Choosing a great domain name is not as easy as you would think. There are a lot of choices when picking a domain name and there are a lot of things to consider. In fact, I’ve read many articles telling their readers that you may want to consider changing your business name if the domain name you want isn’t available. And while I could argue both sides of that debate, I challenge you to consider all the options before you do something so drastic. Then again, if you are just getting started and haven’t yet picked a business name, choosing a name with an available domain name just might be the easiest way to go.
So What Is A Domain Name?
Whether you know it or not, you are already familiar with domain names. We use them everyday when we are surfing the web, sending emails, or browsing Facebook. In short, a domain name is a human readable format which is then translated into a computer address where your website is hosted. Examples include: apple.com, facebook.com, and az.gov. You’ll notice that all of these domain names have an extension. The most popular extensions are .com, .org, and .net. You may have also seen .gov, .edu, .biz, or .me as alternatives. Someone of these domain name types are reserved and can only be registered by qualified institutions. But for your purposes, the only one that really matters is .com.
Yes – .com is still king!
.com domains are by far the most recognizable and most widely used domain names in the world. They were the first and even though other extensions now exist, they are still the most highly sought. Your goal as a business owner who is interested in developing a recognizable brand online should be to secure a domain name with a .com as the extension.
What Makes A Great Domain Name?
The first thing to remember when choosing a new domain name is that they are for humans to read and remember. You want a domain that is:
- Easy to spell
- Easy to remember
- Looks good in print and on a website
- Limits the use of hyphens or abbreviations
- Is less than 30 characters long – any longer and it’s hard to print and hard to remember
Also consider what the domain name looks like in a web browser and on a search page. While you can break up the words on your website or business card, you don’t want to fall into the same trap as speedofart.com did. Even though the company name is Speed of Art, when it shows up online it’s hard not to think they sell a Speedo Fart.
You Can Brand Yourself
Another consideration for choosing a domain name is that you can register your name. There are a lot of people that are able to brand themselves because it’s easy to remember and your name is most likely on all of your advertising material. For example if John Smith owns Smith Insurance Agency, he could register smithinsuranceagency.com or even better he could register johnsmith.com. After all if you are in the business of selling services, most of these people are doing business directly with you and not the company.
Go Ahead – Buy More Than One!
Domain names are cheap. Godaddy.com sells domain names for less than $15.00 per year. So for a hundred dollar investment you could purchase up to six domain names. This way people will have a better chance of finding you online. For example, Ex Novo has three domain names we use just for this site.
- exnovosite.com (in case they forget the ‘s’)
Some of these names will be easier for people to remember when we are talking to them. And if they forget that it’s sites and leave off the ‘s’ we’ve got them covered there too.
So Where Do You Purchase A Domain?
There are hundreds of domain registrars out there. You can do a Google search or just cruise on over to Godaddy.com which is where we purchase all of our domain names.