Sharing an idea, impressing your friends and accessing a target audience all starts with making one great website. It’s not too difficult to get your own domain and website set up; most people tend to have trouble in coming up with a good domain name, however.
First and foremost, you will need to choose the best domain name for your website. This word refers to what you call your website. Getting a domain requires registering it with a registrar or a Web host, paying a fee each year. For convenience, it helps to register a domain name directly with a Web host of your choice, but this isn’t required or even always the cheapest option. You should expect to pay about $11 for your domain name. This is a fee that has to be paid every year, although you can sometimes pay for multiple years upfront.
Choosing your domain is very important. It’s recommended to pick something catchy while being descriptive of what you are building a website about, though you have some creative leeway. For example, it’s pretty easy to remember something like Facebook.com, although it’s not too descriptive of everything it has to offer. On the other hand, a website called ShoeRepair.com wouldn’t necessarily stand out, but it’s clear what you’re there to do.
Tips to Choose the Best Domain Name
In most projects that companies take on in this day and age, there is a domain involved with the process. No matter what reason you have for needing a new domain for a website, there are some important things to consider when you are picking a name that will work for your brand or needs.
Check your keywords. When you start brainstorming ideas to name your website, you might want to make a list of three to five phrases or keywords that most accurately describe what your website will do. For example, opening a shoe repair website in Chicago gives you three keywords right off the bat: Chicago, shoe and repair. Opening a website related to mortgages could give you the words interest rate, house payment, home equity, mortgage or home loans. Mix the words up until you come up with something catchy.
Be a unique snowflake. It might seem like a good idea to emulate a well-known company that has a popular website already visited by millions on the Internet. However, this actually just puts you at a major disadvantage, and it never works out to try and pretend to be another company either. Because of that, you should not pick something that is vastly similar to another one; if the website example.com were a top retailer, you should not just register examples.com or examp1e.com to trick typical customers. On that note, if you choose a domain name that’s purposely misspelled (i.e. Flickr, Tumblr), it’s worth purchasing the correctly spelled version to redirect to your main website.
Pick a dot-com domain whenever possible. This one is mostly important for those who are most interested in keeping their brand name recognized and maintaining a certain level of traffic. Anybody who is dedicated to building an Internet presence and maintain a good website over a long period of time, you need to be mindful about using dot-com domains instead of anything else. It’s fine to direct your primary traffic over to a dot-org or a dot-net top-level domain, but it’s a smart decision to be sure you purchase the dot-com as well; have it redirect to your main site. Most people who aren’t familiar with technology’s advances tend to think the dot-com is all that is used for websites, so don’t lose your traffic.
Ensure your domain is accessible and easy to type. This is similar to picking a name that’s spelled correctly. If your domain requires too much attention to ensure it’s properly typed in, whether it’s due to its excessive length, needless words or poor spelling, chances are good you’re going to lose traffic to people who aren’t typing the URL properly for whatever reason. You can take it one step further and make sure you only include letters in your domain that are easy to type, which primarily includes anything toward the center of the keyboard, avoiding letters like Q and X.
Ensure your domain is memorable. Search engine results page marketing — in which your website appears when searching for specific keywords in your industry — and word of mouth are both very useful methods of sharing the word. However, they both rely on a domain that is easy to remember and say. You never want to be the one who has a great website with superior technology that nobody ever remembers to share the word about because the domain is too confusing.
That said, shorten the name as much as possible. It’s true that many domains are already taken, so this one can be difficult to achieve. Still, you want to ensure that the domain is as short as it can be. This makes it quicker to type out and more memorable, fulfilling the two previous tips in this article. This also gives you more room for printing out business cards and similar company items.
Attempt to create anticipation. The moment someone hears about your domain, it should be easy to guess what you have to offer. Websites like AutoTrader.com and CareerBuilder.com have easy-to-guess domains, whereas domains like Zillow.com and Monster.com need to work harder on marketing and branding since their domains aren’t clear about their services.
Don’t infringe on copyrights. Similar to not copying another website, it’s best not to infringe on a copyright when choosing a domain name. If you aren’t sure if your domain does, check copyright.gov and do a quick search before making a purchase.
Build a brand to stand out. Making a moniker that’s unique to you is an excellent way to give your domain name added value. After all, a brand is more than simply a short phrase of words, which is why something like ChicagoShoeRepair.com wouldn’t be nearly as interesting a brand as LendingTree.com.
Avoid using numbers and hyphens. It’s difficult to properly pronounce domains with these characters, which means it goes down a few notches in being both easy to type and memorable. Similarly, you shouldn’t use any roman numerals or spelled-out numbers in your domains since someone listening to the domain spoken out loud could mistype it.
Avoid following trend trains. It’s not always in your best interest to pick a domain name that relies on a fad or uninspiring adjectives; these are popular websites right now, but that doesn’t make it a surefire plan to work with. Just look at all of the people who created a business that began with “AAA” just to ensure they were first in the phone book back in the day; you don’t see any companies named “AAA” worth billions these days. That said, it does not guarantee you any success to build a website that looks just like someone else’s, a rule which has been covered a few times here — but it’s a mistake many still make.
At the end of the day, if you’re having trouble coming up with your own domain name, you can look into additional services where you type in a few keywords to generate suggested domains. If any of the ones you like are available and don’t infringe on copyright, you have your new domain to work with. Otherwise, you can try it again with other words and other websites.