Seven Top Tips to Choose a Great Domain Name

When you sign up for a free WordPress account, you can use the default “mysitename.wordpress.com” URL as your domain. However, as well as being lengthy, this format is neither unique nor memorable. That’s why it’s wise to consider acquiring your own domain name.

Purchasing a domain name for your WordPress site can help boost your branding. It can also improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and make you look more professional and credible to potential customers. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of choosing a strong domain name. Then we’ll provide you with seven tips you can use to select one for your WordPress site. Let’s jump in!

The Importance of Choosing a Strong Domain Name

Your domain name is the first part of your website that people see. Therefore, it’s essential that it makes a positive impression on visitors. 

Unfortunately, using a generic “mysitename.wordpress.com” web address isn’t the best way to make a good impression. This free subdomain doesn’t set you apart from other businesses, can be difficult to remember and share, and can look unprofessional.

When considering the costs of building a WordPress site, it makes sense to invest in elements that will be around for a long time. Your own domain name is the best investment, and the cost is minimal. Purchasing a web address for your business can help you stand out from competitors, enhance your online branding, and boost your SEO.

Even if you have a high-quality website with a stunning design and impressive content, a confusing or misleading domain name can hurt the amount of traffic and, in turn, conversions you get.

Did You Know?

Many people don’t know these two WordPress.com facts:

  1. If you choose any paid WordPress.com plan, you can get a custom domain name free for the first year.
  2. You don’t need to purchase a domain name from some other company. You can get your Top-Level Domain (TLD) name directly from WordPress.com.

The cost of a domain name will vary depending on a handful of factors. These include the type of extension you use (.com, .org, .co, etc.), the name’s competitiveness, and how long you want to own it. 

7 Tips for Choosing a Great Domain Name

Now that we understand more about the importance of choosing the right domain name for your website, let’s look at how you can decide on one. Below are seven tricks you can use for selecting a great domain name!

1. Keep It Short (But Not Too Short)

When brainstorming ideas for your WordPress URL, it’s essential to consider how it will be used and shared. Most people have short attention spans. The longer and more complicated your domain name, the more difficult it will be to memorize.

Therefore, we recommend keeping the name short and sweet. Doing so will help ensure that it is not only brandable but memorable and easy to share as well. 

The best practice is to choose a name somewhere between six and 14 characters. Of course, it will probably be difficult to find an available domain that only uses one or two words, especially if they’re commonly searched terms. However, it’s best to aim for conciseness. 

2. Ensure That It’s Easy to Pronounce and Type

It’s important that users can easily say and type your domain name. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid words that are challenging to pronounce or spell. Complicated or unfamiliar terms can cause confusion and lead to typos that send visitors to the wrong website.

While not always possible, consider avoiding double letters and uncommon spelling variations. Additionally, any characters that aren’t letters or numbers, such as hyphens, are also not ideal choices. 

You may also want to verbally say the name to someone and ask them to spell it. If they can do so without issue, that’s a good sign.

3. Avoid Trademark Confusion

Finding high-quality, available, and relevant domain names can be tricky. So if you encounter one you like, you might be eager to purchase it right away. 

However, to avoid trademark confusion and potential legal issues, it’s wise to check whether any trademarks are registered to your chosen domain name. You can do this by using a site such as KnowEm:

You can simply enter your potential domain name and select Check It. Then, the website will search over 25 of the most popular social platforms and verify whether your domain is trademarked:

You’ll want your domain name and social profiles to be consistent across each network. Therefore, picking a web address that someone else uses in their handles isn’t a good idea. 

4. Carefully Consider and Incorporate Keywords

As we mentioned, your WordPress domain name can help improve your SEO. This is especially true if you incorporate relevant keywords and phrases in the web address.

When brainstorming name ideas, consider localized SEO terms relevant to your business, services, and location. For example, if you own a dog daycare company in Daytona, you could choose something like “daytonadogcare.com”.

If you’re a local business, other owners in the area may have already taken advantage of the localized URLs. However, you can try different combinations of phrases to see what’s available. For instance, you might try “doggycaredaytona.com” instead.

5. Use a Domain Name Generator

You could spend hours trying to come up with creative, relevant domain name possibilities for your WordPress site. However, after exhausting some of your top options, you might find yourself hitting a wall.

To help inspire you and brainstorm ideas, consider using a domain name generator tool. There are a variety of free ones available. 

For example, a popular option is DomainHole:

With this tool, you can search keywords to generate possible names. You can also find expired domains and purchase and register available ones.

Other name generators you can use include Wordoid and Lean Domain Search. Both platforms let you enter keywords to generate a list of potential names and available domains.

6. Leave Room to Expand

A premium domain name is an investment. It’s a major part of your website and will likely be one that you’ll have for years to come. Changing your domain name can cost you financially, as well as hurt your branding and SEO rankings. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to think about the long term when choosing your domain, rather than just the short term. For example, perhaps you plan on expanding your services and offerings down the road. If so, you don’t want a domain that doesn’t accurately or fully represent what your company does.

Let’s say you own a shoe company, so you choose a domain such as “sallyshoes.com”. Now imagine you eventually expand your business to also offer accessories, sweatshirts, and other types of apparel. In this scenario, you’d be stuck with a domain name that pins you into a specific niche. 

7. Consider Using a Play on Words

When coming up with your domain name, don’t be afraid to get a little creative and think outside the box. While you don’t want your domain name to be misleading or confusing, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a little playful. In fact, doing so can demonstrate your brand personality and endear customers to your business.

If you’re stuck coming up with potential names, consider a possible play on words. This could be a pun or otherwise playful language. 

For example, let’s say that you’re a freelance writer. There are many opportunities for you to incorporate writing-related terms that have some puns and wordplay, such as “writeon.com”, “thewritebusiness.com”, or “thewritechoice.com”.

If you need help with this process, you can use a tool such as Pun Generator:

You can simply enter the word or phrase you want to find puns for, then click on Generate Puns! The tool will produce a list of potential puns that you could incorporate into your domain name:

You can also use NameStation. This site lets you explore wordplay business names and generate potential domain name ideas. 

Conclusion

Your domain name plays a key role in your website and online marketing. Therefore, it’s wise to upgrade your free WordPress.com site URL to a more creative, premium one. Doing so can help boost your branding and SEO. 

In this post, we discussed seven tricks you can use to choose a great domain name. You should focus on keeping it short and easy to pronounce and type. It’s also a good idea to make sure any domain name isn’t trademarked. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, consider using a name generator tool such as DomainHole and incorporating localized keywords.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The WordPress.com Team

At WordPress.com, our mission is to democratize publishing one website at a time. Create a free website or build a blog with ease on WordPress.com. Dozens of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes.

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