When setting up a website it is important that the domain name is suitable. For this to be considered, first you will need to know the purpose of the website and if you want a brand name or keyword identity. You may also wish to research your competition to see what names they have chosen.
It’s also essential you know who your target audience is so the name is appealing to them
My top suggestions for how to choose a domain name are:
- Keep it short and simple – no one wants to spend time typing a long domain name that’s difficult to remember
- If you are not setting up a brand name, use a keyword that people will use to search for your website in your domain name
- Add a location to the domain name if applicable – for example bestcardealershipslondon.co.uk rather than just bestcardealerships.co.uk – it makes the domain longer but more specific to your target audience
- Avoid trademarks – the trademark owner has the authority to ask you to stop using the name and can take it off you
- Choose a suitable extension if it’s available – for example, .com .net . org .me .co.uk etc…
- If you have chosen a brand name and have the budget, buy multiple domain extensions and redirect to your main site
So now you know how to choose a domain name, you can decide if you use a website host that offers a free domain name with the hosting (nice, but can sometimes tie you to that host and they make it difficult to move away) or you can choose to buy your domain name and point it to your hosting.
If you are getting a free name from your host – you will need to choose your host, otherwise, check out these domain name registrars:
- Namecheap – they offer a great range of domain extensions and provide private whois as standard for free (other registrars charge for this service that hides your personal information (like name and address) from people looking this information up on a whois search). My registrar of choice. Register Your Domains Hassle-Free with Namecheap starting at $3.98/year
- 123 reg – another well-known registrar that I have used previously that has its HQ based in the UK but offers all sorts of international domain extensions and has some great deals too. Save 15% off .COM domains at 123-Reg
Use either of the above registrars to secure your domain then proceed to Step 2 – Hosting your website.