How to choose the right domain name

How to choose the right domain name

OK, so you have your business name and now you want a website. You need to start with a good domain name. Read on for advice on good and bad domain name choices.

If you haven’t worked out your business name yet check out our blog on Creating the right name for your business.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is also known as a website address. It is a name that a website visitor has to type into a web browser in order to visit your site.

Why don’t I just use my business name?

Using your business name may work very well as a domain name. Just check that no one else is currently using your name. You can check this by using our domain name checker below. You can look domains up in any search engine but sometimes domains are purchased and unused, so the domain name checker will be able to tell you easily if the domain is already owned by an individual or company.

 

Domain name checker

Check the availability of any domain.

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Keep it short

The best domain names should be short and easy to remember when they see it on the side of a van or on an advertising board. If your company name is long is there a way of shortening it to create a good domain name?

Avoid using hyphens

Having hyphens in your domain name is hard to communicate on a telephone and looks unprofessional. Choose www.theredprintingshop.co.uk rather than www.the-red-printing-shop.co.uk.

Avoid plurals

Be careful with this as this can be confusing. www.sunnygift.co.uk can be confused with www.sunnygifts.co.uk . The best way around the problem is to purchase both domains. This doesn’t mean you need to have two websites. A redirect can easily be setup between one to the other.

Avoid spelling short cuts

Another confusing one for the telephone. Having spelling shortcuts in your company name can cause problems in your domain name. You don’t want to have to explain that “Flowers 4 u” is www.flowers4(the number) u (the letter on its own).co.uk. It will drive you mad I promise you.

 

One domain with every website

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 .com or .co.uk?

If your company is based in the UK and you have no attention of expanding world wide then purchasing a .co.uk is enough. However if you plan to go global then consider a .com domain name. Whether you purchase other domain names (.uk .net .info) it’s up to you but it will guarantee that they are not taken by anyone else.

Check similar domains

Check to see if there are any domains that are similar that you wouldn't want to be mistaken for. You could also lose business easily if a customer confused your domain name and ended up on website for a different company.

Check your domain

Before you make that final decision and purchase that domain check to see if your domain has recently changed from registered to unregistered status. It could be that the domain was previously connected to a website that was considered adult content and you would not want your company to be associated with this.