How To Choose A Perfect Domain Name: 5 Rules To Follow

how to choose perfect domain name rules register site domains

Every great online business from blogs to e-commerce stores need a great domain name. It’s the one thing that every online venture requires for short and long term success. Your domain name is your brand, and it’s what people will use to identify your company. A website domain name selection can make or break a blog, site, or even an entire business in our increasingly competitive global digital age. It’s very important that the domain name you select is the right one – and in this article, we are going to help you do exactly that. 

Follow these simple rules to choose the perfect domain name for your online business. 

5 Top Tips For Registering The Right Domain Name

1. Don’t Fall In Love With Your First Domain Name Choice 

The first rule of choosing a great domain name is this: You should never fall so in love with your first domain name choice that your entire business model depends on getting that domain. There is a very good chance that your first domain name choice will already be taken – and even if you can acquire the domain name you want, there are several reasons why you might not want to. Maybe the asking price is too high; maybe the domain hosted some unsavory content in the past. You’ll need to have a little flexibility when it comes to selecting domains at a reasonable price. 

2. Brainstorm A List Of Potential Domain Name Candidates 

Domain names have been around for an extremely long time at this point. There were nearly 367 million domain names registered as of early 2021 according to Verisign.com. That list includes just about every individual English word along with most possible three-letter and four-letter combinations. That’s why you can’t fall in love with your first domain name idea; there’s a good chance that someone else already has it. You should come up with a long list of potential candidates before you start checking the potential domains for availability. 

These are the qualities that constitute a great domain name. 

• It should be as short and memorable as possible. Remember that your website is also the name of your brand. If you want people to talk about your company, they have to be able to remember the name. 

• It’s great if your domain name is also the thing that you sell, although not everyone will be fortunate enough to snag a domain like VapeJuice.com. Either way, though, this line of thinking should be part of your brainstorming process. 

• Your domain name should be something that people can spell just from hearing it. Numbers are usually bad in domain names because people won’t know whether to use the numerals or spell the numbers out. 

• If your domain name happens to be a word you’ve invented, there’s a good chance that the domain you want will be available. If you manage to invent something catchy, you could end up with the next Instagram. In this case, though, the previous rules still apply. Anyone who hears the name of your website should be able to type it correctly. 

The rules above will apply to the vast majority of all online ventures. With that being said, though, there are also situations in which it’s OK to break the rules. Just like you’re unlikely to have trouble getting the domain name you want if it’s a word you’ve invented, you’ll also probably get the domain you want if it’s intentionally misspelled. Google, Flickr and Reddit are three well-known domain names that are intentionally spelled incorrectly. 

You should also keep in mind, though, that getting people to remember an alternative spelling isn’t always easy. The food delivery service Goldbelly, for example, used to be called “Goldbely.” In the service’s early years, it’s possible that business was lost because people didn’t know the correct spelling of the domain name. 

3. Check Your Domain Name Ideas For Availability 

After considering the pointers above and having a long brainstorming session, you should have a fairly lengthy list of domain name candidates. Don’t check the candidates for availability unless you’re prepared to register the domain name that you want immediately. That’s to prevent the possibility of domain name front running. If you check a domain name for availability and do not register it, the registrar may register the domain and attempt to sell it at a higher price. 

Generally, you only want to register a domain name if the .com version of that domain is available. If the .com version of a domain name belongs to an active business, you’re going to encounter SEO issues – and a potential trademark violation – if you attempt to run a business under the .net version of that same domain name. If the .com version of a domain you want is registered but doesn’t have an active website, it might be possible for you to buy the domain from the current owner. Don’t bother registering the .net and .org versions, though, until you’ve secured the .com version. 

4. Consider Buying An Existing Domain Name 

Sometimes, it makes sense to buy an existing domain name. Many great domain name ideas have already been registered, but not every domain is being used for an active website. Many domain names are registered by speculators who hope to realize profits by reselling those domains later. In other cases, a domain name might be used for a website that’s been dormant for several years – and the owner might be willing to sell. In either situation, you have a potential opportunity to buy the domain name. 

If your perfect domain name is owned by someone else and is available for purchase, get ready to negotiate. A domain name is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Domain name speculators register a great many domain names but will only ever sell a small portion of them. The asking price for a short and catchy domain name, therefore, will often be very high. Remember, though, that unless a domain name is being auctioned off, you are most likely the only person making an offer. Unless the domain name is so spectacular that the seller can afford to sit on it for a while, your goal should be to get the seller to accept an offer well below his or her asking price. Is the seller firm? Make another offer if the domain is still available after a few months. 

Before making an offer on any domain name, check its history on the Internet Archive. You’ll also want to find out whether the domain has any existing inbound links from other domains. If the domain name has a history of being used for black hat SEO or adult content, pass on it and choose another domain. You don’t want to spend time cleaning up someone else’s mess. Expired domain names or active websites for sale can be a big bargain or a big mess depending on their content and backlink history.

5. Register Every Version Of Your Domain Name 

Once you’ve selected and acquired your domain name, the final step is to register the .net and .org versions of that domain along with all of the prominent international variations such as the .co.uk extension. Remember that you don’t have to actually use every version of your domain name; you can simply redirect all of the variations back to your primary domain. The main purpose here is to protect your trademark and ensure that no one else can ever register a domain similar to yours to take advantage of your brand equity or cause brand confusion. You don't want another similar site with a different suffix to ride your coattails to online success or potentially damage your site reputation. 

Domain Domination 

A website domain name is an essential investment. It's only becoming more important every year in the digital age. Keep these 5 rules in mind when you register your domain name.

Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer, Partners, & Blog Outreach Services