On the web your address is your www.MYDOMAIN.com domain and it is critically important to the success of your business.
I'm regularly confused by people who are looking for the cheapest and changing domains, there are still people who do this. Shopping for cheap and cheerful and forgetting to renew domains and failing to see the importance of your online real estate.
Let's start at the beginning :
* Choose a domain name that fits with your business, the best option is to find a domain that is the same as your business or personal name so that you build your brand. The idea is to ensure that your domain is memorable, everyone has so much to remember that if you complicate your domain with too many dashes, acronyms or making it entirely different will mean that you're making it that much more difficult for your client to remember.
* With the vast number of new extensions that have recently been launched, such as .pro, .gift, .london, etc. it is important to carefully consider which domain would be your primary domain. Obviously .com is always going to be a highly desired option, however, it is becoming more difficult to get the most desired name. Choosing the right domain is something you should get some sound advice on before you make the committment.
* When selecting your domain you may wish to consider whether you wish to extend your portfolio to protect your choice by registering some additional domains, such as
country specific extensions - if you have chosen a .com and your business is in France you would want to ensure that you have secured .fr. There may be reasons to use primarily the country domain. If your business operates across various countries then securing your name across these is also advisable.
GTLDs, these are the general domain names (.info, .org, .name), it also includes all the new extensions, securing some of these may also be wise, the growing trend to extension specific searching is worth watching.
securing domains may also be essential to prevent the latest scourge - cybersquatters - these people purchase domains that are the same or similar to your domain and they will use it to either confuse your clients or use them with affiliate links to earn revenue from your traffic.
* Choose a company who is not only competitive but will look after your domains and has robust DNS to ensure that your site is available at all times. Cheap can be more expensive in the end, I've seen it many times.
* Renew your domains in good time, don't leave renewals to the last minute, especially for country and more exotic domains where the renewals may be longer than normal. At Leaping Ahead we've addressed this by bringing the renewal date forward by a couple of weeks to absolutely ensure that you do not lose your domain. Once you lose a domain there are high risks that if someone has put this on their watch list they will scoop it up as soon as it is available and you may never get it back again, or only at a high price. Take it from me many years ago an irresponsible domain company lost a really important domain of mine, today it is available but the owner will only sell it for several thousand $.
I hope that you can now see that choosing the right domains and keeping them secure is truly important for your business, now and in the future.