Choosing the perfect domain name
Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a company name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your domain name is your identity on the web; you want to make sure that you choose a name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote.
Follow these steps to help you pick the perfect domain name.
Make it easy to type
Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.
Keep it short
If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.
Avoid numbers and hyphens
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
Quick solution: Got a great idea for a domain? Register your name today and put a website out there before someone else beats you to it.
Stick with .com
The .com TLD (top-level domain) is by far the most widely accepted extension for a domain name. For obvious reasons, it is also the easiest to remember. When you tell someone to go to your site, in most cases they are going to think “name/business name.com” so try to stick with a .com if you can.
It is also a good idea to never buy an alternative TLD if your first name pick is being used as a .com. Doing so increases the possibilty of driving your own viewers to a competitor’s site as they will more than likely mistake it for a .com of a similar domain name.
If you run a business that is based in a country outside of the United States, it can be smart to use a local TLD (.uk for the United Kingdom, .au for Australia, .ca for Canada, .de for Germany, .cn for China, etc.). Again, make sure that the .com is not already taken first.
Consider Other Extensions
If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com, it’s a great idea to pick up other extensions (like .net, .org, .info, .us, etc.) as you can park these domains to point to your actual account to pick up any visitors that just may happen to type in a different extension.
In addition, it also helps protect your site in case you become the next big internet sensation and someone tries to purchase another extension of your domain.
Industry-related domains are best suited for online sources or communities. If you cannot find a domain to match your actual business name, this is a second option.
Use some of the tools available online. They can help you with name suggestions or you can use them as name generators that will spin combinations based on your own set of words.
You can find some of the best of them in this article from Mashable: 18 Tools for Picking the Perfect Domain Name