Domain names have been around almost as long as the Internet. The Internet was born in the 1969, but the Internet we have come know came about in the 1990s with the creation on the World Wide Web, and domain names to organize it. The Internet saw a boom in the 1970s as individuals and companies anxiously wanted to experiment with the new technology.
It was during this time that domain names came about. In 1972, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) was created to deal with the issue of locating computers on their respective networks.
In 1984, the first name serve standardization was developed and a year later, the common top domain names .com, .net and .org were organized. The first domain name, symbolics.com was registered.
The era of the modern Internet was thus born.
The invention of the World Wide Web in 1991 spurred domain registration by transitioning it from being under the authority of the National Science Foundation to being run by the public/private partnership, InterNIC to being under the current authority of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Through the 1990s, domain name registration changed from being available to public and government agencies to being available for private business use. This transition led to the decrease in domain registration costs, making them easier and more affordable to register than ever before.
By 2010, there were over 196 million registered domain names. New top-level domains like .aero, .biz, .travel, .jobs and .xxx became available in the early 2000s.
Domain Names Now
The Internet is constantly changing. The trends and approaches to domain names also continuously change. When choosing a domain name for your business, the process and strategy has evolved from the early days of domain names. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking of a domain name for your business:
Decide on a Domain Name Approach
- Keyword name: Use industry specific keywords in your domain name. This way, there will be no confusion as to what your company does, which will build brand authority. Using this approach, however, will make it more difficult for your brand to stand out.
- Unique name: Having a unique domain name will help make your brand name stand out and be more memorable.
- Invented name: Want to have a truly unique domain name? Why not invent a name? Words such as Verizon, Twitter, Pepsi didn’t exist until they became brands. The downside with this approach is that it will take a lot of work to build up enough brand recognition.
- Misspelled names: A great compromise between a keyword name and an invented name is a name that includes a word that’s intentionally misspelled. With a misspelled name your company can take advantage of the authority of a keyword name and express the uniqueness of your brand.
Will the Name Work?
Once you decide which type of domain name you want your business name to be, now you have the task of coming up with an actual name. When deciding on a domain name, consider the following factors:
- How does it read in a browser? Write out your prospective business name out as one word in all lowercase. Does it read the way you want it to or does it change into a different phrase? You’ll want a name that can read multiple words or phrases.
- Does it clearly explain what you do? When people type in your domain name, do they know exactly what your company does or is about or do you have to explain it to site visitors after they come to your site?
- Will the name be appropriate in the long-term? Will your company expand into other industries or sell additional products? You’ll want a name that can be flexible and be used in the long-run.
Domain names have evolved since their inception in the 1970s. This evolution has changed the considerations one has to think about when coming up with a domain name for their business.
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