A good domain name matters as much as good web design. However choosing the right name for your site and/or business can be enough to give you one heck of a headache!
Let me give you some key points to consider to hopefully help make this process a little easier and the final product… your new domain name… the very best it can be!
Keep it short and sweet. You want your domain name to be catchy, fairly small and easy for your visitors to remember (and type). A good rule of thumb is no more than 14 characters (not including the suffix).
Keep It Simple – Avoid underscores ( _ ), dashes and numbers (both numerals and spelled out numbers). You also want to stay away from roman numerals. All of these things can confuse your visitors and can cost your traffic. (Did he say truth14.com or did he mean truthfourteen.com?) All those dashes and underscores also make it very difficult to give out your domain name verbally and just don’t look very professional at all.
Be Uniquely You – stay away from names that sound too much like someone else’s. I personally know of three businesses in the same field whose names are nearly identical. Remember you are building your brand so make sure your domain is as unique as you are.
Make It Identifiable – When someone hears about your domain name for the first time, they should be able to instantly and accurately guess at the type of content that might be found there. Think of sites like WebMD.com or CareerBuilder.com.
.COM Is Best – Yes it’s true if you can get your domain with the .com suffix you defiantly should. This is the oldest and most well known of all the suffix’s available.
Is The Domain Name I Want Taken? – You have the perfect domain name in mind now you need to be sure it is available and not owned by someone else. WhoIs will tell you if a given domain is available and list all the suffixes it is available in. Please remember that you do not have to purchase your domain here.
Don’t Wait – Once you have a domain name in mind go ahead and purchase it as soon as possible. Domain names go faster then thoroughbred horses these days. If you wait you may miss out on your perfect domain name.
.Com. .Biz, .Net? – If at all possible make sure you purchase the .com for you domain name. This is the oldest and most well known of all the available suffixes and will be the first to come to your visitors mind when they try to type in your domain. I would also recommend buying the .net, .info, .biz and any other you can afford. You can point them all to your website so no matter which one is typed in it still goes to your website.
I hope this helps you find the perfect domain for you and your business. In my next article I will show you how to find a quality (low-cost) website hosting company.