How to Get Online

Domain Name Resources

Names matter. Even for big global corporations (see box), coming up with the right name isn’t as easy as you think. It holds true for small business owners too who are looking to launch or expand on the Internet.

Try to guess the following three companies given only their original names:

Company A*

The world's #1 search engine was created in 1996 under the name "BackRub" but was renamed to ________ in 1998.

Company B**

In 1983, a young pharmacist from North Carolina created a soft drink comprised of carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, and cola nuts. It was renamed from "Brad's Drink" to _________ in 1898 and is recognized as the world’s number 2 cola brand.

Company C***

Established in 1946, “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K.” changed its name to ___________ in 1958 and would later be known for producing the world’s first transistor television.

When it comes to building an online presence, you need to choose the right domain name.

It’s arguably the most important business decision a small business can make - and in most cases, coming up with the proper name will take some time and research. Although you may already be operating under a brick and mortar identity, your company’s name may not translate well online, or may not even be available to purchase. So take the time to really consider the name that markets your business appropriately – you can learn more on How to Choose a Domain Name.

If you need inspiration, have an idea or already know what you would like, utilize the following resources to confirm if you’re on the right track. These handy tools also prevent you from wasting too much time spinning your wheels deciding on your domain name.

To find the right tool, just locate the question most applicable to where you are in your domain name search:

Q: Help! I have no idea on a domain name and need some inspiration.

A: You can find what words are popular online with DomainView – it’s a tag cloud view of actual words contained within the most recently registered .com and .net Internet domain names.

Q: Should I use a .com or a .net as my top level domain? Are there any others?

A: Don’t know which top-level domain to use? We understand – with so many domains to choose from, you should consider a reputable one that’s powered by Verisign. Explore our domain names to learn which one best fits your business’ needs.

Q: How do I know if the domain name I want is even available?

A: That’s a great question. With almost 150 million registered domain names out there, you need to check if the domain name you want is available first – you can easily find out with our tool to help your register a domain name. You can also find availability statuses through registrar sites.

Q: My domain name is available. Can I register it with Verisign?

A: Although Verisign does not register or renew domain names, we certify registrars who register domain names for people and businesses like you. With over 900 certified registrars, you can find a registrar that fits your needs perfectly.

Q: The name I want is already taken…but I really want it. What can I do?

A: You can find information on already registered domains and their associated registrars and name servers with Verisign’s Whois tool, which has full access to all records in a registry’s database.

As a small business owner, building your online presence needs to be a critical component of your overall company’s growth strategy, especially today in the age of the Internet. Getting the right domain name plays a major role in your business’ success, so take advantage of the resources available to help you create the right one for you!

*Company A: Google
**Company B: Pepsi-Cola
***Company C: Sony Corporation