking a name, the next step is checking if it is available. Domain registrars and numerous web hosts offer this service. There are other options if the extension .com is not available anymore. A couple of possible extensions are .org, .net.

It's always smart to have a Plan B just in case Plan A doesn't work out. If your first choice of name is not available anymore, alternate names come in handy. A slight alteration is sometimes enough. Some domain registrars and web hosts provide alternate versions and could save you the trouble of coming up with a multitude of names.

If Plan A and Plan B is not for you, Plan C just might be the way to go. If you absolutely must have the domain name you've chosen and it's already taken, it could perhaps be bought from the owner. To know who the owner is go to InterNIC WhoIs search (http://www.internic.net/whois.html). Get ready to part with your hard-earned cash ,though. More often than not, the owner would not be willing to sell it cheap.

The last step is registering or buying the name. However, it is very important to check if the chosen name does not violate any trademarks before doing so. The purpose of using it should also be justifiable to avoid any headaches.

A lot of disputes have arisen between the so-called cyber squatters and various companies regarding domain names. Cyber squatters are people who buy domain names with the intention of selling it. They frequently buy domain names of upcoming and existing businesses hoping that the companies would pay top dollar for it. Trademark laws save the day for a lot of these companies.

If the name has passed the trademark test, registration could now be accomplished. An accredited domain name registrar or a representative of one must be employed. A web host often offers a deal where one can buy a domain name together with your web hosting account.

There is no fixed price for registering a domain name. It varies tremendously. It goes for around 8 bucks to as high as 35 bucks. The wise thing to do is to diligently look around. That perfectly priced domain name might just be around the corner and with it, website greatness and beyond.

Rebecca Hubbard

Hubbard Enterprises

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