If you want to start your own website searching and choosing a relevant domain name is the first, most important step.

It’s a rule of thumb, domain names should be short (ideally max 10 alphabet letters), simple, memorable, easy to spell and write

A well thought domain or business name maximizes your chances to be found on google results. And drives traffic, visitors on your website or blog.

There are over 1.7 billion (1,732,351,600) websites online as of today

Guess what, common, short and simple words are mostly taken and not available

Website domain name structure

domain-name-structure

Domain name is the name of your website

A website address structure consists of

  • Protocol: https
  • Sub-domain: www
  • Name: domain-name
  • Top Level Domain (TLD): .com

When searching domain name for your website or blog, here are some important tips to consider:

Research

Your domain can be relevant to website’s subject or niche. Write down the names that come to mind associated to your business.

Check that they are not trademarked or owned by some other brand.

Go For Dot Com Domain

There are plenty of TLD’s (Top level domains) like dot com, dot net, dot org, etc.

Dot com is the most popular TLD with over 154 million (154,774,688) domains registered

It’s a good idea to get your domain with (dot) .com.

Domain business name

Be sure that your domain name is also your business name.

If your business name is different from your website domain it will be confusing for your visitors and clients.

Avoid misspelled words

Don’t use misspelled words, they are difficult to remember, your users may end up on some other website and it does not looks professional

Avoid difficult words

Your domain name can be unique but should not be difficult to remember. Avoid using difficult, hard to pronounce, rarely, less often used words

It’s a good idea to pronounce and write your domain name a few times

Avoid long sentences

An ideal domain name has less than 10 alphabet characters

Websites like Yahoo, Google, CNN, Amazon all have less than 10 characters

Your domain name can be a combination of 2 or more words. However always avoid using long sentences.

Remember its your website name that needs to be easy to spell, short, simple and memorable.

Avoid special characters, hyphens

Avoid use of characters, dashes, colons, separators or numbers in the domain name. You may use numbers if necessary

Avoid Slang or vulgar words

Please at all cost avoid slang words, words that tend to be used as slang, and other inappropriate words. Remember you are presenting yourself to the world audience.

Use Synonyms

If your preferred domain name is not available. Look for synonyms or words with similar meaning.

Personal names as domain

You can use your own name as your domain

You can either use your full name.

Or use your first name, and associate a niche keyword.

Like my website Talha Design.com

“Talha” is my name, “design” is my related industry or niche keyword.

However, if your name is difficult to pronounce or write, don’t use it.

Use Domain name generators

Still confused or stuck in finding your perfect domain name, consider using domain name generators like

These online tools give different ideas, options and word combinations related to your preferred keyword

Make a list of available domain names (Optional)

It’s a good idea to make a small list of available domain names you prefer.

Share this list with your employees, friends or family.

If possible, have their opinions, which domain name they like the most. This way you will have a general idea what works.

You can decide which domain name is better than others.

Social media handles  

Be sure to check that your domain’s social media handles are available

Overpriced domains

Usually a domain name costs about $5 – $10 (annually). Some hosting companies also offer free domains for the first year subscription.

However, some domain names may cost for up to thousands of $ dollars.

Its because selling domain names is a business

In my opinion avoid buying expensive domain names. Its simply not worth it.

A domain name cannot guarantee success of your website

If your perfect domain name is not available, simply look for some other word or related synonym

(Note: If budget or finances is not an issue for you. You can purchase any preferred domain name)

How to register your web domain

The first step is to register a domain name with a domain registrar.

There are many domain registrars some good examples are:

Namecheap-domain-registrar

Type your preferred domain name in the domain search bar and click the magnifier search icon.

namecheap-domain-search

You are presented with different top level domain options like .com, .net etc. but in my opinion go with the .com.

If your searched domain name is available click add to cart button. Your domain will cost you about $9 to $10 annually.

 namecheap-domain-fees

Different TLDs (Top level domains) have different fees

namecheap-cart

Click view cart button

namecheap-order

You can select the number of years to register the domain name, by default its set to 1 year. You should register your domain name for at least 1 or more years.

You get free 1 year WhoisGuard subscription

(It helps to protect your privacy online and hides your name, details from other people)

If you are done click confirm order, you will be taken to a new payment details page, fill the form

namecheap-dashboard

After you have made the purchase you will be presented with this dashboard. Good work you own your domain name.

Tip: If your preferred domain name is available make the purchase.

Don’t wait for tomorrow or next week. If you don’t buy the domain name maybe someone else will. Which may be a setback for you.

After Choosing Your Domain Name

Have a logo designed  

After you have purchased your perfect domain name. It’s a good idea to have a logo designed for your website or blog.

Your website logo could be an image of alphabet letters displayed on your website.

But a well-designed logo looks more professional and acts like a brand with online presence.

Your logo colors can be used on the website, social media and branding for consistency

Domain Ownership

As you purchase your domain name, you own it for as long as the duration of your subscription. There is an annual renewal fee involved

Think of domain ownership as a rented apartment or vehicle.

You pay annual fee for the domain name, if you forget to pay the annual renewal fee, your domain enters 30 days grace period.

After 1-3 months period (depending on your domain registrar) your domain will be available in the domain market place. Anyone else can buy that domain

You lose domain ownership, your website will stop working.

Tip: Avoid forgetting domain renewal, go to your domain registrar account and set renewal to auto renew

How to check domain ownership

You can check a domain ownership on lookup website like

https://lookup.icann.org/

You may get details like name, contact information, domain registrar etc.

Remember email associated with your domain name

Often people buy their domain subscription for period of few years. Sometimes they forget email associated with their domain.

Avoid forgetting or losing the email address (login credentials) associated with your domain and web hosting.

It helps to avoid legal litigation roadblocks if someone tries to claim your domain name.

Summary

A quick summary of how to search and choose domain names

  • Keep it short, simple, memorable and easy to pronounce
  • Avoid misspelled words
  • Avoid difficult words
  • Avoid long sentences
  • Avoid slang words
  • Avoid special characters, separators and numbers
  • Use your name as domain
  • Use synonyms
  • Use your niche keyword
  • Use online domain name generators

Conclusion / Wrap-up

If you consider above mentioned tips, you can’t get wrong in searching and choosing domain names

So, are you ready to search your website domain name?

Tell me in the comments, which domain name you purchased for your website

Thank You

 

Further read, How to make a website or blog