If you are going to have a website or a blog then it can sometimes be a minefield to choose a domain name. What is a domain name? It’s just the fancy word for the name of your website. The thing people type in to go straight to your website.
You would think it would be easy wouldn’t you something catchy, something meaningful, something memorable. All those are perfectly sound reasons for choosing a domain name, but the reality can be quite different and it can get disheartening when the amazing perfect name you thought of isn’t available.
Let’s first look at the end part of a website name, the part that comes after the dot, this is the domain suffix. The most obvious and sought after is .com and second to that is .net. There are currently around 280 domain suffixes available, but more are being introduced all the time. Many relate to the country of origin. So if your business activities are predominantly based in the UK then you might want to make this clear by choosing a .co.uk domain name, and the same for any other country that you trade in.
Most countries have a domain suffix that is relevant to them country. If you don’t want to be country specific you can go for what is referred to as a TLD or Top Level Domain. .com, .net, .co and .org are the best know ones but now there are plenty of other domain suffixes which might suit your brand better. You can have .biz, , even .website and .directory. However most brands want to appear global and not tied to one specific genre, so where possible stick to the .com version. There is also the issue of confusion. My domain name is my own name with a.com, but can you imagine the confusion if there were several websites with the same first part and just different suffixes? but it does happen.
Now the first part of your domain name, before the dot, is even more important. What type of name are you going for?
- Specific – By this I mean are you going for your name, your brand name or your company name? You might find that the one you want isn’t available because there are people who register as many possible names as they can in the hope that they can sell them on at a profit somewhere dow the line. But if you can get your company or brand name then that’s a great option because it builds awareness and people know that it is you.
- Snappy – If you can’t get your preferred name you might try to get something short, snappy and memorable, but the chances are that anything that fits this requirement has long gone too. Unless of course you get it with a less popular suffix. Let’s say you wanted fizz as your domain name? Well you have no chance of a .com or any other popular suffix, but you could get it with .io, .cc, .group, .agency, .solutions, .agency and so on.
- Descriptive – If for example you sell home made candles then you might want that as your domain name. A benefit is that people immediately know what you do. It probably will neither benefit nor hinder your search engine position but it is very descriptive. If you are a gardener in Richmond, you might want your domain to be simply richmondgardener. Again you do what it says you do.
Of course all this pondering over the right domain name is useless if yo don’t know if your chosen name is available or not. So whilst coming up with your ideas it would be a good idea to have a domain providers website open so that you can check the domain name as you go along. Make a note on a piece of paper each domain name and mark them as available or not with a yes or a no as you go. Write down the ones that are not available because that will avoid you duplicating the checking process because you might forget that you have already checked it.
For your domain checking and webhosting I would recommend Siteground, they are not expensive and their support is second to none, and they are particularly geared up to give new website owners a smooth transition into having a live up and running website with the minimum of fuss.
Find them here Siteground Go to the bottom of the page and click on Domain Names in the menu on the left. Type in your preferred domain name to check if it is available. Don’t worry checking a name does not mean that you have bought it, but when you do see the one you want, do buy it there and then before anyone else does.
Another great alternative for low cost domain names is Namecheap. Click below to find some great cheap domain names
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