When you venture into blogging, choosing your website's domain name is one of the first imperative steps in getting started. Your domain name will be your identity online – and should reflect what your website is, be it a business website, e-commerce shop or just a personal blog. You have to put a lot of thought and consideration in choosing what the ideal domain name for your website is.
Nowadays, website owners are so caught up in their website's design process that they forget how crucial a good domain name is for the success of their website. Although it's important to focus on having a good and optimized WordPress theme or website design, you also have to remember that your domain name is the first thing people see, and it is the first thing that gives the visitors an impression if your website is worth visiting or not.
Your domain name can have a massive impact on your website – from traffic to branding, to online marketing and more – which you can't just ignore. However, choosing your own domain name is harder than it seems. In this article we'll give you some tips to help you pick and choose the right domain name for your website:
- Make your domain brandable
- Keep the domain name short
- Choose a unique domain name
- Keep it simple and memorable
- Avoid hyphens, numbers or special characters
- Prefer .com domains if possible
Make your domain brandable
Think of the name you want your website to have – something that would reflect your brand. Make a list of all the website names you have in mind and write it down. Your domain name should be descriptive and, at some point, give your visitors an idea about your website's nature.
If you run a business, you may want your domain name to match the name of your company. If you want to build your own personal website, you may want your domain name to reflect your name – or else reflect what your interests or hobbies are and what the website is about.
Your domain name should speak about you – it should reflect your own interests and style – and not someone else's. It should be something that will make your website or brand stand out. Have your domain name as the focal point of your branding and surely, the rest will usually follow.
Keep the domain name short
Choosing your own domain name is not restricted by length; however, length matters. Keeping your domain name short is important if you want your domain to be remembered easily. Aside from being professional-like, the shorter the domain name is, the easier it will be for visitors to type in the address bar. It will be easier to share and has a smaller chance of typos.
A very long domain name could seem a lot less professional and less trustworthy. It has a greater risk for visitors to mistype or misspell the name. Additionally, long domain names may even get shortened or be cut off when shared on social media platforms.
Choose a unique domain name
Due to the ample amount of bloggers and website owners on the internet right now, keeping a short domain name for your website may be difficult to accomplish. Many of the good and catchy domain names are most probably already taken. So, you need to be creative and look for an available name that still stands out. You can't register a domain name which is already taken by another website.
You may want to do some research on Google, search for your desired domain name (e.g. yourname.com) and see if it shows any sites with similar domain names as your own. If it does, try using a different name related to your business or choose a new name based on the previous one.
Don't choose domain names that are misspelled or plural versions of an existing site, unless you want your visitors to mistype your domain name and be directed to a different site. That may negatively affect your traffic, credibility and it may even lead to legal issues, for example if you're using a protected brand name. Don't imitate others, unless you're trying to for some reason.
Keep it simple and memorable
If length matters, so does the simplicity of your domain name. If you have to spell out your domain name more than once for it to be remembered or understood, then it's no good. Many internet users just prefer remembering the domain name of their preferred websites than using bookmarks.
Don't be one of those website owners who choose to use a complex, unique domain name – which has no meaning behind it. There are millions of registered domain names, so you might as well choose a catchy and memorable one. Try to avoid domain names that include strange spellings, incorrect pronunciation, foreign words or mixed numerals.
If you want your website to grow, it's important to keep a simple yet memorable domain name. Choosing a complex domain name that is hard to remember is close to not choosing a domain at all. People will have a hard time to remember your domain name and you'll usually run into issues when promoting your website. So keep your domain name short, simple and memorable.
Avoid hyphens, numbers or special characters
It may sound unique but numbers and other special characters like hyphens may cause confusion. Stay away from them if possible, especially if your website is business-related. Your domain ideally needs to be one word or one set of words. If possible, no hyphens and numbers. Stick to A-Z.
But, if you insist on using numbers for your domain name, make sure it fits your website's niche and doesn't take away your chance to be remembered. Unless it's confusing or tough to remember the sequence of numbers, then there's usually no harm in trying to use numerals on your domain name. Just make sure the number means something (e.g. 24 for 24/7 availability) and you can also create a brand through those numerals as well. Make your domain name speak for itself.
Sometimes, you may struggle when choosing your own domain name, especially if it matches with other domains that are already registered. Should this happen, you could try splitting parts of the name you've chosen, if possible, with a hyphen. However, in that case usually it's better to consider trying a different name, especially because people may confuse your domain name and the domain without hyphen and ultimately land on a different website.
Prefer .com domains if possible
The domain name extension is the suffix for your registered domain. This is the most recognized and most easily accessible brand outside the tech world. If you want to build a website with a very brandable domain name, you may prefer .com top-level domain names.
If the .com domain name is not available for your website, you could use .net, .org or other well-known ccTLD. Those are the best ones – but if .com is available, then use it, unless you need a special domain name for your country or local language.
Conclusion: Choosing the right domain name
Nowadays, choosing the right domain name for your website has become more difficult than a few years ago. Many short and brandable domains are already taken and also domain brokers register potential domain names to sell them to website owners for lots of money. However, with some creativity it's still possible to find great domain names that are available. Do you have any other tips or ideas to pick the right domain name? Please let us know in the comments!