Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Choose a unique name

If you are marketing yourself, ideally you'll be able to use your first and last names (johnsmith.com or janesmith.com). Even if you aren't marketing yourself, it's not a bad idea to register your name as a domain now, in case you want to use it in the future. If you are marketing your business, you should see if your business name (yourbusiness.com) is available. Using a search engine like Google, search for your proposed blog or website name. Does your search show any sites with similar domain names? If it does, try a different name. Giving your website a name that's similar to other existing sites is the first step to failure. Also, don't choose names that are plural or misspelled versions of existing sites. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Keep it short, but not too short

Shortness can help keep a domain name simple and memorable, but going too short can have the opposite effect. Compare 'PastaScience.com' to 'PastaSci.com'. Thanks to the abbreviation, the latter is harder to both pronounce and remember, despite it having fewer characters. The first version works fine. The key here is to strike a balance. Go for something brief, but don't mangle your name by hacking off whole parts of words. In the pursuit of brevity, many consider using an acronym for their domain name. But that's usually only wise if your brand or product is regularly referred to by the initials. For example, the World Wildlife Fund's website can be found at WWF.org. That's perfect for them, since their charity is widely known and referred to as simply 'WWF'. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Make it intuitive

A good domain name gives people a strong idea of what a website will be about. Being able to look at a domain name and say, 'Oh, they probably do this. This is probably what that company is up to.' is a big win. PastaPerfected.com for example is pretty obvious, intuitively about pasta, and anyone could figure that out. - Rand Fishkin - Moz


Marry your domain name

It sounds odd, but you have to be absolutely sure you love your domain name. Once it's set, you have it for years to come. If you decide later to rename it, then you will lose time, money, branding, and rankings. We do not recommend changing your domain once your blog has been live for any considerable amount of time. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Use an appropriate domain name extension

Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it's been around for so long. A bevy of new generic top-level domains - like .photography, .nyc and .guru - offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. And here are some other top extensions and how they're often used: .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community. .info : informational sites. .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites. .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits. .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites. .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites. Pro tip: You don't need to build a website for every domain. Just forward any additional domains to your primary website. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


Choose a Brandable Name

We all know that branding is crucial to long-term success, but what exactly makes a domain name brandable? There are many factors that come into play here, but the most important ones are as follows: A brandable name has no specific meaning (eg 'Google' is not a word, 'YouTube isn't one either). It's unique - your competition doesn't use anything similar. It's easy to memorize - not too wordy, no complex vowel combinations. It's easy to pronounce and dictate over the phone. It sounds trustworthy - some names can be a little shady by definition, for instance, WinTheLotteryToday.com may be too bold, but Lotterio.com sounds way better. To make the brainstorming process easier, you can experiment with some combinations of actual words and random suffixes, like I did with the Lotterio.com example above. The main goal here is to create a potential for the domain name to build brand value over time. In other words, as much as possible, try making sure the name has a good ring to it. It should be fun to say out loud, and not difficult to memorize immediately. Think about the likes of Uber: It's short and snappy, and there's no confusion as to how to spell it - even when mentioned in passing in a conversation. - Karol K - Winning WP


Make it easy to type

Finding a domain name that's easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


Sometimes Don't Go for the .com

Sorry. I know I'm making things confusing, but please bear with me. There are some exceptions to the .com rule: Chiefly, if your website is meant to cater to a local audience, consider going for a local TLD. For example, building a blog for the German market? How about getting a .de address? Doing this will give your users that little bit of additional awareness and boost your trustworthiness by making it clear you're in their country (via the local TLD). But even with that, you shouldn't limit yourself to just that local domain name. You may still want to expand your brand in the future, and, if that happens, you don't want to find out that someone has already taken your .com. So, at the end of the day, even if you want to cater to a local market, you can still benefit in the long run by getting the .com version as well. And, in the meantime, you can link the .com to your local domain, so, no matter which address someone visits, they still end up at the same website. - Karol K - Winning WP


Keep it short

Shorter URLs are easier to type and remember. They also allow more of the URL to show up in the SERPs, they fit on business cards better and they look better in other offline media. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Beware of trends

Anything that deals with something trendy will, like the trend, fade away. Stick with a classic name that will span the generations and not be tied down to a trend or fad. Deciding whether something is a trend or here to stay, is a matter of personal judgment, but it's usually not too hard to tell. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


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