A domain name is part of your brand, so choosing the best domain name for your website will play a vital part in its success. Choosing the wrong domain name will be a huge hassle, especially if you need to change it. Changing your domain name will hurt your brand and your search rankings, resulting in a loss of traffic. So, choosing the best domain name right from the start is an important step in having a successful brand.
When first starting, coming up with a catchy business name with the perfect domain name can be incredibly daunting and time-consuming.
In this article, the goal is to help those interested in creating a domain name; by providing helpful resources and tips to aid in brainstorming domain name ideas, finding out how to choose the best domain name for your website, and registering a new domain name.
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How to Choose the Best Domain Name for Your Website
When deciding to create a website, coming up with and choosing a domain name for your website can be difficult and downright stressful. It will take time, a lot of creative energy, and most importantly, patience.
To help alleviate some of the stress associated with creating a domain name, because you have enough to think about, here is a list of steps you can use to make the process of choosing a domain name easier.
Choose a Domain Name That’s Easy to Spell, Say, and Remember
When you’re trying to create a good domain name, you’ll want a domain name that is easy to spell, say, and remember. The reason behind this is that you’ll want your website to be easily accessible by anyone.
More simply, when you say, write, or share your domain name with a person. They should have no trouble getting to your website or remembering how to get back.
If you’re planning to use your domain name to create a professional business email address, then having one that’s easy to understand and spell is an absolute must.
Domain names that are easy to pronounce and remember are more likely to be shared. Additionally, if asked to share your domain name in person, they’re probably not going to remember amazingwebsitewhereallthecoolstuffis.com. However, they will remember something easy to spell and say.
Try Using Keywords in Your Domain Name Search
Keywords are used to find content on the web and are an essential part of getting traffic to your website. Keywords are what people are typing into the search bar of their browser. Search engines then use the keywords to deliver content that matches the users’ search.
Adding a keyword to your domain name helps tell search engines what your website is about and may be beneficial to your business and brand.
The problem is finding a great domain name that includes your target keywords. More times than not, you’ll find that the domain name you want is taken or has a high price tag associated with it.
It can be a little discouraging, so you’re going to have to get creative. Try mashing together or combining words to create new ones to make your domain name stand out.
How Long Should Your Domain Name Be?
While keywords can benefit your business and brand by helping to identify what it is and does, keep in mind, it needs to be easy to remember.
Some believe that long domain names are harder to remember and possibly more difficult to brand, which in many cases may be true. But this isn’t the case when you look at names such as spokaneartsupply.com or mobiusdiscoverycenter.org.
We suggest adhering to a maximum of 20 characters for your domain name. It will help your users be less prone to typing mistakes, which can lead to a loss of traffic.
Which Domain Name Extension Should You Choose?
The amount of new domain name extensions today is staggering, from the original .com, .net, and .org to niche type extensions like .shop, .agency, and even .bingo. There are so many extension options now that it can be confusing and intimidating when deciding what to choose.
We recommend going with .com whenever possible. It is the most popular and trustworthy domain extension and remains the #1 market leader. Furthermore, many individuals will automatically type .com after every domain name. Even smartphone keyboards have a .com button because it is the most memorable.
Avoid Using Numbers, Hyphens, and Doubled Letters
Using numbers in a domain name isn’t always the best idea because users could potentially write your domain name the wrong way. For example, if your domain name is port9.com, it could also be written as portnine.com. To prevent confusion and a loss of traffic, you’ll need to purchase both domains and use a redirect from the misspelled domain name to the correct domain name.
Using hyphens in a domain name can be a sign of a spam domain which is not something you’ll want to be associated with. Hyphenated domain names are also more prone to typing mistakes.
If you find the urge to use a hyphen because the domain that you want is already taken, then be aware that users will most likely end up on your competitor’s website. Just take a breath and go back to the drawing board.
Do your best to avoid double letters in your domain name. It will also increase your chances of losing traffic to typing mistakes by users. For example, a domain name like Stressshop.com could easily be mistyped, ultimately preventing users from getting to your website.
Be Aware of Unintentionally Inappropriate Domain Names
Sometimes when we mash and combine words, they can have unintentional results. For example, expertsexchange.com can read as expert sex change.com but should read as experts exchange.com. When you’re creating your domain name, be aware of how it reads and get some feedback by letting someone else read it to be sure.
Look into Alternative or Foreign Meanings
Sometimes a word can have an alternative meaning that you’re unaware of or even have a meaning in a foreign language; that’s different from what you intended. It could potentially isolate or offend a portion of your user base, which will result in a loss of traffic.
Take your time, be diligent, and research all possible meanings of the words you plan on using. A few searches in your favorite search engine should clear up any confusion surrounding your chosen words.
Make it Unique and Brandable
Your brand needs to be unique and stand out in your user’s minds. It will be beneficial to research other websites in your niche and find out what domain names they’re using. It will help you get a better idea of where to go with your domain name. Moreover, you don’t want to accidentally infringe on a trademark or be accused of copying another website.
Take your time and give thought to what you want your brand to convey. What are your feelings, values, and uniqueness? These questions will help guide you in choosing the best domain name for your website.
Research Your Domain Name
So, you’ve created the perfect domain name, and you’re ready to register it. Before you do that, you’ll need to search the web and find out if it already exists to avoid any conflicts.
You’re not going to be happy if you register your domain name only to find out later that your name is taken on the social media platforms you were planning on using or a registered business is already using the name you’ve chosen.
Do a simple web search with your favorite search engine and see if the name you’ve chosen or anything similar comes up. Additionally, you’ll need to perform a trademark search and a social media search.
Remember that you are looking for the same name or something similar. A similar name or matching name would only confuse users and could have unintentional legal implications.
You can learn about how to trademark and copyright your brand once you’ve chosen your domain name and have your website up and running.
Use Domain Name Generators to Get Creative Ideas
There are currently millions of registered domain names across the internet, leading many people to say that the good domain names are all taken.
It just means that you need to be patient and get creative. Fortunately, there are tools like domain name generators to help you on your ultimate domain name quest. These tools help by providing hundreds of clever ideas from defined keywords that you submit.
Get it Before Someone Else Does
Every day thousands of new domain names are registered across the globe. Once you believe you’ve found the perfect domain name, then don’t wait too long; you may regret it.
Domain names are the real estate of the internet, with thousands of people buying it up every single day, all day, 365 days a year.
So act fast once you’ve chosen a domain. Furthermore, since domain names are relatively cheap, you can always let the domain expire if you change your mind.
Be Sure to Protect Your Privacy
When you register your domain name, you’ll have an option to buy domain privacy protection. It will keep your billing address and personal name out of the international WHOIS searchable database of domain registrants.
With this enabled, when someone looks up your domain name, they’ll only see the corporate address or your privacy protection service instead of your home or business address.
Registering Your Domain Name
So you’ve, done your due diligence, found the perfect domain name, and you’re ready to get it registered. Now you need to purchase your domain name from an authorized registrar. The problem is that there are hundreds of places to register a domain name. So, which one should you pick?
That depends on whether you’re planning to keep your domain and web hosting separate or together. If you’re not sure what that means, then we suggest you read: What’s the Difference Between a Domain Name and Web Hosting?
If you plan on buying your domain name separately, then, fortunately, we’ve created an article specifically called: How to Choose the Best Domain Name Registrar.
If you plan on buying your domain and hosting together, then you’re in luck because we have an article for that too called: How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Provider.
How to Get a Free Domain with Web Hosting?
Many web hosting providers also offer domain registration services. Some of them will often give you a free domain name for the first year with the purchase of a qualified hosting package for new accounts.
It makes sense to take advantage of one of these offers and get your domain name for free if you’re creating a new website.
Below are two long-standing, well-established, reputable companies offering a free domain name for the first year, great hosting prices that won’t break the bank, and a free SSL certificate for security.
DreamHost is an official “WordPress” and “TarttWeb” recommended hosting provider and one of the oldest and largest web hosting platforms on the web. Get started with their Shared Unlimited hosting plan and get a free domain name for the first year with domain privacy, an email that matches your domain, and a free SSL certificate for $2.59.
BlueHost is another popular web hosting platform officially recommended by WordPress. It is also one of the largest and oldest web hosting platforms on the internet. You can get started with their Shared Hosting Basic plan for $2.75 per month which includes a free domain and SSL certificate.
Keep in mind that although many web hosts offer a free domain with a qualified hosting package for new accounts, it’s only going to be free for one year. After the first year, your domain will renew at regular price, which is around $14 or more per year.
With that said, many users choose to take advantage of the free domain for the first year because you’ll have to pay for the domain name at some point anyway. So why not get it for free.
In conclusion, a domain name is part of your brand, so choosing the best domain name for your website will play a vital part in its success.
You’ll want a domain name that is easy to spell, say, and remember. Try to use keywords in your domain name and keep it under 20 characters.
Remember, avoid numbers, hyphens, and double letters if possible, be aware of unintentionally inappropriate domain names, and look into alternative or foreign meanings.
Evaluate your feelings, values, and uniqueness. Think about what it is you’re trying to convey in your brand. Use domain name generators to help with the creative process.
Be sure to research your domain name to make sure no one is already using it. Once you’ve found the domain name you’re interested in, go and snatch it up right away.
Hopefully, this article has given you the information needed to help you in your journey of becoming a website owner and choosing the best domain name for your brand.
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