Choosing website name can be thought-provoking. Opening a brand new site and you're hoping to work on it for a long time. To choose good domain name is another thing, because it depends on the availability. Your site is your brand, therefore you want a name that you can connect to. Here's how to choose website name without regret.
Website Name and Relevancy
For SEO purposes, it's good if your website name and domain name reflect the content and the nature of your business. It does help improve rank on search engines. For example if your site is about repairing electric toothbrushes, you name the site title "Best Electric Toothbrush Repair" and domain name www.bestelectrictoothbrushrepair.com. It makes more sense to your customers, too.
There are two downsides.
One is its length (www.bestelectrictoothbrushrepair.com as example above). The name might make sense to your customers but it's too long and not exactly easiest to remember.
The other one is, frankly, it's boring. OK the name says it all. Every visitor will know what your website is all about. But there's no personality or whatsoever in it.
One way to make it a little more exciting, you can name the website, say, "Fat Papa's Toothbrush Repair" (just made it up - don't read too much into it!) and shorten the domain name such as www.fatpapasrepair.com or www.toothbrushrepair.com.
Instead you can choose a name that's shorter but completely irrelevant. For example Amazon. The site is nothing to do with the rainforest in South America, and we all know it is the most successful retailer site of the world. Your name can be your website name, as if to indicate that you are already a brand before your website's created. Like McDonald's, just someone's surname, have never called themselves "McDonald's Burger Restaurant" and we all know it's a chain of burger restaurants. There are Pro's and Con's to this.
- It's unique. The uniqueness provides your website as a brand.
- In case your business changes its direction, you can continue to use the name. For example your business starts to repair electric shavers in addition to toothbrushes. Or even start a completely different business.
- That kind of short domain names (Amazon, Smith, James) are never available.
- No one will know what your site is about by the name.
Site Title and URL
If you choose a name that describe the services you offer, it's better if your domain name (URL) is the same as your website name (site title) to avoid confusion.
Using the electric toothbrush repair example, you name the site title "Electric Toothbrush Repair" but the domain name www.electrictoothbrushrepair.com may already be taken by someone else. So you decide to swap the words around and name it www.repairelectrictoothbrush.com. This could confuse your customers too!
In addition to usual domain name extensions such as .com, .net, .org, there are hundreds of other extensions assigned by ICANN available, such as .xyz, .domains, .love etc etc.
Unless your target audience is country specific, such as .co.uk for United Kingdom, I always suggest that you should go for .com.
".com" is the most used domain extension. If www.electrictoothbrushrepair.com is not available, it may mean your competitor is out there, already using the name that you wanted to use. Check the URL and see who's using it, and what the site is like before deciding to go for another extension such as www.electrictoothbrushrepair.org. Which I wouldn't. Any extensions rather than .com can give a "secondary" impression to visitors, and your website may always be shadowed by your competitor's .com site.
If a domain name with .com is taken, I would personally think twice and search for a different domain name instead. This is up to you.
Check Domain Name Availability
You can check if your domain name is available or not from Namecheap.com. It's free to check, of course.
Avoid Trademark Infringement
I have mentioned Amazon and McDonald's above, but the last thing you want to do is to choose a domain name that already commercially exists. For example www.amazon.love (it's already protected and unavailable). Not only the exact name but choosing a very similar name that's confusing such as "amazzon" or "faceboookk" is a bad idea. It will only give your site a spammy impression with zero-credibility, it will do no favour to your business, so avoid going for anything silly like those.
How To Choose Website Name Without Regret
I must admit I have done it many times in the past myself - chosen a domain name, paid for it, and regretted it. By the time I got everything else going such as site design, blog posts and advertisements, the website had already started building up as a brand and it was too late for me to change the site name.
So how to choose a website name without regret is definitely to take your time to search for a name that's unique, memorable, and most importantly, a name that you really love.
My best suggestion is to use a free subdomain name in the beginning. A subdomain is part of a larger domain, therefore the hosting company's name follows after your chosen name. For example Siterubix below. It allows you to use it for free as long as you like.
With Siterubix, you can start building your website without paying a dime. When you've found your perfect domain name, you pay for it (around $10-$14 per year), the name can easily be transferred to your site.
Try any name in the box below and see if it's available. That'll be the perfect start.
This is an interesting article. Picking up a good and most importantly the right domain name for your new born site is somewhat critical to its success. Or at least, that I like to think and I spent hours thinking of one for my website in the past.
A .com a is my first choice, and always no hyphens. Relevancy is always key and I prefer brand names to keyword domain names. Personal choice because I think that you will have more room for many topics on your site.
Hi Imad, thanks for your comment. I personally prefer brand names to keyword domain names too, I think the opinions towards hyphens have changed over the years, it’s generally said better without hyphens in recent years, but I personally prefer with. When two words are put together they’re hard to read and people often misspell, whilst separating words with a hyphen clarifies better. But that doesn’t seem to be the norm these days.
That was a great article in explaining to the newbie all that should be thought about in choosing the proper website name and domain for their business.
For a fact I personally had a difficult time coming up with the proper name for one of my online businesses. It required a lot of thought and a bit of frustration finding out that names that I wanted were already taken.
And, as I was told and emphasized in your article one should never go with .org, .net, .edu instead of .com when choosing the domain even though the latter usually costs more $$.
Unless your website ends in .com in any other situation it just looks cheesy and actually less than professional as an online business otherwise.
Thank you for writing this article, Raymundo!
Hi Jeff, thanks for your comment! Like you, I have spent days trying to come up with the right domain name for my websites and have never been perfectly happy with any of them. Yes as you say, some domain extensions are cheesier than cheesy, some sound quite embarrassing. But that’s the owners’ choice. Unless it’s something clever such as goo.gl (country code for Greenland). Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.