How To Use Domain Names

Every small business owner needs a website and should find out how to use a domain name. So before you dive into the deep-end-challenges of starting up your home business, read on with Paula Wynne to find out how to use domain names for your new online business.

Firstly, there are a multitude of sites from which you can buy a new business domain name. Many of them will offer hosting opportunities as well.

The most important thing about domain names is: firstly you MUST own it and secondly, find a name that you can use for viral and optimisation purposes as well.

How to use domain names when setting up your online business website

If you aim to set up an instant site you could try to use their domain and hosting service all in one, just to make life easier. But always make sure you keep control of your own domain. I repeat - always, always, always keep control of your own domain.

They may also provide pop boxes for a personalised email – which I definitely recommend. Have you seen a professional site with an email address along the lines of: aname123@hotmail [dot] com or anotherexample@btconnect [dot] com?

Would you recognise that business as trustworthy and solid or as a ‘one person band’? Point taken. So when you’re buying your domain, get yourself an email that reflects and brands your website’s domain.

Successful Domain Names

Before you rush off and buy up a hoard of names, as I have done in the past, and then sit with useless domains, let’s consider some factors that go into choosing a domain.

You may want to buy a name for an existing business, thus you need to get that exact name, or something similar if it is already taken.

If you are choosing a name to reflect a brand then make sure it is short, clear and easy to spell. I would suggest you buy both the .com and the and any others that protects your brand in future. Depending on your budget, of course.


 A POP Box is a nifty way to ensure that your email matches your company name. Because you are not online 24/7 your emails are caught and stored in a ‘box’ on your ISP’s server until you do come online.

Your mail program (Outlook Express, Netscape, Eudora, Pegasus, etc.) logs into your POP3 mail box via your local access provider to read your mail. Each POP account requires a unique username and password to access the mail.


If you cannot get the exact name you want you may need to have a fiddle with – (dashes). If your best choice is taken for a or .com, search with Geek Tools for a better choice to get a primary domain. See the notes on Geek Tools in the next section.

Better still – choose a descriptive, keyword-rich domain name. Google favours these domains in its rankings for searches that are based on those exact words. If it isn’t possible to get the perfect keyword-rich domain name you desire, you can use keywords in the URL.

We did that before we were able to transfer our site to a better performing SEO architecture.

We used the term 'work from home' after the domain, which went something like:


Before you dash out there and start-up your home business, take a look at our articles on how to name your business website, how to host your website and find lots of business start-up advice in our How To section.

Award-winning entrepreneur of social networking site, iHubbub, and author of ‘Create A Successful Website’ and Pimp My Site, Paula Wynne is co-founder of iHubbub, a home business social community.

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