This is our Domain Names hub. In this section of the website you will learn everything you need to know about domains, from tips and guides for choosing a good domain for your business website, or personal web presence, to how to start a career in domain name investing.
Table of Contents
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is a unique identifier for a website or an email address. It allows people to find your site or send you emails without having to remember a long string of numbers (the IP address). Domain names are easy to remember and make your online presence more professional.
Businesses can use domain names to create branded email addresses (email@example.com) and to make it easier for customers to find their website. Individuals can use domain names to create a website for themselves or their business.
Domain names are registered through domain name registrars. Once you have registered a domain name, you can use it for your website or email address. You will need to renew your domain name registration every year.
If you want to set up a website, you will also need to buy web hosting apart from the domain name. Many web hosting providers offer domain name registration as part of their web hosting packages, however these are usually more expensive than when you buy them from a domain registrars.
How to choose a domain name
Choosing the right domain name for your business or project is extremely important as your domain name is the foundation to building a strong online brand that is both memorable and search friendly.
How to choose the right domain name for a Business
The process of choosing the right domain name for your business is more important than most people think as your domain name is used to identify your brand identify, that is, what your business is about.
It also determines how your website appears in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Here’s the steps I follow to choose the ideal domain names for my business or online websites.
Include an important Keyword
First, think about your business name and the keywords that you have in your business name, or that you could have in your business name, if you still did not choose a name yet.
A keyword is a word that identifies or strongly relates to your business or brand. For example, a dentist practice called ‘Careful Dental Clinic’ has one important keyword, which is ‘dental’.
This is an important word included in the name that helps visitors to quickly identify that this business is a dentist.
Another important reason for this keyword is for search engine optimization. In other words, when a visitor searches for a dentist on Google or any other search engine, they will type in something like ‘dentists near me’.
In this example, if the domain name has the word dentist, or dental in it, there is a good chance that their website will appear amongst the first few results in search engines.
So, it might be an important competitive advantage to your business if you include a relevant keyword in your domain name, especially if you’re a small or local business.
Having said this, I don’t necessarily recommend this if you want to build a big brand.
Think about the big brands, like Tesla, BMW, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. All these brands have small domain names with no keywords in them.
This is because they can rely on brand identity, resulting in people like you and I automatically associating their name with the type of business they are in.
So, to summarize I recommend if you’re a local or small business you choose a domain name made up of two or three short words, of which, at least one is a keyword that identifies the type of business you are in.
On the other hand, if you want to become a big business with an identifiable and well-known brand name, then your priority is to choose a more creative, unique, and short domain name. Ideally one or two words and under 10 characters in total.
Choose a relevant Top-Level Domain (TLD)
Next you want to choose your top-level domain, also known as TLD.
The Top Level Domain is the letters behind the actual name, or the extension found to the right of the dot in a domain name. The most common TLD is .com, followed by .net and .org.
A .com TLD is usually for international websites, and a .org TLD is usually taken by non-profit organizations, like universities and charities. However, nowadays there are hundreds of other TLDs you can choose from.
Also keep in mind that if your business only has a local presence and serves customers only locally, then you are better off going for country specific top-level domain, such .co.uk for business situated in the UK, or .co.nz for businesses in New Zealand.
In addition to the more familiar extensions like .com, and the country specific extensions, there are many other popular domain extensions that cater to specific industries, interests, or locations.
Here are 10 popular extensions and the type of blogs or websites they are commonly used for:
.org: Originally intended for non-profit organizations, this extension has become popular among various entities, including charities, educational institutions, affiliate sites and community groups. Websites with the .org extension typically have a focus on social, educational, or cultural causes, but this may always be the case.
.net: Initially created for network infrastructure companies, the .net extension has evolved into a popular alternative for businesses and individuals alike. It’s often used by all kind of companies, startups, and online services.
.edu: this is reserved for accredited educational institutions. The .edu extension is used by colleges, universities, and other educational organizations, emphasizing the academic nature of their content.
.gov: Used exclusively by government agencies and departments, the .gov extension denotes official government websites, ensuring credibility and trustworthiness in the information they provide.
.biz: Designed specifically for business websites, the .biz extension can be an alternative to .com for businesses, entrepreneurs, and online retailers.
.info: Aimed at information-focused websites, the .info extension is often used for educational resources, news outlets, or informational blogs that share knowledge on a variety of topics.
.travel: this extension was created for the travel and tourism industry. In fact, the .travel extension may be found among online travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, and travel bloggers, to denote the travel-focused nature of their content.
.shop: This extension can be a good alternative for for e-commerce websites and online retailers. The .shop extension emphasizes the commercial aspect of the site, making it clear that the primary purpose is shopping or selling goods and services.
.photography: Catering to photographers, photography studios, and photo-sharing platforms, the .photography extension showcases the website’s focus on images, visuals, and the art of photography.
.me: Originally intended as the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Montenegro, the .me extension has gained popularity for personal websites, blogs, and portfolios, as it adds a personal touch and emphasizes the individual behind the site.
Remember that while these extensions can help you find an available domain name and better represent your niche, it’s still essential to prioritize your target audience’s familiarity with the extension you choose, and at the end of the day, it is the content you post on your website that will make a difference in your website’s search engine ranking and popularity with returning visitors.
What happens if your business name is already taken up as a domain name?
If your domain name is taken you have 3 choices.
- Reach out to the current owner of the domain name and check if they are willing to sell it to you. Keep in mind that domain name re-selling is a big business. Chances are that if your brand name is unique, the person who has the domain name of your brand is not using it as an actual website but is holding on to it for a potential re-sale for a profit.
- Play around with the brand name wording to find a domain name that is available. So for example, if your brand name is ‘Klikk Computers’ but klikkcomputers.com is already taken, then you can try and be a bit creative and play around with the name. You might decide to buy the domain klikkcomputerstore.com instead, or klikk-computers.com.
- Buy the exact business name but on a different TLD. So, to continue with the example above. Instead of buying klikkcomputers.com you could buy klikkcomputers.net, or klikkcomputers.us.
I would recommend trying option 1 first. Having the exact brand name domain is priceless as you grow your business. Remember that people will search for your business online by typing in the exact brand name, and if they try and search by inputting what they think the domain is, they will usually type the brand name followed by .com.
So, having both the exact brand name and the .com TLD are 2 very important factors.
There are hundreds of places online where you can purchase your domain name. My personal favorite is Namecheap.com, but I also recommend Google Domains as another great option.
That’s basically it. Remember, take the necessary time before choosing the right domain name for your business. Look for a good fit with a relevant TLD based on your country.
Tips and Guides on Choosing Domains
Below you’ll find our guides on various aspects of choosing the right domain for your business, blog, or any website you are creating.
Investing in Domain Names: A Comprehensive Guide
This section of our website is designed to guide you through the exciting world of domain name investing. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various aspects of domain investing, empowering you with the knowledge and strategies needed to become a successful domain investor.
Whether you are new to domain investing or looking to expand your existing portfolio, our series of articles will cover various essential topics, such as:
- Understanding Domain Investing: Get acquainted with the basics of domain investing, learn key terminology, and discover why domain names are valuable assets.
- Choosing Profitable Domains: Uncover the secrets to identifying and acquiring high-potential domain names that are likely to appreciate in value over time.
- Domain Name Marketplaces: Explore the top marketplaces where you can buy, sell, and manage your domain names with ease.
- Domain Name Valuation: Learn how to accurately estimate the value of a domain name and determine its potential for a profitable investment.
- Domain Name Monetization: Discover various monetization strategies, including domain parking, website development, and affiliate marketing.
- Legal Considerations: Understand the legal aspects of domain investing, including trademarks, cybersquatting, and dispute resolution.
- Negotiation and Sales Strategies: Master the art of negotiating and closing deals to sell your domain names at a profit.
Are you ready to dive deep into the world of domain investing and get the knowledge, tools, and insights needed to succeed in this lucrative market? Then start going through the knowledge articles below: