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Featured Article:

Seven Steps to Finding a Great Domain Name

You've no doubt experienced it.  You've typed in a variety of names, and it seems like "they're ALL Taken!"  You can even type in some absurd names, and still they're taken!  Well, we're here to tell you that the good names are not all taken.  In fact, there are Great Names selected every day.  In this special report we'll show you, in 7 Easy Steps, how to get a Great Domain Name.

Whether you're setting up a business web page, or a personal family page, it can sometimes be frustrating to pick out a good domain name.  While some of the most obvious names appear to be taken,  there is virtually an unlimited supply of names available if you are resourceful and utilize a systematic approach.  The purpose of this article is to walk you through a series of steps toward getting a great domain name.

Step 1.  FIRST THINGS FIRST.  Your first choice isn't available ?  No worries.  Try an alternate extension, or another TLD (Top Level Domain).  After completing your first search, make a note of which extensions were available besides the ".com" extension.  Utilizing the ".net" extension can work great for groups, message board communities, or a network of people.  Using ".org" is generally associated with organizations and clubs.  The ".biz" extension was recently added to make more names available for new businesses.  This new ".biz" extension may prove to be more popular in the future as it is utilized more.  

Before selecting another extension, always check the destination of similar domain names with different extensions.  For example, if you were to choose "Mybusiness.net", you should type "Mybusiness.com" into your browser to see where it is pointed.  Not only will you need to brand your new web identity, you'll want to know where a visitor might end up if he typed the wrong extension.  If there is no web page constructed for the web address, you can see who the domain is registered to by utilizing one of our online Whois Lookup Utilities, or go to the American Registry for Internet Numbers (http://www.arin.net).  This will show who the site is registered to, and when the registration expires.  Occasionally, the domain name will be registered through a proxy so that it can be kept private.  Private registration can be an excellent option since your information, address and email address becomes available for anyone to obtain through the standard registration process.  In addition, once you have selected a domain name, you should consider registering any alternate domain names for yourself.  If you are running a business, this could save you a lot of headaches later, as someone else could register names close to your own and create confusion.

Always check the trademark registrations for your domain name.  You can go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website and do a free web search (http://www.uspto.gov). Even if you don't plan on registering the trademark (which costs around $350), you should avoid the hassle of getting involved in a dispute over the use of your domain name.  If you're running a business, you should consider registering the trademark.

So, the first step is completed and you still haven't found a great domain name - no problem.  In our next article we'll go on to Step 2 and start the creative process.  If you're in a hurry, you can utilize our FREE Domain Gopher service.  Our staff will go through the steps for you and submit a list of domain names for you to consider. 


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