A brief history of domains
Domain name registration started in earnest in the early days of the Internet, when people started to cotton onto the fact that domain names could be used for something other than novelty or specialized technical duties.
There were heady growth levels as new domain name registrations expanded like wildfire through the available and common domain suffixes (.com, .net and local country domains such as .com.au and .net.au for Australia). Every man and their dog starting a business, registering a business or trying to capitalize on a new business concept was using everything from common names and brands, to locations, nouns, adjectives, fantasies and business concepts. If you multiply this by the number of people dallying in the Internet then one can start to appreciate the volume of new domain registrations that were occurring on a daily basis – the stuff of which Dot Com dreams were made.
Dot Com Crash
Everything that goes up must come down, as the saying goes… It started one morning in May in 2000, with colossal losses in listed stocks on Nasdaq, closely followed by each of the relevant local markets around the world.
One of the flow-on effects was one of massively reduced new domain name registrations, followed by a delayed but equally colossal fall in the number of domain renewals around the world.
According to sources within the domain name registration and renewal industry, this severly affected domain name registrations, domain renewals and domain redelegation to the point where domain companies were required to scale back their operations considerably, planning for survival rather than growth.
When all the dust settled, people and business alike finally started to work out that the very same properties that had lead to the impressive growth in domains still held true, and slowly colour started to return to the cheeks of domain registration companies worldwide.
Domain name registration growth has reflected this overall mood and returned to healthy levels as users around the world both register and renew domains that are used for many different purposes.
Domains Dos and Don’ts
Many people have since realized that domain names can be used sensibly, practically, cleverly and creatively to deliver a clear and accurate branding message and facilitate business or even personal communications. Just in case people have missed all the fun until now, below is a list of some simple Dos and Don’ts that should enable an individual, whether it they are starting a new business, registering a business or business concept, or just improving the branding of an existing company to select an appropriate domain name.
- Keep your domain name as short as possible
- Try to avoid initials in your domain name (they mean nothing to people or search engines)
- Keep your domain as close to your company name as possible
- Look at your competitors’ domains to get a feel for how they have chosen them
- Make a list (you may find that your choices have already been taken)
- Bounce your domain name off friends and/or service providers you trust
- Keep your expectations realistic (one domain does not a fat bank account make)
- Go for the record of the longest domain name unless that’s exactly what you intend to achieve
- Rush! No one is going to leap in and get that domain name that will make you a million overnight (and it won’t anyway – don’t blame me…)
- Give up. Online success takes perseverance and patience but the time and effort you put in should pay off
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Lorenzo Modesto started in the Internet industry in 1996 and has held executive positions in sales, marketing and business development at industry leading service providers. He is the Managing Director of Domains a domain registration company.