Gone are the days of coming up with a company name, searching to see if it’s available, and snatching it right up. The domain landscape is getting overcrowded, forcing us to get creative. Originally, there were only six top-level domains (TLDs): .com, .net, .org, .mil, .edu, and .gov. Once .com names became impossible to find, additional extensions were thrown in the mix: .biz, .info, .co, and country extensions, among others.
Today, there are more than 1,000 possible TLDs to choose from. But still, after all these years, .com is the most desirable TLD for businesses. In this post, we’re going to walk you through searching for, choosing, buying, and registering a domain name along with all the things to consider throughout the process. As always, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions or need assistance choosing a domain name, please reach out.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name
There are quite a few resources available to search for available domain names, such as name.com, networksolutions.com, and godaddy.com, among others. You can search any domain with any TLD and see what the cost would be. Sometimes, if a domain shows up as unavailable in a search, you can reach out to the owner directly to negotiate a price.
When choosing a domain name, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Finding a name that evokes your brand, is good for SEO and is easy to remember can be hard to find, but hopefully, these few tips will help you get started.
- Make your domain name memorable.
This is the most important tip when choosing a domain name. You want to find a name that is easy to remember, short, brandable, and easy to say and read.
- Consider SEO when possible.
Use broad keywords if you’re able to. Avoid keyword stuffing. Otherwise, your domain will have the opposite effect and negatively impact your search engine ranking.
- Avoid hyphens.
Adding a hyphen is a go-to solution when a domain name isn’t available. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to share via word of mouth. Appending the domain or choosing a different TLD might be a better solution if your primary domain name preference is taken.
- Go for .com, if possible.
If it isn’t, use a commonly known TLD such as .net or .co.
- Append it if need be.
If the domain you were hoping for is taken, modifying it could be a good solution. When modifying, make sure to still keep the domain short and memorable.
Registering a Domain Name
Domain names are purchased through a registrar. Well-known registrars include GoDaddy, Network Solutions, and Google, among others. Any of those three is trustworthy and affordable. Once you’ve registered and paid for your domain through the registrar, be sure you set the domain to auto-renew so that you don’t forget and lose your domain when it expires.
Once you register your domain, be sure to file your registrar and domain information. You may need to access it when you start setting up your email and website.
Alyssa has a passion for thoughtful website design and development, and an abnormal love for data. Without her, we wouldn’t be able to marry beautiful interfaces with sharp strategies.
Alyssa has 5+ years experience with traditional and digital design. She holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design with a Business Entrepreneurship certificate from the University of Iowa.