Matt Cotten & Associates

Expertise in Ecommerce, Website Design, SEO & Internet Marketing

How To Register a Website Name

Registering your website name is one of the most important decisions a website owner has to make. Here is how to register a website name or manage your account.

Register A Website Name for Only $9.00!


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How to Register a Website Name

Here are 4 tips you should consider before you register your website name:

  • Your website name should be short and easy to remember
  • Visitors are more likely to trust “.com” website names
  • You should only market one website name
  • If you change your website name you could lose visitors

Your Website Name Should be Short and Easy to Remember

Having a short and easy to remember domain name sounds like a no brainier, but most short “.com” website names have already been registered. Since anyone can register a website name at a low cost, most conceivable website names have been registered. However, the vast majority of these website names do not have a website currently using them. Many of these website names were registered by someone who plans on using the website name in the future, but most likely never will. Other website names are registered for the purpose of selling them for a profit. Website names do expire, but since it is so inexpensive and easy to renew website name registrations or to register website names for several years in advance, if a desired website name is not available currently, it will most likely not be available any time soon.

This dilemma basically leaves three choices for how to register a website name:

  • Try to be creative in choosing a website name.
  • Purchase a website name from someone who has already registered the website name.
  • Choose an alternate domain name extension.

It is possible to be creative in naming a website with a name that has not been registered. However, it is usually at the cost of it being too long or it not being easy to remember. Do not pick names that could have alternative spellings. It is also not recommended to choose website names with dashes in the name because that could easily be confusing to potential visitors. Some search engines do put weight on keywords being in the website name, but it is always recommended to do something for the benefit of your potential customers before doing something that would benefit your website in the search engines.

If you are serious about being a major player on the internet, than you will most likely have to purchase your website name from someone who has already registered the website name. You can usually contact the current owner of a website name owner by looking up the website name via a Whois search. You may be fortunate enough to contact the current owner who was at one time going to use the website name but no longer wants it and will sell the website name at a reasonable price. However, the short and in demand website names will cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. But the right website name can have a large contribution to its success. In the long run, it would be more beneficial and more profitable to purchase and market an expensive website name that is short and easy to remember than to save money and to try to market a website name that is more obscure.

Consumers Are More Likely to Trust “.com” Website Names

There are now more TLD (top level domain) name extensions available such as “.net”, “.biz”, “.ws”, etc. These domain names have not yet really taken off for consumer retail websites. Everyone knows “.com” but there are still many average internet users that are not familiar with the other domain name extensions. This problem can lead to a potential visitor to forget that your website name is not a “.com” and type it in as one and are directed to a different website or even a competitor’s website. Also since many average internet users are not familiar with the other domain name extensions, they may not put as much trust into a website that does not have a “.com” website name.

It should be noted that search engines do not put any more weight in ranking “.com” websites compared to another website with a different domain name extension. So if you are only going to market your website on the search engines, another domain name extension would not hurt your search engine rankings.

You Should Only Market One Website Name

It is commonplace to have multiple website names for a single website, but you should only market one name on the internet for your website. This is because a search engine could consider marketing multiple website names as a violation to their terms of service.

Search engines now favor a single website name with many content rich internal pages, rather than many small websites with different names. This is because in the not so distant past, website owners would purchase many domain names with their targeted keyword phrases in the name and create mini websites that would direct the visitor to the main website. This technique was called creating “doorway” pages. These pages had little to no unique content and were created for the purpose of attracting the search engine for a particular keyword phrase and to direct the visitor to a different web page. Search engines have caught on to this tactic and can penalize a website or even ban the website from its results if the search engine discovers you are using this tactic. Search engine results are still plagued by these types of web pages but the rankings of these types of web pages is almost always short lived.

Search engines will not penalize websites using variations of your website name or misspellings of your website for the purpose of preventing traffic loss or preventing competitors from using names similar to yours. The variations should only be used for these purposes and not used to market your website or you could risk the search engines penalizing your website

If You Change Your Website Name You Could Lose Traffic

A website’s ranking in search engine engines is mainly determined by the content of the website itself. Another factor in determining a website’s ranking is what is being called a website’s popularity or more accurately link popularity. A website’s link popularity is determined by the number of other websites that link to a particular website. Google’s method of determining website link popularity is called PageRank, but nearly all internet search engines now factor the link popularity of a website in its ranking of websites.

There are numerous articles and debates on website linking and popularity on the internet. Matt Cotten & Associates Internet Solutions has a service called Popularity Building in which we contact related websites in your industry and facilitate a link exchange. To briefly summarize link popularity, it is generally accepted that the more links a website has pointing to it from other websites, the higher its popularity, but all links are not created equal. A link from a website that already has an established popularity would be more valuable than a link from a website that has little or no popularity. A link from a website that is related to your industry would be more valuable than a link from a website from an unrelated industry. A link from a website’s homepage would be more valuable than from a page deep within the website.

Some links can actually hurt your website’s popularity ranking. This is because ever since this factor was determined in ranking websites, there have been numerous tactics to manipulate the measure of a website’s popularity. Most of these tactics revolve around generating hundreds or even thousands of links to a website through some sort of automated means, usually producing links on websites that receive little to zero traffic. These types of websites normally become blacklisted on search engines because of their attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. Websites that appear on blacklisted websites are sometimes penalized in search engine rankings because the website may also be using tactics attempting to manipulate search engines.

The issue of link popularity all revolves around your website name. It is a never ending process of building a website’s link popularity by getting other websites to link to your website. If you were to change your website’s name sometime after its initial launch, you would loose whatever link popularity that website’s name had. Yes, it is easy to have an old website name to forward to a new website name. This prevents a user getting a “Page Cannot Be Displayed” error message when typing in your website name, but this does not transfer one website’s link popularity to another. Search engines do take some time to update their results, so it would take some time for your websites listings in search engines to be affected by a change in your website’s name.

To see if your website name is available or to register your website name, return to the top of this page and enter your desired website name in the text input box.