Effective Online Store Domain Names
Once in awhile, a person comes up with a truly unique domain name and that alone is the impetus which drives them to start their online store. However, the majority of people looking to begin selling products on the web decide upon a product or niche first and then begin the process of brainstorming and then registering their domain name.
Selecting a "Good" Domain Name for Your Store
When selecting a domain name for your new online store, try your best to include wording from your chosen market segment in your domain name. For example, if your online store will be selling tents, make every effort to include the word "tents" in your domain name. This is actually a bit tricky these days because so many millions of domain names are already taken. But, try your best to do so because including key words such as your product type or niche in your domain name has a material impact on how easy it will be for potential customers to find you through a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN when your online store is still in its infancy.
If your budget permits, you may want to simply purchase a good domain name that is available for sale. Depending on the domain name, this can cost a few dollars or all the way up to huge sums of money in extreme cases. As an example of that extreme, AT&T purchased the domain name "yellowpages.com" for $100 million. Though this may seem a bit off topic considering that this website is designed for the do-it-yourselfer who wants to start their own online store, it is actually quite pertinent to a point I want to make. In a nutshell, a good domain name is so important to a web business that corporations are willing to pay millions of dollars to acquire their ideal domain name. Hopefully, the ideal domain name for your online store is readily available for you to register directly. The chance of this is pretty good if you have selected an underserved niche market for the focus of your store. Otherwise, at least take a look at potentially buying a domain name. You may be fortunate enough to find a great name for a small amount of money.
Registering Your New Domain Name to Secure it as Your Own
Once you're dialed-into that perfect domain name for your store, it is time to actually register it and thereby stake claim to your piece of real estate on the web. I prefer using either Yahoo or GoDaddy.com as my domain name registrar. I have owned a few hundred domain names over the years. And, I've found that these two companies both offer competitive pricing on domain name registrations, as well as good tools with which to manage your domains. There are other advantages to using either Yahoo or GoDaddy.com for the registration of your online store's domain name. And, I will go into that in detail in the next section.
But, I should at least say right now that Yahoo gives you your first year's domain name registration free of charge if you register it while signing-up for Yahoo online store hosting services. So, that helps save you a bit of money. On the other hand, if you've selected a domain name to register, but you won't be starting your store anytime soon, it is actually cheaper to register your domain name with GoDaddy.com.
So basically, this is all about your own business timeline... If you have your domain name selected and are ready to design and deploy your online store, then you should go with Yahoo because your first year registration will be included free of charge with your online store hosting package. But, if you just want to secure your domain name for future use, and won't be ready to actually deploy a store for several months, then you should register your domain name with GoDaddy.com.
Recommended next section: Tools for building your online store.