With any new business and new website launch, one of the first questions is always – what domain name do you want? Seems easy to us, but actually, it can be a minefield. You have to make sure that the domain name fits well for your business.
Make it easy to type – long, wordy domain names are easy to forget and type incorrectly. Plus, it can actually be quite onerous to type them out on a mobile too, so bear that in mind. Keep it easy, and short.
Avoid using numbers and hyphens – this is often common if your business name exists elsewhere and you really want that for your website, many will then start using hyphens or numbers. Again, it’s not easy to remember or type in, and can easily lead to mistakes and losing business.
Try and be memorable – snappy and catchy is always good, short is memorable but above all make sure your website domain is easy to remember.
Think about the domain name extension (these are the bits at the end, .co.uk, .com, etc). There are loads of options out there, and while back in the day it was super important to grab the .com before anyone else, it’s less top priority now. As internet users, we’re used to seeing a lot more extensions around, but it does pay off to do a bit of research about what some mean. For example, a .org is usually a non-commerial organisation or not for profit business. It’s engrained. Having said that, we always tend towards a .com and .co.uk first of all, not least because the .com is its own button on many mobile keypads these days.
Consider buying more than one extension – we always check to make sure a .com and a .co.uk are free, purely because if we only purchase one, we may lose business to the other. It goes back to being memorable. It also stops competition buying up those free domains, but it can be a pricey game so have a good think before you start. You could even consider buying misspellings of your domain too, but that one is entirely up to you and how much you want to protect your brand (and catch your customers).
Think, is your business name really right for you? Might seem like an odd question, but perhaps that domain name has gone already. Do you want a business name that isn’t matching your domain name? Perhaps have a rethink before you launch. You could use tools such as LeadDomainSearch, or Business name generator by Shopify.
On the other hand, don’t panic too much if you can’t get the right domain name, or perhaps, the right domain name isn’t your full business name (we point at ourselves here).
Check the social media handles – this is where brand consistency comes in. Before your dive into buying that domain name, double check the usernames aren’t already gone on social media. Otherwise, it can become a bit of a mess. Again, don’t sweat over this too much, but it’s a good consideration to bear in mind.
Shop around for the best price, but make sure the domain registrar is trustworthy (we usually check our Trustpilot for online sites).