What to look for when buying a new domain

No this is not an Abbot and Costello comedy routine, but some serious information you need to know if considering your own web site. If you have ever looked into getting your own domain name, you have no doubt done a “whois” lookup. If you haven’t, you can search to see if the name you wish is available, and you should check the age and and the history of that domain also. To do that there are some well known tools on the internet. To check how a website looked in the past go to Wayback machine and do your search, and you must check the DNS health of your desired domain. To do that you should use the online DNS lookup tools.

There are three types of extensions available for our use at the current time. For example, abc.com is an example of a dot.com site – abc.net a dot.net site and finally a dot.org site.

Dot.org sites were traditionally the domain of non-profit organizations, but have since opened up, so anyone can have that extension. There are other extensions such as dot.gov, but these are not available to the average person.

Before choosing a name with an extension, you should be aware that most browsers will allow you to simply enter the domain name such as “abc”. The browser will then search for a web site with that name – but it isn’t as simple as that.

Internet Explorer first searches for a domain name with a dot.com extension. If it finds one, it connects to that site. If it doesn’t, it will search for a dot.net extension and finally a dot.org extension.

If you think you have a really neat name, and the dot.com extension is already taken, but the dot.net is available, it may not be a good deal. People are conditioned to enter a name followed by “.com” and if you have the dot.net or dot.org extension, you just may be sending your clients to a competitors site.

We recently tried to reserve a web site and checked under several names, but all the dot.com names, that we initially thought of, were all taken. Rather than settling for a dot.net or dot.org extension, we continued to search until we found one with a dot.com that was appropriate for our business.

Remember – when you do a “Whois” search, the dot.com name is on first.

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