Keep It Short Simple And Predictable
So, we already talked about brandability , but there are also some other, more general, characteristics of a quality domain name. The big four being:
- short preferably with fewer than 15 characters, excluding the TLD
- simple no hyphens, no underscores, no complicated words as part of the domain, or any other punctuation
- just words avoid using numbers unless absolutely necessary
- predictable no weird spellings (for example, if your name is Myke and you want to make it part of your domain such as MykeBlogs.com every single time people will mistype it as MikeBlogs.com.
Also, you can:
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Choose A Domain Name Extension That Fits
Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because its been around for so long.
A bevy of new generic top-level domains like .app, .photography, .nyc and .guru offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. And here are some other top extensions and how theyre often used:
- .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
- .info : informational sites.
- .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
- .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
- .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
- .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.
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How To Choose The Right Domain Extension
With a variety of domain name extensions to choose from, how do you know which one is the best for your business? The simple answer is to use the .com extension if its available. I say this because .com is by far the most valuable and used domain extension. According toThe GrowthBadger Blog, its 33 percent more memorable than websites with other top-level domains.
If youre unable to secure the .com extension, the next best alternatives are .net or .org. The latter is traditionally used for non-profit companies, so if that isnt appropriate, you should opt for .net. Alternatively, if you are a smaller company in a certain location, registering a country domain extension like .ca or .uk might be a logical move.
You can also get creative and try some of the newer domain extensions instead of .net or .org. For example, registering the .STORE domain extension would immediately make your ecommerce store stand out from the rest. Whether you have an online store or a brick-and-mortar outlet, newer extensions like these can be a crowd-puller for your business. You can view the list of all available extensionshere.
How Do I Search for a Domain Name? When learning how to find a domain name, there are several things to look into to help you figure out what the best domain name for your brand is. Here are a few tips for finding the perfect domain name:
Set Your Domain To Auto
Generally, when you register your new domain name, you get to choose the registration period the time span during which the registrar keeps the domain active on your behalf. Most commonly, everyone registers their domain names for either 12 or 24 months.
After that initial period, your domain name needs to be renewed . Otherwise, it becomes inactive. And then, after a short while, if you miss your window, the domain goes back to the pool of available domains, which means anyone will be able to register it.
What usually happens in case someone doesnt make it in time with renewing their domain is that the domain gets snatched by a domain broker or someone similar. Basically, aged domains are valuable in the domain market, plus theres higher chance that the person who originally failed to renew the domain will want to buy it back at some point.
In the end, stay safe by opting to renew your domain name automatically whenever the time comes. Nearly all domain registrars give you this option. Heres what it looks like with Namecheap:
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The Making Of A Good Domain Name
LengthWhen it comes to a domain name, less is more. Shorter names are easier to remember and to type, which means users are more likely to find you. It’s also easier to stand out when there’s less to read. It’s a good idea not to exceed two or three words.
SimplicityYou want people to remember your domain name and type it accurately. Complicated or uncommon words or names may be hard to remember and spell correctly.
KeywordsRelevant words help users find you in a search and recognize what you do at a glance. Keywords can include what you do or offer , or even your location. Including your location in your domain name might also help you target local customers and users.
Brand nameYour domain name should reflect your brand, and vice versa. Brands can take time to develop, and including your unique brand name in your domain can help you stand out, gain recognition and increase visits to your website. When creating your brand name and domain name, just be sure not to use any existing brand names or trademarks.
Website nameWhile it may seem obvious, your domain name should be the same as your brand name, or as close to it as possible. You don’t want to confuse people who type in your domain name and get to a website with a different name.
An average domain name is better than no domain name.
How To Register A Domain Name For Your Website
Your company needs a website, which means it needs a domain name. Your first step is registering a domain name, which can be daunting for first-timers. Don’t worry: Our guide walks you through it.
Once you’ve decided to build a website, you need to make an important decision, even before you consult our best web hosting services roundup: What’s your domain name going to be? You know, it’s the web address by which all your many customers find you. Your domain name is, in effect, the name of your website, so you want to make sure you get a good one. Purchasing a name is a relatively simple process, but finding one that isn’t already taken can be a challenge. In addition, you’ll also want to make sure you understand the contract between you and the domain name registrar. If this is starting to sound a bit complicated, don’t worry: This primer can help you get started.
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Choose Only Available Com Domain Names
If you dont care about direct traffic, brand image or name recognition, you can disregard this recommendation. However, if youre serious about building a website that will enjoy long-term success, you need to make sure you use a .com address. To this day, there are still many people who believe that the .com extension is the only one that exists. I make this recommendation despite all the new extensions that are available in the modern era of top-level domains. Unfortunately, the vast majority of consumers wont perceive a domain like ilove.pasta as a memorable website or even one they can visit.
Pick A Domain Name Thats Flexible
Your domain name is one area where you dont want to paint yourself into a box. While you should be specific enough to attract an audience, you dont want to be so precise that theres no room for your website to grow.
For example, shutter.photography might be perfect for a photography blog. However, if you decide to write about other art forms as well, youll be stuck with an inaccurate domain name. So its smart to consider upfront how your site or business may expand over time.
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Research The Seller And Domain
Does the seller have a documented history of previous sales? Does he have a blog or social media profiles that could give you insight to his standing, views, and opinions? What is his favorite breakfast cereal? Every tidbit of information you can gather on the seller could help you in negotiations.
Before you purchase an already used domain, you will want to see what has been published on that domain in the past to ensure it has a good reputation. You dont want to purchase a domain that has hosted adult content or has a bad backlink history that you may have to clean up. Use Archive.org to see what content has been on a website in the past and use Semrush to check backlinks. If something looks suspicious dont buy it.
Your new domain is going to be your branded business name. You need to ensure that future social media profiles are available. Use Knowem.com to quickly check profile availability for your new brand and instantly reserve handles from services like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. Its probably not a good idea to buy a brandable domain if its corresponding social profiles are already taken.
Register Your Corresponding Social Media Handles
Social media is key these days whether we like it or not.
The average web-connected human , and, in total, a month. Thats BILLION.
What Im trying to say is: People are much more likely to check whats going on with your brand on Facebook than by actually visiting your website. This is just one of the reasons why you absolutely have to have your professional profiles set up on the most popular social media sites.
Whenever possible, get the same handles as your domain name. If these are taken, be creative and use some suffixes or prefixes. Some options: now, daily, hq, get, app. For example, my fictional Lotterio.com brand could go by LotterioHQ on Twitter.
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Find Strong Domain Names To Sell
The first step in flipping a domain is to find the right domain. This can take hours of research and some good old fashioned luck.
To find a domain name, go to any domain registrar and search based on topics you think would be a good candidate.
Some domain flippers have software that helps to analyze a domain name to lessen the time it takes to vet a domain.
Once youve found a good domain name, purchase it with a registrar. It typically costs around $10 annually to keep a domain. Not sure if your domain is a good candidate? Dont worry, Ill help you decide below.
Looking to make more money? Check out my complete post on making money online for beginners!
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How To Get A Domain Name From Namecheapcom
Namecheap is another popular website for buying domain names and getting website hosting. As their domain name prompts, they often have a lot of good deals and somewhat lower annular prices than GoDaddy, for example.
So if you love a good bargain, heres how to buy a domain name via Namecheap.
Step 1: Run your desired domain name search first and review available options. Namecheap has a really huge collection of new TLDs such as .art .digital, .luxury among 400+ other options.
Also, if your name isnt available or youd like to get some more ideas, switch to their advanced search view aka the Beast Mode:
As you can see from above, you have a lot more features to play with such as price range, suffix/prefix, and so on. This can help you drill down to that perfect domain name that is short, memorable, available, and yet cheap!
Step 2: After youve chosen the best contenders, proceed to your cart to start the checkout process. At this point, you can also add some extras and customize your order:
With Namecheap, you get a lifetime free WHOIS protection for every domain name, plus they recently added a bonus premium DNS offer . When you enable it, your domain gets yearly protection against DNS/DDoS attacks , plus ultra-fast global DNS response. This gives you some extra leverage in terms of your website speed.
On top of that, you can select some affordable up-sells such as:
Also, you can play around with your renewal. Namecheap provides a small discount for 2+ years.
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Check The Domain History Via Wayback Machine
Note: This one is worth checking even if youre getting a new domain name. In some cases, the domain name youre trying to register may have been registered in the past but then abandoned by the owner. Its still good to have a look at what was on it.
There are a couple of ways in which you can look up a domain names history. One of the more popular ones, and one thats also within anyones reach , involves Wayback Machine.
This is one of the first tools of its kind. Quite simply, it lets you enter a time machine, so to speak, and have a look at how any website used to look in the past.
When I say any website, its not actually any website. But you can expect to find most websites that had any noticeable traffic at any point in time. In our case, doing a check via Wayback Machine allows us to see whether the domain were interested in has ever been used for anything significant, and, if so, whether it was all kosher or not.
For example, if you look up this site, youll get records dating back to 2013:
Its safe to assume that this site didnt exist before then . When you click on any of the records, you get a snapshot of the site back then. Quite handy, isnt it?
If youre buying an existing domain name, it would be a good idea to go to Wayback Machine and browse through every month of the domains history, just to make sure there wasnt anything shady going on at any point.
Shop Around To Find The Best Price
Even though all domain registrars offer the same product they register a domain name on your behalf the pricing can sometimes be very different. For that reason, its always a good idea to shop around with different registrars and compare the prices of the domain name you want to get.
Just to give you an example, if youre after a .co domain extension a fairly popular choice these days youll find out that the same domain will cost you:
- $11.99 at GoDaddy
- $6.88 at Namecheap
- $32.50 at ENOM, and so on.
Now, Im not saying that Namecheap is always the cheapest, because its not. The price always depends on the specific TLD you want to get, so always go to multiple registrars and see whats up.
Also, just a general note: Always keep your login credentials to the registrars user panel very secure. If anyone gets access to that panel, theyll be able to transfer your domain to their account .
Which brings me to:
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