What’s in a (Domain) Name: A Short Guide to Naming your Business Website

There are so many things to consider to building a website. What Content Management System (CMS) to use? What’s the most reliable hosting provider you could get for your budget? Are you even sure your web design is on point?

These are all valid questions, and we’ve answered some of them before here, here, and here. But as with cases like these, the simplest question might prove to be the hardest to answer. Today’s case in point: just what name should you use for your website?

A domain name is, of course, more important than anyone might realize. For beginners, that’s the one thing everyone would have to know you by, at least on the internet. So, not only should a website name be memorable, it should also make sense to fit with your business identity, too.  

However, coming up with a domain name that immediately catches anyone’s attention is a good problem to have. If anything, consider this as a good exercise in branding; if it takes off, then great! If it doesn’t, well, you may need to do another brainstorming session.

So, how do you start going about choosing a domain name for your business? Well, ask yourself this question first: what kind of business am I in? Don’t worry; there’s a point to this rhetorical question!

.com or .net?

Who would ever know that these three-letter suffixes would prove to be hugely important to business websites today? The good news is that everyone knows what a “.com” is supposed to mean. The bad news, however, is that everyone else is gunning for “.com”, “.net”, or any of the hugely popular Top-Level Domains (or TLDs) in the web.

So, if you’re thinking up of a domain name right at the moment, there’s a good chance someone else would have used it first (and we have guys like these that should keep us on our toes).

So, the least you could do is to check out that the domain name you’re aiming for hasn’t been taken out yet. One of the more effective ways to do is to visit domain name registration providers like GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com and use their platform to check if your desired domain name or web address is still available

Also of note are the TLDs that you will be using. Although .com is certainly the most popular choice new TLDs are coming out every year, with each one being more specific to its respective niches like .biz, .cafe, . cleaning, and so on and so forth. Personally, we’re using “.ph” as our TLD (as seen above) because we’re based out of the Philippines.

So, did someone already take your targeted domain name? Or is it still available, and you just want to refine it? In any case, you would do well to take note of the following step below!

Be Unique, but not that Strange

 

Here’s a little-known secret for would-be marketers: anyone can make anything stand out. But can you do it within the limitations of, say, an identity? Sure, anyone can come up with a name, but it’s as much science as it is dumb luck.

The most obvious technique you can go with is by including a keyword in your domain name that relates to your niche. For instance, your business is selling flowers. So, why not use https://[SHOP NAME]Flowers.com as your domain name? Because sometimes, the most obvious thing to do is the right one, after all.

Of course, that’s not to say that that’s the only correct method available. You can come up with a boilerplate approach to creating your domain name, but that doesn’t mean it will immediately stand out.

The next best thing you can do, then, is to create a “brandable” domain–that is, a name that sticks in everyone’s minds, no matter what it does. With that said, there’s a prominent example that goes to mind when it comes to creating a “brandable” domain name: GoDaddy.com, a service that started by, appropriately enough, offering domain names to their customers. The reason for naming itself as “GoDaddy” might be superfluous, but one thing that the company did was to be consistent with how GoDaddy.com, as a brand name, was front and center on everything they do and publish as a company.

However, if the nature of your business begins and ends with you–that is, if you’re working as a doctor, lawyer, architect, writer, or working in any self-employed profession–then simply using your name as a domain might make the most sense in the world. Of course, do consider it only if many of the clients you have are really transacting with you personally.

Other Techniques for Creating a Domain Name

Below are some of the tried-and-true methods to domain name creation. You might find many of them very easy to remember, too

  1. Keep your domain name short (like under fifteen characters, if possible), and make it easy to both spell and pronounce. Remember that one wrong keystroke is all it takes to lose one potential visitor.
  2. Avoid hyphens and double letters (like the “ss” in press), since both are also prone to misspell. Also, a hyphen is almost always associated with a spam link, and you don’t want your legit domain to be associated with that.
  3. If you have the budget for it, buy another domain. You can use it to redirect searchers to your website in case they might have typed your domain name incorrectly on their browsers.
  4. If all else fails, then simply use any of the internet’s free domain name generators. Not all of them offer perfect choices, of course, but at least they might help nudge you in the right creative direction you’ve been looking for all along!

A domain name might be the hardest thing to perfect in a website, but it’s the most gratifying one you can achieve once you do land with the perfect domain name for your business. Good luck!