Sunday, October 14, 2007

All you wish you did not have to know about Domain Names

If you are thinking of moving from a web based blog hosting service, such as blogspot or Wordpress, to your own hosting service then you will need a domain name, which is your unique address on the internet. When I move this blog over my domain name will be sueblimely.com.
A domain name is made up of two parts, the unique name you choose, made up of letters and or numbers (in my case sueblimely) and a top level domain (TLD) - eg com, net, au, ca. A complete list of TLD's can be found on Wikipedia. (As from next year you will be able to get a .me TLD when Montenegro's domain name becomes available - imagine the rush to get that suffix e.g. buy.me, love.me, bookmark.me...)

Think carefully about your domain name considering these points:

  • If your hosted blog name is already well known then think about reusing this.

  • If you want a new name, try to choose one that is easy to remember and easy to spell. Shorter names are generally better and less prone to spelling errors. Remember that your domain name and blog title do not need to be the same so a long title does not have to translate into a long domain name.

  • It is good to have a name that descriptive and relevant to your blog topic, using keywords that will bring in readers from search engines.

    • You can be descriptive and creative at the same time e.g. treehugger.com

    • You may wish to create an identity for yourself at the same time e.g. joelonsoftware.com (this is what I am aiming to do because of my other web activities which are distinct from blogging)


  • If you already have a well known identity/nickname consider using this e.g.: snoskred.org.

  • Many blogs do not have a particular topic. You can be creative in this case but try to choose a memorable name.

All of this comes with the proviso that the name you choose is actually available. You may not be able to buy your chosen name and a rethink or compromise may have to be settled on.

There are many other domain naming tools available online although I have not been too impressed by them. I found the following of the most use:
  • Instant Domain Checker - nice and quick

  • Create a list of words associated with your site and check them on Google Trends gives you an idea of how much search traffic words get:

  • bustaname.com - allows instant live searching and helps you find domains sounding similar to the one of your choice.

  • namedroppers.com - perform searches for domain names using multiple keywords

  • MakeWords.com - search via keyword and get alternatives to the resultant names.

  • JustDropped.com - lets you search for domain names that have recently expired.

  • If you need a little inspiration the weblog name generator may help. If not you can get a giggle from some of the names it comes up with. (e.g. bug-eyed dreams, happy noodle)

Once your domain name is decided on and you are sure it is available, you need to actually buy the name. Most hosting companies provide domain registration services but, although buying this way is the simplest option, it may not be the cheapest option.

You can find reviews of domain registrars on NamePros.com. Namecheap and Dynadot seem to have good reputations. I have used WebPageDomainNames.com, which is associated with GoDaddy, for a few years now and have had no problems. I have not had to test out their customer support so cannot comment on how efficient this is.



tag alexa

10 comments:

Saboma said...

Thanks for posting this, Sue.

I've been tossing around the idea of having a domain for Maryannaville but have been a bit of a dingbat about it.

I figured that someone in the loop would provide more information and voila!, looky here! It's just like magick that you picked up the vibes I've been sending out amongst me home girls.

Thanks again, Sue!

Gattina said...

Very interesting, thank you for the info. I don't know why I would change where is the interest ? I blog for fun and not for business, I like to play with my blog outfit and have to say that so far I am quite happy with Blogger (except for picture loading) Why should I pay for something I don't really need. What is the advantage of a domain ?

BTW today I take the Cyber Cruise to the home of my friends in Italy which dates from 1462 ! So if you are interested to have a look ....

Sueblimely said...

Blogspot is fine if you are happy with it, the number of readers it has brought you and what you want to do with it; especially if you are blogging for pleasure not profit.

I want to do more than blogspot can offer though - extra pages, more plugins, more customization - so it no longer fits my needs.

As for the picture loading I prefer using a service such as photobucket or picasa web albums rather than bloggers inbuilt image upload system.

A cruise to Italy sounds wonderful, let me grab a phrase book and I will be there :-)

Sueblimely said...

I'm lovin those vibrations, saboma. They give me excitations. Keep em comin and help this ol blog sing.

I am doing a series of posts about moving to wordpress too in view of my own far overdue move.

If there is anything you need to know (about anything to do with blogging) please contact me and just ask. If I don't know it straight away is most likely to be in the hundreds of pages of notes I keep in OneNote!

Kim said...

great information Sue....
I already have a domain name ....laketrees1.com.....but I really think I would have been better having one that has my name in it and of course I should have had .au put after it.....durr...it took me a while to realize that .au meant Australia :)

Sueblimely said...

I did wonder about adding a bit to the post about country domains, wish I had now :-)
In your case, your main market for your artwork would be Australia so it is a good idea to get an .au domain as long as you have an ABN number. Australian domains are only available to those with business registration. I cannot remember who I use for my .au domains but will get back to you on that - some of the .au domain registrars are so expensive.

Caledonia said...

It took me ages to think of my first domain then it came to me out of the blue. Afterwards, I started using phrases from songs!

I prefer buying my domains via an American registrar rather than a UK one because they are cheaper plus I hate the co.uk part!

A lot of webhosts offer free domains when you purchase a plan from them but I prefer to register my own so I can keep control of it. It saves hassle in the long run if your host isn't as reliable as you first thought and you need to move in a hurry.

Shantanu said...

Great info! I already have a domain name, but now think I ought to have registered my blog title rather than my own name. Also, I have registered with GoDaddy and have been happy with their service/pricing/support.

Ajayprabhu said...

You have nice and informative site..I've joined your community and hope u too join mine...

Sueblimely said...

A big welcome to my new visitors.

You make a good point about keeping control of your domain names, caledonia.

Shantanu - you do become known by your name after a while blogging. It is returning readers that are likely to type the domain name into the browser and if they remember your name then they will easily find you.

Thank you Ajayprabhu :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

All you wish you did not have to know about Domain Names

If you are thinking of moving from a web based blog hosting service, such as blogspot or Wordpress, to your own hosting service then you will need a domain name, which is your unique address on the internet. When I move this blog over my domain name will be sueblimely.com.
A domain name is made up of two parts, the unique name you choose, made up of letters and or numbers (in my case sueblimely) and a top level domain (TLD) - eg com, net, au, ca. A complete list of TLD's can be found on Wikipedia. (As from next year you will be able to get a .me TLD when Montenegro's domain name becomes available - imagine the rush to get that suffix e.g. buy.me, love.me, bookmark.me...)

Think carefully about your domain name considering these points:

  • If your hosted blog name is already well known then think about reusing this.

  • If you want a new name, try to choose one that is easy to remember and easy to spell. Shorter names are generally better and less prone to spelling errors. Remember that your domain name and blog title do not need to be the same so a long title does not have to translate into a long domain name.

  • It is good to have a name that descriptive and relevant to your blog topic, using keywords that will bring in readers from search engines.

    • You can be descriptive and creative at the same time e.g. treehugger.com

    • You may wish to create an identity for yourself at the same time e.g. joelonsoftware.com (this is what I am aiming to do because of my other web activities which are distinct from blogging)


  • If you already have a well known identity/nickname consider using this e.g.: snoskred.org.

  • Many blogs do not have a particular topic. You can be creative in this case but try to choose a memorable name.

All of this comes with the proviso that the name you choose is actually available. You may not be able to buy your chosen name and a rethink or compromise may have to be settled on.

There are many other domain naming tools available online although I have not been too impressed by them. I found the following of the most use:
  • Instant Domain Checker - nice and quick

  • Create a list of words associated with your site and check them on Google Trends gives you an idea of how much search traffic words get:

  • bustaname.com - allows instant live searching and helps you find domains sounding similar to the one of your choice.

  • namedroppers.com - perform searches for domain names using multiple keywords

  • MakeWords.com - search via keyword and get alternatives to the resultant names.

  • JustDropped.com - lets you search for domain names that have recently expired.

  • If you need a little inspiration the weblog name generator may help. If not you can get a giggle from some of the names it comes up with. (e.g. bug-eyed dreams, happy noodle)

Once your domain name is decided on and you are sure it is available, you need to actually buy the name. Most hosting companies provide domain registration services but, although buying this way is the simplest option, it may not be the cheapest option.

You can find reviews of domain registrars on NamePros.com. Namecheap and Dynadot seem to have good reputations. I have used WebPageDomainNames.com, which is associated with GoDaddy, for a few years now and have had no problems. I have not had to test out their customer support so cannot comment on how efficient this is.



tag alexa

10 comments:

Saboma said...

Thanks for posting this, Sue.

I've been tossing around the idea of having a domain for Maryannaville but have been a bit of a dingbat about it.

I figured that someone in the loop would provide more information and voila!, looky here! It's just like magick that you picked up the vibes I've been sending out amongst me home girls.

Thanks again, Sue!

Gattina said...

Very interesting, thank you for the info. I don't know why I would change where is the interest ? I blog for fun and not for business, I like to play with my blog outfit and have to say that so far I am quite happy with Blogger (except for picture loading) Why should I pay for something I don't really need. What is the advantage of a domain ?

BTW today I take the Cyber Cruise to the home of my friends in Italy which dates from 1462 ! So if you are interested to have a look ....

Sueblimely said...

Blogspot is fine if you are happy with it, the number of readers it has brought you and what you want to do with it; especially if you are blogging for pleasure not profit.

I want to do more than blogspot can offer though - extra pages, more plugins, more customization - so it no longer fits my needs.

As for the picture loading I prefer using a service such as photobucket or picasa web albums rather than bloggers inbuilt image upload system.

A cruise to Italy sounds wonderful, let me grab a phrase book and I will be there :-)

Sueblimely said...

I'm lovin those vibrations, saboma. They give me excitations. Keep em comin and help this ol blog sing.

I am doing a series of posts about moving to wordpress too in view of my own far overdue move.

If there is anything you need to know (about anything to do with blogging) please contact me and just ask. If I don't know it straight away is most likely to be in the hundreds of pages of notes I keep in OneNote!

Kim said...

great information Sue....
I already have a domain name ....laketrees1.com.....but I really think I would have been better having one that has my name in it and of course I should have had .au put after it.....durr...it took me a while to realize that .au meant Australia :)

Sueblimely said...

I did wonder about adding a bit to the post about country domains, wish I had now :-)
In your case, your main market for your artwork would be Australia so it is a good idea to get an .au domain as long as you have an ABN number. Australian domains are only available to those with business registration. I cannot remember who I use for my .au domains but will get back to you on that - some of the .au domain registrars are so expensive.

Caledonia said...

It took me ages to think of my first domain then it came to me out of the blue. Afterwards, I started using phrases from songs!

I prefer buying my domains via an American registrar rather than a UK one because they are cheaper plus I hate the co.uk part!

A lot of webhosts offer free domains when you purchase a plan from them but I prefer to register my own so I can keep control of it. It saves hassle in the long run if your host isn't as reliable as you first thought and you need to move in a hurry.

Shantanu said...

Great info! I already have a domain name, but now think I ought to have registered my blog title rather than my own name. Also, I have registered with GoDaddy and have been happy with their service/pricing/support.

Ajayprabhu said...

You have nice and informative site..I've joined your community and hope u too join mine...

Sueblimely said...

A big welcome to my new visitors.

You make a good point about keeping control of your domain names, caledonia.

Shantanu - you do become known by your name after a while blogging. It is returning readers that are likely to type the domain name into the browser and if they remember your name then they will easily find you.

Thank you Ajayprabhu :-)