How to choose a domain name

HelloSpace.Me is designed especially for busy teachers who have other important things to do. We take the pain, difficulty, and the hard work out of setting up a new website. Whilst we have done this for you, there are some things that you need to do yourself. After all, it’s your website, it’s your unique space for you to be you. The first and most important thing is your stamp of authenticity, uniqueness, you: your domain name.

Using WordPress, CC0 Pixabay, https://www.pexels.com/photo/business-coffee-composition-computer-265667/
Using WordPress, CC0 Pixabay, https://www.pexels.com/photo/business-coffee-composition-computer-265667/

Twenty years ago it was easy to get a domain that is simple and straight forward. For instance, if your name was John Smith, in the 1990’s you could get john.com, because no one else had. Early 2000’s, janesmith.com might have still been available. At time of writing, I didn’t even bother checking to see if johnsmith.com or janesmith.com are available; I am certain they’re already taken. So, where does that leave all the other John and Jane Smiths, and you? Well think about it, “janesmith.com” sounds like the most boring place to be on the web. It sounds like it could be a law firm. However, we’re not lawyers, we’re teachers. We can afford to be a little fun, a little unique, a little creative.

There is a creative trend in naming and, err… domaining websites, if I can make up a word. One trend I’ve noticed on the web is to go for compound binomials, which means two nouns with no space between them. Here are some examples, DropBox, FaceBook, MySpace, Netflix, BufferApp, WalkFree, DailyTekk, PureVPN, and others. Another trend is to misspell words, like Flickr, DailyTekk, Tawk, and others. A trend of a few years ago is to use abbreviations, including TNW (The Next Web), IFTTT (If This Then That), and others.

A current trend that I really like is a little more poetic. My favourite example is “Life After Gravity”, which actually is an Instagram account showing photos taken from a drone looking directly down over interesting landscape (see here). I love that account, the photos, and especially the name. Not to mention, the melding of the words Instant and Telegram, which makes “Instagram”. So, what should you do?

Be fun, be creative, be a little “deep and meaningful”, or be boring. Whatever you like. A science teacher could use “ThroughTheMicroscope”, a play on “Alice Through the Looking Glass”, especially apt if your name is Alice, and you’re biology fanatic; or a derivation of it, “AliceTTM”. An art teacher could use “WetOils”, or “PaintingTheMidnightOil”. A PE teacher could use “SmellySneakers”, “Smeakers”, or “MrSmithsRecordBreakers”. Take some time to think of something a little fun, but don’t go for tacky or kitsch, you may regret it later.

The last thing to consider is the Top Level Domain, known as TLD (Wikipedia). There are three types, standard, country code (ccTLD), and generic (gTLD). The standards are harder to get, because these have been around since the 1990’s. These include .com, .net, and .org. Most teachers probably won’t bother with these, as the real estate is basically all bought up. ccTLD’s are perhaps better to try, like .co.uk, .net.au, .co.jp, .com.tw, and so on. These were for the UK, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan. All countries, including the US (.us) has ccTLDs. Also, teachers should consider the generic TLDs like .me (obviously), .asia, .blog, .bike, .guru, .coffee (for the more whimsical), .info, .online, .science, and more. Small schools and tutors could consider .cafe, .education, .meet, .school, and others. Consider an English language teacher in Japan with, “AndrewsEFL.cafe”, sounds relaxing, pleasant, and descriptive; everything I’d want in a language teacher.

Not all TLDs are the same. There is the assumption by domain registrars that TLDs are as important as actual real estate. They are a kind of real estate address, but when some are priced at over USD$13,000 per year, you probably won’t see those go any time soon, unless it is something memorable like lawyer.com, business.tax, or tax.biz. What about johnsmith.asia? That might be available, and the typical price might be about USD$30 per year. How about smeakers.blog? I did check this out, and it’s available and currently priced at about USD$35 per year. Smeakers.com isn’t available, but might have gone for about USD$15 per year. Unusually, the .com’s are cheaper than the gTLDs, despite the land rush is long over, and the space there is getting pretty cramped.

Why did I say that the price is “about”? Most web hosts sell a domain and TLD together in your hosting package. Other webhosts require you to buy your domain elsewhere first, then transfer to them. HelloSpace.Me/host/ has an easy flow of selecting and buying the domain and TLD, getting the hosting account, webspace, and set up in a very tightly designed smooth sequence. We worked hard on making the process as simple as possible for you. Also, hosting companies like us have certain restrictions on prices, and the prices are based on a number of factors that are out of our control. HelloSpace.Me has been very careful with who we have tied our system to, so we are able to offer great deals to our members.

Want to get your own domain, web space, and website within 5 minutes? We’re always ready to help you at HelloSpace.Me/host/.

Are there any restrictions? Yes. .mil is for the US military, .edu is for American universities and other approved educational institutions, .gov is for the US government, and so too .gov.au is for various Australian government departments. Also, .com.au is only available for Australian registered businesses with an ABN. Almost all countries will have some sort of restrictions, and so look these up before you commit to something that might not be appropriate. The most common restriction is on using trademarks and other people’s names for domain names; so you can’t get tomcruise.com (unless you are a Tom Cruise). Often, the word “bank” is not allowed, unless you of course have a legally registered bank of any type (like a blood bank). For language teachers, can they use “wordbank.com”? Possibly, because it doesn’t imply finance, and it’s binomial made into a single word. However, in this case, you really should check with the domain registrar or a suitably qualified lawyer first. I think most people will be fine to go ahead and register a domain without needing to check on any restrictions, especially if it’s your own name, or nicely poetic. If you’re still uncertain, we might be able to help, contact us. Finally, remember you are ultimately responsible for all your actions on the internet.

 

2 Replies to “How to choose a domain name”

Leave a Reply