Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Don't fall for trends

Just because something is trending now, it doesn't mean it always will. Copying what someone else is doing can lead you down the wrong path. Stay away from odd spellings and lots of hyphens or numbers. Keep it simple, focused and easy to remember. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Marry your domain name

It sounds odd, but you have to be absolutely sure you love your domain name. Once it's set, you have it for years to come. If you decide later to rename it, then you will lose time, money, branding, and rankings. We do not recommend changing your domain once your blog has been live for any considerable amount of time. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Choose a unique name

If you are marketing yourself, ideally you'll be able to use your first and last names (johnsmith.com or janesmith.com). Even if you aren't marketing yourself, it's not a bad idea to register your name as a domain now, in case you want to use it in the future. If you are marketing your business, you should see if your business name (yourbusiness.com) is available. Using a search engine like Google, search for your proposed blog or website name. Does your search show any sites with similar domain names? If it does, try a different name. Giving your website a name that's similar to other existing sites is the first step to failure. Also, don't choose names that are plural or misspelled versions of existing sites. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Help Yourself to Some Domain Name Generators

This is another kind of helper that you can use if you're finding it hard to come up with a cool domain name, and thus, by extension, your business name as well. These tools are very simple to use, but also surprisingly helpful. All they need is one keyword from you - a seed keyword (or a seed key-phrase) - and, in return, they give you tens or even hundreds of suggestions, full of valid and available domain names that you can register right away. The best such tools include: LeanDomainSearch, created by the guys at Automattic (also known for WordPress.com). For example, this is what you get when looking up 'coffee': LeanDomainSearch Business name generator by Shopify works similarly to the above, and also helps you build a Shopify store with the domain name of your choice. Nameboy is a bit more old-school - especially in its design - but it's still useful. This one needs more specific input, and does a better job once you have a general direction you want to follow with your name. - Karol K - Winning WP


Go after .com

When it comes to extensions, being unique isn't always better. While new extensions like '.me' or '.pro' may feel hip and eye-catching, '.com' is still the easiest to remember and most often used. In fact, _ of all websites use a '.com' extension. If you can't get the '.com', go with other well-known extensions like '.co' or '.net' or '.org'. Then plan on acquiring the .com in the future. Of course, you'll need to check who owns the .com first. If a big brand already owns your preferred .com, you won't be able to afford to buy it from them down the road. Unless you make mega bucks. But what about those country-specific extensions, such as '.nl' for the Netherlands, or '.de' for Germany? These are perfectly fine if you're not planning to do business outside the country you select. For instance, the .ca extension is great for a Canadian company operating solely in Canada. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Build your brand

If you can't find a good domain that meets the previous rule, use branding to distinguish yourself. Using a unique moniker is a great way to build additional value. Take note that, because of this need for brand-building, you'll likely be slower to gain traction than if you used a more simple and straightforward domain. But, if done correctly, the effort can pay off in the long run. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Make it unique

Your domain is part of your brand. Making sure it stands out is extremely important for you and your users. Having a domain that closely resembles another popular brand is never a good idea, as it can lead to confusion. Be careful that you're not trying to be too unique, however. Forcing an alternative spelling of a common word can lead to big trouble. An example cited in the book, 'The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization,' is that of the popular image site Flickr. When the site founders established their domain, they did not use the standard spelling, flicker.com, and they may have lost traffic as a result. They ended up having to purchase the correctly spelled domain and have the additional domain redirect to Flickr.com. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Beware of trends

Anything that deals with something trendy will, like the trend, fade away. Stick with a classic name that will span the generations and not be tied down to a trend or fad. Deciding whether something is a trend or here to stay, is a matter of personal judgment, but it's usually not too hard to tell. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Keep it short

If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


Make it brandable

Brandable, meaning that when you hear or see the domain name, it sounds like a brand. Which means that hyphens and numbers are a real problem because they don't sound like a brand. They sound generic, or strange. For example, if we wanted to create a pasta website that has pasta recipes and sells some pasta related e-commerce products on it; Pasta-shop.com would be hard to brand, say, or remember. PastaAficionado.com sounds brandable, is unique, but quite challenging to say. PastaLabs.com would be amazing because it has a scientific connotation to it, is very brandable, unique, memorable, and stands out. - Rand Fishkin - Moz


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