Domain Name Quick Guide

This is a quick guide to avoid choosing the wrong domain name that could hurt your brand or product. For full guide please subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of the article. It’s quick, simple, and free.

1. Avoid extensions other than a .com domain.

.com is the most common domain name and because of the credibility that comes with it, it has more value than .net, .org, etc. As a business owner you don’t want to take a chance of customers forgetting your domain is lotsofdresses.shop and instead type in the competitors .com name lotsofdresses.com.

2. Avoid domains that can be misspelled.

Most people cannot spell (like me) so make it easy for potential customers to remember it. So avoid domains that:

(a.) create double letters that can be mistyped
(b.) other words when combined
(c.) or sounds similar to another word.

a. midwesttransit.com and midwestransit.com
b. expertsexchange.com  Could be “Experts Exchange” or “Expert Sex Change”. Not good.
c. ipanywhere.com  When spoken aloud it sounds like ipeeanywhere.com. Also not good.

3. Avoid long domains. The shorter the better.

Your domain should be two words or less and not more than 4 syllables

4. Avoid hyphens or any other unusual characters.

Example: your-name.com will lose type in traffic to yourname.com. It is hard for customers to remember or get used to typing in hyphens. It’s unnatural.

5. Avoid “trendy” domain names unless you know what you’re doing.

All these “rules” can be ignored if the domain has commercial value as a brand. Twitter is a completely made up word, but holds value to the company because they made it unique and allows them to be unambiguous and flexible with their services or product. Do you have the resources to do that?

6. Avoid domains that have Singular and Plural versions.

If the name can work as singular and plural try to get both. If the best version is already taken it a judgement call. Is there a competitor already using it? How much would it cost to acquire the other version and if you don’t would it cost you more in the future?

7. Avoid spending too much.

Most domains are already taken and cost to purchase them from marketplaces. If you can think of a name that has never been registered before it’s only $10 each year. This takes a lot of work but if you have more time than money at this point it may be worth it to try and brainstorm your own business domain name.

8. Avoid using numbers instead of words.

Example: 4 instead of “for”, and 2 instead of “to”. If you buy a domain that uses the literal number 4 as in four you should own both versions. It’s best to avoid them.

9. Avoid slang or misspellings.

Unless it is a very popular word and not easily confused with another.

10. Avoid trademarked names, existing business names, and other brands / products.

This is self explanatory. You don’t want to run into any problems down the road and it’s best to avoid them at the beginning.

So now that you know what to avoid, get creative.

There are lots of ways to find the right domain name for your business, product, service, or idea. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity. Reach out to others for help. Remember these are more like general guidelines than rules and there is a lot of room to try something new.

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