Picking a domain name is typically the first and one of the most important steps in the process of building a website. Your domain name is your address or location in which all your future content can be found. It is crucial you pick the right domain the first time around as it can be a serious pain attempting to change it further down the road. Before deciding on a domain, you should put some serious brainstorming into potential choices and you should not rush into the decision. Below are some things you should keep in mind while in the brainstorming process.
Tips on choosing the right domain name
1) Choose words that associated to your website's intended topic or niche.
For example, if your site is about scuba gear and your domain is ScubaWorld.net, then your site should not contain posts on basketball or the latest tech gadget unless of course your somehow correlating those topics to Scuba. Your domain is a representation and credibility factor to your content. Mixing and matching content with your site's name cause give you lower credibility and reputation.
2) Don't stress out trying to find a .COM over a .NET or .ORG
Though .COMs are the more popular and traditional choice .NETs or .ORGs are still considerable options especially in the case that your intended domain has already been taken in the .COM format. Initially people only used .ORGs for organizations, but over the years it has changed to where you can find many different kinds of websites throughout the three main top-level domains. There is said to be a small benefit in having a .COM for SEO purposes, but it is not significant enough to rule out the option of a .NET or .ORG.
3) Choose something that is fairly short, brand-able, and something someone can remember easily.
Sure, I could have picked ColtsTechProductReviews.com or ColtsTechReviewsNewsAndTips.com, but these are too long, boring, and hard to remember. The shorter and more relatable the better. I suggest avoiding dashes in the middle of your domain as well. These can be confusing for people trying to find your site again and look less credible in some reader's point of view.
4) Always be sure to spell your domain correctly before purchasing!
There is nothing worse than deciding on a domain or actually purchasing a domain just to find out you have spelled one of the word contained within the domain wrong.
5) Try to stay away from numbers and “l337” speak.
The harder you make it to enter in your domain correctly, the less amount of return visitors will be typing in your domain. Don't make it a difficult task by adding in too many numbers that don't make sense or adding in numbers to represent letters. If you do choose a domain with a number in it such as learn2code.com you also should try and get your hands on learntocode.com since people will likely be mixing the two up often. Stay away from domains like l3arn2cod3.com as they are way too complicated for people to remember easily.
6) A helpful website for finding available domains is called Instant Domain Search.
This site will give you real time information as to whether the domain you type in is currently available. It saves you a lot of time and brainstorming than doing manual searches with the domain provider's default search option.
Where should you buy your domain?
There are hundreds of different domain registrars out there, but it is important to pick one that is reputable and you can trust. I would highly suggest staying away from the popular site GoDaddy as you can get a much better deal and are safer with a company such as NameSilo and you can read our review of their service right here. (Don't forget you can get $1 off with our coupon “TheTechReviewer”)
Most domains will cost in you the span of $7-15 dollars per year and with NameSilo you will be receiving free WHOIS privacy which will keep people from contacting you with annoying spam and soliciting offers.
Post-purchase tips for concerning your domain
1) Buy the other variations of your domain and the existing top level domains of your current domain.
If you have the money, I highly suggest purchasing whatever is open for the .COM/.NET/.ORG options. So if you own ScubaWorld.com, you should spend the extra $20 a year to also own ScubaWorld.net and ScubaWorld.org if they happen to be available. It is worth the small yearly fee to capture the traffic that might have put your domain incorrectly.
2) Grab social media profiles relating to your domain as soon as possible.
Social media is becoming more and more significant for successful websites and brands as each day passes. By registering for accounts with popular social media outlets the same day you purchase your domain, you have a better shot of getting these names before they become already taken.
The social media outlets I think are most important to grab are:
- Facebook Fan Page
- Twitter Account
- Pinterest Account
- Youtube Account
- Google + Account
Even if you don't put these account into regular use initially, it will be beneficial to have them secured if the time comes.
Image Source: DigitalDesigns
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.