Choosing and Registering a Domain Name
Internet users have spent years now devising clever and useful domain names for their businesses, so finding a domain name that hasn't already been registered for use is sometimes not an easy task. With a little brainstorming, you can devise a name that suits your new business perfectly.
A uniform resource locator, which is called URL for short, is the address of an individual page on the World Wide Web. If you use the Web, you recognize the URL as the long string of characters that is automatically entered in the address line of an Internet browser, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari, when you click on a link.
You can also type the address in the opening and hit “Go,” or press the return key on your keyboard to access the page.
Your domain name is the portion of the URL that typically comes after www and before .com — or .net, .org, .biz, and other common endings. Like this:
Domain names can be registered through one of many accredited registrars (companies approved to conduct that type of business for Web users). Some registrars act solely as a registering agent, but many others offer to provide you with a place to host your Web site so that people can see it.
Domain names can be registered for periods ranging from one to ten years. Registration fees vary depending on the registering company and the length of time you choose to register the name.
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a nonprofit corporation that coordinates several Internet functions. One of its responsibilities is to oversee the domain name system.
Many real estate agents register and use their personal names for their real estate domain name and, in fact, Internet savvy businesspeople suggest that everyone register his or her name, even if they have no immediate plans to use it, because registration blocks anyone else from obtaining it. No matter how many agencies you work for, your name is the one constant that people who know you will recognize.
If you have a common name, it may already be registered. If that is the case, try using a portion of your name to create a phrase, like gloriasellshomes.com.
You might prefer to choose a domain name that ties in with your location or the type of business you do. Most town and city names have already been registered, but it's not too difficult to work something into your domain name that relates to your town name or to something unique about your location. Think about your local attractions. Can you think of a descriptive term associated with the area to use in your name?
If you plan to advertise your Web site address in newspapers and magazines, try to keep your domain name as short and catchy as possible so that people remember it. Avoid using hyphens and other symbols that people might not remember to type in.
If you marry and change your name or change your name for other reasons, you can register your new name and configure the old Web site to link to the new.