Brad Pitt wasn’t always Brad Pitt. He was born as William Bradley Pitt.
Same thing with Ashton Kutcher. His full name is Christopher Ahston Kutcher.
When it comes to Internet sites, it is equally important to choose the right name.
A Great Domain Name Can Make All The Difference
Particularly with startups. A startup’s name is so important that the creators should should invest a good amount of time time to ensure that they choose a good one. And once that name is chosen, the startup should make the best possible job to match that great name with a great domain name.
Consider the case of the Color app, which spent about $350,000 to register a domain named Color.com. If you’re a well-funded startup and can afford to pay top dollar for a premium one word domain name, by all means do so. Nowadays a great domain name like color.com is just like a piece of prime real estate, so even if the startup does not work out, the domain name will maintain value and can be resold through a domain broker in the future.
Heck, even the right Twitter handles are going for a lot of money right now. According to Betabeat.com, so-called “Twitter fixers” have helped JPMorgan Chase to attain @Chase from then-owner Chase Giunta with a $20,000 offer.
Pick a Name and Stick to It
You’ll often see startups choose a product name but then choose add “Get” before or “HQ” after it because the exact domain name is registered. For example, when Dropbox started they registered GetDropbox.com. After a couple months, they had to purchase Dropbox.com because about 10% of their traffic navigated directly to Dropbox.com, which they did not own. Save yourself some trouble and pick a a startup name whose exact match domain name you can register or buy before you launch your startup.
You should start out with .com, if available. If you choose a good name, securing the .net and .org versions should be ok. Once your company starts making some profit, make it a habit to start securing additional domains so that you don’t lose potential traffic. I have heard from my friends in the booming tech scene in Edmonton, Alberta that they even secure Canadian domain names right now because they will be much more affordable than a couple of years from today. As more and more tech companies spring up in Edmonton and have more financial backing, Canadian domain names will surely go up in price.
Don’t Waste Time
The longer you wait before buying your ideal domain name, the more difficult it will be to own the changes later on down the line. Consider the case of Guy Fieri: he learned the hard way the importance of securing your domain name when New York-based programmer Bryan Mytko secured the guysamericankitchenandbar.com domain before him.