Choosing or registering a domain is very easy then no matter whether you go with the free or paid ones, but here you need to understand that choosing a domain name is one of the most vital and critical things, so you don’t need to take it lightly.
In my previous post, I have given an overview on how to start a website in which I mentioned three important things that you need to have in order to get your website live, and the domain is one of those things.
Today I will cover the domain part that you don’t want to miss at any cost. Know that you can make changes in your hosting or CMS, but when it comes to a domain, you can’t make any changes. If something goes wrong, then the only option is to register a new domain, so make sure you read every part of this article to avoid any blunder. So without wasting much time, let’s get started.
What is Domain?
A domain name is a unique address that companies or individuals register in order to make their presence online.
You can’t register any existing domain name as they already belong to someone, so it is essential for you to get a unique address for you or your business.
How to Register Domain Name?
There are endless services that let you register your domain name. By paying a minimal fee, you can register a domain for yourself.
In my previous post, I have mentioned that you can register a free or paid domain, so understand the difference between both.
When you choose a free service like Blogger or WordPress, then you are entitled to claim a free domain followed by their main domain name. Technically you are claiming a subdomain.
For instance, if with Blogger and WordPress, you can claim domain names like https://yoursite.blogspot.com and https://yoursiet.wordpress.com, respectively.
Now when you pay for your domain, then you will get a professional domain name like https://yourdomain.com or https://www.yourdomain.net, etc.
After deciding what kind of domain you want, you can follow accordingly.
If you have decided to go with the paid domain, then services like Bluehost, Godaddy, Namecheap, etc. will help you to get a professional domain name.
Coming to claiming a free domain name, then you need to register with free services like WordPress or Blogger, register yourself and claim a free domain.
How to Choose A Domain Name?
No matter whether you are choosing a free or paid domain, you need to pick the domain that fits best with your needs.
Let’s consider a few scenarios that will help you to pick the best domain name for your website.
- You Want a Share Your Thoughts in Your Blog
If you want to get over from diary things and want to share your thoughts or personal experience with the world, then you would love to register a domain that contains your name, for instance, tonystark.com, claramedison.com, etc.
Now it is not like when you choose a domain that contains your name, and you generally have to share your personal thoughts or day to day things. You can share your expertise too, like if you know about cooking, dancing, handcraft, etc. then feel free to pick such a domain. It will help you to boost your personal identity.
- You Want to Sell Goods or Services
If you already have a shop and you want to leverage the online platform then you have generally two options; either choose the domain name that contains your already established shop name or in case you don’t have any shop then feel free to register any unique name that might contain the words that represent what you are selling, for instance, birthdaygifts.com, cakehouse.com, phonecover.com, etc.
- You Want to Start a Blog in a Particular Niche
Niche generally refers to any specific topic. Many bloggers choose a particular niche. Choosing a specific niche is current trending because it helps the blogger to hit and rule the particular market or segment.
When you want to pick the domain, make sure to add the keywords in your market. It is very important, and it will not just help you to get a boost in search engines like Google, Bing, etc. but it also indicates what you are selling or offering.
A niche-focused domain can be anything depending on your niche, for instance, if you want to sell only t-shirts, then your domain should like cooltshirts.com, t-shirtbox.com, etc. If you have any expertise in a particular sector like technology, travel, food, etc. then your domain should like techblog.com, wanderlust.com, tastyfood.com, respectively.
Top 10 Things You Need to Consider Before Registering the Domain Name
1. Prefer to Choose .com Extension
Though there are many domains extension available like .net, .net, .org. I recommend you to go with .com. I know it is pretty hard to get the .com domain that you want, especially today where all good .com names are already registered.
If you are not able to get your preferred .com domain name, then try to play with words. There is nothing wrong with adding some extra related words. Just make sure it is relevant and sounds good.
I just recommended to go with .com as it sounds professional and authentic, but it is not like you can’t go with other domain extensions.
Because all top-level domains (TLDs) are almost filled with a good and meaningful name the good news is today lots of TLDs available that represents specific niche, for instance, there are .online, .shop, to .tech, .site, .website, .pro, .io like a vast number of options that you can choose.
2. Domain Name Should Be Short and Sweet
Though you are allowed to add up to 63 characters in your domain name, it is a wise thing not to get most of all the 63 characters.
When most of the people don’t get their preferred domain name, they generally add some words and numbers. Now, in the end, some of the users end up with a very long name that you are permitted to register, but it seems spammy and non-professional.
It is advisable to keep the domain name as short as you can. A domain name consists of 10-15 character is generally recommended by professionals and experts, but for some reason, you want to exceed the limit, then make sure to check the alternatives that you may want to try like adding synonyms, abbreviations, etc.
3. Domain Name or Brand Doesn’t Have to Be Meaningful
Sounds awkward, right? But in my opinion, if you have any catchy name in your mind then don’t hesitate to go with it. If you research a bit, then you will find out that most of the meaningful names are already exists.
If you are planning to start your brand, then think out the box and come up with the name that sounds well with your brand’s product or services.
You can take an example of my domain, which is untapped-insights.com. I was looking for a domain where I can share digital marketing related topics. After finalizing my niche, I check the domain untappedinsights.com which is already registered.
It doesn’t surprise me, as common words and short names are already registered, but I recommend you to give a try, who knows you might be lucky. Anyways after this, I looked for other options, but unfortunately, most of are already registered.
I love the name, so considering adding a hyphen in my domain name. I checked it, and it was available, so without wasting my time, I immediately registered it. I found it short, simple, and most important adorable.
When registering the domain, you can avoid many recommendations if you are feeling connected with the domain name.
Most of the people will recommend you to go with a meaningful name, but I generally ignore such recommendations.
Many brands don’t have any meaning, and one of the most prominent examples is Google. Google doesn’t have any specific meaning, but today it is a synonym to the internet and search engine.
Frankly speaking, if you know what you are doing and you believe in your product, service, and content, then your users, fans, or customers will embrace you without thinking about the brand name you carry.
Yes, one thing that you would love to follow is your domain name doesn’t contain any problematic word that is difficult to read or any shady words that sound too unprofessional.
4. Consider a Hyphen or Numbers in Your Domain Name
If you are not able to get your desired domain, then you can consider adding hyphen or number or might be both in your domain name. For instance, if you want to register a domain name for a service that offers any time food delivery service and you are looking for domain 24x7food.com, but if it is not available, then you can give a try to 24×7-food.com or 24-7food.com.
Adding a hyphen might not be considered by many, but if you use it wisely, then it will not just sound professional, but your users can understand what your domain is all about in one go.
You can add multiple hyphens in your domain name, but you are not allowed to add the hyphen in the beginning or at the end, for example, you are not allowed to register a domain like –yourdomain.com or yourdomain-.com or –yourdomain-.com.
Another fun fact is you can use multiple hyphens right next to each other like your–domain.com. I don’t recommend it, but if you find any possibility or creativity here, then feel free to go ahead without any hesitation.
5. Don’t Stick With TLDs
If you desperately want your desired name without compromising with anything, then I recommend experimenting with other domain extensions. Today there are endless domain extension available that you would love to try for instance .io, .fm, .cc, .it, .space and more.
One of the biggest misconceptions that people still have is TLDs other than .com, .org, .net, etc. are considered spammy by a search engine like Google, which is a half-truth.
Because of competition, most of the TLDs are available at a very cheap price, and because of this, many users are using them to make a spammy website.
Search engine loves new and fresh content, so make sure to add valuable and relevant content on your website. If you think that you can add any type of content in your .com domain, then you are wrong.
No matter what TLD you have, it is essential for you to follow Google’s content guidelines. If you provide valuable content on your website, then there is no chance that your domain will be blacklist by the search engines.
Here one thing that you want to know is when you look for domain name registrar, you will find many services that offer free domain and hosting. You should avoid such offers without thinking of anything, especially if you are really serious about your online presence.
6. Buy Domains That Are Misspelling of Your Domain
Buying the domains that are a misspelling of your primary domain is one of wise choice. If you are really serious about your online existence and in the coming years, you are planning to take your brand to the next level, then you should be prepared in advance.
As soon as you start getting the recognition, your competitor tries to steal your potential users or customers by registering the misspellings of your brand name. Your competitor might use the same template or design to make your users feel that they are getting information from your brand. To avoid such a scenario, consider buying the misspelling of your domain name.
7. Take Help of Domain Name Generators
Getting the desired domain name is a bit tricky, especially today, when everything you guess is already registered. Don’t worry, many domain name generators will help you to find your cool domain name.
Know that all domain name generators tools have specific functionality and algorithm, so make sure to give a try to every domain name generator that you find on the internet.
8. Check the Domain History Before Buying It
So you’ve finalized your domain name, and it is available, but wait… don’t make the payment, let it stay in your cart.
Before finalizing your domain name, you need to check whether it was registered earlier or not. Most of the time, if it is registered before then, you need to avoid it as it might be a spammy website in the past.
If it has a history, then you may need to put lots of effort to rank it, as Google may already blacklist the domain.
Don’t panic too much. Some ways let you find out whether the domain has any history or not.
First one is Web Archive.
Visit the website and enter the domain name that you want to purchase.
If it is showing no result, then you can consider buying the domain.
Here I have taken an example of “micrositechip.com” which is an expired domain, and it is showing me the following graph.
If you find something similar result, then it means your domain has a history. To check what kind of content your desired domain had, simply click on any year, scroll down and click on the blue circle in the calendar. It will redirect to a new page where you can check the website.
About Wayback Machine
Archive.org is one of the prominent websites that let you check how any particular website looks like on any specific date. It keeps crawling the millions of websites and indexes in their database. Most of the people are using it for fun to check the older version of famous sites like facebook.com, google.com, etc. but experts are using it as a free tool that helps them to check whether the domain has any history or not.
If you still want to buy the domain despite knowing that it has a history, then make sure to check the website content. If it contains any shady or spammy content, then it would be a wise decision to consider other domain variations. If you find the content genuine, then feel free to give it a try.
Note: Though archive.org is one of the trusted sources to check the domain history, but sometimes it will show you no result, even the domain has any history. I recommend you to check other tools like Expired Domains also to ensure the domain you are going to buy is clean and worth buying.
9. Buy Domain from Trusted Services
To build a website, you basically need two things domain and hosting. Previously I suggest you avoid any free services; now, when it comes to the domain, you need to take it very seriously.
If you buy a domain from any random source, then be ready to lose it anytime. I am saying this because it is a real problem. In order to save a few bucks, many people go with free domains and hosting.
Know that you can switch the hosting if you are facing any problem, but when it comes to a domain, you need to trust on trusted registrar like Godaddy, Namecheap, Hostgator, etc.
1o. Register Your Domain for Maximum Years
When you purchase any domain, it comes with one year of registration. After one year, you need to pay again to keep the domain. If you fail to renew the domain, your domain registrar will make it available for others.
If you don’t want to lose your domain, then you would love to register it for 5 or 10 years, especially if you are planning to use the domain to represent your brand. It will also help you to save you a few bucks as you are registering the domain for a long period.
If you have any money problem right then, there is no issue; just make sure you renew your domain every year. To avoid any problematic situation, turn on the auto-renew option. This way, you can keep your domain as long as you want.
So these are some tips on how to pick the right domain name for you. I know there are many more thing that needs to be covered here, but I picked only the important things that everyone should keep in mind before buying a domain. If you have any questions regarding buying a domain or any point that you think should be here in the article, then let me know in the comment section.
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