Choosing an Internet domain name

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

When you use the Internet Address Management Wizard to register an Internet domain name, the wizard asks you to specify the domain name and domain name extension that you want to use.

Domain names

You should choose a domain name that reflects your business name or the nature of your business. If the domain name that you want to use is not available, specify a similar name or a different domain name extension. If you select a provider that the Internet Address Management Wizard recommends, the provider offers a list of alternate domain names.

Domain names can be any length up to 67 characters, so you are not limited to short names. Consider using a longer name that clearly describes your business or Web site. This can improve the availability of the domain name and make the name more discoverable by search engines. However, make sure that the name is suitable in length for use in an e-mail address or in the Internet address for Remote Web Workplace. For example, if your business name is Contoso Pharmacy, you might consider if your preferred name of is not available.

Domain name extensions

When you choose a domain name for your Internet Web site, you also need to specify the domain name extension that you want to use. The extension is identified by the letters that follow the final period of any domain name. (The formal term for the extension is the “top-level domain” or “TLD.”)

There are two main types of domain extensions that you can use: generic and country-code.

Generic top-level domains

Generic domain extensions are three or more letters in length, and they are typically used by certain types of organizations.

Examples of Generic Top-Level Domains

Domain Extension Description


Typically used by commercial organizations, but it can be used by anyone.


Designed for businesses that offer network infrastructure services.


Originally used by non-profit agencies and other business that did not fall into another generic top-level domain category. Can be used by anyone.


Restricted to use by educational organizations.

Country-code top-level domains

These domain extensions are two letters in length. They are designed to be used by organizations in the country or region that is associated with that code. Some country-code top-level domains are restricted for use by citizens of that country or region. Others are available for use by anyone.

Examples of Country-Code Top-Level Domains

Domain Extension Description


For use by Web sites in Canada.


For use by Web sites in China.


For use by Web sites in Germany.

For use by Web sites in the United Kingdom.

To view the full list of top-level domains, see the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority Web site (

What to do if a domain extension is not available to select in the Internet Address Management Wizard

When you run the Internet Address Management Wizard, the wizard looks at your system information to determine your country or region. The wizard then displays only those domain extensions that the participating providers in your area support. If the domain extension that you want does not appear in the list, you have three options:

  • Choose a different domain extension.

    If the domain extension is not critical to your business, consider selecting an extension from the list that the wizard returned.

  • Change your location information, and then run the Internet Address Management Wizard again.

    If you manually change the location information for your server and then run the wizard again, additional domain extensions may become available for selection. To change the location information from within the Internet Address Management Wizard, click View Company Information. After you change the location information, close the wizard, and then click Set up your Internet address to run the wizard again.

  • Manually configure your Internet domain name.

    It may be necessary to use this option if the other two options are not satisfactory alternatives. This option requires that you configure your chosen domain name provider by using their Web interface. For assistance with configuring your Internet DNS records, contact your domain name provider.