Thunder Data Systems

Skinny on Domain Names

The Skinny on Domain Names September 1, 2005

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In August, we touched on great domain names for websites. The best names are easy to remember, phonetically spelled, and roll off the tongue. General domain purchase rules are:

  • The easier and shorter the spelling, the better.
  • Attempt to keep your domain name within a 20 character limit before the dot extension.
  • Steer clear of hyphenated names when possible. This is especially important when a potential competitor shares the same non-hyphenated version.
  • If your domain name is taken, look into names that well reflect your type of business.
  • Don’t double up or triple up on the same letter unless the letters are synonymous with your business. For example, is perfectly suited to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The three most frequently requested top level domains are names that end in .com, .net, and .org. Occasionally, we are asked if we recommend purchasing all three TLDs. The short answer is no. The rule of thumb states that commercial businesses buy the .com extension, non-profits should go with the .org, and networking related enterprises take a .net address. Pick your proper extension and then apply the rules for choosing the right domain name. Of course, sometimes a really neat name can break most of the rules and still get a thumbs up.

And we’ll repeat last week’s sentiment: at $25.00 per year, securing a domain is an inexpensive investment for the future of your business–even if you won’t open your doors for another six months!


ThunderBits are ideas on website design, custom software applications, and Internet marketing. Changing monthly (okay, maybe just once in a while :), we promise to offer useful principles that build better businesses.