8 Tips for Choosing a Kickass Website Domain Name
September 02, 2022
Your website’s domain name is just as important as your company’s logo and slogan. It’s there to establish your brand identity and helps customers recall your business. A domain that is easy to remember can help customers recognise your brand and even increases your chances of repeat business.
This is why choosing your website domain name requires should not be a decision you take lightly! If you rush getting your website off the ground with the wrong domain name, it’ll be a hassle to switch later on without negatively affecting your brand identity and search rankings.
If you and your team are currently deliberating about possible website domain names, you may find it difficult to come up with something unique yet recognisable — especially when almost 342 million domain names have already been taken.
Fret not! In this article, we’ll cover 10 tips you can use to come up with an original and catchy domain name for your website.
Tip #1: Choose an Appropriate Domain Name Extension
A domain name extension, otherwise known as the top-level domain (TLD) or domain suffix, is the part of your web address that comes right after your site name. It tells the user more about your website, such as its purpose (e.g. .com for commercial, .net for networks), its owner (.org for organization, .gov for government institutions), or geographical location (.sg for Singapore, .my for Malaysia.)
The most popular TLD is unsurprisingly, .com — this also makes it the most competitive in terms of finding a free domain name. However, if .com is unavailable, there is a recent trend of new TLDs such as .xyz, .store, .online and other industry-specific TLDs that offer businesses new, creative ways to express their identity.
Whatever you choose, make sure it complements your website’s name and adds credibility. For instance, you don’t want to use .us if you are a Singaporean business.
Tip #2: Use a Domain Name Generator
Coming up with original domain names can be hard. If you’re stuck, you can always turn to one of the free, online domain name generators out there to help you brainstorm a possible list of ideas.
All you need to do is add a word or phrase you would like to include and let the generators work their magic. Here a few domain name generators we’d recommend trying:
Once you’ve got a list of possible names, you’ll want to start narrowing them down or even edit them. Go through the list to make sure that the domain names you’ve shortlisted follow the best practices covered in the next few tips.
Tip #3: Make Your Domain Name Short and Striking
Think about all the website URLs you’ve entered into your browser. Can you think of one that is long and complicated?
Short domain names are not just easier to remember, they’re also faster to type on mobile phones and less prone to typos. Long and unnecessarily complicated domain names can also make users feel that the website is suspicious or sketchy.
Ideally, you want to keep your domain name under 15 characters.
Tip #4: Make Your Domain Name Easy to Spell and Pronounce
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best forms of marketing out there. Your domain name should be easy to pronounce and spell so anyone can share your website in person. This way, anyone who hears about your website will be more likely to remember and visit you in the future.
Unless it is a part of your brand identity, you should also take care to avoid using slang in your domain name, as it is likely to cause confusion! (e.g. spelling You as U).
Tip #5: Avoid Hyphens, Numbers and Double Letters
Hyphens, numbers or double letters may seem like a good idea at first because it can allow you to snag a domain name that would otherwise be unavailable. For example:
If “Cooldomain.com” is already taken:
- Cool-domain.com (Hyphens)
- Cooldomain2.com (Numbers)
- Cooldomainn.com (Double letters)
However, you should avoid doing so as it is likely to add confusion. Not only will users end up on a completely different website if they forget to add an extra character, websites with hyphens or numbers or double letters in their domain name are often associated with untrustworthy spam websites — not something you want your brand to be associated with!
Tip #6: Try Adding Keywords to Your Domain Name
Adding relevant keywords to your URL can be a great way to improve search engine optimisation and improve your position on search engine results pages.
However, don’t go out of your way to include a keyword if it doesn’t fit well with your brand name! It’s better to have a domain name without a keyword that makes sense and is readable, rather than trying to awkwardly include a keyword where it shouldn’t belong.
Tip #7: Check if Your Preferred Domain Name is Available
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential domain names, take the time to check if the options you’ve shortlisted are available for purchase. The last thing you want is to find out that your preferred domain name has been taken after making all the necessary preparations.
You can check if your preferred domain name is available with free online checkers like:
If your domain name is available, act fast to secure it! You don’t want someone else to get your domain name before you do.
Tip #8: Shop for a Good Domain Registrar
The domain registrar is the company which you purchase your domain name from. Domains are not purchased equal, and each registrar imposes different terms that affect prices when you purchase a domain name from them.
You’ll want to consider the following factors and choose a registrar that best meets your needs:
- Domain transfer policy: This determines how easy it is to transfer your domain to another registrar — you should look for a policy that is consumer-friendly and flexible should your domain needs change in the future.
- Privacy protection: Data protection is a big deal and consumers are more sensitive about their online data privacy than ever. Make sure your domain registrar offers robust privacy protection that protects unauthorised users from accessing your website details and records.
- Ease of Adding Subdomains: Subdomains are an extension that uses the domain name you already own. For example, “blog.cooldomain.com” where blog is the subdomain and cooldomain.com is your main domain.
Subdomains are typically used to segment your website and make it easy for users to access different areas. You don’t need to register a subdomain, but you should ensure your registrar makes it easy for you to add new subdomains.
- Renewal Policy: You’ll need to renew your domain every time it expires or someone else can buy your domain name. To simplify the renewal process, look for a registrar that offers automatic renewals or a generous grace period after expiry. This way, you’ll never be caught out with an expired domain.
- Pricing and Contract Length: Consider prices from multiple domain registrars until you find one that suits your budget. Look over the terms carefully — some companies offer lower prices for the first year before increasing the amount for subsequent renewals, others may offer low prices but lock you into a multi-year contract with no option for transferring.
Finally, you can also consider buying a domain from your web hosting provider. Some web hosts also offer a free domain name if you purchase a hosting plan with them. This is beneficial because you no longer need to deal with two separate vendors for your domain and hosting, and you don’t have to worry about migrating your domain if you register it with your hosting provider.
What’s next after deciding on your website domain name? It’s time to start designing and developing your website!
FirstCom Solutions offers comprehensive web hosting and maintenance services at competitive rates. Get reliable hosting and a dedicated web maintenance team to keep your website running optimally 24/7. Visit our Web Hosting and Maintenance page to find out more, or contact one of our consultants to discuss your needs today.