What is a domain or domain name?
A domain or domain name is an identification tool on the internet that helps represent one or more IP addresses. An IP (which means Internet Protocol) address is a numerical instruction that helps direct someone to an internet page. Essentially, the domain name is the clickable link or visual that an internet user interacts with, while the IP address is more behind the scenes.
Related: How to Start an Internet Marketing Company
Why is it important to be careful when choosing a domain name?
It is important to be careful when choosing a domain name because it can have a positive effect on your business, your brand identity and your customers’ ability to remember you based on your domain name. Once you choose a domain name, you’ll most likely use it in all other aspects of your business.
Your website name will appear on business cards, in TV and internet ads, on social media and even in PowerPoint so it builds your brand and credibility for years to come. Therefore, it’s important for your domain to be well thought out and intentional.
How to choose your domain name
Here is a list of seven steps to help you name your business website:
1. Choose the right domain extension (.com, .net, .org)
The most common domain extension is ".com" and can provide credibility for your website, but you could use ".org" as a way of designating if you run a non-profit or religious-based organization.
2. Keep your domain name short
Short domain names may be easier to remember and enter into a search engine.
3. Keep it simple for customers to type
Make sure that your domain name is easy for your customers to type. For example, the domain "Mesopotamiantreats.com" might not be as easy to type as "tworiverstreats.com."
4. Make it pronounceable
By making your website domain easy to pronounce, it can help your customers retain the information better and it can help employees talk about your website to clients or customers with ease.
5. Don’t include hyphens, numbers or symbols
Hyphens, numbers or symbols might weaken the credibility of your website. Stick with words and abbreviations to create your name.
6. Create a domain name that allows your company to expand beyond a niche area
As a business owner, you want to be able to grow your business to thrive in future markets. Choosing a domain name with a broad focus can help. For instance, "berwicksoaps.com" specifies a specific product you offer, whereas "berwickbathandbody.com" gives you the opportunity to expand your products and services if you want.
7. Do a Google search to see if it is already in use
Before you get attached to one domain name, make sure you do a search online to see if the domain name is already taken or if there is a similar domain taken by a well-known company. You can also enlist the help of domain-finding websites and "create-your-own website" sites to check availability. Here are some examples:
How to choose an alternative option if your domain name is taken
Sometimes the catchy domain name you’ve thought of is already taken, so be sure to use an online domain finder or state website search to verify that it’s available. If you find out the domain name you want has been taken, try these suggestions to come up with an alternative:
- Include a verb to your existing domain name.
- Include a word that defines your brand.
- Consider a different domain extension.
- Use a domain generator.
- Consider an abbreviation of your previous domain name.
- Replace your company name with a company slogan or catchphrase.
Domain name FAQs
What is a website name example?
A website name is the domain name followed by .com or the appropriate country abbreviation (.co.uk, .co.au). Here is an example:
- Full URL: http://www.xyzcompanyname.com/index.html
- Website name: xyzcompanyname.com
How do I name my business website?
Name your business website by first choosing a website provider to purchase your business website domain. You may need to pay an annual fee to maintain your website name for future use.
How do I find a unique domain name?
There are a few different ways you can create a striking and unique domain name for your business website. You can brainstorm with your team to generate potential names or you can use an online domain name generator.