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DOTSTER OFFERS 10 TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME FOR A BUSINESS

June 27, 2008

Leading Provider of Internet Business Solutions Underscores Importance of
Picking The Right Domain Name To Spell Success

Vancouver, Wash. — Choosing the right domain name is the first and most important step in ensuring the success of any online venture, and this is especially true in lean economic times. The experts at Dotster, Inc., a leading provider of Internet business services, suggest 10 rules for choosing the best domain name for a business. Dotster's Web intelligence has already helped over one million businesses and individuals find the keys to succeeding online and these handy guidelines are culled from years of hands-on experience.

“Choosing a domain name is usually the first step in establishing an online presence and there is nothing more fundamental for a company's website,” says Clint Page, CEO at Dotster. “Your domain name is your online identity and choosing the right one can spell success. Our experts have helped many companies develop a name that enhances their online effort and helps their business grow.”

1. All The Good Ones Aren't Taken: Don't get discouraged, there are plenty of good domain names out there. How many different permutations can be created by 10 letters and numbers? The answer is more than you think—over 920 trillion! And that's only if you use each letter or number only once! There are 10 or more different Top Level Domains (such as .com) you can use (see rule #2).

2. Success Starts with .com and .net.: The Top Level Domains (TLDs) that connote the most prominence and promote best recall are, you guessed it: .com and .net. They also do better in search engine results. But it's not do-or-die; Dotster enables many successful businesses that have chosen other TLDs such as .org, .biz, .tv, and .info.

3. Go For The Obvious: The most obvious route is to use your own name or your company's name. If that's not available, try brainstorming a list of words relevant to your business, product or your service. Are you a local business? Adding the geography makes you more relevant and improves search engine results. By process of elimination, you can navigate your way to something novel.

4. Make It Memorable: That doesn't necessarily mean short. The laws of branding apply to domain names as much as they do to product names. Something distinctive while not too difficult to spell can stick in the mind as much as a generic name. Dotster customer www.brandventure.com is a marketing firm that describes its branding process as a journey of discovery -- literally a brand adventure. Businesses can also cover their bases with more than one domain. Additional domains can address common spelling errors and can be easily redirected to the primary domain.

5. Put Two And Two Together: Two or three recognizable words suddenly become unique when placed together. Dotster customer www.16milesolutions.com invented a creative way to convey the company's unique global supply chain product.

6. Be Inventive: Some of the best brands on the Internet aren't even English words. Think of Google, eBay, Netflix, or even Dotster. New words can offer brevity AND distinctiveness. Here's a test: if you search for your name on a search engine and get few matches (before you've registered, that is), you're distinctive.

7. Avoid Dashes And Hyphens: If the name you thought of is taken, it may be tempting to use a dash to find a way around it. Problem solved? Definitely not! Web visitors have been trained to omit punctuation when navigating to sites. At one point it was believed that hyphens helped get higher search engine rankings. This is also a misconception.

8. Watch Out For Tricky Spelling. If you have to repeat the letters to someone because of unusual or counter intuitive spelling, that's a red flag. Word of mouth is a common way people share good experiences with your site — make sure it's working for you, not against you.

9. Let Your Domain Name Reinforce Your Tagline (And Vice Versa): “One of our customers is www.ansursaddle.com. The name of its product lends itself to a great double entendre, ‘We have the Ansur.'” “There's even the story of the horse who found ‘the Ansur' for the first time and yielded the first prototype,” notes Page. “Another Dotster customer, www.smallcapengine.com, provides services that literally drive tomorrow's companies.”

10. Sometimes Used Can Be Better Than New: When the name you want is already taken, the secondary market is always an option. Yes, you will pay more on the secondary market than you do registering a new domain name. But if the name you really want is owned by someone willing to part with it for the cost of a few car payments, that's money well spent. Dotster's partnership with SEDO, a global marketplace of premium domain names, makes it easy to work directly with the owner of a domain you want or to hire a broker.

These 10 tips are simply a starting point to help businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), choose the right domain name. Dotster has the expertise to help any SMB establish a powerful presence and grow, whether it's just starting out or in need of Web site remodeling.

About Dotster, Inc.
Dotster is a leading full service provider of essential resources for businesses to get online and grow online. It has helped approximately 1 million businesses and individuals establish their Web presence, build their Web sites, and drive revenue. It is also the provider of 100% reliable domain name services to federal and state governments. With millions of domain names under management, Dotster is one of the world's largest ICANN-accredited domain registration and Web hosting companies. Dotster's mission is to provide the widest range of innovative and easy-to-use Internet solutions and back them with the unprecedented, personalized support that has earned the company superior customer loyalty rates.

Dotster's expansive lineup of intuitive online offerings allows customers to quickly get on the Internet and get started with maximum visibility. Dotster's specialized team of Internet experts understands the online marketplace and the needs of small and medium sized businesses. Dotster offers its customers a complete set of services including the ability to get online with a domain name and e-mail address; build a major Web presence with hosting and a custom Web site; and generate traffic with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and local site promotion. The recent launch of Dotster Connect has provided the first all in one social networking solution for businesses of all sizes. For more information, please visit www.dotster.com or call (360) 449-5900.