For any online business, the first step towards creating business identity is registering a domain name. And, when you make up your mind to do that, an unprecedented number of obstacles and dubious questions start to appear. Lucky for you, we will try to make this process smooth by discussing those obstacles with their solutions. Below are the list of questions that pertain to this task.

(in no particular order)

What name should I select?

What name should I select?

One would think that selecting a name is an easy job but actually it’s an entirely opposite thing. The first thing you would probably do is try to connect your name with the nature of your business and when you come up with something relevant, you would say: Let’s register now! Well, not so fast, domain names like, fixmymobile, threadandneedle, merafurniture, shoesforher all look different and has some synergy with your business idea but try to analyze them from another angle,

Will this name help me in SEO? Its very important that the keywords you choose in the name are relevant to target audience’s search behaviour. To know how to choose it, we recommend using Google Keyword Tool. Using this tool, you can find the keywords in your industry that are most searched for in Google.

Does it give a good first impression to the user? Small and easy-to-remember names are always better. Look at these names Dawn, Paypal, Zameen or even this name Autohub. One thing is common, they are easy to remember and yet small. Give some love to the domain name; even if your product is good, don’t ignore the value of the name itself. What if you choose a word that is difficult to write every time or simply a long word or a sentence and then later on you decide to change it next month. Please think carefully.

In the context of Pakistan, using ‘local language’ or ‘Urdu’ keywords is a trend e.g. ‘deliverywalay‘, ‘mangobaaz‘. If I was you and want to select a name in local context, I would not select the urdu slang words like ‘mar‘, ‘kar‘, ‘suna‘, ‘parh‘ as they are not decent words at the first place and makes your target market narrower. Instead, I would go for a small, easy, and a hybrid of english and main stream urdu words like ‘onlineustaad‘, ‘sabziwala‘, or ‘paykaraya‘. In case, if you want to select one word name for branding purposes, its relatively difficult to make it popular initially but with time, they become more stronger than multiword names e.g. ‘jugnoo‘, ‘dopatta‘, ‘Zara‘, or ‘Tabinda‘.

Tip: Its always good to discuss with your friends before deciding to register. 

Where to search for available domain names?

Where to search for available domain names?

It’s easy, as there are tons of registry operators where you can search the domain online. For Pakistani market, the .pk domain search is only possible from Pakistan based registrars. Below are some of the options to search for the domain availability,

.pk/.com.pk/.net.pk/.edu.pk

  • PKNIC: https://pknic.net.pk/ This is an official registrar for domains in Pakistan. When you search for a domain, it only returns a yes or no information whereas a user might be interested to know more than that, like when was it registered and after how long it can be available again.
  • Nexus: http://nexus.pk Its a fairly good website and search result returns other TLDs’ as well. like .net, .com.pk, .info etc, so that a customer can buy domains in bulk.
  • Domain: http://www.domain.pk/ This is also fairly good and shows more related information than asked which is helpful in this case of domain search.
  • Pk-domain: https://www.pk-domain.com/

.com/.org/ or any other TLD

For country specific domain registrations like .au or .us or .es etc. you can prefer the specific domain name registrars of that country as well. 

Domain name is not available, what to do now?

Domain name is not available, what to do now?

Fortunately, you are not alone. This is quite normal that your beloved domain name is already taken. At this point in time, you have to be creative and come up with various patterns of the domain names or an entirely new one.

If I were you, I would gather as many good domain names for my business as possible and then narrow down with my preferences and availability. Bear in mind that, your domain name is your identity and when you build a brand, just a unique domain name is not enough. You have to search for similar name on other platforms as well, like twitter, facebook, youtube, or pinterest. Its a complete portfolio you are making.

“The more similarity in your ‘name’ at different platforms – the more stronger the brand identity would be.”

Which type (.edu/.com/.info/.org etc) of domain name should you choose?

Which type (.edu/.com/.info/.org etc) of domain name should you choose?

The types like .edu, .org, .com are basically called TLDs or top-level-domain. Its pertinent to ask yourself, what exactly should I choose. Below information gives you a general idea of what they mean,

.org (or .org.pk) Non profit organizations use it like sbp.org.pk.  Its for official sites
.com (or .com.pk) Commercial purposes (for-profit) like zameen.com
.net  (or .net.pk) Network infrastructure related like pknic.net.pk
.edu (or .edu.pk): Educational institutions like aiou.edu.pk
.gov (or .gov.pk) Governmental use like pakistan.gov.pk
.info Information websites 
.biz Businesses like paint.biz. Its an alternative to .com and is usually not preferred if .com is available. SEO also gets an advantage if its .com

There are various other types which you can look here List of TLDs- Wikipedia

Which domain registrar to choose?

Which domain registrar to choose?

Online domain registration process has matured in Pakistan and takes few minutes to do that. If you want to register a .pk domain, you have to register it for minimum 2 years. Here are some registrars that you can use that also support online payments,

Price for all the above lies in the range of 1000-1100/year and have to do minimum 2 year registration. After experience with Pknic and Nexus, I can say that customer support of both companies was average. Payment processing in Nexus was much better than in Pknic. Pknic website is not good enough from my perspective as its old style and payment system is not well integrated. The rest of the two registrars also promise great customer support and offer multiple payment methods (easypay, ubl omni, paypal, direct bank, jazz cash) for online checkout, which is a nice and necessary feature these days. But since, I have no experience from them, so choose at your own risk.

Below are a couple of famous domain registrars that can register any domain (except some international TLDs like .pk)

  • Namecheap: http://namecheap.com/
    Domain registration price starts from $10.69/year which is relatively cheap as compared to the services and support it offers. The checkout process is very easy and the associated services like domain transfers or email forwarding give long term benefits.
  • Godaddy: http://godaddy.com/
    Godaddy is the most famous company in this domain. Their price starts from $14.99/year and they offer vast quantity of services. Negative point of Godaddy has always been its bad user-experience due to cluttered services and addon offers during checkout process but recently they have improved alot, its not too bad anymore. Customer support is not bad either, with live chat and fairly quick email responses.

What to choose, .com, .pk, or .com.pk?

What to choose, .com, .pk, or .com.pk?

Here is a scenario, where your customer base is from Pakistan and you think registering a .pk domain makes sense. But at the same time you are thinking that what if, in future, I expand in international market? If you do have plans, then businesses strategically register both .com and .pk (country based) domains as its a good strategy to safeguard your online portfolio. From the SEO perspective, country level domain gives some ranking benefit and if you have .com too, then you enable 301 redirect rule to gain benefits from a .com.

One thing is for sure, don’t use .com.pk as its old style, confusing, and not favoured by SEO as well. The .com.pk is second level domain and is not common in Pakistan so people tend to select the ones that are more main stream and popular.

Please share your comments and suggestions for this article in the comments section below. The links and companies mentioned in the post are shared for the purpose of knowledge sharing only. If you have any questions you can always contact us here

 

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