6 Key Factors to Consider Before Choosing Your Website’s Domain Name

Website’s domain name is an important part of the puzzle when it comes to a successful website. You want a name that sticks out and is easy to remember – otherwise, people will have to rely on other means to find your site. But finding the right name can be a little tricky. Many good names are gone and some names that might sound like a good idea now might end up being a bad idea later down the line.

It’s important to take a moment to think about the domain name instead of just rushing in. Considering the following six key factors can help you ensure the name you end up picking will benefit your website for years, not hinder it.

So, what are the key factors to consider before choosing your website’s domain name?

1. The name’s stickiness

The stickiness of the domain name simply means how easy to remember the name is. Simple domain names are the best – you don’t want them to sound unnatural or consist over four words. If the name is hard to remember, then it won’t stick in people’s minds. Therefore, you want to keep it simple and focus on words that aren’t phonetically complicated or difficult to spell.

You also need to focus on the readability of the domain name. You must consider how the words look together since they will all be bundled up. For example, there is a famous example of the website teacherstalking.org. Now, if you just read it like that you might wonder why a teacher might be stalking you and why it’s on the internet. But it’s actually the domain name for the organisation Teachers Talking. See? It makes a big difference.

2. The name is relevant to the site

It might sound funny to create a website called dogtreats when you sell shoes but it doesn’t work in the end. Your domain name must be relevant to the site you are running. There are two reasons for that.

First, it improves the stickiness of the domain name. If the name is related to the site – for example, has something to do with storytelling when you’re running a story-based blog – people will remember it from the connection they make with the content and the blog.

But it also helps improve traffic to your website and boost your search engine optimisation. You could actually rank better in search engines by simply ensuring your domain name is relevant to the kind of site you are running.

3.The match with domain extensions

You should also consider the domain extension you want to use. You have plenty of choices available and you could use the extension to be playful and clever. If you are running a very country-specific site, you might also want to adopt the national extension.

However, do remember that most people think of .com when they are trying to remember a website URL. Therefore, an exotic extension might not always be such as a good idea.

4. The double meaning of the name

Be careful with trying to be clever or play with words. Language tends to change and certain words that might seem popular and cool now can end up being something completely different later on. You don’t want to try too hard – simple and traditional often works much better.

For example, if you are selling shoes, rather than picking a current slang name for shoes, you want to stick to the familiar – such as boots, shoes, and so on. Domain names don’t have to be super funny or cool – they just need to be memorable.

5. The legality of the name

You must also think about the legality of the domain name. For example, you might have a hard time keeping the site up if you combine or use a famous brand in your name. Even if you somehow manage to find a domain name that features a famous brand name and a specific extension don’t do it – it can end up costing you a lot of money in the end.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to avoid registering any domain name with a trademark. Of course, you can use your own trademark but avoid using others. You can do simple Google searching to ensure you’re not in breach of this.

6. The name is available

Finally, it might sound a bit obvious but you need to consider whether the name is available. Before you celebrate the great name you came up with and print out business cards, ensure you are actually able to get the name.

Note that the name might be available but the cost might be too much for your budget. You need to negotiate and check all of this before you celebrate. A good idea is to contact server hosts for tips and help. You can use OZCodes.com.au to find popular web server providers and see if you can find an affordable deal for all your website needs.

Names matter and you don’t want to decide your website’s domain name on a whim. Make sure to consider the six key factors before you finalise a name – it’ll help ensure you have a great sounding name to boost traffic on your website.

Mars Cureg

Web designer by profession, photography hobbyist, T-shirt lover, design blog founder, gamer. Socially and physically awkward, lack of social skills, struggles to communicate with anyone who doesn't have a keyboard. Willing to walk to get to the promised land. Photo and video freelancer, SEO. Check out more on my Google+

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