Choosing the right domain name for your website isn’t necessarily as crucial to your performance online as it was in the early days of the web, but it’s still quite important.
Your brand, your traffic, and your perception within your industry can all be greatly influenced by this one decision.
To make sure your site does everything you need it to, we recommend following these steps in selecting a domain name:
Keep it simple
No one wants to try to remember a lengthy domain name. It makes it more difficult to remember, to type in and to tell other people about. A straightforward name that immediately conveys your business name, product, or service is far more reliable, effective, and professional.
Avoid repeat letters
It’s fine if it’s part of the word, but you don’t want to have two words that run together in an odd way—it leads to more typos, it stands out as odd to visitors, and it looks bad. Just don’t do it.
Test it out loud
If you can’t tell someone your domain name out loud without prompting confusion, you aren’t looking at a good domain name. This means weird spelling decisions, numbers, and similar content has no place in your domain name.
Trying to tell someone to visit your cooking site ‘5thymes.com’ isn’t going to go nearly as well as you might hope unless you’re exhaustive in registering every potential misspelling.
Think carefully about extensions
For most US-based companies, .com is the gold standard for domains. Think carefully about what sort of message you’re sending when you choose other domain extensions; there’s still a perception of unreliability and unprofessionalism behind a lot of the weirder extensions.
It’s also harder to get people to remember your site if it’s not something obvious like .com or .net, specific country-based TLDs excluded.
Register early, register widely
You want to secure your domain as early as is reasonable, to make sure you don’t have a problem down the line. You should also register widely, grabbing the same domain with different extensions, likely typos, etc.
Remember, your domain alone doesn’t determine the success of your website. But that’s no excuse to choose poorly – not when there’s so much potential gain wrapped up in the decision.