Find A Custom Domain For Your Site
Whether youre working on a blog, an online portfolio, or an online shop, Mailchimp offers custom domains that can make all the difference to your online presence. And theres no reason to stop there. Use Mailchimp to build your website and connect it to our all-in-one marketing platform to really make your offerings stand out from the rest.
Learn more about how to get a free domain name from Mailchimp and how our offer compares to the competition.
How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Blog
Like finding a domain name for a business, choosing a domain name for your blog has many similar steps. But because businesses can start offline, you might not even have a name chosen for your blog yet!
Luckily, this means you have a better chance of finding a blog name and domain name that are a perfect match, but you’ll need to put in some elbow grease to find something unique. According to Blogging.org, there are more than 500 million blogs on the internet. But don’t be discouraged! Here are some steps to help you find the right domain name for you.
Do Your Domain Name Research
Once youve narrowed your search down to a few candidates, you can use a research tool to determine if its available.
However, just because the domain name is available doesnt mean someone else doesnt have a valid claim to it. To be safe, youll want to perform a trademark search before making your choice.
Its also best to make sure you can secure appropriate social media handles. If you cant get an exact match, try finding something that makes sense with your domain name.
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Don’t Sweat Over Domain Age
The notion that the age of a domain is an important SEO ranking factor is a myth. When asked about domain registration length, Google’s Matt Cutts said, “To the best of my knowledge, no search engine has ever confirmed that they use length of registration as a factor in scoring. If a company is asserting that as a fact, that would be troubling. The primary reason to renew a domain would be if it’s your main domain, you plan to keep it for a while, or you’d prefer the convenience of renewing so that you don’t need to stress about your domain expiring.”
What does matter to Google are things like how long itâs been since your site was first crawled or since the first inbound link was recorded. Even so, though, Matt Cutts assures that “the difference between a domain that’s six months old and one year old is really not that big at all.”
Should A Domain Name Match Your Business Name
A domain name should match your business name, only if it matters to you.
Googles domain is owned by a business called Alphabet.
But Google isnt named Alphabet, thats just the name of the company that owns the Google brand.
Similarly, you might want to brand your online business with something more appropriate and keep the business name in the background.
For a local business, yes, it makes sense to register a domain name that matches the brick and mortar business.
But for a strictly online-facing business, you may be free to consider a possibly better domain name.
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Why Change Domain Names
There are many reasons for wanting to change, perhaps you dont like your domain name, or maybe youve had feedback that your customers dont like it.
So, what happens if a name just isnt working for you anymore?
There are benefits of domain name changing. You might be able to get your hands on a shorter and more memorable domain name one thats marketable, modern, and appeals to your customers.
Lets take a closer look at four reasons you might want to switch names.
Reason 1. You want to rebrand
Maybe your company was bought and you need to undertake a domain name change, or a brand agency recently swept you off your feet, resulting in a company name change, and therefore a pressing need to change your domain name?
Perhaps you own a company that sold blue dog collars and registered for the name billsbluecollars.co. After a short while, you start to realize that red collars are more popular. You no longer want that .co domain, you want a .com, and to revamp your domain name entirely.
Its perfectly understandable that if a complete overhaul and fresh design are happening, you might need a new domain to match.
Reason 2. Youre relocating
Reason 3. Your business has changed
Reason 4. Your dream domain name is up for grabs
How Domain Names Work Under The Hood
A domain name is akin to an address, since its where your site lives on the web. For that reason, all domains also belong to something called a Domain Name System , a vast network administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers .
Simply put, the DNS is a network of servers located around the world that works something like an enormous address book. Without the DNS, you would have to memorize Internet Protocol addresses for each website.
In other words, if you wanted to visit Facebook, you might have to enter something like 220.127.116.11 instead of facebook.com. Its safe to say that remembering a word or phrase as a URL is much easier than using a meaningless string of numbers.
How does the DNS turn numbers into easy-to-remember domain names? Well, when you enter a URL into your web browser, youre dialing up the IP address of the sites server. The DNS uses those numbers to map out and find the desired site. Then, it merely translates them into a format we as humans are better able to understand: i.e., the domain name.
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Importance Of Matching A Company Name To Domain Name
In the past, matching names were important. As the internet has grown, and major companies began using alternative domain website names such as Johnson & Johnson using Baby.com, it has become less important to have your business name match your domain name.
In fact, in many cases, it is better to NOT match the two names. Read on to learn about when to match or not match your business and domain names.
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Verify Ownership Of Your New Domain
Paying for your domain might seem like the last step in the process, but you also need to verify your ownership. This step lets you send email using the domain and keeps other people from using it without your permission.
If you purchase your domain through Mailchimp, this process is simple. Youll receive a verification email after you complete your purchase. Simply click on the Verify Domain button in the email and follow the instructions on the next page, and you can start using your domain to build your brand. Youll only ever have to complete this step once.
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Avoid Using Doubled Letters
Using doubled letters in a domain name is practically asking for typos. Doubled letters are hard to read and even harder to type correctly.
If mistakes happen often enough, you may end up with someone typosquatting and stealing your traffic. Plus, having to spend even a few seconds longer than necessary trying to figure out how to spell your domain is an unnecessary distraction.
Understanding Domains And Trademarks
As you might imagine, many brands target their organization name as their domain name. For instance, GoDaddy uses GoDaddy.com, Pepsi uses Pepsi.com and McDonalds uses McDonalds.com.
The value of a branded domain cannot be overstated, but are brands awarded these domains under trademark laws? Are domain owners awarded any protection over their domain names?
The relationship between domain names and trademarks is important to understand before you purchase a domain and start building a website and business. There are risks to purchasing a domain name without researching trademarks first.
Domain availability doesnt protect from trademarks
Just because a domain name is available, doesnt mean there isnt a trademark protecting that brand name.
For instance, if you found a variation of GoDaddy that was available for registration, you could not purchase and operate a business on that domain because it would still be protected under trademark law.
Choosing a domain name requires more research than just availability you need to make sure that you are not walking into any legal conflict by picking a domain name that is protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office .
When it comes to domains and trademarks, remember these basic considerations.
Protecting domain names with trademarks
Domain name and trademark case study: Nissan.com
Protecting yourself from trademark infringement
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Domain Name Length Best Practices
You may wonder what are the best domain name length practices to follow. It isnt necessary that a shorter domain is better than a longer one. So dont reject a domain name only because it is long. A short name difficult to pronounce is worse than a longer name that you can easily pronounce, remember and it says something directly or indirectly for your business.
As a general rule of thumb, I said earlier that a domain up to 17 characters and up to 3 words is a good approach to follow. Of course, remember to include real words because 17 characters and made-up words at the same time, it is a very bad combination. These numbers are still short enough to not harm the overall user experience and at the same time, they dont limit your options of getting a domain name available or at a very good price.
In any case, dont use hyphens or numbers since in combination with a long domain you will probably send your clients to the site with the similar shorter domain and hyphens is also the first thing the user forgets to include.
Some years ago having a domain even with many characters that matched a particular google search like buy auto insurance online was an advantage to the sites that used this kind of domain for SEO purposes.
Which To Decide First Your Business Name Or Domain Name
Naming a new business is hard enough, without having to decide and register a domain name also! I recommend that small business owners first decide on their business or domain name as such:
- If you sell Business to Consumer, decide on your domain name first, because there is a lot of online competition and you want to stand out in search engine results.
- If your company is brick and mortar, decide on your company name first. Domain name options for restaurants and services are adding your geographic location into your URL but not your company name. An example of Vitos Pizzeria and VitoPizzeriaNYC.com .
- If your business is online-based, first decide on your domain name since that will be the name your customers will associate with your brand.
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Always Go For The Com
Let me say this again: Wherever possible, always go for a .com domain. Exhibit A: This site.
Technically speaking, the .com is just one of many domain name extensions that are available . Some of the other popular options include, .net, .org, .co, .edu, .biz, or even things such as .shop, or .blog.
And while all those fancy TLDs are tempting, getting the classic .com is nearly always the right thing to do. Two reasons:
What all of this means is that if your perfect .com is taken, then perhaps you should either forget about that name entirely or try contacting the current owner to see if theyre willing to sell the domain to you. Warning! This could be expensive.
Keep Your Domain Name Short
There are several reasons short domain names work better. First, shorter names are easier to remember and type. Therefore, they are beneficial for branding purposes.
Also, an overly long domain name is yet another way to look suspicious. If you dont use too many keywords and make your name easy to pronounce, on the other hand, your domain will probably be short naturally.
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Tips For Choosing The Perfect Domain Name
What’s in a name? When it comes to your brand, a lot.
Choosing the right domain name for your company is so important ultimately, it’s how your audience will find and remember you.
If you are having trouble brainstorming or finding that all of your domain name ideas are already in use, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help craft the best domain name for your business or blog.
Lock The Domain So It Cant Be Stolen
Even though it may seem odd at first, domain hijacking actually happens more often than youd imagine.
Not going into the boring technical details, your domain can be stolen via several means. Most commonly, this involves either hacking your password or convincing you to give out your password via a phishing attack, plus some other fun things.
Basically, if someone gains access to your registrars user account, they can do whatever they wish with your domains.
Some domain registrars offer a feature in which they keep your domain in Registrar-lock status, which prevents unauthorized attempts at domain transfers. In this state, your registration information and DNS configuration cannot be changed until you unlock your domain name.
Luckily, enabling this option is often very easy and only requires you to select a specific box in your registrars user panel. Heres what it looks like at SiteGround:
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The Make Your Mark Online Membership
If youre a personal brand business owner, and youre just starting out with your website, why not come and check out our signature membership, Make Your Mark Online? The doors are currently open, and its been amazing to see so many of our members get great results with their websites since joining in October last year.
Our aim is to help you build and grow a successful personal brand website. We have videos that cover a range of topics from how to choose a reliable host all the way to writing your website copy. We meet every Wednesday morning for our Q& A and have an amazingly supportive and active community in Slack. Come and check it out!