Choosing a domain name is an important step when creating a new site. It’s the URL that will appear within your email address, it will be printed on future business cards, and it’s the site address you’ll refer people to as you grow to reach influencer status. There’s a lot riding on this decision. So, how can you tell if you’re making the best choice?
Fortunately, you can effectively choose a domain name by following a few steps.
1. Google it
Make sure other businesses aren’t already using the name that you had in mind for yours. This is especially true if their products or services are similar to yours.
Performing a search of the words that you want to include in your domain name will yield most of the information you need. If you want to be extremely sure that you’re not infringing on anyone else’s name, a lawyer can help you conduct a more in-depth search.
2. Check availability and prices
According to TekEye, there are more than 1.8 billion websites in existence. This means there are more than 1.8 billion unavailable URLs. The good news is that the average lifespan of a webpage is only about 100 days, according to The Atlantic. So, don’t assume that every good name will always be taken.
Resources like WordPress.com’s site creation tool let you see the domains that are available. If the name you want isn’t available, WordPress.com will present you with alternative names to choose from.
Jot down a list of available domain names and prices, and be sure to highlight your favorites.
3. Narrow down your list
Make sure the domain names on your shortlist are easy to remember, pronounce, and spell.
When sharing your site address, you want people to remember it. Make it descriptive and unique enough that you won’t need to provide a detailed description of what you do, and potential site visitors won’t get your site name confused with another one. “When people routinely misspell your domain name because it’s too hard to figure out, all of that potential traffic is lost,” explains Denis Pinsky of Forbes.
4. Ask others what they think
Don’t ask people, “Do you think this is a good URL for a website?” Instead, try asking something like, “What kind of website would you expect to find at [insert your chosen domain name]?”
This will provide you with more insight into which domain names might be best for your website, and can help you eliminate choices that won’t work as well in the long run.
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