Web Domain Names

A web domain name is the part of the address that points to your website. For example the akstrategic.com part of http://www.akstrategic.com/index.php. The http:// is an instruction to transfer hyper text language. Literally it means Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. The WWW part is an instruction to the server to search the world wide web for the domain akstrategic.com. It is worth noting that servers can be set up quite simply so that the www part need not be entered. For example http://akstrategic.com/index.php will take you to the same page. 

The domain itself consists of two parts in this case. The first part which is the domain name itself (akstrategic) and the second part (.com) which is called the "Top Level Domain" or TLD. The TLDs come in many formats, for example .co.uk which means company in the UK, or .com.au which means company in Australia. '.com' TLDs are the most common and easiest to remember. If you wanted to go to Ford's website, statistics show you would enter Ford.com in a browser before trying any alternative. When selecting a TLD, it is advisable to go for a .com domain over anything else. That does have some pitfalls to consider.

  • Some locally based search engines and directories won't list names unless they have the appropriate domain extension.
  • Many of the best names have been either used or at least bought with the .com TLD. This means you may be forced to adjust your domain name to something more awkward in order to get the .com TLD.

To get the right formula in the search for a good domain name, it is important to understand the need to have a catchy or easy to remember domain name. Using the ford example above. Ford .com is ideal. However using a domain name like fordmotorvehicles.com will alienate anyone actively searching for Ford. If the domain name Ford was already taken, ford may have been better off using an alternative TLD like ford.biz. 

The other end of this consideration is companies with long names like our own, A-K strategic business solutions. It is unlikely people will remember us for the business solutions part of our business name, but they are likely to remember the A-K Strategic part. This means that anyone looking for us is likely to type either akstrategic.com or a-kstrategic.com in their browser. It is therefore worth considering dropping part of the business name to keep a catchy domain name.

Geographic consideration should be taken when choosing a TLD, if your company's business activities are restricted to a country, then it would be best to use a TLD that is geographically assigned, for example Ford Australia might need to restrict their business activities to Australia and would want to be identified easily as Ford Australia, then it would make sense to register the domain www.ford.com.au

If you are considering registering a domain name with a specific country TLD, each individual country might have rules, conditions and laws relating to the ownership and registration of a domain name.  For example to register a com.au TLD, you must have a valid Registered Australian Business, and the domain must be similar to your business name.

A word of advice prior to registering coke.com.it or ford.biz.uk, if are not licensed to trade under that name, then you are probably breaking the law and can be sued.  Be careful before you decide to use a trademark.

A TLD can be as strategic as choosing a company name, prior to deciding on it, consider the length, other domain names which might have a similar name and if you will be breaking any laws. 

Next, we look at how to find and register your domain name

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