I am currently working on a web application and have started looking at the available domain names for my application. I have done some searching on answers.onstartups about hyphen domain names and non .com domain names and am still not sure what the best thing to do is. The name that I want to register is taken only under the .com and the hyphen name is available. Based on the whois register of the domain name I'm looking for it is registered by a company that does domain registration and doesn't expire for another 2 years. I am just wondering what everyone thinks the best way to go is. I'm not really keen on trying to purchase this domain name but am not sure what the best solution is. I was thinking of either registering a .net, .co, etc or the hyphen name. What do you think the best solution is?
Registering the .com is the best choice. If the non-hyphenated .com isn't available, I suggest you either try to come up with a different name, or add app to the end of the domain name you want. For example, mydomainapp.com. If it were me, I would try to come up with another domain that is available under the .com, instead of adding app to one that is already taken.
As AviD mentioned in his comment below, there are words you can use other than app that will allow you to use the domain name you like. Some other choices to consider are: systems, technology, enterprise, security, solutions, and application. I think these words are more professional sounding than app. Just make sure you are not infringing on someone's trademark. If it is possible for a consumer to confuse your name with someone else's name you could find yourself in legal problems.
To give you an example, the name of my web security business is Light Point Security. We liked the name Light Point, but lightpoint.com was already taken. Since it is a web security business, we added the word Security to the business name, and grabbed the available domain name lightpointsecurity.com. Because the company that owns lightpoint.com is in the business of designing and installing outdoor landmark signs, consumers shouldn't confuse lightpoint.com with lightpointsecurity.com. Recently, someone registered the domain name lightpointsecuritysystems.com, which I'm not too happy about. That company is in the physical security space.
Hope that helps!
Find another .com domain without a hyphen.
Otherwise, you'll always have to "explain" your domain to people when you tell them. You always have to say "Remember, it's .BIZ not .COM" or "... and that's with a hyphen between WORD1 and WORD2" Even after explaining it, you risk customers not finding your domain.