When I planned for this website, my first step was to make an outline of what I intend to cover, what are my goals and why I want to build this website. This was the planning phase. After having written above requirements in my Evernote, its time to decide on a domain name. A domain name is not only an address to my website but it would become the name of my new platform.
Although there is always an option of re-branding but that is an art itself and needs a lot of efforts in later stages. So safely I can say for a newbie, its not wise to change domain name for a website again and again. If renaming is really needed, it must be done as soon as the need arrives.
There are many but at least following are very important points to keeps in mind when you select a domain name. I considered at least these for this domain name selection.
SEO Keywords or brand Name:
You have two paths when you are searching for a domain name.
- Use a typical (may be) non-dictionary word or even your name (personal branding). Many times its done when you are going to take your off-line business name to Internet. In this case, you are not really required to work hard to search for domain name.
- To get more search engine traffic, select a domain name with your niche words contained within and explaining the nature of your blog/business. It should be a combination of two or three words that describe purpose of your website or blog. Anything longer than three words is not a good domain name in general.
LearningBlogging is an example of this type where two words describe the nature of this blog. It describe of a platform where we are learning the art of blogging.
Its been long since Internet and websites are around but importance of .com domain names is still in place. Don't opt for any other top level or country level domain unless that is really necessary.
A country level domain can be needed if your business is local and there is no margin of expansion on international front. Examples are .us, .uk, .pk, .in etc. These mostly cost more than a .com domain.
Examples of top level domains other than .com are .net, .org, .tv, .info etc. People have adopted as natural tendency to use .com with your site name and you have to make them realize if you have other than .com domain. Hitting CTRL+Enter after writing domain name in adress bar of browser adds .com making it obvious to go for .com domain name.
There may be a scenario that you really need some other TLD. Why not buy .com domain as well and redirect that to your other domain name.
Some large business buy many TLDs and redirect those to their .com domain. Or a same company can use .com and .org for different purposes like WordPress does it.
Easy to remember
Using dictionary word or a combination helps others remember the site name. Shorter is better. Its not easy now to grab single word domain name. A logical combination of two or maximum three words is fine. Don't go beyond three words combination.
Initially I wanted to make a combination of three dictionary words but could not find something appealing. My motive for three words combination was to make a short name consisting of initial letter of each word.
No Hyphens / Numbers
Don't use hyphens or numbers in your domain name. It makes typing difficult and word of mouth sharing error prone. So better avoid a-hyphened-domain-name.
If you are concerned with isolation of words in domain name, use Camel case -where each word starts with a capital letter like LearningBlogging.com
Domain Name Suggestion Tool
You must use some helping tool for domain name search. Such tools sometimes broaden your options in mind. I had used Bust-A-Name for this website and many others. Give it a try and let me know in comments if anything better you use.