How to Pick a Domain Name: 20+ Tips to Consider in 2023
Last Updated on 18th March 2023 by Ajmer Singh
A domain is the website address you type in your browser to find a particular site.
So, for example, if I want to go to my blog, I would type “findmytricks.com” into the web browser and then hit enter.
It’s important that you have your own domain so people can find your page!
That way they don’t have to look at all these other sites out there wondering where their favourite blogger went off to…they just need one click!
Basically, it’s the website address where people can find your blog. Think of it as a phone number for your site.
Your domain is one of the most important pieces to any successful online business so you want to make sure you use something short and catchy.
That will help others.
You also need to think about how easy it will be for people to find and remember your domain by typing it into their browser.
What is a domain name?
In simple words, a domain name is what you type into your browser to get to a website.
The domain name can be anything from “example.com” or “www.example.com” all the way down to a single letter, like “x.”
A domain is an address for a website.
It’s important to make sure you have your own domain name when it comes to blogging.
Because using sites like wordpress.com or blogspot.com will not be as effective in terms of SEO and branding yourself as an expert in your field.
The cost of a domain starts at around $12 per year, but this can vary depending on where you live and which company you go with to purchase your domain from. Like Godaddy or Bluehost.
The best way to find out how many domains are going for these days is by doing some research online first.
Before making any final decisions about what type of company you want to go with first!
If you want to set up a blog, for example, then you need to register an appropriate domain name first before proceeding with any other steps in setting up your blog.
How to pick a perfect domain name?
A domain name is the address to your page. It’s how people find you.
So it’s important that it is catchy and easy to remember because if they can’t find you, there is no way they can click on your ad or link.
Domain names are not case sensitive i.e google.com and GOOGLE.COM and GOOGLE.com or Google.com will point you to the same place.
There is no minimum or maximum length for a domain name but it should be memorable and catchy.
Not very long because this will make it difficult to remember and people might forget what was after the dot (.) in your web address.
When picking your domain name, be creative!
Most people go for their company’s name or slogan because it sounds good but this is not always the best idea.
For example, apple.com sounds good but there are hundreds of companies with fruit names like Apple and someone searching for apples could easily end up on your competition’s website.
If you’ve got a catchy slogan, use that! If you’ve got the name of your character or pet, use that.
Be creative and it can be really fun 🙂
One of the most important factors in picking a good domain name is choosing one which will have wide appeal, especially if you are running a local business.
Think about what people might search for when looking for your product or location.
If you are selling something specific, make sure your web address is exactly what you are offering because this will help with searches.
Check domain availability and price on Godaddy or Bluehost for free.
20+ Tips to pick a Domain Name
Step 1 – Your business purpose
Before even starting to consider domain names, you should first have a clear idea of the type of website or online business that you are planning to launch.
You can always change your mind down the road, but identifying your main purpose is an essential first step.
Ask yourself what you want people to do on your site.
If you are launching a blog, do you want readers to subscribe or share content?
If you are setting up an online shop, do you want your visitors to buy your products or sign up for updates about new stock?
Knowing your goal will also help when it comes time for choosing keywords.
Step 2 – Keywords
When coming up with a domain name that will work for your website,
start by thinking about the keywords and key phrases that you would like people to use when they search for your site.
If possible, you should try and include one or two of them in your domain name.
As this can make it more likely that search engines such as Google will list your site first once someone enters these words.
Step 3 – Price vs Benefit
Not everyone has the money to buy the perfect domain name, but don’t just settle for something because you can afford it.
There are some great bargains out there for $10 to $15.
You can get a domain for free with any of the hosting packages with Bluehost.
If you can afford it, go for the premium name but if this is out of your budget don’t worry.
Think about the benefits that the domain name will bring and how much traffic it will drive.
You might not get as much traffic as ‘PerfectName.com’ but what matters most is getting targeted visitors to your site and earning money from it.
The point is that you should always be able to justify spending at least $10 on your name. If the perfect name is $100, it’s worth saving up for!
Step 4 – The meaning of numbers
As well as letters, there are also numbers in domain names.
It isn’t just age that people judge a business by, they also associate numbers with quality and “class” and this is something to consider when you are choosing your domain name.
Sometimes it might be worth sacrificing a catchy word in favour of one that includes the number 8 because it sounds expensive, for example, “Blue8s.com”, or even having your phone number at the end of the web address.
You could also add a geographic modifier, such as “LondonRestaurant.com” to show that your site is located there, but bear in mind this will limit who can find it when they search for you online.
If you want to be found across the country or worldwide, choose a more generic domain name.
Step 5 – Personal names
If you are creating a personal site, using your own name makes the most sense because it’s something that’s uniquely connected to you.
For example “JohnSmith.com” or “Middlename.com”. If someone else is already using your name, think about adding another identifier to make it more unique.
For example, “JohnSmithArtist.com” or as we mentioned before, using your phone number as an identifier such as “JohnSmith.mobi”.
Step 6 – Avoid hyphens and numbers
Some of the worst names to choose are those with hyphens and numbers included without a specific reason.
A name like “BestOnlineCompany.com” sounds a bit amateurish and because the name has no meaning people will struggle to remember it.
So if you’re going to use a hyphen or a number at least be sure that there is a good reason for doing so.
It’s not that these names aren’t ok, but just bear in mind that they may not be as memorable and may not appear as professional to some people.
Step 7 – Make it easy to say and spell
If you’re thinking of creating a site that will appeal to international customers,
then it’s best to pick a domain name that is easy for all countries and cultures to read and pronounce.
By sticking with names like these, your audience will be able to find you quickly and efficiently.
Step 8 – Avoid special characters
It’s obvious that if you’re thinking about targeting an English-speaking audience,
then it makes sense to avoid using symbols or accented characters in your domain name.
However, don’t assume this means that foreign customers won’t stumble across your site when they are looking for English-speaking content.
In fact, there are more non-English speakers online today than ever before and if your site is targeted at them,
then they will have no problem finding you with a domain name that uses symbols or accented characters.
So don’t be afraid of straying away from the conventional rules of naming conventions.
However, never use special characters that don’t have a meaning, such as smiley faces or “&”.
These may be fine for conversations but look unprofessional online.
Step 9 – Check the domain on different pages
Take some time to go through your web address and see what it looks like when you write it out in full.
Does it still look ok? How does it look when you say it out loud?
If the name is one that other people could say (ie not something like “Sci-FiandVideoGames.com”).
Is the domain easy to remember and quick to type into browsers?
Check the domain availability and more on Godaddy or Bluehost. for free.
Step 10 – Go for something original
The best way to make your domain name memorable is to come up with a unique idea.
This could be because the name has a double meaning such as “CrowdfundingHQ.com” or it’s just simply catchy like “SEO-Pros.com”.
It doesn’t really matter what the reason is, the important thing is that it will be easy for people to remember and connect with you when they see your web address online.
Step 11 – Don’t get too ambitious
When choosing a domain name, bear in mind the industry you are in and your competition.
If you’re competing against large businesses then it’s probably not wise to try and outsmart them with a tricky domain name.
Remember the goal is to get as many people as possible visiting your site and reading your content.
So coming up with a simple yet catchy name is probably going to be your best bet so keep it easy on the eye and let’s not forget – short!
Step 12 – Get creative
If you have a business that revolves around selling products, then you may want to get more creative with your domain name.
For example, if you run a store selling green products you might like to consider green-clothing.net or greeneryclothes.com or something that reflects the type of company you are running.
“GreenClothes.com” is too generic so it’s best to be more specific than that.
Step 13 – Keep your options open
You don’t necessarily have to buy the domain name straight away, many people like to keep their options open.
And see if anything else comes up that they might find more suitable for their business.
There are lots of places where you can register domain names.
But don’t forget that it’s wise to check out deals on different sites before buying into one that is too expensive or not as reputable as the others.
Many good companies like Bluehost will give good offers such as free domains if you sign up for a certain period of time.
Step 14 – Be aware of legally protectable terms
Avoid using legal protectable terms such as names and phrases that you cannot trademark.
Try to look beyond the obvious and common words for your business domain name.
If you can’t find a suitable name, then try to see if there is an acronym or abbreviation that would work for your needs.
Step 15 – Buy another domain and redirect it
If you can’t find a suitable domain name then consider buying another and redirecting the traffic to your preferred choice.
For example, if you want crowdsourcinghq.com but that’s already taken then buy crowdsourcingHQ.co.uk or crowdHQ.info and forward them to your other website address instead!
This will at least give you a URL that people can easily remember and type into browsers.
You may not feel like this is the best approach, but it can be very helpful when you’re trying to maintain your online presence.
This is why it’s always good to have more than one backup plan so you don’t find yourself in a difficult position where no one can find or visit your website.
Step 16 – Do a quick search for cybersquatting
If you’ve chosen a unique name for your website, then it’s highly unlikely that someone will have taken out the domain name before you.
Still, if there is even the slightest doubt, it never hurts to check and do a few searches for cybersquatting to make sure no one is using your desired domain name.
Step 17 – Don’t own the whole alphabet
This is an important one. Owning a .com domain name used to be considered the best option for many companies due to its popularity.
However, with so many new domain extensions popping up trying to take away traffic from the likes of “.com”
It’s time to realise that all generic names are not as valuable as they used to be.
For this reason, try not to own the whole alphabet if you can afford it.
Step 18 – Don’t get caught up in a bidding war
If a domain name you want is up for auction and going up in price with every bid being made, then think carefully about whether or not the investment is worth it.
If you are running a small business and plan to use the website for personal purposes, then it might not be worth spending too much money on any one domain name.
Step 19 – Keep your eyes peeled for back-ordering
Back-ordering is when someone wants to buy the domain you’re after but they don’t necessarily want to start their own website with it.
This is a great opportunity for you as they will often sell the domain name to the highest bidder.
Step 20 – .com vs .org vs .net vs .in vs .co.in etc
When you are trying to pick the perfect domain name, it’s important to consider which extension to go for.
There is no right or wrong choice here as far as SEO (search engine optimisation) goes because Google will direct users equally to any of these top-level domains regardless of their nature.
However, this doesn’t mean that they are all created equally.
You’ll find that .coms are always the most expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily make them more valuable or better for SEO purposes.
Your choice should depend on what your website is about and whether you want to appear as an authority in a certain field.
For example, if you’re selling gourmet food products, then you’ll probably want to own the .com version of your chosen domain name.
On the other hand, if you’re a local business in certain geographical locations such as towns and cities,
you might find it more beneficial to purchase the .co.uk or even the locally-specific .me.uk versions instead.
There is no perfect answer here and it will ultimately be up to you and your preferences.
You may even find that all versions of the domain name work equally well, but this won’t usually be the case.
The basic rules of picking a domain name
1) Do not use hyphens as part of the name unless required to spell out some word. (e.g.: hyphens are necessary for a phrase like ‘phone hyphen line’)
2) Try and stick to something short and sweet so it’s easy for people to remember and type.
3) Make sure you spell out any acronyms or abbreviations so there is no confusion. (e.g.: N-Y could mean New York, NY or any other variation)
4) Make sure the name is easy to pronounce in any language. (e.g.: someone who speaks Cantonese might not be able to say ‘air-ee’ properly, whereas ‘air ee’ would be much easier)
5) Check for any possible trademark infringements. (or at least make sure you are not infringing on someone else’s trademark)
6) Make sure the domain is available with all major web browsers by running a WHOIS check.
7) Do not use complicated words or phrases if you do not have to.
8) Try and keep away from names that are full of punctuation marks, numbers, uppercase/lowercase letters etc.
9) Do not add special characters to the end of a name that does not serve any purpose. (e.g.: hyphens, commas, ampersands etc.)
10) Stick with either ‘com’ or ‘net’ if you want to direct people to a website that is related to a company or community etc.
11) Try and stay away from using phonetic spellings or words that are not in the English dictionary.
12) If you want to include a keyword somewhere in the name, then it is best to keep it near the front so there will be no mistake as to what your site is about.
(e.g.: ‘The Tut Tut Child’ would be better than ‘Child Tut tut’ even though both indicate that the site is about children)
13) If you want to make a tongue-in-cheek name, then it has to be obvious and not confusing.
(e.g.: ‘This Domain Should Have Been Called somethingeasytoremember.com’ won’t work since it’s too easy to misinterpret)
14) Try and keep the .com domain unless there is a good reason for using something else.
15) Check if your chosen name is available via a search engine before you buy it (e.g.: type in the letters and words and see what comes up).
FAQS about picking a domain name!
Q: How do I go about picking a domain name?
A: There are many factors to consider when you’re trying to pick the perfect domain name.
Don’t rush into it and don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are lots of people who have been in this situation before and can offer valuable advice.
If you ever get stuck, just remember that if you can’t think of anything suitable, then using your name as the domain is always an option.
Q: What’s the difference between a .com and a .net?
A: There are many people who believe that owning the .com version is better for business purposes because it shows authority in your industry – but this isn’t necessarily true.
When it comes to picking a domain name, there is no right or wrong answer and the .com vs .net debate will not make any difference as far as SEO purposes go.
In other words, Google won’t automatically rank you higher if you own one extension over another.
Q: Is it worth buying a premium domain?
A: There’s no denying that your top-level domain will make a difference to the success of your website.
If you want to attract high volumes of traffic, then you need to consider whether or not it is worth forking out extra money in order to acquire the premium name that everybody wants.
Again, this decision depends on what you plan to use your website for and how much it’s going to cost to run.
Q: Should I buy a domain name from a private seller?
A: You should always try buying a domain name from the original registrant first because they will usually be willing to negotiate on price (Like Godaddy or Bluehost).
However, there are occasions when you might have to look elsewhere and this is where buying from a private seller can be beneficial.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s always best to go through the usual channels first since there is no guarantee you will find what you’re looking for via this method.
Q: How do I check if a domain name has expired?
A: If you already have an idea of the domain name you want, then it’s possible to check if it has expired by using the Whois website.
This is particularly useful for those who might be considering buying a premium name but don’t necessarily need to use it straight away.
You can keep tabs on when this particular domain expires and act accordingly depending on whether you plan to use it yourself.
Q: Is there an SEO benefit to having a .co.uk domain?
A: Having one of the UK-specific names does make sense if you’re targeting readers in this country, but it isn’t always possible to own all three versions (uk, co.uk and com).
It’s true that each name will stand out more than your .com and .net counterparts,
but it is still possible for people to find you even if they don’t know what your website is called.
Q: Can I use a common word as my domain name?
A: The main issue with using a common word as your domain is that other people may already be using it.
For example, if you want to start an online flower shop and somebody else owns the .com, then you’re going to have real issues building up traffic and search rank.
You can still use this type of extension, though, but it’s advisable to have some kind of logo or slogan as well.
Q: Is there any point in getting a .co domain?
A: It is possible to get a .co name even if you’re not planning on running your business from this country.
The idea is that this extension will help you to stand out from the crowd because it isn’t used very often.
Unfortunately, there are a number of issues with using a .co name and including incorrect characters in this country code could lead to your website being blocked or deleted entirely.
Q: Can I use a hyphen in my domain name?
A: Most registrars will allow you to add a hyphen to your website address, but there are exceptions.
For example, if somebody else already has the .com, then it’s likely that they will also want the same extension with or without a hyphen.
You can also use numbers if you want to give your website a more unique feel, but avoid using any symbols that can easily be misconstrued.
Q: Do I need to buy hosting before getting a domain name?
A: It will depend on the type of website you’re running, but it’s generally advised that you buy your own hosting package (Cloudways) before you even think about getting a domain name.
This ensures that you have everything set up in one place, so it’s easier to get started when you finally do buy your own website address.
You can get a free domain with Bluehost hosting.
Q: Is there any benefit in buying my domain name for at least two years?
A: If you’re running your business on a tight budget, then you might not want to spend a huge amount of money on a domain name that you’re only going to use for a limited amount of time.
In this case, it’s acceptable to pay the lower price for a shorter registry period – usually one or two years.
However, bear in mind that annual fees can add up quickly so it might be better for you in the long run to buy a longer registration.
Q: Does the name of my business affect which domain name I choose?
A: If you already have a business and you want to get your own website then it’s important that this is included in your domain.
This indicates to people that you’re serious about what you do and they will always be able to find your address quickly.
It’s possible to add a few descriptive words to help people understand what type of business you’re in, but the main thing is that the name must be included.
Q: Do different extensions show up differently in Google?
A: All domain names are treated the same by Google and other search engines,
but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on your extension when it comes to marketing.
It can help if you’re making a brand because people will always be able to search for it,
but you should also consider using a longer extension if this makes your business name easier to remember.
It might even help to include a slogan or a logo in your website address.
Q: How long does it take to change the DNS of my domain name?
A: When you buy a new domain name it usually takes around 24 hours to transfer the site to your hosting package.
During this time you won’t be able to access it, but most registrars offer an easy-to-use domain manager (Like Cloudways) that will allow you to see where the website is hosted and change its DNS if necessary.
Q: What is www in a URL?
A: The www is used to indicate that you’re using a World Wide Web address, which will always include other characters before the actual domain name.
This isn’t necessary for people to type in, but it’s important if you want your website to display properly on social media and search engines.
Q: What are sub-domains?
A: Sub-domains are a variation of the standard domain name and these can be used to indicate different content on your website.
For example, you could have a business website with additional pages for your portfolio or a special offer section that includes a unique address.
It’s also possible to sell sub-domains if you decide that you no longer need certain pages.
In Conclusion, the domain name you choose for your website is one of the most important decisions that you will make about your business.
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about picking a domain name.
We hope you understand all about picking a good domain name and are ready to get started on your very own website.
Remember, the most important thing is to choose something that accurately reflects your business and brand.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect domain for your new site. Good luck!