DEVELOPING YOUR COMMUNITY
21
will have an easier time finding your site and remembering the name. Spell it
correctly and move on.
Length
Try to keep your domain name to a reasonable length, but don’t
skimp for the sake of having a short name. For instance, KForums.com isn’t
as good as KarateForums.com, if you are starting a martial arts discussion
community. I would say a safe maximum would be around eighteen charac-
ters (not including the extension), with a good average of ten to fourteen.
Prefixes
Although the name of my network has a prefix, I usually try to
avoid prefixes (generally, e and i are really the only ones worth considering)
with my community names. An example of a domain name with a prefix
would be esitename.com. If you are unable to find a good domain name and
a solid ‘‘.com’’ option with a prefix is available, it may be worth considering.
It’s better than a dash or a number, and it’s probably better than going to a
non-‘‘.com’’ extension.
Don’t Curse!
Avoid profanity. Putting any sort of expletive in your name
will shock people—and not in a good way. It doesn’t convey the best image,
and even if your site has the greatest content in the world, many people simply
will not visit. (Unless, of course, your site is crude and vulgar by nature . . .
then, hey, a crude domain name might fit, right?)
You can overcome a bad domain name. Your efforts will be the deciding
factor on whether your community becomes a success. However, there is no
reason to make it any harder than it already is. Selecting a good domain name
is part of selecting a good name. It’s important that you take the time to do
this. Choosing a poor domain name can set you back from the start. You
don’t need anything extra weighing against you—trust me.
Domain Name R egistrars
Finding a domain name registrar is pretty easy. Ask your friends for a recom-
mendation. Different registrars provide different options. If you are just buy-
ing a domain name that you are going to use for a live site, most registrars
will be perfect for you. However, if you plan to buy other domain names that
you would like to redirect, it’s not hard to find a registrar that provides free

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