Your domain name or web address is your shop front to the world. Which means the name you use matters. It’s important.
Why does a domain name matter? It’s the first thing that people will see if you’re online. If you meet somebody for the first time – possibly at a networking event or business conference, then you will want a professional name that appeals to people.
Your domain name has the potential to leave people with an impression about you & your website – your business, or your organisation, or club…. so make sure it’s a good one.
Keep in mind that while a domain name is important, it is not going to make or break your business or whatever online project your planning, so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get your first choice domain.
There are plenty of successful websites with bad domain names, and there are plenty of businesses that have failed, even though they had great domain names – so don’t let it hold you back. Don’t procrastinate over buying a domain name.
Simply take some time to think of a domain name that will be good for you, do some research and then register one. Just register it and then move on to creating your website for your domain.
There are many different types of extensions that you can now get for a domain name. For example, you can get a .COM or a .CO.UK or .NET, or a .INFO, etc. Recently there have been a lot of new types of extensions being released such as .CLUB, .MUSIC, .RESTAURANT, .SCOT, .WALES, .LONDON
The most popular type is .COM, and if you’re in the UK then .CO.UK is also a popular choice.
Which one you may want to choose will depend on what is available and the nature of your website. For example, if you are planning on setting up a website for your local sports club, then you may decide to register a .CLUB domain rather than a .CO.UK or .COM – it’s up to you.
More than one domain?
Keep in mind that you can have more than one domain name – and many people, especially businesses register multiple domain names. For example, you may want to do this for brand protection reasons – to prevent anybody else registering similar names to you.
Also, you may want to create a niche website for a specific product or service you offer
Here are a few things to keep in mind before registering your own domain name:
1. If you’re getting a domain name for your business – then choose a domain name which matches your company name.
As you promote your business brand, this will include promoting your domain name – and having a completely different domain name from your business name will cause confusion and your efforts will be diluted.
Having a similar business name and website name on your company stationary, business cards, etc looks professional.
Also, if people know your business name and they want to find your website, but don’t know the actual web address then odds are they will type your business name into Google. So if your domain matches your business name, then you’ve a better chance of people finding your website.
2. Brainstorm ideas
Get a blank piece of paper, or a pad of sticky notes and try to write down 50+ domain names that you would like to have for your new website. Once you have a list of domain names, sort them in order of your most to least favourite and then type them into the Easyspace domain search and see if any are still available to register.
If they are not then consider registering a name with a different extension e.g. if the .COM is not available, then maybe check the .CO.UK, or .CLUB, NET, etc.
Or maybe try combining different keywords from your list – be creative. Keep in mind what your website will be about – for example are their any specific keywords related to the type of website you want to launch? Consider including one of the keywords in your domain name.
3. Make it easy for people to type
You don’t want a name that is hard to spell. For example, if you’re planning on setting up your own plumbing business and create a website for then that’s great, but if you have a long complicated or difficult to spell surname – then maybe don’t use that for your business or domain name.
For example, if you were a plumber and had a Polish surname and your name was Dave Wojcik, then you might consider choosing the domain name WojcikPlumbers.com – But the problem with this is that the correct way to pronounce the surname is so it rhymes with logic – but it’s spelt W-O-J-C-I-K, so it doesn’t sound the way it looks on paper – and odds are if you told somebody over the phone what your domain name is they would write it down incorrectly – so long term you would end up losing a lot of business.
Don’t include lots of numbers in your domain name – if you have a domain name with lots of numbers in it, then when you tell people your domain, odds are a fair number of them will end up confused, and write the wrong name down.
Keep in mind, if you were speaking to somebody on the phone and you told them your domain name is – would they be able to quickly note it down, or would they spend 10 minutes repeatedly asking you numerous times how to spell different parts of it?
4. Unique & memorable
Try to keep it short & simple. Admittedly, getting a short domain name can be difficult, especially if it’s a .COM domain extension you want, since many of the best ones have already been registered.
Fortunately – thanks to the new types of domain name extensions that have been steadily released over the past two years – GTLDs as they are known as – you are now much more likely to be able to register a short & memorable domain name. Obviously it’s dependent on what type of business you or project you have in mind – but you can now register domains with extensions such as .CLUB, .ONLINE, .RESTAURANT, .SCIENCE, .PARTY, .LONDON, .WALES, .SCOT, .IRISH, ….and hundreds of other types.
5. Hints at what you do
It’s beneficial to have a domain which hints or describes what you do. Good examples of this are domain names such as Hotmail.com, AutoTrader.com, Facebook.com, PayPal.com
Imagine you meet somebody and you want to tell them about what you do and your website, then having a domain that matches your business and one that is memorable and hints at what you do, will not only be easy for people to remember, but it will also leave people with a positive impression of you – e.g. “My name’s Dave and my business is Dave’s Cars Ltd and my website is DavesCars.co.uk“.
6. Beware copyright infringement
Don’t choose a name that is trademarked or contains trademarked names. So, avoid using copyrighted names of well known companies such as Coca Cola, Facebook, Apple, etc, in your domain name.
For example, if you own a car garage and you sell second hand BMW cars in Blackpool, then while you may want to have a domain name such as BMWBlackpool.com – the odds are the company BMW will not be happy with you including BMW in your domain name – so you could end up being sued and having your website taken down.
General rule to keep in mind: would a consumer be confused that your website name or business is overlapping with another business?
Are other competitors using a similar name – do a thorough search e.g. on Google, etc
7. Don’t use a hyphen in your domain name
It looks cheap and people will forget the correct spelling – they’ll miss out the hyphen when typing your name and will instead go to the wrong website.
Historically a lot of spammy websites have used hyphenated domain names – which has resulted in them getting a bad reputation.
8. Don’t have the name too literal or descriptive
If you are interested in getting a domain name for your business – then your business name can have an effect – this is why choosing your actual business domain name is something that you need to do carefully.
Having a business name which is described in literal terms is one of the biggest mistakes many people make when choosing a business name. The thinking behind this is often the fear that they must have a name which describes exactly what they do. However, this only results in problems, and ultimately a loss of business in years to come.
For example if a business was to name itself “Wholesale Beauty Supplies” – it may at first appear to be a good name. However, what if there is a higher demand from retail customers who will pay more for their products? Having “Wholesale” in their business name may frighten potential customers off. Not only is it a rather dull name, it would be almost impossible for them to get to the top of Google due to the thousands of companies with similar names.
9. Be wary of domain names that are too niche, possibly restricting you in the long run.
Make sure you consider the long term potential of your business and its domain name. Are you ambitions to move into different sectors in future or geographical locations? Will your domain name still be relevant in future if your business ambitions are realised. You may not want to have a domain for your main website that’s too niche. Can your domain name grow as you grow?
For example, if somebody started up a business selling bananas in Blackpool and they decided to register for their main website the domain name: BananasBlackpool.com. Now this would be a good domain name to have as long as they only ever sell bananas in the Blackpool area. But if they decided in future to expand into selling oranges or apples, – as well as bananas, then anyone who sees their website may be put off by the domain name, which may make them think the business only sells bananas.
Also, what if they decide they want to expand their business and supply fruit to the whole of the UK and not just Blackpool? Again, anyone who sees their website may be put off by the domain name, which may make them think they only sell fruit in Blackpool and not all over of the UK – so their choice of domain could limit their sales in future.
10. Personal name included in the web address?
If you want to set up a personal website or family website then using your full name or surname is a great choice. However, again try to factor in the long term consequences of what might happen to your website.
If your website includes your name, then its audience will closely associate the website with you. While this has many advantages, what are the consequences if you grew a successful website and you wanted to sell it? If it includes your name, then this could put off potential buyers.
For example, if you set up a website that provided information and reviews on golfing holidays, and the site became very popular and you wanted to sell it, then do you think it would be easier to sell if the domain for the website was:
www.BarrysGolfHolidayReviews.com or www.GolfHolidayReviews.com ?
If you don’t have any ambitions to sell your website, then go ahead and include your own name in it – it’s great for personal websites & blogs – but otherwise including your name is best avoided. It gives people the impression that the website is just a hobby site or a personal project just for fun. If that’s all you want it for then that’s fine – but if you have ambitions of turning it into a business one day, then drop the name, otherwise it could look amateur.
To conclude, when you come to register a domain name then make sure you have thought it through – including the points already mentioned above. Your domain can have a major effect on your website, so take your time in choosing the right one, since it could be with you for years to come.
Easyspace sells hundreds of different types of domain name extensions – visit our Domain Name page to see what’s available. If you have any questions, or need further advice on choosing a domain name, then call our domain name specialists on: 0370 755 5088