Domain name is the address in the internet, the letters and words we put into browser to find particular website.
A good domain name is important, it is like name of your company or brand you want to represent. It can also help you to bring more people to the website – if the name is short, funny and easy to remember. However, perfect domain name is difficult to get and not crucial. There are many examples of awesome websites that are doing well with not so amazing names. Choosing the perfect name also shouldn’t hold you back, if you cannot decide now, pick up the best name you can find and start building your website. You will be able to change it later on and have everything under new name.
There are at least three different strategies people use when choosing a domain name for the website. Each of them has got some good and bad sides.
Exact match domain name
The first approach is to create domain names from keywords, these domains are called exact match domains. Keywords are words and phrases people use in search engines when searching for products and services. Let’s say people put into Google ‘cheap california hotels’, you can create website and name it ‘cheapcaliforniahotels.com. This approach was very popular because it used to give certain advantage in search engines results. In 2012 Google started updating their algorithm (emd update) to counterbalance this and at the moment putting keywords into your domain name has got limited advantages. There is also a few bad points. Having exact match domain can obstruct the pivoting of your website. If you have ‘cheapcaliforniahotels.com’, well, it will be difficult write about hotels in New York. Even worse, exact match domains sound and look a bit weird and not too trustworthy. There are many people, me included, that wouldn’t click on a link to such domains even if they are high in the search results.
Think of original domain name
Different way of doing this, in my opinion better, is creating new, original and catchy name and use it as a domain name. There should be some kind of connection with the topic of the website but it should be clever, surprising and edgy. Examples? nichepursuits.com, mailchimp.com, rockpapershotgun.com, foolishadventure.com, lynda.com, inform.ly, ma.tt, monetize.it, nerdfitness.com, lovefilm.com. Of course, getting such names requires some creative thinking and therefore is difficult. It is still possible though, if we really think out of the box and dedicate some time, we can create something very unique and awesome. Creative domains are the best because they are usually catchy, easy to remember and brandable (they can start a brand). Since nobody before us coined that name, usernames at all social media sites are also free to take.
Last approach goes even further, it is inventing or coining something completely new and use it as domain name. The advantage of this path is that the process is a bit easier than before (we can use some online tools) and we have very big chances that the domain name is not taken. There is also a weaker point, such names can be abstract therefore connection with the subject of the website may not be clear. Since they are new, they can also be hard to remember and type.
No matter which approach you choose, there are some other things to consider. Let’s try to put everything in a nice, easy to apply, list.
How to choose good domain name?
- Keep away from exact match domains, they look weird and are not trustworthy
- Try to be creative and invent something new, funny and surprising
- You can also coin you own domain name
- Keep it short, simple and easy to remember
- Try no to use numbers or hyphens
- If your site is for global audience try to use .com, .net or .org, If you target people form specific country, use country suffix (.de for Germany, .it Italy and so on)
- Use some online tools when checking, creating domain names
Useful tools to choose a domain name
Here are some useful tolls you can use to find a perfect domain name:
- domai.nr – useful site for names with creative suffixes
- domainsbot.com – quickly find out what is taken and what is available
- bustaname.com – good word combiner for creative domains
- domaintyper.com – another cool website for testing new, creative names
- nametumbler.com – useful site for combining two and more words
- namestation.com – place where you run some contests and get help from other users
- domainhole.com – cool website that can help with generating random names
- thenameinspector.com/10-name-types – good article about different ways of creating domain names as well as pros and cons of each approach
Where to register a new domain name?
There are hundreds of different companies where you can register your domain. I personally use and recommend bluehost.com, they’re cheap and reliable and have good customer service. If you do not have hosting it makes sense to buy both domain name and server at the same time, bluehost offers that as many other hosting companies.