domain names

choosing the best domain name for your website

domain suffixes • web address • your url • domain name seo

Web Design clients often ask "what domain name should I use for my website?" The answer to this question is dependent on many factors, including:

  • your targeted keywords [1]
  • your geographic target market(s) [2]
  • nature of your industry & business[3]
  • the purpose of your website [4]
  • domain name availability, obviously [5]
  • search engine sandbox considerations [6]
  • used domain name availability, if applicable[7]
  • eligibility for TLD's requiring accreditation[8]
  • company or product name suitability[9]
  • character count; domain name length[10]
  • use of plurals based on keyword query volume[11]

keyword rich domains rank accordingly

Basically, domain names attached to properly optimized, relevant, search engine friendly websites will typically rank very high for the keywords contained the domain name, in ordered sequence. For example, consistently ranks #1 on Google for the keyword query "san diego dwi". The more competitive the keyword phrase, the greater the need to optimize for a top search engine position obviously, but websites with the queried keywords will have an advantage. Keyword research should play a vital role in the selection of your domain name.

common top level domain names

com | net | org | edu | gov | mil | pro | mobi | info | aero

.com is the most commonly used top level domain (TLD) suffix and is intended for "commercial" or "company" oriented websites. If your business is "for profit" and you are selling or promoting merchandise and services, a .com name will be easy to communicate and understand, and often implied if you neglect to add the suffix when saying your domain name.

.net is the second most commonly registered domain name suffix and was initially intended for internet related business and websites, such as hosting companies and internet software programs, etc. It is now commonly used by businesses, individuals, and organizations as a second choice, or substitute, for the when it is already registered by another party, therefore unavailable. For example, if a person's first choice is, a domain name already in use, they will often opt or settle for, if it is available.

.org is a domain suffix originally intended for non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, alumni associations, and other tax exempt entities. Unlike the .edu and .gov domain name suffixes, the .org is not regulated or exclusive and registration of the dot org suffix is available to anyone.

.edu is a top level domain suffix appropriated exclusively for educational institutions such as colleges, universities, academic governing boards, school districts, and other learning organizations. Dot edu domain names are regulated and issued only upon proof of eligibility.

.gov domain suffixes are registered exclusively to government agencies and organizations. The government domain names are restricted and issued only to public U.S. agencies.

.mil domains represent U.S. Military entities and are restricted to qualified members of the armed forces, military branches, and government defense organizations.

.pro domain name suffixes designate professionals and registration is limited to certified accountants, doctors, and lawyers. Proof of professional accreditation is required as a prerequisite for .pro domain registration.

.mobi is a top level domain suffix to denote mobile websites, or sites adapted and viewable from a mobile device, cell phone, or PDA such as a Blackberry™, Palm Pilot™, or other handheld device.

.info domains are appropriated, or intended to designate "information" websites, and were made available in 2001 to any person or organization seeking to register an info suffix. It is purportedly the sixth most common TLD, but usually sells at a discount in comparison to the dot com and dot net suffixes.

.biz is an internet name suffix allocated to represent "business", as the .com company suffix availability to decline as the internet commercial market becomes more saturated . Any person or organization is free to register a .biz domain name, and they are often offered at discount or promotional rate below standard .com domain registration fees. Biz domains must contain a minimum of three characters in addition to the preceding www. and .biz suffix; ie, would be disallowed, but would meet .biz registration eligibility criteria.

.name domains are intended for individual and personal use by people who choose to use their name as their website address. It is governed by the Global Name Registry and was made available to the public in 2002.

.us is the internet's "officially" designated domain name suffix for United States entities, organizations, and individuals establishing an online presence for their geo-targeted, or localized, U.S. websites. Domain names with .us suffixes typically provide demographical, community, and entertainment venue information in zip code specific regions. For example, the domain, provides information and resources related to San Diego, California, the city zoned by the 92103 zip code, and provides data reflective of La Jolla, reflective of the designated 92037 zip code. The .us suffixes are restricted and registrants must prove they are either: a) a United States citizen or permanent resident, b) a United States organization or company, c) a company or entity engaged in lawful U.S. business activities or trade, or d) a foreign entity with a branch or office located in the United States.

.aero domain suffixes are allocated exclusively for air transportation agencies and organizations such as airlines, public and private airports, airplane manufacturers, travel agencies and transport companies, and related entities. At one time, the suffix .nato was appropriated for the aerospace industry, but has since been deprecated and no longer available for new domains.

.asia as the domain suffix implies, is for use by organizations, companies, individuals, and other entities based in Asia. Registration of .asia domain names is not restricted and requires no proof of Asian orientation or residency.

.coop is the top level domain suffix appropriated exclusively and restricted to use by legitimate cooperatives.

.museum as the name implies, is intended for use by genuine museums and does require proof of authenticity as a registration prerequisite, as use of the .museum domain is reserved and exclusive to museums only.

.mobi TLD specific domains...

.mobi: domain names exclusively for mobile sector

The mobile specific top level domain .MOBI is the original suffix appropriated exclusively for the HHD (hand held devices) and PDA (personal digital assistants) internet migration now consisting of billions of mobile web users.

domains for sale

used and aftermarket domains | sandbox cleared

san diego .coms | legal & attorney domains...

san diego web studio has several "used" aftermarket domain names available for sale, including domains that have cleared the Google sandbox period. Please visit our turnkey websites page for more info.

We specialize in san diego based geographical domains, as well as legal domains for attorneys, law firms, and law-centric organizations.

call san diego web design for website monetization...

call 619.504.0450

Custom and extensible marketing strategies that fit your business now, and are scalable to keep up with your future growth and expansion.

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domain names & seo :

url selection factors

  1. ^ for most effective domain name search engine optimization, you will want to choose domain name keywords that are most often used in queries relating to your products and services; diego web studio can assist you with keyword research and search engine query counts for domain name seo (search engine optimization)
  2. ^ including your main geographic target region, city, county, or state in your domain name will assist your website to appear and rank in the serps (search engine results pages) when prospective clients query by city, i.e, "san diego lawyer" or "san diego attorney"
  3. ^ including your main geographic target region, city, county, or state in your domain name will assist your website to appear and rank in the serps (search engine results pages) when prospective clients query by city, i.e, "san diego lawyer" or "san diego attorney"
  4. ^ including the nature of your business, industry, or trade in your domain name can provide an added boost to your online exposure in search engines by improving the likelihood your prospective will find you - for example, if your San Diego company's name is "Thomas & Brothers" but your industry is recycling, then "" might be an ideal name if that is how your target market describes your services
  5. ^ often a lack of available domain names will raise the question of registering a domain with hyphens or an alternate suffix, which may present advantages and/or disadvantages depending on unique variables; san diego web & seo studio can help you find appropriate search engine optimal domain names in a saturated market
  6. ^ the "sandbox" is a term used for google's tendency to hold back, or exclude websites attached to domain names with no previous history in their index, from ranking for competitive keyword phrases; more information on the sandbox is available on this site under san diego seo sandbox section
  7. ^ domain names with a consistent and relevant history in your industry sometimes become available on the deleted domains list, or are sold online through domain resellers, brokers, auctions, and private parties; san diego web studio can assist clients with used domain name acquisition
  8. ^ certain domain names are regulated and restricted from registration by the general public; if you qualify for exclusive top level domain suffixes such as .pro, .edu, .gov, etc., you may have better opportunities available for acquiring a strategic search engine optimal domain; more information on specific top level domain suffixes and eligibility criteria is available on this page under top level domain names
  9. ^ if your company name is "san diego lawyer center", then registering as your domain name will give you an added advantage for the search engine keyword query "san diego lawyer" - but if your company name is "Smith and Smith", you won't be likely to gain any new exposure or traffic from potential clients who are not yet familiar with your company as a result of your domain name, as few people will search for "smith and smith" unless they are already aware of your business, in which case they will easily find you anyway (unless you are banned on google or other search engines)
  10. ^ more information regarding maximum domain name lengths and characters follows below in our san diego web studio section on domain name registration regulations; while keeping in mind, the longer the domain name, the greater chance of misspelling by an end user searching for your site or typing the domain in the browser address bar; how will a long domain name fit or affect your business cards, letterhead, and other marketing collateral? is it a practical length? will you feel comfortable providing the url to customers over the phone?
  11. ^ google and yahoo, to name a few, handle queries for singular and plural version of words differently; a search engine query on google for "san diego website" will typically yield different results than a search query for "san diego websiteS - for this reason and many others, keyword and key phrase query volume research, competitive research, and end user behavioral studies are highly recommended

domain registration rules & restrictions

icaan regulations | character limits & minimums | terms

maximum domain name lengths

Icann, the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers which regulates domain name registrars and policies, limits the maximum amount of characters allowed in a top level domain name to 63, not counting the www. or .com/.net/etc. domain suffix. Ideally, your domain name should have no more than 26 characters for universal browser support, not to mention practicality.

minimun domain name lengths

  • com | net: minimum of 2 characters + suffix
  • org | biz | info | us: 3 character minimum + suffix
  • ws: 4 character minimum + suffix [ex: ]

allowed characters

All letters of the alphabet, numeric digits 0 through 9, and hyphens are permissible, although the domain name must not begin or end with a hyphen ( - ), nor include two sequential hyphens; i.e, would be disallowed, as well as, and

minimum & maximum registration terms

Keeping in mind that domain names are not purchased, but leased, the lease terms are tightly controlled. Most top level domestic domain names must be registered for a minimum of one year and may be registered for up to a period of ten years.

Domain registrars offering 20 year and 100 year name registration terms are hedging that they will still be in business in ten years, and every ten year increment thereafter, to automatically administer your registration renewal for you.

It's much more practical and economical to set the the domains to "automatic renewal" with your registrar. Ensure that your who is information is updated and current, as well as your credit card infomation. The latter will surely change over a ten year period, as credit card companies place limited multi-annual terms on exisiting cards to routinely re-evaluate credit extensions. These authorized validity terms rarely exceed five year periods before before credit-worthiness is reassesed, and new cards are issued accordingly.

*Note: Icann certified domain registrars have lost accreditation in the past, causing widespread loss of domains for registrants, as with in recent years. Prepaying for a 20 year or 100 year term is not recommended, as the years beyond 10 do not transfer with the domain, but are forfeited in the event of domain sale or transfer to another registrar.


subdomains vs. folders | subdomains as blogs | more...

what is a subdomain?

A subdomain is an extension, or add-on name, to a registered domain name that is similar to a subfolder within the main domain name's hierarchy.

In many cases, large amounts of data and information can be organized in subfolders on a domain's server that use a path such as: , whereas, a subdomain will read: in the browser address bar. Subdomains may also contain their own subdirectories,i.e:

The following scenarios are examples of when creating a subdomain instead of a subfolder may be a better option:

avoid theme bleeding

A general consensus in the search engine optimization (seo) community is that Google prefers "themed" or niche driven, authoritative websites. Perhaps you have developed a comprehensive and informative website about real estate that ranks well on Google, but you are also an attorney who practices tax and civil law.

Many of your real estate clients are also legal clients and will find the tax and civil information helpful, but you don't want to dilute your rich real estate content or upset the algorithmic balance of your original site. In such a case, a subdomain would be an excellent option and likely contribute to the success of your search rankings by increasing the time site visitors spend on your domain, among other factors.

adding new eCommerce Categories

An established online retailer of bicycles might add an unrelated line of kitchen appliances to his product offerings. By implementing a subdomain for the kitchen appliances, the online retailer can make use of the bicycle website's payment gateway and shopping cart application, including pre-programmed automated functions such as delivery options, tax calculations, and other features without confusing his bicycle customers and site visitors.

permanent blog address

Subdomains provide an excellent choice for implementing relevant blogs that augment your website's content. A subdomained blog can improve your website's search engine performance and keyword reach more than a related blog kept on another server that merely links to your website.

By keeping themed and regularly updated content on the same server where you are optimizing your website, your authoritative position on your subject and expertise improves. Another advantage of subdomaining a blog is for optimization of the blog itself when listing in blog directories and building backlinks.

separate markets • framework • brands • devices

When subcategories of your main topic and website subjects require completely different or additional technology, a subdomain can be an ideal solution.

For example, if your main website is static html, but you want to include a dynamic directory built in PHP and MySql, a subdomain will also allow for a completely unique style and color theme without changing the style sheet or disrupting the look and feel of the original website.

adding extensive new sections

Products and services such as software, hosting, computer and electronics distributors and retailers can benefit by implementing a subdomain for end user support information that enables customers to easily find the information they need while reducing the amount of phone calls, thus labor and personnel costs, to answer questions. An example of a knowledge subdomain path might be

multiple member profiles & personalization

A business website such as "San Diego Web Professionals" for example, may be comprised of several independent contractors d individually specialize in complementary fields.

For example, Ann Smith may be the designer, Bob Smith a developer, and Larry Jones a database programmer. Although they share a brick and mortar business, each professional markets him or herself individually.

Subdomains offer each professional an individual web address and "arena" for displaying their portfolio, establishing a blog, providing information about their services and background, etcetera.

Another use of multiple user profiles can be useful for families who use their website to keep distant relatives updated on current events, share photographs, publish family tree information, etcetera.

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