The Most Important Things You Need To Know Before You Buy Or Choose A Domain Name

It is a common issue not to be sure how to choose and buy a domain name for your new or established company. There are some tips that you should consider before you take a good decision. A domain name is the basis of your online presence and you should be careful how to approach the process of choosing it. Here is the list with the most important things that will help you to decide:

1.)Choose a domain name with a nice story behind it

2.)Choose a short, pronounceable and memorable domain

3.)Prioritize .com over other extensions

4.)Choose a reputable registrar and hosting company

5.)Use a domain name generator

6.)Check previous use cases of domain (archive.org)

7.)Check for inappropriate meanings of a domain name

8.)Avoid numbers,underscores and hyphens

9.)Check for trademark issues

10.)Check if username is available on social media sites

11.) If you have the budget go for it

12.) Keywords rich vs Brandable domains

1.)Choose a domain name with a nice story behind it.

If you can associate a domain name with a personal story or with a concept directly or indirectly related with your company’s activities then you have done a great move towards the success of your business. For example, Dorsey (founder of Twitter) called his company with that name because the actual definition of the word is related to a burst of inconsequential information or chirps from the birds. If you have this kind of answer when someone asks you why you choose a certain name for your business then you are on the correct path. You can consider that your brand has an identity like a real person and name reveals many times the origin of a person.

2.)Choose a short, pronounceable and memorable domain.

Shorter names tend to have bigger success and be more memorable than the longer ones on the internet. The majority of successful sites use only a few characters. Be sure that you can pronounce the word only in one way. Ask your friends and colleagues to pronounce loudly so you can cross check if this is the correct. Take a look on this list from Alexa https://www.alexa.com/topsites  to verify my sayings. For example, if your company’s name is John Smith automotive parts and sales, it is better not include all these words in your domain. You can even use an abbreviation of your company’s name to decrease the number of characters needed. Shorter domains tend to be more memorable for the end user. There is also another problem with this option. If your customers try to type the domain in their browser there is a high chance to misspell it and visit some other site. This doesn’t happen so often as the past but still, it is something you need to have in mind.Αnother thing to consider is that the domain would be used also for your business email. If you start using an email like that john@arethereanylongerdomainsaround.com it will not look professional in the eyes of potential partners or clients.

3.)Priotize .com over other extensions

You can succeed with other extensions too (.net .org etc) but .com still remains the number 1 option for companies worldwide. The best part is that is the most recognizable extension amongst internet users. People usually tend to type .com after the site’s name when they first hear a new domain name. The local extensions are good (.es, co.uk, .fr) but in today globalized environment is not wise to limit your site’s reachability only one country. Even if your site is not in English, think how many people speak Spanish or French worldwide. By using .com you have more chances to reach out audience even outside your main targeted country.

4.)Choose a reputable registrar and hosting company

Domain registrar is a company that handles the renting of domain names from individuals or businesses. Registers rent domains to the public but in reality, some other authorities/organizations (such as VeriSign, ICANN in the USA) manage the domain names records. I mentioned “rent” and not buy since you can only reserve a domain for a year or multiple years but at some point, you need to renew this right. In any case, you are only interacting with registrars and web hosting companies. So you don’t need to bother for the rest. Registrars offer usually web hosting services too but companies specialize either on domain registrations or hosting. You can, of course, register domain and pay for hosting in the same company if you wish too. Some names with a good reputation are Godaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost, Hostgator. For those that don’t know what web hosting means, it is where you save the files needed for a website to be live on the internet. Companies specialize in that matter lease you space in their servers (computers).

5.)Use a domain name generator

It is wise to use a domain name generator to create a list of unique domain names. You can combine different keywords or even create a brand new word. You should create a list with 10+ names according to your preferences and the feedback you will get. Two good generators are wordoid and namemesh. It happens that the name you like the most of your list might not receive good feedback from others. You should be flexible to change your opinion if needed.

6.)Check previous use cases of domain (archive.org)

The domains are usually called the real estate of the internet. In real life when you purchase a house you want to know its past and what restorations or minor fixes it needs. You will not buy a house the first day you see it. The domains are like that and have their own history (sometimes) meaning that someone has already registered them and build a website in the past. Before you buy a domain or register a new one you need to check some things first. You need to cross check even the new registered domains since it happens someone he used them in the past and let them expire or forgot to renew them. A very useful link to check how a website was in the past is archive.org .You can go back years even if the website is not online anymore.You can also do a google search with the desired domain like that: “google.com” to find out if there are many spam links point out to the domain. There is also the option of checking these 3 sites for additional bad signs: https://www.spamhaus.org/lookup/  It is related to spam issues and i believe it is mostly for live sites but it is good to check.  For malware-infected domains: https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/search   .For domains that have been used to spread adware https://github.com/StevenBlack/hosts/blob/master/hosts

7.)Check for inappropriate meanings of a domain name.

You may end up choosing a brand new word for domain or some abbreviation of your company’s name. In that case, you first need to cross-check what is the meaning of the word in some other language (especially if your audience is international) or even if it is too similar in some “bad” phrase in your native language. The last thing you want is to start a global marketing campaign and find out that your brand’s translation in Spanish (for example) means a useless product or an insult! There is always a chance that the meaning of the word is not inappropriate but it may sound like that. Checking the pronunciation with your friends or colleagues can prevent those cases.

8.)Avoid numbers,underscores and hyphens

It is true that many good domains are already taken but by adding numbers, underscore and hyphens you make things harder for the end user. It is easy to get confused with similar sites without these symbols and it is also challenging for someone to remember the exact format of your domain. You can modify your domain name but always keep in mind that any modification shouldn’t affect user experience (easy to type + memorable).

9.)Check for Trademark issues

I hope that you do not do that mistake because it is a serious one. You should always check if someone already is using the name for his business. Perform a google search or use sites like that https://www.wipo.int/branddb/en/ to determine if the brand name is already in use. The ideal scenario would be to consult some legal professional with experience in trademark registrations and the laws surrounding that issues. You can’t underestimate that issue since you can face some lawsuit down the road when you site starts to get traction and a forced rebranding can cost you money and time you shouldn’t need to spend if you were more careful initially.

10.) Check if username is available on social media sites

Social media play a huge part in today’s world for reaching out your audience and for other marketing efforts. Especially if you target younger generations is even more important. It is an additional factor for the domain name selection if the usernames are available on the most popular social media. Consider checking that part too before you make your final decision.

11.) If you have the budget go for it

Some good domain names are already registered but you can still buy them. Try to contact the domain’s owner even if a seller has set a high price or even if the site is not for sale! There is a big chance that sellers can decrease their initial price a lot if you have patience. In case the website doesn’t seem to be for sale you still need to try to purchase the domain by contacting the owner. There are bloggers that want to cash out their site’s success.

12.) Keywords rich vs Brandable domains

My domain buycompanyname.com is a keyword rich domain and it was registered back in 2014. My previous tips seem contradictory with my website’s name pick. Back then i thought that it was better to register a keyword related domain but during the years the google algorithm evolved and doesn’t favor domains of this kind as used to do. The advantage of brandable domains ahead of keywords related ones is that don’t limit you in terms of industry. For example, if you pick a name like “abcdeinsurance” you limit brand awareness to only one industry. By using a brandable domain you can easily switch to other industries (financial services in our example) and the audience can easily associate your brand name with other sectors too.

Conclusion

I hope that my article was interesting enough for you. I wish you the best of luck if you are about to purchase a new domain after reading my suggestions. If you would like to buy one of the domains (logo included) that fit previously guidelines take a look on the website’s main page! Please also share the previous tips on social media if you find them helpful!

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