Choosing a domain name is dreaded by many when creating a website. It is a crucial process that requires a lot of thought and creativity. A well-thought name helps your website to build a strong and everlasting impression. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to choose a domain name for your site.
What is a Domain?
If you want to find a certain place, you can look it up on a map using two methods – looking up the coordinates, or just typing in the address. The latter is, of course, easier.
The same goes for websites. Every site has an IP address – like coordinates – that are long and hard to remember. To simplify finding sites, they are given domain names like an address for a house.
Types of Domains
As a website owner, you don’t have to remember all types of domains. But you do need to familiarize yourself with the most common ones:
Top Level Domains (TLD) is the last part of a domain name. There are more than 1000 TLDs right now, divided into two types – country code and generic:
- Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) is the name extension assigned to specific countries. Some examples are .us, .au, and .uk.
- Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) is not tied to specific countries. The most popular ones are .com, .net, and .org. You can also identify the type of websites from their gTLDS. Let’s say .gov for governments, .biz for businesses, and .mil for militaries.
Second-level domains (SLD) are the domains that sit before TLD. In facebook.com, the second-level domain is facebook.
Another example is in country codes like .co.uk. Country-specific second-level domains are called ccSLD.
How to Pick a Good Domain
Having a good domain name is crucial for your overall branding. The tips below will provide some guidance for you in choosing the perfect domain name.
Make It Brandable
Think ahead when choosing your domain name. Surely, you want your website to be remembered and stand out from competitors? A brandable domain will help you to achieve that.
Pick a name that once heard, and people will instantly think about your website. Ask yourself, is it unique and catchy? Does it reflect your brand? Consider those questions while choosing your domain name.
Create, Blend, or Mix & Match
Don’t know how to start picking a domain name? Here’s a tip about brandable names: they are often meaningless.
Google, Yahoo, Reddit, Bing – those words didn’t even exist before. You can do just that and create new words.
If it’s too hard to make a new word from scratch, try to blend words. To give you an idea, Instagram is a mix of instant and telegram. You can also tweak them a bit like the flix in Netflix which is a variation of the word “flicks”.
Another great option is to mix and match keywords. Write down a list of words that describe your brand. Then, try to combine them together.
Make as many options as you can and choose the best one. Some examples of this method are StumbleUpon, MySpace, SoundCloud, etc.
Make It Easy to Type
A catchy name is useless if people don’t know how to spell it. Keep it simple by avoiding numbers, slang, and hyphens. They are often misspelled and forgotten.
When people hear your domain name, they don’t know whether it is 3 or three. Or, if you want to make songsforyou.com, use that instead of songs4u.com.
Mistakes above can direct potential visitors to other websites and hurt your business. Make sure to keep these tips in mind when selecting your domain name.
Don’t Overuse Keywords
Keywords in your domain name can help your site to rank better. However, if you choose to use keywords, keep it minimal. We suggest using only one keyword, like felixflorist.com or laurendentistry.com.
Remember, we’re trying to make a brand. Stuffing keywords into your domain name is the opposite of that.
Keep It Short
It’s common knowledge: people don’t like long names. It’s hard to remember them! Our advice is to keep it up to two words, as they make great combinations. Just take a look at the list of top 500 websites, and you’ll see that most of them stick to one or two-word names.
Check Other Social Media Sites
Before settling down on a domain name, check the availability of the desired name with domain name checkers and on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
To build a brand, it’s important to have a consistent name across all social media sites. By doing so, your subscribers and customers can find you easily all around the web.
Avoid Trademark Problems
Make sure to research your chosen domain name to avoid possible legal problems in the future. Verify that it won’t violate any trademark laws or copyrights.
Consult with legal advisors if you need further assistance.
Choose .com or ccTLD
Although there are many domain name extensions available, .com is still the most popular. People just assume that all websites’ names end with .com.
That’s why choosing .com is the safest option. If your desired .com domain is not available, try .org or .net. If they’re also not available, it’s best to choose a new domain name.
If your target audience is your own country, using ccTLD is also a good choice. You will likely rank higher in the search results of those living in your target area.
Use Domain Name Generators for Inspiration
Still can’t come up with name ideas? Or perhaps you’ve got a perfect domain name, but it’s already taken? Then this is the time to get some help from domain name generators.
These tools are very easy to use. All you need is to enter a keyword, and they will give you dozens of available domain names. You can check out Hostinger’s domain name search option – it is one of the best domain tools on the web.
However, don’t limit yourself to one generator. Play around as different generators will give you different ideas. Check our top nine domain name generators to help you gather some inspiration!
A domain name is highly important for your website. It defines your identity and plays a role in the success of your website.
Don’t know how to choose a domain name? Here are the tips you need to remember:
- Make it brandable
- Mix and match different words
- Use keywords, but don’t overdo it
- Keep it short
- Choose the right TLD
- Get help from domain name generators
While creating a good domain name might seem like a scary task, following these tips will help you out!