Introduction: With the growing popularity of the Internet, it has become a matter of necessity to own a website. The Internet is a collection of interconnected network of computers, which are again connected among themselves. Each computer connected to the Internet is identified by an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Each IP address is made of 4 groups of three digits each, thus making a total of 12 digits for an IP address. However these IP addresses being numbers are not very user-friendly in the sense that these addresses are quite difficult to remember. A search for an alternative mechanism for identifying computer gave way to the Domain Naming System (DNS). When a user types in a website address in the browser the DNS checks for that domain name and fetches the IP address. This IP address is then used to navigate to the web page you requested for.

The domain name is that part of the URL that is between ‘www.’ And ‘.com’. This name will be unique.

The Importance: A domain name is the identity for your website. Hence to attract the attention of others, you must make it as eye catching as possible. Here are some good practices for making your domain name as good as possible. On a very general note, it is good to keep your domain name same as that of your website name. This helps the users to easily remember your website name. This obviates the need for remembering a separate website name and a DNS name. Your domain name must reflect your brand name. If say, for example, you have a product to sell, then it is better to choose a domain name similar to your product name. This is because of the fact that people remember product names and not some other names.

Domain names can technically be of any arbitrary length. The maximum length is limited to 67 characters. Given this, what should be the ideal length of your domain name? Should you choose a long domain name or a short one? It is widely believed that a short name is preferable to a long name provided it is not a difficult one to remember. There are good reasons to limit yourself to a short name. The main point is that shorter names are obviously easier to remember than longer ones. Secondly, it is much easier for a user to type a short name in to the browser than a long name.

There are two schools of thought regarding the use of hyphens in domain names. While some consider that the usage of hyphens will add to the uniqueness of your domain name especially in the context of search engines and keywords, some believe that a hyphenated domain has more disadvantages than advantages. It is easy to forget the hyphen in the name. During verbal communication, it takes extra effort to clarify the position of the hyphen in the domain name. This is pronounced especially in the cases of telephone conversation.

Some of the other good practices in domain naming are to use plurals in the name if there is a possibility of name clash. Another consideration that you may want to take is the extension. Here, it is recommended that whatever be the extension you choose, it must reflect the nature of your website. Also, it would be good if you adopt country specific extensions only if the intended visitors of your site are not the international community, but rather citizens of your own country.