How To Choose LIT A Domain Name

So you are planning to go online? or you are done with your store set up and what's left is to announce yourself to the world! That is where your domain comes in - your identity! They say first impression says a lot about you and that is true sometimes in the worldwide web. A domain name can kill or make your business. How you do that is totally in your hands.



Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a company name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your domain name is your identity on the web; you want to make sure you choose a domain name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote.


Choosing the best possible domain name for your website is absolutely critical. Your domain name is something that deserves hours, if not days, of thought, and it’s no exaggeration to say that, in some circumstances, making the wrong choice can break a business. In short: Choosing a domain name is something every website owner needs to ensure they get right — ideally before they do anything else, and ESPECIALLY if the website will be serving a commercial purpose.


That being said, here are my tips for choosing the best domain name for your business or website.


1. Always Go for the King! - .com

Technically speaking, the .com is just one of many domain name extensions (TLDs) that are available. There are a lot of TLDs out there, Some of the other popular options include, .net, .org, .co, .edu, .biz, or even things such as .shop, or .blog.

And while all those fancy TLDs are tempting, getting the classic .com is nearly always the right thing to do. Two reasons:

  1. People are more familiar with .com domains than with anything else; they will default to typing ‘.com’ into the browser address bar, and are unlikely to remember your extension if it’s too weird. Everyone will always assume a website is a .com.

  2. The .com TLD is used by ~47% of all websites, data says. Can they all be wrong?

What if your perfect .com is taken, then perhaps you should either forget about that name entirely or try contacting the current owner to see if they’re willing to sell the domain to you. You could also trigger around the names. Example.

www.sales.com and www.zales.com these are two different companies and websites. If you try all you can and your .com is taken you can look for something different.


2. Well, Sometimes Don’t Go for the .com


Ok i know this is so confusing haha. But what if you just cater for a certain country or market?

Chiefly, if your website is meant to cater to a local audience, consider going for a local TLD. For example, building a blog for the Philippines market? How about getting a .ph address?


Doing this will give your users that little bit of additional awareness and boost your trustworthiness by making it clear you’re in their country (via the local TLD).

But even with that, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just that local domain name. You may still want to expand your brand in the future, and, if that happens, you don’t want to find out that someone has already taken your .com.


So, at the end of the day, even if you want to cater to a local market, you can still benefit in the long run by getting the .com version as well. And, in the meantime, you can link the .com to your local domain, so, no matter which address someone visits, they still end up at the same website.


Its not by coincidence that the top 3 shopping websites in the Philippines are not using .com domain! Talk about

www.shopee.ph

www.lazada.com.ph

www.zalora.com.ph


That says a lot.


3. Choose a Brandable Name - Something Unique

You know that branding is crucial to long-term success, but what exactly makes a domain name brandable? There are many factors that come into play here, but the most important ones are as follows:

  • A brandable name has no specific meaning (eg ‘Google’ is not a word, ‘YouTube isn’t one either).

  • It’s unique — your competition doesn’t use anything similar.

  • It’s easy to memorize — not too wordy, no complex vowel combinations.

  • It’s easy to pronounce and dictate over the phone.

  • It sounds trustworthy — some names can be a little shady by definition, for instance, WinTheLotteryToday.com may be too bold, but Lotterio.comsounds way better.

To make the brainstorming process easier, you can experiment with some combinations of actual words and random suffixes, like I did with the Lotterio.comexample above. The main goal here is to create a potential for the domain name to build brand value over time.

In other words, as much as possible, try making sure the name has a good ring to it. It should be fun to say out loud, and not difficult to memorize immediately. Think about the likes of Uber: It’s short and snappy, and there’s no confusion as to how to spell it — even when mentioned in passing in a conversation.



4. Keep It Short, Simple, Easy To Remember & Predictable


So, we already talked about brandability (if that’s a word), but there are also some other, more general, characteristics of a quality domain name. The big four being:

  • short — preferably with fewer than 15(-ish) characters, excluding the TLD

  • simple — no hyphens, no underscores, no complicated words as part of the domain, or any other punctuation

  • just words — avoid using numbers unless absolutely necessary (for example, if it’s part of your brand name, such as 9gag.com)

  • predictable — no weird spellings (for example, if your name is Myke and you want to make it part of your domain — such as MykeBlogs.com — every single time people will mistype it as MikeBlogs.com.


5. Avoid These Words:


You want to stand out in public. Do not involve meaningless words. You are building a brand and a business and it should have some prestige. Also ways remember you are not a marketplace, You are a business and you should stand out!

Avoid using words like

-Online

-Deals

-Shop

-Cheap

In your domain name.

Example. joseonlineshop.com | cheapdeals.com

This makes totally no sense!


6. Research: Use a Thesaurus for Domain Name Ideas


Sometimes, you’ll easily go through tens of different terms before you settle on that perfect one, while other times nothing will seem good enough. In that case, Thesaurus.com can be the secret weapon in your arsenal. The site will help you find synonyms and also provide quick definitions to help you not to make a silly mistake by building your domain name around a word with a meaning you’ve misunderstood.


It’s not advisable to just go with a standard, dictionary word as your domain name, even if it comes from a thesaurus. Always add some modifiers to it, or turn it into something original by changing a few letters here and there.


7. Avoid numbers and hyphens


Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.


8. Use the most applicable domain name extension


Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long


A few tip:

  • .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.

  • .info : informational sites.

  • .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.

  • .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.

  • .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites

Buying domain names:



If you are using shopify you can buy domains right there at $14/year. This sometimes might be too pricey for some. However you can also get domains from www.godaddy.com at $11-$15 for two years.


There are a lot of options out there but. I will go with Shopify or Go Daddy



© Odera Joseph Echendu | All Rights Reserved