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How to choose a Domain Name

What’s in a website name?

Your profits!

To make a name for yourself in the on-line world you need a name for your auto repair shop website that is clear, memorable, and relevant to what you do.

Choosing a domain name is very similar to choosing a company name. The process is a very personal and often a very time consuming task. Due to these facts Robert Maxim provides the follow suggestions as help, however, we do not provide any name creation services. Once you decide on a name and check that it is available, Robert Maxim can register it for you.

PLEASE NOTE: this information is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for issues critical to your business.

Registration Process:

  1. Think of a great name
  2. Check that the name is available
  3. Search for prior use
  4. Register your domain

Selecting a Domain Name

Domain Naming Basics:

  • .com only
  • as short as possible
  • avoid words like: my, the, your

Advanced Naming Considerations:

  • easy to pronounce
  • memorable
  • communicates the nature of your business
  • looks good when written down, eg. 'TrialLawyers.com' verses 'TrialLawyerAssociationLLC.com'.

Domain Naming Cautions:

  • foreign meanings of your domain name
  • unintentional or hidden words in a domain name. You may have a slang, politically incorrect, or common swear word within your name without even realizing it:
    • for example: 'Experts Exchange dot com' can be seen as 'expertsexchange.com' or 'expertsexchange.com'...
  • expressions that are pronounced one way and written down in another:
    • for example: 'South by Southwest dot com', is it 'SouthXSouthwest.com' or 'SouthBySouthwest.com'?
  • use of numbers:
    • For example: '2 by 4 dot com', is it 'TwoByFour.com' or '2by4.com'?

It is recommend you show your potential domain name to a number of people before you commit. They may notice something that you missed!

Sources of inspiration

Think about the following when you’re trying to think up names for your website:

Company name – this is the obvious choice for many but is it really what your customers will be looking for? This works best only if people know your company.

Products or services – These names can be more competitive but worth getting as you identify yourself with a particular product or service that will drive people looking for that product to your site. These service or product based domain names work best if combined with a geographical area keyword such as 'www.auto-repair-new-york.com'.

Problems you solve or benefits – this is an extremely good technique that is often overlooked as it turns the process around so that you concentrate on the result that your prospects want. For example instead of having a bank’s name, or consolidate loans name you could opt for something like 'clearMyDebts.com'.

Phone Number - yes your phone number! As crazy as it sounds using your phone number as your domain name may be a smart move. Granted 'www.2505410701.com' is not so eye catching as 'www.kalamazooautorepair.com' but it sure is easier to communicate to someone. The other method is to have your phone number domain automatically redirect to your main website. The number domain is easy to provide to someone and then switches people to your website at another domain name. In other words your customer remembers to use your phone number as your web address, 'www.2505410701.com', but is automatically redirected to 'www.kalamazooautorepair.com'. Some benefits to a phone number domain are:

  • it's easy to remember (both for you and your customers)
  • easy to communicate
  • almost always available to register!

Play with thesaurus.com

Have fun playing with http://thesaurus.reference.com/. This website allows you to see what alternative words come up. If you relax and have fun the creative juices will begin to flow and you’ll soon have that Eureka! moment and find the domain you love.

Test with family, friends and colleagues

Once you have a few possibilities you should test them out on your friends, family and colleagues. Make sure you ask for an "honest" opinion as they will tell you what they think you want to hear.

You can have more than one

It’s important that you remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having more than one domain name pointing at your website. They are inexpensive and you can afford to select two or three that apply to your business, products or customer needs. For example, if you have an emergency help service then you could use something like AutoEmergencyService.com, cars911.com, auto911.com, truck911.com, etc.

Just watch that some ideas do not scale very well from a local to an international audience. In the US auto911.com would be a great name, but in Britain it would be meaningless. You would need to also register auto999.com as they use 999 as their emergency number!

Final Words

The best tip when buying a domain name is patience. If you are worried about having a name taken by someone else while you sleep on it, just purchase the domain. They are not that expensive and you can discard it if you change your mind.

Find a domain name that you love and gives your automotive repair website the feeling of wings. It’s worth a little extra effort up front to set a great tone for your website.

Is your domain name available?

Once you have dreamed up that perfect domain name you need to check that it is not already taken. A search of the Web on a variety of search engines, Google, Msn, Yahoo, etc. will show if it is in use. However, just because it doesn't show up on Google doesn't mean it is available!

Many times domain names are purchased but not used. You can do a whois domain register search to check if it is available to be registered. But don't abandon a good name just because it is registered. If it is unused you may be able to purchase it. Make the owner an offer. check out the domain actions. Granted you may pay more than the registration fee, but you need to balance the price against the value you see in the name.

Domain searches:

domain search tool

But can you legally use it?

Just because a domain name is available does not mean that you have the right to use it. The term or word you want to use as a domain name may be used by another company outside of the Internet. If this company can show that they have used the name before you they can claim trademark or intellectual property rights to the name, stop you from using it, and legally take the domain name from you. Also, names that can be considered confusingly similar can also be legally challenged. It would be wise to check for obvious prior use.

Begin with a search on the common search engines. Look for any general reference to the name or phrase on the Internet.

Searching the following databases would be wise:

US Patent and Trademark Office

Canadian Trademark Office

World Intellectual Property Organization

More information on intellectual property rights and domain names

Trademarks are distinctive signs, used to differentiate between identical or similar goods and services offered by different producers or services providers. Trademarks are a type of industrial property, protected by intellectual property rights. Additional information on domains and domain name disputes can be found at Bitlaw. General domain information can be found at Domain FAQ.

Register the domain

Once you have a domain name selected have a look at our Domain Contacts Guide which will help you complete the domain registration process. Then you can can read more about How to purchase a domain, then go to our shopping cart and purchase the domain.