Selecting a domain name


One of the major steps in getting your website up and running is selecting your domain name. Not only will this be the address that people will find when they search Google, but it will also be printed on business cards, posted in forums, and possibly written (digital or paper form) other places where it would be expensive to change it.

Not every site needs to worry about their domain name. Furthermore, not every site needs to worry about all these factors. These are just some of the common things you need to think about before you choose a web address for your business, blog, or personal site.

Is it memorable?

Everyone loves Woot.com. They have a reputation for offering great products and great prices. However, there may be another very important factor in their success. If they had chosen a name like OneDealFor24Hours.com, it may have lost it’s “roll off the tongue factor.”

Your domain does not have to have a literal meaning, but it should be something easy to memorize and repeat to friends.

Is it short enough?

This domain will be typed in address bars, printed on business cards, and maybe even posted on a billboard. Can it actually fit on that T-Shirt you want to create? If not, you better find a way to make it smaller.

Can it be misspelled?

There can be common spelling mistakes, but there can also be ambiguity mistakes. For example, 3amigos and threeamigos both contain the word “three.” But, they are different domains. Consider purchasing all such domains and using a 301 redirect on your server to redirect them all to your main domain.

Do I need a .com, .net, .org, or other extension?

The domain market is a crowed space. Your ideal .com domain may be taken. Can you do a .net domain instead? Or, maybe you want to show off your non-profit website with a .org domain.

Hint: People will donate more if you have a .org extension. Its less commercial.

Consider other extensions as well. How about an interesting use of the extension like bit.ly or about.us.

Bonus: Was it previously used by a similar company or website?

If you can find an expired domain of a company  that already has backlinks, here is a tip for you. Recreate much of the structure of that site on yours, or use 301 redirects to similar pages on your site. Archive.org will be your friend on this. Also do a Google search to see what pages link to your site using “link:example.com”.

Common pages to duplicate are “contact us,” “about us,” etc. Use a 301 redirect with a regular expression to redirect a group pages to your other pages if needed.

Conclusion

Using these tips, you can have success in your new website. Pick a good domain name and begin expanding your business online today!