Selecting A Company Name / Domain

A member asked for advice in selecting a company name / domain for his integration firm.

Here are some pointers:

  • Make sure the name is available as a .com domain. If you want to be mmtrunkslammers, make sure mmtrunkslammers.com is available.
  • Avoid .net, .tv, .us, etc. as they signal a small or un tech savvy company
  • Avoid dashes (-) inside your domain name. Examples of bad domains: video-insight.com and security-today.com Problem is that people will leave out the dash and go to some other random company's website. Yes, I know you can get such names cheap but you'll deal with the problems long term. Also, dashes in domain names look unprofessional.
  • Avoid long domain names. Lots of integrators have domain names like securitysystemsguruwestvirgina.com which are quite difficult for people to spell / type.

For reference, we switched to IPVM.com a few years ago. Before that, we were ipvideomarket.info. It cost $5,000 but was certainly worth it.

[NOTE: The original post from the member was deleted as later reconsidered publicly posting his names under consideration.]


Simple names are so much more efficient. Spelling out long names over the phone gets very tiresome, for both the talker and listener.

I worked for a company that violated numerous points above. In the late 90s, it made logical sense, and was categorically helpful when organizing domains (ie: securitycowboys-usa.com, securityhombres-mexico.com, and so on) but it was a total pain to convey in spoken word, and if you're selling, making business easy with your company is important. The hyphen is a real killer.

As the former owner of trianglevideosurveillance.com I can attest to the pain mentioned above that follows when choosing a stupidly long name.

...and it didn't help any that 75% of the human population (apparently) can't spell the word 'surveillance' :(

but I had a kick-ass logo! (and I am particularly fond of my original tag line) :)

Sweet design, Mr. Major! All you need now is a jingle, like Marc does.

P.S. mindurownbusiness.com is only $1000 and though its a bit long I won't soon forget it.

Truly remarkable, Sir!

I find the piece to be quite engaging, as it builds thematically from standard geometric primitives, the line (pole), the circle (iris), the rectangle (box camera), the sphere (dome camera), yielding center stage finally to the eponymous pair of trigons, offset from each other both rotationally and chromatically, each of them a subtle and clever magnification of the V's in Video and SurVeillance.

The red triangle representing stability with its broad base aligned with the horizontal, and the inverted blue one symbolizing the delicate 'balancing act' between the need for security vs. the right to privacy. Ultimately, we are drawn in by the Raleighian pentagram, and then more menacingly by the stately silhouette, which transformed by alignment, is now vaguely suggestive of an Isarelian assault weapon.

For the jingle may I recommend something in triplet meter?

LOL - I don't know about all that. I was impressed at the time with what I could do in 15 minutes or so with paint and ppt....

I remember being certain at that time that my genius marketing skills would elevate me above all those other trunkslammers and pave the way to riches and fortune. It's the dream of all trunkslammers.

I even drove a hatch-back that didn't have a trunk.

Your comments intrigue me.

I'm flummoxed, are you asking for actual domain names? Or is it just rules of thumbs?

If its to find names, I'd like to think I can come up with a catchy one now and again, but it helps a to know a little about the company.

tissuesamplesfromthecraterwall.net. Yeah, I own it. Made it up as a joke in a presentation, then bought it when I realized it was valid. And nobody ever complained to me about the hyphen in "sparring-program.net", it kinda makes it read better, we think.

Domain name suggestions if you're not looking for giggles:

  • don't pick something you're likely to see as an issue in an ipvm.com post (listen to all the above comments)
  • do NOT use cute word variations. rent-a-guardz.net is not cool. use "guards".
  • Do not add "go" or "global" or other adjectves to your name.
  • be brave and use 21st century marketing logic when choosing a TLD - .com is so last century. .net is not cool. .org is downright lying unless you're a nonprofit. .locksmith or .us or something like that is not necessarily bad. Most people click the link in the html email on their Android anyway ;-)
  • do not pick a company/domain name that sounds like a planet in a Star Trek episode or otherwise looks weird. Example: Vontu. "Captain, three ships just left the surface of Vontu 3!"
  • do not set up your company with 9 different names. Is it Allegion or is it Ingersoll Rand or is it Schlage or is it Aptiq? Which name do I use when looking up the support site? If the company just got bought, make sure the name switch-overs are also addressed. You can do web page redirects, ya know...

Collateral comment: if you can read this message you're travelling in a >security< market. I don't care how deeply in the back room your HikVision DVR is buried, you're still expected to know how networks work. Make sure your website doesn't generate errors if someone use https instead of http. Example: right now https://hid.com throws an error and goes to an Apache test page. (That's an ultraviolet floor curing widget vendor. Adding "Global" to the end of your name is one of the ways a pre-.com company attempts to cope with a 3 letter name... it only sorta works...) P.s. yes it's bad if your web hosting provider dropps all the HTTPS names in their Plesk admin page. It tells the rest of us you spent lest than $9.95 a month on web hosting - what else are you understpending on?

do not set up your company with 9 different names. Is it Allegion or is it Ingersoll Rand or is it Schlage or is it Aptiq? Which name do I use when looking up the support site?

If you call it Allegion, you get a fake smile. If you call it IR, you get a mournful, downward 1000-yard stare.

If you want to be mmtrunkslammers, make sure mmtrunkslammers.com is available... Avoid long domain names. Lots of integrators have domain names like securitysystemsguruwestvirgina.com which are quite difficult for people to spell / type.

So that's why mmtrunkslammers.com is superior to martymajorstrunkslammers, but why not simply majorslammers.com?

martymajorstrunkslammers.com includes a possessive determiner (the 's') that can also be construed similarly in majorslammers.com... which could leave potential customers wondering what the hell a lammer is :)

Potential customers would be unsuspecting that the domain name was actually a clever eponymous double-entendre, at least until they became aware that such a man named Major might be the possessor; and so would initially just take it prima facia.

At that point you could directly explain what a 'lammer' wasn't. More diabolically, you might leave it enigmatic, ala Larry Page and Page Rank, to generate fanboy buzz.

Along the same lines, when/if you have multiple employees, make sure they all have direct-dial extensions. Having to dial into an IVR system and then enter an employee extension is a remnant of the 80's. People should be directly reachable, your phone tree system does not make you seem big and complex, it makes you seem too cheap to get dedicated phone numbers for your employees.

If you want to be mmtrunkslammers, make sure mmtrunkslammers.com is available.

Any new parents out there want to fess up that they registered child's name as a domain while lil' ones were still on the way?

Anybody wanna cop to actually giving the boot to a otherwise good name because the .com was taken?

"Your mom was dead-set on 'Paul', I was always partial to 'John', but this was back in 2010 and the .com's were taken son. Ok story time's over now, get ready for bed, Ringo."

Guilty as charged to "giving the boot to a otherwise good name". I don't even start brainstorming company names nor offspring names without a handy whois checker. It's just too easy to get attatched to a name that you can't obtain or obtain cheaply. check out www.babysquatter.com, it's main feature is if you don't like a name that your partner (business or romantic) is stuck on you can just add ?wtf=true to the url and it will say its taken even if its open! Sorry honey looks 'Baron' is taken, but look 'RichardJr' is still available....

I'm currently changing business name / website etc, etc for exactly the reasons you mentioned, John. I want to try and split my commercial and high-end residential markets with regard to the website(s) but I don't really know what format it/they should take. Is one site best for both? Should it redirect? I dunno!! I have a bunch of domains held also.

Any suggestions would be great

When I formed my current company Pro Focus LLC, I was tired of doing small trunk slammer level jobs, so I wanted to focus on doing more professional projects. I am reminded of my goal each and every time I say my company name. Also, the .com for my company was either too expensive or not available in any short variation, so I opted for profoc.us instead. I have had techie people compliment the creativity of the domain name, but to be honest, it was a result of minimal startup funding. It was just the least expensive option.