One of the first and most important things you’ll do when making a website is register the domain name. Before you can even do that, you need to choose a domain name. It’s your website’s address on the internet, and you must choose the right one, but it can be a little tricky. In this post, I’ll give you five recommendations that boil down to one thing: direct people to your website and not somewhere else.
1. Use .com for your domain name
The last part of the domain name is called the top-level domain, or TLD. It’s also known as the extension. For about half of all websites on the internet, the TLD is dot-com. Some websites use .org or .net, but there are also newer TLDs like .co, .blog, and .app. While it’s tempting to use those TLDs, especially if the .com domain name you want isn’t available, you should avoid that temptation. You could inadvertently send your customers to someone else’s website.
Let’s say you registered gybo.co because someone already registered gybo.com. There’s an excellent chance that many of your customers will just type gybo.com when they try to go to your website. That means you will be sending your customers to someone else’s website, and that is not a good thing!
If someone else has already registered the dot-com you want, you might need to get creative. Try adding a word to the domain name, like gyboacademy.com.
Now having said all of that, when you do find a dot-com domain name that you like, you should probably go ahead and also register the dot-net, dot-org, and maybe even the dot-co domain names as well, so someone else doesn’t grab them and cause confusion with your customers.
2. Do some research
Google the name you want to use, minus the dot-com, and see if anything comes up. If someone is already using the name you like, it could confuse customers, and you could end up sending them to someone else’s website. If someone else has trademarked the name, that could cause legal headaches down the road, so you should also search tmsearch.uspto.gov for the name you want. Again, search minus the dot-com.
3. Keep it short
Shorter domain names are generally easier to remember and less prone to typos, so try to keep the domain name under 15 characters long.
4. Make it easy to say and spell
You’re going to have to say your domain name at some point, so make sure it’s easy to do that. If it’s difficult to pronounce or easy to misspell after hearing it, your customers might have a hard time finding you online. Also, avoid unnecessary double letters as those can cause typos.
5. Avoid hyphens in your domain name
Hyphenated domain names are often prone to typos. If you go with a hyphenated domain name because someone already registered the version without the hyphen, there’s a good chance that your customers will go to that one anyway. So don’t waste the money and just come up with a different name instead. Plus, hyphenated domain names are often associated with spam websites, so you should avoid them anyway.
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We recommend NameCheap. If you are working with a developer, share access to your account with them. Please note that the Namecheap link is an affiliate link, which means if you click on the link and purchase the domain name, Pongos Interactive will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Need some help? Contact us!