How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website

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Domain names play an essential role in your website’s credibility and branding. It’s also important to SEO, which impacts how your audience finds your website through search engines. Therefore, you must take time to think carefully about what you want your domain name to say about you or your business. But with the number of domains being registered online every day, it can be hard to come up with a domain name that’s available. Fortunately, we’re here to give you some tips and guidelines on how to choose a domain for your website.

Choosing a Domain Name

You have to combine several methods to be successful in coming up with a domain name. This process involves creativity and luck while some of it involves a bit of research and careful consideration when deciding upon a domain name.

Do Some Brainstorming

One of the first things you should do is brainstorm. What kind of website are you creating? Is it for personal use, for creating a hobbyist site, or is it for a business?

If it’s for personal use such as an online portfolio or a business like a law firm, then choosing a domain is easier. In these scenarios, you would simply use your name or law firm name as the domain. However, if your website is not in one of these categories, then keep reading.

If you’re creating a different type of website, then it’s time to identify what it will be about. Open your writing app of choice and write down words associated with your website’s concept. Use an online thesaurus or dictionary to help you out, but come up with a list with as many words as possible that describe what your website represents. Don’t skip out on this process as you will need these words to help you be creative when coming up with your domain name.

Pick a Unique Name That’s Memorable

Coming up with a unique name might require some time, effort, and creativity. However, try to pick a name or combine words that make your domain unique and memorable.

You can do this by ensuring your brainstorming process involves keywords, themes, or phrases related to your brand or business. Try to think of words that capture the essence of what your website’s purpose is.

Use a Domain Name Generator

Domain name generators are websites that does exactly what the name implies. It can be difficult to come up with creative names that also happen to be available for registration. Therefore, using a domain name generator can make the process much easier and more productive.

Once you provide the domain name generator with the names you brainstormed, it will provide you with a range of options based on keywords and phrases related to your brand’s identity.

Conduct Domain Research

So you’ve done your brainstorming and used a domain name generator. And now you think you might have found the perfect domain that’s available for registration. However, before you press that purchase button for your domain, you need to make sure that you’re not infringing upon someone else’s trademark or copyright.

Take the time to research trademark and copyright databases. Some helpful places to start include:

Even if your domain name is clear of trademark or copyright issues, you need to check that the domain name is available. You do this by typing in the domain on any domain registration website like, Namecheap, and Network Solutions. The domain name registration system (DNS) maintains a database of all registered domain names, which is free and viewable to the public.

Select the Appropriate Domain Extension

Domain extensions or top-level domains (TLDs) are the last part of a domain name that comes after the dot (.), such as .com, .org, or .net. While the previously mentioned TLDs are more common, they are not the only available TLDs that can select for your domain.

While the suggestion for businesses is to go with the .com TLD, these can be difficult to acquire as they are the first choice for most people. That being said, you can still own your domain name of choice by selecting a different TLD for your domain.

Keep It Short and Simple

Domains that are too long are not advisable because they can be difficult for people to remember. Longer domain names can also be more difficult when it comes to branding.

While your domain name can have a maximum of 63 characters, the ideal length is up to 15 characters long; however, the shorter, the better. You want a name that is concise and clear, which makes it memorable to your audience.

Avoid Hyphens and Numbers

Generally, you should not have any hyphens or numbers in your domain name. This can be confusing to your users.

It can be really easy for someone to place the hyphen in the wrong place, which will most likely lead to typos. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them and leave them out of your domain name.

Numbers in a domain name are not something you should add just to secure the name you want. Unless your brand has a specific reason to use numbers, do not use them in your domain.

Make It Easy to Type and Pronounce

If your domain is difficult to type and pronounce, it’s probably not going to be as memorable to your website’s visitors. Just like we pointed out why it’s not advisable to use hyphens and numbers in a domain, the same is true for complicated names.

Special characters are also something you should avoid. While most domain names don’t allow special characters like @, #, $, %, and &, there are some exceptions to this rule depending on the domain. One example is Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), which allow non-ASCII characters, such as letters with diacritics or characters from non-Latin scripts (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic).

Keep Your Domain Name on Brand

You don’t want to send your visitor’s mixed signals by picking a domain that is completely different from your brand. Therefore, make sure your domain name aligns with the rest of your marketing efforts. This means that your website and social media handles should ideally be the same.

If the domain name you want is not available, try using a slight variation of your brand name with keywords for SEO purposes.

Add Keywords for SEO

You can conduct some keyword research for SEO to help guide you when choosing a domain name for your website. While not required, using keywords will benefit and give your domain name an extra boost in search engine results.

If you decide to use keywords in your domain, you can use these tools to help you:

Consider the Long-Term

Before you jump and buy your new domain, think about the long-term. You don’t want a domain that’s limiting for future growth if it’s too narrow and confining you to a single niche. For example, if your business is currently selling sports shoes, but you see yourself expanding into outdoor gear of all kinds, then you wouldn’t want your domain name to have the word shoes in it.

If you have a business that you intend to trademark, then it’s also a good idea to buy up different variations of your domain online. If you own the .com version of your domain, try to buy other relevant TLD versions like .net or .co. You can then redirect those domain variations to your primary domain.

Move Fast and Secure Your Domain

Once you have completed all of the necessary steps to come up with a domain name, you need to act fast and buy it as soon as possible. There are always other people on the hunt for good domain names, so be aware that a good domain name can go faster than you think.

Domain names are affordable yet hot commodities. If the domain name you plan to register isn’t trademarked or already in use, grab it before it’s gone! You can always change your mind later and buy a different domain if you decide it’s not what you envisioned or your vision of your website no longer matches the domain.

The process of choosing a domain name for your website might seem daunting and at times will be frustrating. But if you follow the tips in this guide, you greatly increase your chances of getting a good domain for your brand or business. Just take your time, be patient, and most importantly, don’t stress while you’re working through this process. These days, finding and registering a good domain name is a journey, but it’s a worthwhile one once you find the ideal domain for your website.


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