How to Claim Domain Names

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How to Claim Domain Names
A domain name should be concise, memorable and tie into branding efforts. (Jeffrey Coolidge/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A good domain name can be the pivotal difference in the success or failure of a newly-launched website. The domain name of a website is the address that Internet users type into a Web browser in order to find the site. In the best case scenario, a good domain name can increase site traffic and actively contribute to growing an online presence. Fortunately, it's both easy and inexpensive to claim a domain name online.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Decide on your ideal domain name. A domain name under 15 characters is preferable due to greater memorability. Choose a domain name that reflects your website. For individuals, a domain name consisting of your first and last name, or just your first or last name, is preferable, though, depending on the commonality of your name, may be harder to claim. Claim a domain name that is the same as the name of your business to help further your marketing and branding efforts. An alternative is to claim a name that immediately describes your business or your site. For example, if the name of your New York locksmith business is Rosenberg and Sons, for example, it may be more memorable to name your site "newyorklocksmith.com" instead of "rosenbergandsons.com."

  2. 2

    Choose some acceptable alternatives. It is possible that someone else has already claimed your ideal domain name, so decide on a few alternatives just in case. Go with a dot-net, dot-org or dot-biz variant of the name. Get rid of any articles in the title. Abbreviate any words that you can shorten. Rearrange the words in the domain name if there is more than one word. With some slight variations, you can be sure that you'll claim a domain name that is your ideal, if not very close to it.

  3. 3

    Check to see if your desired domain name is available. Visit a domain registrar such as GoDaddy.com, namecheap.com or Register.com and use their domain search tool to see if you're able to claim the name you want. If it's already taken, these tools will inform you and may even suggest close alternatives for you.

  4. 4

    Find a domain name that is available for claiming. Using the search tool on the domain registrar site, search for the domain of your choice until you find one that is available.

  5. 5

    Register the domain name claim. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the purchase of the domain name. Choose the length of time for which you will be registering the domain, typically in increments of one year. Complete the transaction with a payment. Your domain name is now yours to use and direct as you see fit.

Tips and warnings

  • Claim your domain name for more than one year if possible. This typically tends to be cheaper in the long run than buying it year to year.
  • Do not add hyphens to a domain name in your quest for registering a name with exact wording. The placement of hyphens in a domain name is sometimes difficult for site visitors to remember and hyphenated names are difficult to spell out over the phone or on radio ads.

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