A good domain name is a key part of your online marketing strategy. Also called a URL, a domain name is the address a customer uses to go to your website. An example of a domain name is canadabusiness.ca. You can register your domain name directly through an Internet Service Provider or through a domain registration company.
How do I choose a domain name?
It's important to choose a domain name that captures the essence of your business and is unique enough that your customers won't confuse it with another website.
A good domain name is:
- Easy to remember
- Easy to spell
- Relevant to your business or product
It's important to make sure that the name you choose isn't protected by a trademark or similar to another business' name. You'll also want to pay attention to what a customer might see in your domain name. Do the letters form any unintended words?
How do I choose a domain extension?
The domain name extension (for example .ca or .com) follows your domain name. You may want to register your domain name with a variety of extensions. That way, customers who type in a different extension can be redirected to your main site.
There are two kinds of domain extensions: generic top level domains (gTLDs) and country code top level domains (ccTLDs).
Generic top level domains (gTLDs) are generally available to anyone, regardless of country of origin or geographic location. The gTLD serves to broadly categorize the name as to its type or purpose.
Examples of gTLD extensions include:
- .com (short for “commercial”) — the most common and popular extension for sale on the Internet
- .biz (short for “business”) — intended for use by businesses
- .net (short for “network”)— primarily used by network-related companies and organizations
- .mobi (short for “mobile”) — for use with mobile-compatible websites
- .travel — reserved for use by the travel industry
Country code top level domains (ccTLDs) are extensions that correspond to the name of a country. The Canadian ccTLD is “.ca” (short for “Canada”), and is reserved for use by Canadian businesses, citizens, permanent residents, and organizations.
How do I register a domain name?
Domain names can be registered through private registrars, who offer a range of services and prices. It's a good idea to visit different registrars' sites and ask questions to ensure you find the right mix of price and service.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers publishes a list of certified registrars for gTLDs such as .com and .net.
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
Consult a list of accredited and accreditation-qualified registrars who can register generic top level domains.
If you meet Canadian presence requirements you can register .ca domain names through any of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority's certified registrars.
- Canadian Internet Registration Authority
Find out how to register for a dot-ca domain name.
What if the name I want is being used by someone else?
If you have not been successful at finding an appropriate domain name that is not in use, you may want to consider purchasing an existing name. Many desirable domain names are already in use or have been purchased by resellers who are willing to negotiate a price for the rights to the name. There are several ways to purchase an existing name: by private sale, by auction, or through a domain name broker.
How can I protect my domain name?
Domain name registration is conducted on a first-come, first-served basis, so once you decide on a domain name, you should register it as soon as possible to decrease the chances of it being taken by someone else.
It is important to monitor your business' presence on the Internet — make sure you know if other sites are using variations of your domain name to attract customers.
Both the Canadian Internet Registration Authority and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' have introduced dispute resolution policies that can help you resolve issues of bad faith registration of domain names.
- Date modified: