Choosing a good domain name for your website could be same as selecting a name for your new born child. The reason is simple “Name stays forever”. I believe domain name is something which is very special since it going to be the brand name for your company.
But how to choose a domain name?
In reality, choosing a domain name could be tedious and frustrating as it involves a lot of search and time. A couple of years back, a lot of options were available but with the passage of time almost every single word in the dictionary, including synonyms, has been taken.
So, what does it mean to you? Is it impossible to choose a domain name? I have good news for you; it’s still not that difficult if you plan in a right way. I am sharing you my 7 sure-shot ways of choosing a good domain name.
Before we move any further it is important to understand – what is a domain name? Let’s see how Wikipedia defines domain name?
Did you get it? I am sure the above definition is quite technical. Well, I have a simple explanation about a domain name, and it goes like this. A domain name is nothing but your website name.
Your whole website resides on some physical computer. If a user wants to access it, then he has to know the IP address of hosting computer. The IP address is a string of numbers which are not easy to remember.
Just to make things easier, domain names were developed to identify entities rather than using IP address.
Domain names are always unique and must be registered with a registrar before anyone can use it.
All set? Let us see, how to begin domain name search?
The chosen domain name should be BRANDABLE. When I say Brandable, I only mean sellable. Brand should build trust, faith and resonate among customers.
With persistent efforts and patience, any brand can become famous in a short span of time. And once it becomes famous, you do not want your business’s name to sound annoying and confusing.
You got to have a vision for your brand’s future. Do not decide anything in haste.
Look at the domain name of some of the biggest players which are ruling the world’s market like Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Dell, etc. All these companies have notable domain names.
2. Contextual or Generic
This is the biggest question when it comes to selecting a perfect domain name. We always try to name our business contextually. Isn’t it?
“Trytosee the biggerpicture.”
I will cite one scenario where you grow your business in some direction which you might not have foreseen. What will happen next? Your contextual domain name may go haywire.
Sometimes it is not necessary to make sense while choosing a domain name. I may sound crazy but just think about “Apple”. Does it sound technology company?
Absolutely NO! But “Apple” name is short, straightforward and catchy. It has no connection with the kind of business Apple does.
Apple company has built trust and lot of value in the eyes of the customer. For that matter just take “Google”.
Google originated from word “googol” which is mathematics jargon. But Google has become such a massive success that now Oxford has included Google as a valid word in the dictionary.
Choose something generic so that it could fit your future planning. I know, it is not that easy as it sounds but it is doable.
3. Shorter is better
Short domain name is always likeable, and it is also easy to remember. A good example is apple.com, dell.com, twitter.com, etc.
There is no guide of restricting the number of letters in any domain name. But we can decide judiciously.Trivia: Do you know, the longest domain-name in the world has 63 alphabets.Click To Tweet
I would never prefer to go beyond 13 to14 letters. The inclusion of special characters or numbers in any domain name is least desirable.
For example, something like 2pair.com may confuse people between “2” or “two”. Similarly, you may never recall t0gether.com correctly and may end up looking for together.com.
What about “-” or “_”? Again it is not recommended to include any special character in the domain name.
4. Mix and match
As I told you before, these days, finding a single word domain name could be a tedious task.
The domain name has become a very lucrative business. There are many people out there who earn their bread and butter just by having purchased many popular single word domain names.
Remember, all these single word domain names may also include all possible synonyms. Frustrating! Isn’t it?
But nothing can beat innovative ideas.
Mix and match several different words and create something unique and appealing.
Just take the example of Facebook which is a combination of “face” and “book”. Similarly, mashable.com which is a mix of “mash” and “able”.
If you are good at math, then you can yourself figure out endless permutations and combination of different words. And if you still fall short of ideas then you can even think of prefix and suffix.
How about putting “ly”, “er”, “r”, etc. at the very end of any word? Creativity is the key here.
5. Deciding on extension
How to decide on extension like .com, .net, .co, .in, etc. I would say it all depends on kind of business and target audience or customer.
If you are running a plumber business, then you may choose extension specific to your country. You can have an extension like .sg for Singapore, .uk for the United Kingdom, .in for India and so on and so forth.
There are tonnes of gTLDs (Global Top Level Domains) available. Sometimes I also suggest people have gTLDs specific to their nature of the business. Like a person might be interested in using .tv for a television-specific venture or even .actor for someone related to acting business.
But if you are planning to target global user base then you must target .com extension. .COM extension brings in a lot of credibility, trust and visibility into any organisation.
.COM extension has been around for a quite while and people find it obvious to type in .com with any brand name.
6. How about my name as a domain name?
This is one topic where everybody has various ideas. Sometimes people suggest having your name as a domain name if it is unique and available.
But I say this may or may not work 100% all the time.
According to me, if you are running a personal blog then you may keep your name as a domain name, but when it comes to running a team, company or business then think other than your name.
You brand name should represent the whole company, not just one person.
What if you are a famous person or even a walking brand? In this case having your name as your business name is so perfect. People will try to find you by your name.
7. Jot down your ideas
This method is one of my personal favourites. You can jot down your word ideas on a piece of paper or even on some application like Evernote and then think innovatively for domain name ideas.
By having all chosen words Infront of you, enables you to think broad. You can mix and match words very quickly.
It has helped me in the past to come up with fantastic domain name ideas.
Check the availability
Following above step alone cannot guarantee domain name availability. There are many bright people out there who are all the time searching for popular domain names and purchasing it.
The moment you come up with a great sounding domain, check the availability on the internet. There are many websites available which check the availability of domain name.
I am going to mention few which are my favourites.
This is one of my favourites since it checks extension and social platform availability.
You cannot ignore the power of social platform when it comes to bringing in more traffic to your website.
So won’t be great to have the same domain name on across all social platforms like facebook, google+, twitter, youtube, etc.? If you get availability on all social platforms, then it’s great otherwise you can have some domain name variations just for social platforms. For example [www.examplesite.com] may become example_site for Facebook if “examplesite” is not available on Facebook.
Just fill out your name idea with other filter options and check the availability. One of its cool features is to check different domain names at once.
You just have to enter all your selected words with space in between or separated by new line. Select your preferred extension and hit search. It will show all the domain names available.
Suppose, if you are out of ideas and hit a road block, then check out this website. Brandbucket has the excellent list of brand ideas inclusive of the brand logo. This site only shows results which are available for auction at a hefty price tag.
If you are not ready to shed that much money then definitely this website is not for you. On the other hand, if you just want to explore the extent of creativity with any word for the domain name then this is a great site for a start.
I must confess that I came up with my website name idea from this website.
Register your domain name
The moment you are done finalising perfect domain name for your business, register it with any reputable registrar.
There are many domain name registrar available in today’s world. I am going to name few of them for easy reference.
You can even register your website with Web hosting companies. They may even give you the 1st year free for domain name registration if you are choosing web hosting services also.
Even if you have to pay, it won’t cost you a fortune. The cost is somewhere close to $10.
Tip: Register all possible variations of your chosen domain name. For example, if you have opted for a primary domain name as [www.examplepost.com] then you should register for:
[www.postexample.com], [www.examplepost.in] ……….list goes on.
Domain name search is never an easy job and carries a lot of important. Sometimes it may take a lot of time, so be it. Do not lose patience.
I am sure if you follow above steps then you may find the best domain name was waiting for you to get picked.
If you know any other interesting way to choose a domain name, then please share your ideas in the comment’s section below.
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