What’s in a name? – Domain names

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This week for CA260:

  • Think of a few domain name ideas for your website and look them up in the WHOIS database. Are they  currently registered? Who owns them? How can you  tell?
  • Do you think you will buy a domain name for yourself  or your business? Why or why not?
  • Do you think you will pay for hosting or use a free  service (like the one provided in this class)? Why?

So I looked up my weebly site name: “yellow pony design” and a plethora of .com’s, .net’s, .fun’s, .everything’s came up. Firstly, I had NO IDEA how many different .something-or-other’s there were! “Back in my day” (insert aol dial-up screeching here) all you had were .coms. When did all these other dots get here? .xyz? Really? Some of these were relatively inexpensive – .88 to roughly 19.99. Others – $2975.00! Holy-Moley! Luckily for me, “yellow pony design” was not registered/taken with any of the sites, (the yellowponydesign.com was owned by WHOIS). It was fairly easy to navigate and determine that my name was not taken.

Based on the pricing and the huge variety of .com’s, etc. out there, I think (at least for now) I will stick with my free .weebly.com. Once I graduate and (hopefully) find a decent job, or if my freelance work takes off, I may invest in a better domain name. If I do that, I will upgrade via Weebly so that I do not have to recreate a new site. (Those things are a lot of work!) Easily enough even if I purchase a domain name via another site, there is a place on Weebly in which I can upgrade to use my own domain name. Then I won’t have to “recreate the wheel” by making an entirely new site.

One resource I used personally to ensure that my business name was not taken was the TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It was really helpful when I was coming up with a business name to help me determine whether or not I would have any issues in using the name. I would hate to invest money in starting a business only to have conflict and have to start all over because the name was already taken (I have known people starting home businesses that this has happened to).

Ultimately, this week was very enlightening about the ease of use for obtaining domain names, and also how cheap I am that at this point I would not pay to buy one.

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