How do I create a website? (Series)

Aug 24th, 2010

One of the most common questions we receive is, "How do I create a website?" This blog series is a response to that question. It is intended to be a simple and easy guide that will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Today we'll cover the first step:

Choosing a Domain Name.



A domain name is the virtual address of your company on the web. It should be short, easy to remember, and as simple as possible. Domain names are words that end in a TLD. TLD stands for top level domain. The most common TLDs are .com, .net, and .org. There are also ccTLDs: domain names created specifically for a country. For example, the United States has .us, Mexico has .mx, and the United Kingdom has .co.uk.

The general rule when choosing a TLD is to always register the .com version first. There's a few reasons for this:

  1. The vast majority of web users will assume your website ends in .com.

  2. The TLD .com can represent a personal OR a corporate entity.

  3. .com domain names have historically ranked higher in Google searches.

  4. Most browsers will add a .com extension when a visitor types a word into the address bar.


ccTLDs are typically the worst option, with some exceptions. There is nothing wrong with ccTLDs, but many web users are not aware that they exist. Choosing a ccTLD as your presence on the web may limit your traffic. The only ccTLD that I recommend at this time is for clients located in the United Kingdom. The .co.uk ccTLD has strong enough recognition to be a good choice.

How long should my domain name be?



Choose a domain name that is as short as possible. For example, we use both omnis.com and omnisnetwork.com. omnis.com is visited by more than 95% of our clients because it is short and easy to remember. Avoid stringing large words together. A general rule is that it is best to keep your domain name under twelve letters.

Should I include a dash in my domain name?



Many of our clients add a dash to their domain name because the name they want to register is already taken. For example, we could register omnis-network.com instead of omnisnetwork.com. My advise is to avoid this practice. It will not hurt your Google search ranking, but it WILL drive traffic to the domain name that does not have the dash. When most people hear "Omnis Network dot com" they will type in omnisnetwork.com, not omnis-network.com. By adding a dash you may be sending customers to your competitor!

Should I include conjunctions in my domain name?



A conjunction is a word that connects two related words in a sentence. For example, in the sentence, "Jack and Jill went up the hill", the word "and" would be the conjunction.

My rule is to avoid adding these to your domain name. jackandjill.com is easy to read, but "and" is both a conjunction AND a Google operative word. When people search for your website by writing "jack and jill" they are telling Google that they want to find a website that contains those two words. The top search result may not have anything to do with your website! This is an example of how your website's domain name can directly affect the way Google ranks your website.

Should I purchase a domain name from an auction?



The short answer is "no". The long answer is "maybe, but be careful". Most domain name auction services are not reputable. Stick with big names such as Sedo. In general, I would advise that you create an original domain name rather than attempting to acquire a domain name from an auction.

I have decided on a domain name. How do I order it?



Order your domain name through an ICANN accredited registrar. ICANN is the organization that regulates domain names. ICANN accreditation means that the company has paid a fee to the ICANN organization and agreed to follow the ICANN guidelines. Omnis Network is an ICANN accredited registrar. We offer domain name registration for the most popular TLDs and ccTLDs.
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