Choosing a Domain Name
If the .com is already taken for your business name, the selection of a domain name can be a frustrating experience. Your choice of a domain should be based on three leading criteria.
- Short - under 15 characters
- Easy to Pronounce - can you say it over the phone and will people understand it?
The ultimate domain name would be yourstorename.com. Unfortunately, if the .com name is taken, it leaves you with only a few options. You can buy the domain name at auction or you can select an alternative name. If you're willing to spend about ~$500 (our recommendation), you could probably purchase your most desired domain name at auction. That's assuming there's not an existing business behind the domain.
The alternative is to select a domain that doesn't perfectly fit your business name, but still closely matches the criteria above. You'll have to get creative without getting too off track with your brand. The domain selection process is about branding your business for the long haul. It's just as important as selecting the business name itself. We suggest appending a local segment after the ideal name, for example JoeJewelersNY.com. We'd strongly suggest purchasing a few related name and redirecting traffic from the secondary domain names to your primary domain which is the one you use everywhere. We just wouldn't want someone to purchase any of the alternative domain names and damage your brand. Don't get too carried away here, it's all about preventing brand confusion.
How to Purchase
You have plenty of options for domain registration, but we highly recommend you stick with one of the more reputable domain registrars. We recommend you choose a domain registrar (not reseller) which has a simple user interface, provides good customer support by phone, doesn't oversell unnecessary services and is reasonably priced. It's safe to say, you shouldn't have to pay over $15 per year for an available .com domain. Following those criteria, we recommend using Hover.com. Your other options are GoDaddy.com and NetworkSolutions.com. We recommend purchasing domain names for 2 or more years, but you can do it on a yearly basis with an auto-renew if you choose.
Once you purchase a domain, we highly recommend you also secure the Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram username on each service to match your domain name. For example, register the username @joejewelersny on Twitter.