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Picking a Domain Name

Tips for registering a website address?

The domain name is the first thing most people think of when it comes to the World Wide Web. Website addresses are branded as much as anything these days, and it's crucial to lock up your desired domain as soon as you can.

Domains are registered in one-year increments, but even if you don't have immediate plans for a Web site, securing the domain now could save a lot of time and money later for the right domain. There are nearly 350 million domains registered and the name that fits your site best, no matter how unique, could be snapped up at any moment.

This is most important for businesses wanting a domain that either is the company name (PizzaPlaza.com), basic key words describing it (SmalltownPizza.com) or anything else that sets a business apart (two4onepizza.com). If you own a business and a Web site is not in your near-term plans, locking up the domain name is still important. PizzaPlaza.com is easier to brand than SmalltownPizzaPlaza.com or Pizza-Plaza.com.

When choosing a domain name, say it out loud. In the example two4onepizza.com, think of how often you will have to spell it out. If you have to spell it out, customers may not remember it. They may type it into a search engine and land on the website of one of your competitors.

Registering a domain name for a personal site is just as important if you have one in mind, or even just an idea of what the site will be about.

Domain name competition wasn't as fierce in the early days of dot-coms. The first domain ever created was Nordu.net, on Jan. 1, 1985. When domains were made available to register, a now-defunct computer manufacturer secured the first registered domain, Symbolics.com. That was March 15, 1985. It took more than two years before the 100th address was registered.

Web site addresses, or URLs, are actually a series of numbers, known as an IP address. Domain names translate those numbers to an easy-to-remember address.

Addresses ending in .com are the most popular, but we also offer .net, .org, .biz, .info and .us. While the content of a site is the most important, picking the right domain name is crucial. It's what you write down for a person to find the site's content and can include key words, the name of your business or anything you can think up.

We register your domain name for you. You own it, not us.

Every domain name is registered through ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is a non-profit organization that took over the process of overseeing domains from the U.S. government in 1998. Some hosts offer to register your domain name, but then only rent it to you. If you try to move your business, these companies either keep your domain name or only offer it to you for a high price.

WantMyWeb.com is a trusted host. Your domain name belongs to you and there is never any hidden fee to keep it.

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