How much thought do you need to put into choosing your domain name? Is it really that important? Choosing a domain is similar to choosing a company name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your domain is your identity on the web; you want to make sure you choose a domain that not only fits your business but is also easy to find and promote.
Choosing a domain name is the first thing you need to do when you are about to start your site. It’s not an easy job. You might find it difficult after discovering that all the cool names are registered. Because of the unavailability of the desirable names, many people go with a random name and make some common mistakes. To avoid those mistakes and make things easier for you, I am going to share 10 tips for choosing a domain name.
1. Keyword Rich Vs Branded Domain
The very first thing you need to decide whether you want to choose a keyword rich domain or a branded domain name. If you don’t know the difference between the two types of domains, here’s an example for you.
- Keyword Rich Domain Name: BestProducts.com
- Branded Domain Name: TheWirecutter.com
Both are products related sites. But only the first domain name contains the keyword “Products”. So it’s a keyword rich domain name. The second domain name is a unique name which is more branded than the first one.
Keywords Rich Domain can be two types – Exact Match Domain (EMD) and Partial Match Domain (PMD). Let’s see an example:
- Exact Match Domain: BestProductsForAcne.com
- Partial Match Domain: BestProducts.com
EMD doesn’t look good. People used to buy EMD for affiliate marketing purpose. A few years ago, it was easy to rank an exact match domain. But things have changed. Now EMD doesn’t work. So stay away from EMD.
On the other hand, Partial Match Domain is doing good. As it contains a related keyword, it’s easy to understand what’s the blog about. And it’s not so tough to make it brandable.
Now let’s talk about Branded Domain-Name.
Branded Domain-Name has nothing to do with the keyword of the niche. It’s a unique name. For example, Labnol.org is a technology blog. The domain doesn’t represent its niche. In fact, Labnol has no meaning.
The best thing about the branded domain is, it allows you to switch the niche without changing the name. You can also extend your niche. Once you have decided, which kind of domain you want to pick, let’s move to other points.
2. Make It Easy To Pronounce and Spell
Look at these domain names:
All of these sites are popular. And the common thing is, it’s very easy to pronounce and spell their domain names. Your domain is the name of your brand. So make it easy to pronounce and spell. Don’t use complex and unusual words. Make it rememberable.
3. Keep It Short & Simple
There is no ideal length of a domain. Try to keep it as short as possible. Short domain name is easy to remember. But it’s very difficult to find the short domain-name. I’d recommend you keep the domain name within 10-15 words.
At the same time, you need to make sure that the domain names are simple. Don’t use any complex words. For example, visualmodo.com is not a very short domain-names. But it’s simple.
4. Go For The .com Extension
.com is the most popular domain extension. People remember the name of your blog, not the extension. If your domain ends with other extensions like .net, org, it might be a little bit tricky to find your blog. So go for the .com extension. If .com extension is not available, go for other popular extensions like .net, .co, .org, etc. Don’t go with .info or .biz extension. There are a lot of spammy domain names with these extensions.
5. Avoid Hyphens, Numbers, & Articles
It’s hard to tell about the domain that contains hyphens. Let’s say your domain is Tech-tips.com. You have to say “tech hyphen tips dot com” to the offline people. There is a chance that most of the people forgot the hyphens and ended up visiting techtips.com. Same things happen to the domain with numbers or articles. People forget numbers and articles.
Even though some sites like Digital-photography-school.com, 9lessons.info, thewirecutter.com, etc are very popular, but these are exceptional. They have been here for a long time. Try to avoid hyphens, numbers, or articles on the domain.
6. Avoid Copyright & Trademark Violation
Copyright and trademark violation can do severe damage to your blog. You may end up losing the domain. So it’s better to be careful before choosing the domain. Make sure that your domain-name is not going to conflict other commercial names. For example, you cannot use terms like Facebook, WordPress, etc on your domain. However, I am not a lawyer. I cannot help you professionally. If you have any confusions, you should talk with an attorney.
7. Singular Vs Plural
Look at these two domains:
BestProducts.com & BestProduct.com
BestProducts.com is the main domain. But some people might visit BestProduct.com instead of BestProducts.com. If your domain contains such thing, I’d recommend you to buy both domains. This way you will not lose any visitors. You can choose one as primary domain and redirect another to the main domain.
8. Make Sure Social URLs Are Available
One of the essentials things to do after buying a domain-name is secure social media URLs like https://facebook.com/yourdomain. If you have a plan to give more attention to any particular social media site, it’s better to make sure that your desirable URL is available. You can use this tool – knowem.com
9. Use Your Name As Domain-Name
If you cannot come up with the right domain name for your blog, you can use your name as domain name. Some of the bloggers are doing great with the personal name as domain name.
You can even use a part of your name as domain name like Hongkiat.com. You can also use a part of your domain name with other words like HuffingtonPost.com, GoinsWriter.com. Even if you don’t have any plan to use your name as a domain name, it’s a good idea to grab the domain if it’s available. You can use it later as a personal blog or a portfolio site.
10. Use Domain Name Generators
It’s not a good idea to depend on Domain Name Generators. But these generators can help you to get some ideas. Here are some tools you can try.
Shopify Domain Name Generator: This is the coolest tool you can use. It generates some good domain ideas.
Same mesh: It shows available domain-name for different extensions quickly.
BustAName: It’s another tool for getting domain name ideas.
Place To Register Domain-Name
Once you have found the right name for your blog, it’s time to register the domain name.
There are several domain registrars out there. Namecheap and GoDaddy are the most popular. I use and recommend Namecheap. You can also get a Free Domain Name with Bluehost hosting.
Place To Host Domain-Name
Though you can host your domain name on the domain registrar, I don’t recommend it. It’s better to host your site on a renown host.
Over To You
If you haven’t found the right domain name yet, relax. You can change the domain name later. So don’t overthink. Just go with the name that seems good to you. There is no such thing as the perfect domain name. If you have already found the domain name, all the very best for your blog.