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Choosing a domain name
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:44 pm    Post subject: Choosing a domain name Reply with quote

As Tony pointed out in the thread on keywords, you can register your domain name ahead of the site being ready. It takes a while for Google (and others) to recognise your site, and include it in their results. Tony will hopefully explain a little more on this.

How to choose a domain name? First of all, the best names have been taken already. It would be nice to call Tansy's site something like "normandyrental.com" but that isn't available. So you have to be a bit inventive. You don't want to choose anything too long. Ideally it should sum up what your site is about.

If "normandyrental.com" isn't available, "normandy-rental.com" and "normandyrental.net" are. The problems with these is that if you are relying on people remembering them and typing them in, they will forget the hyphen or put .com instead of .net.

It is probably better to use a domain that has a keyword or two in it, rather than the name of your house, which will have none. I say 'probably' because the keywords describe what the house is about and encourage the click. But there is also an argument that the 'innocence' of a house name speaks of integrity and non-commerciality - appealing ideas to potential site visitors.

Add your thoughts/questions here on choosing a domain name.
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Paolo says, it really can take some time to get your site listed with the search engines. Anything from 3 weeks to 12 weeks.

After all the hard work involved in selecting images and carefully phrasing the content etc .... having zero traffic really can come as 'let down' and make you wonder if it was all worthwhile.

"I put my site online yesterday and so far i've only had 3 hits and not one phone call .... what a waste of time!"

The best way around this, is to get your site up and running with a 'holding page' as soon as possible. If it takes three weeks or three months to get the site finished at least you know that the search engines will automatically be returning regularly to check for new content. As soon as the site is complete, it will be echoed around the internet on the next search engine update.

First thing you need though, is a domain name ......

Yes, all the good domain names have gone.

So we have to work with what we have left, and basically we have two styles of names.

1 - the keyword string, eg. www .FRENCH HOLIDAY RENTAL NORMANDY. com

2 - the personal touch, eg. www .VILLA ROMANO. com

The keyword string - whilst unflattering and impersonal, this does have its place. Search engines have no preference over one name to another, they merely display their intepretation of the users 'search words'. Having these words in your Domain name or URL can give you an advantage. Search engines normally display the URL, Title and description, and it's there that you can 'sell' the property.

The personal touch - ahhh! how romantic .... yes, it's a 'scene setter' and will rocket your site up the listings for those who actually know what they are looking for. I have no doubts that you could get the above example to No.1 position with google in a very short time. Sadly, we are often looking for 'new' business and these people don't even know our name.

My personal choice (if you havn't already guessed!) is the keyword string, and, thinking along the same lines as Paolo ...... i came up with http://www.normandybeachrental.com which to my great surprise wasn't actually taken.

Now, we're all adults here and are doing this for all our mutual benefits .... so i'm sure any name that is discussed here will remain 'untaken' Wink

That said, there are many, many other names that could be used, here's a site I found that offers suggestions ........

https://secure.2ya.com/domainblend.php?term=normandy&listtype=general&hyphen=no&Blend=Blend

Again, it's a 'personal thing' but I prefer not to go with 'hyphens'. Not that they effect the search engine rank, it's simply because people will forget to enter them when the type in the address and end up at someone elses website. Also, when you tell people the Domain name over a 'bad phone line' it all gets just too confusing!
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Tony
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Tony -- I like the keyword style, unless you get lucky and can personalize and use the keyword style. We got lucky with experienceburgundy.com -- it was our first choice and it wasn't taken, and it has at least the burgundy keyword in it.

Another option is to have two (or more) domain names that all point to the same site. You could have a personal domain name that you put on business cards and perhaps link to from other ads, but also have a keyword-string domain name that would come up on searches. My parents do this for their real estate site and it works well. They use the keyword site as their e-mail host.

One caution: users like short, snappy domain names. normandybeachrental.com is a great domain name, but I wouldn't go much longer than that.

I do really like that domain name! Agreed, hopefully everyone will play nice and let Tansy have it if she wants it.
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Brooke
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, normandybeachrental is descriptive and for a longish name it's easy to read because of that descending 'y' at the end of normandy.

Shall we go for it before someone takes it? What about hosting, would it make sense to buy it from the host and get it included in the annual cost?

Tansy, what do you think of the name and do you have a budget in mind for your hosting? You can get basic hosting for free, or for something like ipowerweb, which gives good stats on site visitors, and more memory than you could ever use, it's about $95 (£50) a year.
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Paolo
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the domain is probably not as hot as google.com, but still I'd say that it's worth getting right away. If Tansy isn't sure where to host the site yet, I'd suggest paying the small extra charge to register the domain separately.

Of course, Tansy, if ipowerweb's package is within your budget and you're ready to go for it, all the better!
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Brooke
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tansy



Joined: 20 Sep 2004
Posts: 2106
Location: La Manche, Normandy, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great name....if it is available still I'd love to secure it...tell me what to do.

you are absolutely right re name - we had seaview.com and called ourselves seaview.villas....we were quite pleased with our name until one lady commented - how quaint it sounds like we're coming to Blackpool!...we lost confidence!!
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tansy,

Do you want to pay £50 for the year? It would be interesting to get some detailed info on visitors so we can discuss what this information tells us.
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tansy



Joined: 20 Sep 2004
Posts: 2106
Location: La Manche, Normandy, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problems at all....just let me know what to do - I have the trusty credit card standing by!

thank you
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote is for ipowerweb because it's what I know, I'm happy with it, and it would be easy for Tansy to upload to if she needs to.

The stats reports tell you:

When: Summary.....Days of month.....Days of week.....Hours
Who: Countries.....Full list.....Hosts.....Full list.....Last visit.....Robots/Spiders visitors.....Full list.....Last visit
Navigation: Visits duration.....Files type.....Viewed.....Full list.....Entry.....Exit.....Operating Systems
Referers: Origin.....Refering search engines.....Refering sites.....Search.....Search Keyphrases.....Search Keywords
Others: Miscellanous.....HTTP.....Status codes.....Pages not found

It's $95 for a year and domain, and more disk space than we'd ever need.

Tony, Brooke, anyone, unless you have a better idea, I'll tell Tansy how to pay for the domain and year's hosting.
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Paolo
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats fine with me ..... be good to see how another 'hosting solution' works. Having been with mine for quite a few years, i may have become a little biased Smile

One thing though, could be worth you signing up for the affiliate scheme Paolo .... this forum takes up quite a bit of your time, seems only fair you get something back.
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Tony
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony,

Good idea - three referrals gives me free hosting for a year. I'll have to remember to mention that when I do recommend them.

I'll tell Tansy how to sign up.
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
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Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed! Paolo should definitely get the referral benefits. Smile

And I'm also curious as to how ipowerweb works!
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Brooke
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tansy



Joined: 20 Sep 2004
Posts: 2106
Location: La Manche, Normandy, France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problems guys....ipower are insisting I'm verified ...they asked me at 2 a.m. this morning to ring a toll free number in California to enable the transaction to happen....so I emailed them and said I'm in France and can't ring a toll free so this is the reply I've had



[quote]Thank you for your recent web hosting order. Unfortunately we are unable to process your order at this time due to verification. To proceed with the activation of your account, please fax a legible copy of both sides of the credit card listed on the order, as well as a copy of the cardholder's identification. Please clearly state your domain(s) name in the fax.

Please fax the information to (310) 314-0511.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, these steps are to ensure your protection as a consumer.

If you do not wish to fax your information you also have the option to send a check or money order. You may send your check or money order payment to the following address:

iPowerWeb Inc.,
Billing Department
2800 28th Street, Suite 205
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Please make sure to reference your domain name on your payment. Your hosting account will be set up as soon as payment is received. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Billing Department
iPowerWeb
(310) 314-1608 opt.3
(888) 511-4678 opt.3







Now you see why I am no good with web sites etc and only use the computer as a tool...if I was on my own I would just give up - my blood pressure is raised with frustration and the time difference!!!...I've sent back to them to have a look at the forum there's '0000's watching this! Wink

I have also explained I'm in France...Europe that is!!!

I don't have a fax in this day & age and certainly don't have a dollar account!!...we're in Euro land.

Do you want me to continue battle with them....incidentally no facilities for referral either!
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll come back to this when I have a minute but for now don't do anything. I don't think you should ever fax your credit card and ID.
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Paolo
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've called toll-free U.S. numbers from France; I just had to pay for them, use a calling card, etc.

I agree with Paolo -- don't fax all that info. Why go from a simple phone call (which wouldn't really verify your identity anyway) to faxing all that information?
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