A web address refers to the title your customers will type into the toolbar at the top of the screen. The web address of the media giant Amazon is amazon.com. You can check out what Disney is up to at Disney.com, and so forth. When you have your own online business, people will be able to type in your web address in order to see what you’re up to, as well!
This may seem like a somewhat obvious concern, but you will have to think up a web address that is catchy, evocative, and easy to remember, which is no small feat. By this point in the history of the Internet, a great deal of the short, snappy names have been taken. For instance, if your business is called Good Times, well, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to land goodtimes.com for the purposes of your site.
It’s gotten to the point where many people choose to name their businesses based off of what web addresses they can land rather than basing the web address of the name of the business. In fact, it’s probably a smart idea to check out what web addresses are available before building your site if you have the luxury to do so: those who are building websites to bolster a previously existing business won’t have this luxury, obviously.
There is a lot of fuss on the Internet regarding using hyphens in web addresses. In an overarching sense, whether or not to use hyphens in your web address comes down to personal preference, but it is true that most people don’t stop to note hyphens in the names of addresses unless giving specific directions to a site. Thus, if you have a great name that is available only when you use hyphens (“blue-money.com”) but goes to a different site when the hyphen is removed (“bluemoney.com”), it’s probably best to think of another name, lest you end up accidentally sending customers to an unrelated site or, worse, a competitor.
Also of contention are the extensions for web addresses, which can include .com, .edu, .net, .org, .us, .info, .biz, and many others. There are also country specific web addresses such as .co.uk. Of course, the most popular one of these is the .com, and in general, if you can land the web address of your dreams that also happens to be a .com, then the stars are smiling on you and it’s your lucky day.
However, if there’s no chance of that happening, .org and .net are well-known as well and most customers find them perfectly acceptable alternatives. Just make sure to publicize your website with the full web address should you not have a .com extension. The country-specific domain names are great for local businesses – after all, if you’re working out of Australia and are only serving the Australian community, having a .co.au site helps identify you as a local resource and will heighten the chances of your website popping up when a consumer does a search for local businesses.