What’s In A Name? Choosing a Domain
What’s in a name? Sure, a rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but if it’s not something easy to remember, no one’s going to find its website! One of the first decisions you have to make about your website is choosing your domain name (and making sure it’s available).
Smush It Together
So you think you’ve got the perfect domain. It’s the name you’ve always wanted for your business, or it seems like a good representation of you and what you do. But if it’s multiple words, have you taken a look at it all as one? Something that might convey your mood and brand perfectly when written out longform (say, “Yas! Hit Style”) might suddenly have a different tone when typed into an address bar (yashitstyle… oops!).
Short and Sweet
Keep it short. Long domain names are harder to remember, take longer to type, and are easy to mess up, especially when your visitors are typing on their phones. Think about the most recognizable websites – they’re almost all short and sweet! (Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.)
Easy to Remember
Using acronyms and hyphens might seem like the answer to keeping your domain name short and sweet, but make sure it’s also easy to remember. Using too many acronyms in your domain can both confuse visitors who are trying to remember your site’s address and negatively affect your SEO ranking.
Your Extension Matters
The most ideal and recognizable extension is a .com. If they aren’t sure about your extension, a visitor will likely enter your domain with a .com first, before trying another option. If you’re a nonprofit organization, .org is a great choice for you, but if you’re not, .org is one to avoid. Other less common but acceptable extensions include .co, .me, or .us.
Prepare for Misspelling
If your domain has any kind of alternate spelling, prepare for visitor misspelling by purchasing the common misspelling as a domain as well and redirecting it to your site. For example, if you’re using your name as a domain and your name is Kristin Abc, consider purchasing both kristinabc.com and kristenabc.com so that your visitors find you even when they misspell your domain.
When in Doubt, Use Your Name
If you aren’t sold on a specific domain name, or you think you might rebrand or refocus your services down the road, use your name! Your name won’t become outdated, you won’t get sick of it, and it’s easy for your visitors to remember.