What You Should Know About Internet
People refer to... and ask of... your Website
name in several ways.
It normally goes something like this:
"What is your Website site / home page / domain name / url / or Web address?"
All terms refer to the same entity...
the words that a visitor enters into a Web browser to request your Website.
However, there is more to a domain name than meets our eye.
The Herd recommends that you read and consider the following:
With the Essential Website
Package, your domain name will initially read
you acquire a URL
With the Inpedendent Packages,
your domain name will read
Both are Internet addresses... in today's vernacular, both
are called Web addresses. Technically there's a difference, but it has no impact on surfing or functionality. The important
point is that while many good names have been taken... many others remain. And, while more "same" names are coming available
as new suffixes are created, as "bottom-line-thinkers"... the Herd says... "Get a name, today!" If your first choice is taken...
go for a second, or third choice. Usually, they are quite close to your desired one. There can be happiness living with
Plan B! However, after Plan A, Plan B has many considerations.
Let's Talk About Domains
A domain name consists of at least two components; 1) the chosen name which for clarity let's
call the secondary domain name, located to the left of the dot; 2) the top-level domain name (TLD) which
is located to the right of the dot; and optionally there is 3) the sub-domain name that is to the left of the secondary
domain name which is used to segment functions and direct visitors to a site such as "sales.yourname.com."
By far, .COM
is the most common TLD followed by .NET and .ORG.
There are other less popular top-level domains, including .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME (for personal names) and
.WS (for WebSite)... and soon .PRO (for professionals)
Top-level domains were originally designed to indicate broad classifications... and once had
restrictive guidelines. However, today, excepting a few such TLDs as .GOV, .EDU (which is so fiercely protected that even Harvard
can only obtain one domian name ending in .EDU), they are available to most registrants, worldwide. In the beginning,
.COM was for commerce; .NET was for networks, .ORG was for organizations. But, as the .COMs became taken, registrants
opted for an alternative TLD to preserve their core names. Further as it became apparent that .COM dominated popular interpretation
and reference for Websites, .COM has been used outside of commerce by governments, schools, individuals. organizations,
The above TLDs are primarily classifications by industry. Top-level domains can also be geographically
significant and perhaps only available to registrants in the locale defined by the TLD. These are called country-code TLDs.
For example: .US (United States), .UK (United Kingdom) .and CA (Canada). Interestingly, there is .TV (Tuvalu)
which increasing gets play, because of its similiarity to TV for television, thus motivating studios and sites that stream
video to register their studio as www.theirstudio.tv
In all, .COM has become the industry standard. It's everyone's first try when stabbing at an
address. In this sense, the .COM is similar to the original 800 telephone number. While there are now other
toll free numbers such as 866 and 888, people still refer to an established toll free number as an 800 number.
So, as a future registrant, there are choices right from the start if your #1 name is taken:
1) DO YOU go with an exact name with a different TLD? 2) DO YOU modify or abbreviate your name to grab
the .COM? 3) DO YOU add words to preserve the core name with a .COM? 4) DO YOU do all of the above?
Here's the idea: Yourname.com, is taken, but yourname.us/.biz is not. Or abbreviating
yourname to yn.com is available. Optionally, yournameonline.com or yourname'ssite.com is available.
Choices...Choices! There are strong arguements to be made for all preferences. Some people
even argue that it makes no difference, since the visitor to your site will "bookmark" (remember the file name) the site
if they are pleased with its contents and want to return. Oppositely, from the world of "branding," others argue
that YOU should register the same domain name in some -- if not all --of the more common TLDs of in order to
protect YOUR BRAND, YOUR SITE, and YOURSELF..
The Herd and Goose have wrestled with these decisions because clients
ask our opinion. So,
we made up some rules which we believe help
1 A .com trumps all. If you get
yourname.com, you are perceived
to be the real deal! Bracketing a .com with a .net is affordable and wise, but
the visitor to a .net sees it as the site that didn't grab the .com.
Still, bracketing YOUR IDentity is a small investment for a big
2. We are obsessed with branding a name
over a concept or tagline...
that is unless you are going to then brand the concept. For example: If your are Heidi's
Saloon, go for the name in some fashion, rather than the
tagline or feeling, i.e., funforfemales.com. It's not that
we don't recommend your grabbing the tagline as well, it just that Heidi's Saloon will initially be the primary name.
Over time, the tagline may become more popular; however, in starting off, establishing an identity on the Web is difficult
enough without attempting to create a new one as well.
3. There is an alternative TLD
which we favor more than most people if .COM is taken. It is .INFO. This TDL makes the most sense to us when a
.COM is not available and YOU truly are not a network or organization. MOST SITES ON THE INTERNET ARE INFORMATIONAL
IN NATURE. Though the majority are business, only a fraction (but a growing one at that) are actual commerce sites where
one can buy something. And the really "Good News" is that .INFO is usually available because we believe that most people
don't fancy the four letters compared to the three of .COM, .NET, .ORG.
A "Goose Bump"... Remember the expression that "Revenge Is Best Served Cold." Well, cold
revenge is also served-up on the Internet in the form of derogatory, third-party urls. For example: www.yourcompany.com is registered by a disgruntled employee this way... www.yourcompanysucks.com And yes, the courts have approved such third party registration... 9th Federal District, as usual,
but still the precedent exists. So do yourself a big favor if you have likely detractors...
Consider also registering names that are the pop derogatory renditions (rots, etc) of your real url.
Also, in bracketing your domain name, consider common mis-spellings of your name such as grey and
gray, smyth and smith, reading and redding, etc.. Fortunately, if visitors first search your site out through Google,
they may be prompted with the correct spelling, if the search engine has listed your site. Still, be prepared
for a crew like The Herd 'n Goose, which just sits at the keyboard and pounds in that which it perceives to be the url..
At less than $10.00 a url, it's difficult to go wrong securing several names... both offensively
and defensively... around your BRANDED domain name.
And one final note: Shortly into the popularity of the Web, it became clear that there were
cybersquatters just "sitting" on registered names in hopes of selling them for a profit, or using them to deceptively
drive traffic to their sites. This caused difficulties: While Norman Frank Longhorn had as much right to nfl.com
as the National Football League,he does not to say us Cool Moose and a Reclusive Goose... because
he has nothing to do with us. Hence ICANN, the "authority" over the Internet, established a dispute resolution process
to referee such conflicts. NOW READ CLOSELY... The above does not mean that there are not cybersquatters...
or that "parking" a registered name is illegal. It is not. However, the names that
are up for sale today are generic such as "yourpassion.com," "lifeafterfifty.com," etc.