Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
How to Pick a Good Domain Name
Your best bet? Choose something catchy from the get-go. Your least likely bet? Something catchy from the get-go. So in four easy pieces, here’s how to catch (or not) a catchy one.
1. Buy it. Premium domain name companies like Sedo (www.sedo.com), Afternic (www.afternic.com), and NameSeek (www.nameseek.com) will sell you URLs. (People profiteering off the Internet?! Say it ain’t so!) The upside is, it’s yours. The downside? It’s going to cost plenty if it’s popular, catchy, and so simple that only a million people before you have thought of it.
2. Punctuate your way around it—or don’t. Using hyphens, reallyreallylongrunonnames, or an extension like .tv, .us, .net, or .org can be a good way to both extend your brand and not have to pay oodles for it. However, if brevity is the spirit of wit, the same might apply to domain names. It might take a longer time to find a www.drugs.com corollary, but it’ll be well worth it when you do. Which is to say, really long, strangely punctuated URLs are a drag, and unless you’re in business to bring people down you might try to avoid the whole drag factor.
3. Make it up. Out of thin air. Yup. There are lots of letters in the alphabet, and we’re pretty sure www.xygomex.com isn’t being used. But good luck with an organic tea company named Xygomex.
4. Lay in wait for one. Many of the domain name services have features by which you can lay claim for a registered name. Then if the present owner forgets to renew, it’ll yank that name out from under them for a mere pittance. It’s not entirely unethical to exploit someone else’s inability to remember stuff like paying registration bills, but be prepared to wait a long time, even if you do go this route.
Profile: The Guru of Good Names
A transplant from Siragusa, Sicily, Salvatore Russo’s sideline is the name game. “I don’t know whether it was not having English as a first language that’s caused me to think about words a little differently,” says full-time sports agent Russo, “or that I’ve always had a love for languages.” But after an uninterrupted spate of picking winners for friends and associates, the idea of charging for it hit home.
Since then, he’s named everything from athletes (Danny Damage Marks) to record labels (Control Free Youth) to sporting-gear companies (Konjo Gear) and more. The success was so sudden that he’s only recently gotten around to hanging out a formal shingle, by way of a website. “Funny thing is,” laughs Russo, “when it came to thinking up a name for my naming business, I was stumped. Parola, the Italian word for word, was taken. So was Palabra, the Spanish word.” Having recently found a name, Russo is keeping mum and NDA-ing it until he has it registered. A good practice under any circumstance. Good ideas, and good names, are not always cheap or easy to come by.