If you have a great idea for a website, you’re first going to need to purchase a domain name. If you’re new to blogging, you have to realize that a domain is quite different than a web hosting plan (which is a term you encounter often). A domain name is the URL of the site – the “address” where people can find you – while the web host is where all the data in your blog is stored.
While both are important, your priority should be your domain name. Before anything else, sit down and choose the right domain name that is aligned with your goals.
Here are 7 tips for choosing the perfect domain name for your blog
Rushing Into A Domain Name
It’s a huge mistake to seek out a domain name and rush into purchasing one. You need to carefully plan out your purchase.
The first ideas for a domain name are usually not the best. Don’t get set on one idea. Instead, try to come up with some ideas that are drastically different than other ideas. You should come up with a list of 20 to 30 domain names you want for your online business. Then, sit on the idea for a couple of days. You may end up thinking of something better while driving to work, in the shower, or right before you go to sleep.
One very cool website I came across is http://www.leandomainsearch.com. This website helps you brainstorm for a good domain name ideas.
When you arrive at leandomainsearch.com you’re going to see a search bar where you can enter different keywords that you might want to use for your domain.
In this case, I used “photography”. Look at the results that showed up. There are over 1,000 domains available that use the word “photography” in the URL.
Another website I came across is http://www.panabee.com, which also helps you brainstorm for a good domain name.
When you arrive at Panabee.com, you’re going to see a search bar where you type in some keywords that you might want to use for your website. I used the keyword “essential oils”, and you can see a variation of different keywords that Panabee.com suggested.
Also, take note of the related terms for “essential oils” which can be found at the bottom of the page. These can help in the brainstorming process.
Prices Are Not Always The Same
Different registrars will charge different fees for domain names. There are hundreds of domain registrars and what is cheap on GoDaddy might be less on NameCheap. For instance, GoDaddy will charge you $.99 for your domain name, but the next year the price will go up to $14.99. In the long run, this will end up costing you more money.
A good website I have found for comparing domain name prices is https://www.domcomp.com. They compare 1900+ domain extensions and you can see which registrar has the best prices.
Think small in the beginning and know that you’re going to have to invest money on web design, content, marketing, etc. Don’t waste your money with premium domain names in the beginning. Premium domain names are going to cost you several thousands of dollars to register each year. A realistic price tag to pay for a domain name would be between $5 to $15 each year.
Aim For .com Domain Names
Always try to get a .com domain name. These are the most common domain names people buy. True, a .info, .mobi, or .net domain name might be cheaper, but these kinds of websites are considered “second hand”.
Think of all the business you will lose if you tell people your domain name and they go to the .com website and it’s not your domain name. An exception to the rule is a .org domain name; they are used for non-profit organizations.
If your company only does business in the United Kingdom it might be worth it to buy a .uk domain name. As a general rule of thumb, you want to aim for buying a “.com”.
Auction Websites or Sites For Sale
There is one major advantage to purchasing a domain name through an auction. It will probably have some kind of brand recognition or SEO value to it.
These domain names will come with an extra price tag. The extra price may be worth spending the extra money, though. You can purchase a domain name from an auction site like GoDaddy, Sedo, NameCheap Marketplace, Flippa, Snapnames, Namejet, etc.
You can always backorder domain names if you have an idea and would prefer waiting it out to see if the domain name becomes available at a later date in time.
Use Something Descriptive
Your domain name needs to be descriptive of what your website is about. For instance, if you have a website about coffee you need to put the words “coffee” in your domain name. I can’t stress the importance of purchasing a domain name that is descriptive to your website. I have seen many websites over the years that I thought was about a certain topic. But once I arrived at their website it was about something that was completely different.
Be Careful With Trademarks
Sometimes people purchase domain names accidentally and it violates trademark laws. Never purchase a domain name that has words that are trademarked. For instance, you can’t own a domain name with the words “Nike” in it. Your domain name could be legally taken from you if it has violated any trademarks. Not to mention, you don’t want to end up getting sued by a big corporation, because you violated their trademark.
Simple Is Always Better
Long domain names do not work. The longer your domain name the harder it is to remember. Many webmasters have made this costly mistake over the years. More often than not it’s not a good idea and once they discover they made a fatal flaw they will end up 301 redirecting their websites URL to a shorter one.
Do not purchase a domain name from a word that is commonly misspelled. Simple words that a 6th grader can spell are the best because you will minimize the chances of people misspelling your domain name. I have to repeat that the ideal domain name needs to be short and sweet.
Try to avoid using hyphens in your domain name. These are ugly and often times seen as spammy by Google. There are number of websites on the net that use an excessive amount of hyphens and were only created to “game” Google.
Hopefully this article has shed some light on buying domain names. If you have anymore useful tips that you should follow before purchasing a domain name please leave your comments down below.