If you’re starting a blog or website, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is your domain name. It’s the address of your website and a fundamental part of your branding, so it’s important to choose the right one.
And if you’re just getting started, it can be a bit overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to choose a domain name for beginners.
Let’s get started!
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What is a Domain Name?
Put simply, it’s the website address that you type into the address bar of your browser to visit a website. In other words, it’s the unique address for a website.
Every website has a unique domain name, and each domain name is made up of two parts: the second-level domain (SLD) and the domain extension (sometimes referred to as the “top-level domain” or “TLD”).
For example, the domain name “example.com” consists of “example” as the second-level domain, and “.com” as the domain extension.
You can also have different domain extensions, such as .net, .org, .info, and so on.
When selecting a domain name, it’s important to consider how the domain will look when typed into the address bar, as well as how it will sound when spoken aloud. It should also be easy to remember, as well as being unique, and not too long.
How to Choose a Domain Name
Now that you know what a domain name is, you’re probably wondering how to choose the right one. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Here are 5 tips for choosing the perfect domain name for your website.
1. Consider the domain name extension
While it may seem like a small detail, the domain name you choose can make or break your website’s success, so it’s important to choose wisely.
One of the most important considerations when selecting a domain name is the domain name extension (Top-level domain or TLD).
There are plenty of Top Level Domains (TLDs) available, but the most common ones you’ll see are .com, .net, .org, and .co.
However, the .com extension is the most widely used and recognized.
It is the default option for most people and businesses. If you want to be taken seriously as a business or professional, you should go with a .com domain name.
However, depending on your industry and audience, there are many other domain name extensions that can be more suitable.
For example, if you’re in the education industry, .edu is a popular domain name extension that is dedicated to educational purposes.
Similarly, .gov is only for government entities and .net is commonly used for websites and applications that are related to technology, software, computing, and the internet.
2. Brainstorm ideas for the domain name
Before you even start looking for a domain name, you need to come up with some ideas. Don’t limit yourself, brainstorm as many ideas as you can think of. Some great sources of inspiration are your business name, website taglines, products, services, or anything else related to your website.
Start with your brand name.
If you already have a business name or brand name, use that as the starting point for your domain name. This is the most straightforward way to choose a domain name and ensures that your name and brand will be recognizable across the web.
If you don’t have an existing brand name, you can still come up with a creative domain name. Brainstorm words and phrases that relate to your business and try combining them in interesting ways.
Think of your target audience.
What words or phrases do your ideal customers use when searching for your products or services? Consider adding these terms to your domain name to help your customers find you more easily.
Try to come up with something descriptive. For example, if you sell books, you could use “bookstore” or “bookshop” in your domain name.
If you’ve not thought of anything, start making a list of words and phrases related to your website. This can help to give you some inspiration and direction.
3. Keep it short and easy to remember
Once you’ve got a list of ideas, the next step is to consider how many characters it takes to spell out the name. Long names are often difficult to remember, so try to keep it as short as you can. If a name is too long, it’s likely to be forgotten.
Think about it this way: if your domain name is too long, people may forget it and you’ll lose potential customers. If your domain name is too confusing, you risk losing out on people who may just forget it.
Consider using abbreviations, acronyms, or even made-up words.
If you’re stuck, you could also try using thesaurus websites to find alternative words and phrases that mean the same thing.
Another thing to keep in mind is the spelling of the domain name.
Try to make it easy to spell. If it’s hard to pronounce or spell, people may not remember it.
4. Avoid numbers and hyphens
When picking a domain name, it’s important to avoid using numbers and hyphens. While these may seem like a great way to make your domain name stand out, they can make it difficult for people to remember and visit your website.
For example, a domain name like www.shoe-store.com could easily be confused with www.shoestore.com. Or, a domain name like www.shoe4u.com could easily be misread as www.shoe4you.com.
In either case, customers may end up on the wrong website — and miss out on your offering.
Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure you don’t include any words or phrases that are trademarked. If you do, you could end up in some legal trouble later on.
5. Use your own name
If you’re not sure where to start, why not start with your own name?
A domain name with your own name can be a great way to create a personal brand and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Think about it – if someone were to search for your name online, they would be more likely to find your website. Plus, if your name is unique enough, it can even be easier to remember.
It’s also a good idea to include your first and last name or stick to a nickname you’re comfortable with.
Let’s say your name is Cloe Silva. You could register a domain such as “CloeSilva.com”, or even “CloeSilva.me”. If those options are taken, you could also try variations such as “CloeSilvaBlog.com” or “CloeDesigns.com”.
How to Register a Domain Name
Are you ready to take the plunge and register your very own domain name? Congratulations! This is an exciting first step towards creating a website of your own.
And when it comes to registering a domain name, we highly recommend Namecheap.
With over 10 million customers and 77 million domains under management, Namecheap is the go-to choice for many.
And if you’re looking for a unique domain name, Namecheap also offers a wide range of domain extensions. These include .blog, .club, .store, .tech, and more.
Getting started is simple.
Just enter the domain name you want in the tool below and hit the “Search” button. If the domain is available, Namecheap will take you through the process of registering it. It’s that simple!
Find a domain starting at $0.99
powered by Namecheap
If you’re stuck somewhere during the registration process, don’t forget to check out our step-by-step guide. It will provide you with extra information and tips on how to complete your domain registration quickly and easily.
Choosing a domain name isn’t always easy, but with a bit of thought and research, you can come up with a great one that will help your business stand out in the online space.
When selecting a domain name, remember to keep it short, sweet, and memorable.
Finally, if possible, try to register your domain name right away to ensure that no one else can snatch it up!
12 thoughts on “How to Choose a Domain Name (Beginner’s Guide)”
This is a great guide my friend.
Thank you, Ryan!
Thank you for writing this article. I was trying to figure out how to choose a domain name and reading your steps made it all clear.
Ouu these are great tips on choosing a domain name. Wish I knew these before I started my blog. I made sooo many mistakes and ended up having to pay for my domain name because I lost the one i wanted because I was switching hosts and didn’t want to wait the transfer period. Was so long and complicated 😩
Hi Bibi, Thanks. Hope this helps you out for the next time. 😀
Such great tips! I had a domain name way back in the day with hyphens and something other than .com. People always got confused trying to find it. If your name isn’t available just find another one!
Ye, Jen! That’s always good!
I apparently have a popular name & a lot of the domains I thought of had been taken, thus I tried to add some humor & used .info to get around the gridlock of popularity. So if you have a name that others also have look into the other options for your extension.
Yes, Melissa. But we need to find out how the extensions are working for the websites that we’re going to build.
This is such a nice informative blog that easily highlights all that you need to know in selecting a domain name. I appreciate that you didn’t over complicate it with alot of extra content. Well done.
Thank you, Beth! Everyone has no idea about how tech works. So, I’m always trying to clarify those things basically to start their work.