Your domain name represents your identity on the web. Consider the following points as you choose the right domain name.
Basic Domain Name Tips
- Make it unique, memorable, and brandable.
- Make sure your choice is easy to spell, type, and say.
- Shorter is better, but not at the expense of being easy to spell, type, and say.
- Keywords help, but avoid being generic if you are interested in branding.
- Avoid numbers and do not use dashes. They make it hard to spell, type, and say.
- Do not infringe on others trademarks or copyrights. You don’t want a legal challenge or confusion.
- Watch out for unfortunate word combinations. For example TeachersExchange.org also spells TeacherSexChange.org
Choose the right Top Level Domain (TLD)
.COM has persistently been the domain with the edge, especially for commercial interests. It is the default in everyone’s minds. Check for good .COM options first.
If you are a non-profit or non-commercial entity, choose .ORG.
If you’re not an organization and no acceptable .COMs are available, you are not out of luck. Over the next few years, hundreds of new TLDs will become available. The marketing efforts behind this new tsunami of TLDs will train internet users to understand that .COM is not the only domain out there.
These are the most common TLDs listed with their expected meanings. Keep in mind that the meanings are guidelines and there are actually no restrictions on registering them.
- .com : company or commercial
- .org : non-commercial organizations and non-profits
- .net : network, technical, Internet infrastructure sites
- .biz : business or commercial use, like ecommerce sites
- .info : informational sites
The following are actually country TLDs but have taken on generic meaning and are treated as such.
- .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites (country code for Montenegro)
- .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community (country code for Columbia)
- .tv : for use in television or video-related sites (country code for Tuvalu)
There are more TLDs than this and many more coming online soon.
Don’t let picking a domain name stress you out
Don’t let choosing a domain name overwhelm you. Brainstorm a bunch of ideas. Then take all of your options and see if they follow the guidelines in this list. Enter whatever’s left into our bulk domain checking tool to see what is available. If you use your imagination, you will definitely find something that works.
Two more points…
- Even if your favorite domain name is already registered, it doesn’t mean you can’t get it. Some people are willing to sell domains they have registered but are not using. This will cost more, but your business idea may make it worth it.
- No mistakes are irreversible. While it is not ideal, it is better to get a less than perfect domain name and build your perfect website now, rather than wait for your preferred domain to become available. At the end of the day, it’s your content that gives your website life.