There are several reasons why having your own domain name for your plastic surgery website is far better than putting your site up with a free web hosting company. With your own domain name, your site address will be something to the effect of http://www.drx.com rather than http://www.somefreewebsite.com/drx/. The first not only sounds more professional and lends you more credibility, but it will be far easier for people to remember. Further, having your own domain name allows you to have multiple email aliases which can be assigned to different functions. For instance, for visitors wanting to set up a consultation, you can have an address like [email protected], or you can have another address like [email protected] for comments or suggestions about your site, and so on. Perhaps the most compelling reason to have your own domain name, however, is that some search engines refuse to spider web sites hosted by free web hosts
Clearly, the importance of having your own domain name cannot be over-emphasized. But just how do you go about choosing a domain name? There are some rules when it comes to making your choice, though the availability of domains will determine that choice to some degree. Nevertheless, it’s best to adhere to these rules as closely as possible.
- Rule #1: ‘2’, ‘4’, ‘U’, etc. You’ve no doubt come across domains that use ‘2’ for ‘to’, ‘4’ for ‘for’, ‘u’ for ‘you’ and so on. It’s best to avoid these. They may sound catchy and cool, but more often they end up confusing people. If you’re dead-set on using them, register for both versions, for instance register for doctor4u.com as well as doctorforyou.com.
- Rule #2: Keep it short. Avoid overly long domain names. For instance, theverybestmostexperiencedplasticsurgeonouthereontheinternettoday.com is simply too long. People won’t remember your domain and they won’t want to take the time to type it.
- Rule #3: Make it a .com. Whenever possible, choose a domain that ends in ‘.com’. It is by far the most familiar for Internet users. You can also consider going with a ‘.net’ domain, though it’s not quite as conventional. However, avoid all the others, like ‘.nu’, ‘.biz’ and so on.
- Rule #4: Avoid hyphens. Many people disagree with whether or not hyphens should be used in domains. A lot of people, however, believe that hyphens can make domains difficult to remember, spell and pronounce. Given that, it’s probably best to avoid using them. If you must use a domain with a hyphen, also register for the corresponding one without the hyphen.
- Rule #5: Use keywords. Registering a domain which contains a relevant popular keyword can be very beneficial. For instance, for a general plastic surgery site you can use the term ‘plastic surgery’ in your domain or, to be more specific, a hair restoration site might use the term ‘hair’ in the domain. This can benefit your site in a number of ways. First, people will be more likely to remember your domain. Second, this can help improve your rankings in some search engines.
- Rule #6: Avoid zero. In all likelihood, this shouldn’t be a difficult rule to follow. The digit 0 is often confused with the vowel O, which can thus cause confusion with your domain. The one exception to this is when it’s used as part of a recognizable word such as 1000 or 2005. If you must register a domain that contains zero, be sure to also register for the corresponding domain using the vowel O.
- Rule #7: ‘1’ and ‘A’. No doubt you’ve noticed in the yellow pages the listings like ‘A1 Company’ and ‘AAA Company’ and so on. Companies do this because it allows them to be listed as one of the first few companies. With Internet directories, sites are often similarly classified, most usually beginning with the number one or sometimes the letter ‘A’. In that case, beginning your domain with ‘1 st’ or the letter ‘A’ can be beneficial for your site. However, this may not be possible to do for your plastic surgery site. Often times this can come off as a bit unprofessional which is something you want to avoid. However, if it can be done in a professional manner, it’s certainly worth considering.
- Rule #8: Backup domains. Spelling errors occur very frequently on the Internet, and lots of people out there are spelling-challenged. If your domain has any potential to cause confusion, be sure to have a backup plan. For instance, let’s say that your first name is Bryan spelled with a ‘y’. Many people may incorrectly guess that it is spelled with an ‘i’ as in ‘Brian’. If used in your domain name, you should then register for both drbryan.com as well as drbrian.com.