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Designing a website

Step 1 - Planning your site

Selecting a name for your website


Your fundamental objective remains the same irrespective of the type of site or business you want to name. You want to pick up a name that is easily remembered by the user and aids you to stand out from the rest of the crowd. However, there are three apparent principles on how you can achieve that objective on the web.


Three types of site names:


  • Dot-com names

  • Unfamiliar names

  • Names with combination


Dot-com names- A common standard adopted while naming websites is to opt for the best possible generic name and include a “dot-com” right in the end or in the beginning as computers.com, news.com or eToys, eGreetings respectively.


This popular trend in naming reached its pinnacle in the later part of the 90s. During this period, almost all words present in the Oxford English Dictionary got registered with the domain name dot-com. Companies who had made their presence felt for a long time changed their image with respect to their presence on the web by renaming themselves or creating a business branch and incorporated “e” or “I” in their names.


The inspiration was hugely financial: an attempt to restore confidence in the stockholders with respect to a company’s approach to the internet and assure investors that it had the right for an appraisement through dot-com.


The changing of the financial environment resulted in companies getting rid of their dot-coms and was in fact no big surprise. The year 2000 witnessed many companies who had recently adopted the dot-com names opting for their former names.


The unfamiliar name- A naming system that is different is usually a exceptional and a bizarre one and not inevitably a specific or a characteristic one. Sometimes, this form of naming is known as the “empty-vessel” strategy. You pick up a work with bare minimum or basic meaning- referred to as an “empty semantic vessel”. If you are successful in this, you’ll be able to describe your brand and the word mutually.


This kind of philosophy goes well with stable and settled business as they make their presence on the web-like Gap.com, Walmart.com, and Marthastewart.com. However, for business that are new, this concept is rather dangerous because it doesn’t seem to make your life more convenient. It will not facilitate your listings on the search engine nor will it help visitors to comprehend what you are all about.


In spite of these dangers, this concept has turned out to be favorable for some of the most successful sites on the web, such as Amazon.com (the number one retail store), Google (the most visited search engine) and Yahoo (a successful portal). Now the point on whether they did well on account of their names or not is up to you to find out.


The name with combination-It’s very difficult to take a decision between these two methodologies because if you are similar to me, you want the entire thing. You want a name that is unique so that users can remember it easily. You also want a name that is apparent, so that users immediately come to know what you do. There is a middle course. You can surely choose a name that will derive the advantages of both these methodologies.


Features of a name with a combination:


  • Has meaning. It tell something about the site-it’s use and whom is it meant for.

  • Can be remembered easily. It goes above generic words to name the site in a unique manner.




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