Setting Up A Website – How to Choose A Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is one of the first things you have to do when setting up a website. But if you
have never purchased and chosen a domain name before, the process might be a bit daunting for you.
Here is how you can choose a domain name and purchase it.
First of all, what is a domain name? Domain name is the address people type in the web browser when
they want to visit a website. Google.com, for example, is a domain name. It’s a unique identifier of your
website and just like any other given name – like the name of a shop or the name of a brand – the
domain name needs to be carefully thought about.
Here are some factors that will help you choose a good domain name for your website.
Make Sure It Can Be Easily Remembered
One of the things that matter the most when it comes to domain names is the ability of your users to
remember it. Domain name should be simple enough for your users to easily remember it. Avoid using
hyphens that might make it difficult for your users to remember.
Make Sure Your Users Can Pronounce It
The domain name is often a combination of two or more words. But sometimes, those combined words
look so confusing that users find hard to pronounce them. When choosing a domain name, make sure it
can be easily pronounced.
The Domain Name Should Be Self Explanatory
A good domain name should explain the intent of the website. Look at babycenter.com as an example.
The domain name itself is self-explanatory and one can easily guess what they can find when they visit
this site – parenting advice!
Consider Using SEO Keywords
Although it’s just a small ranking factor, keywords in URL do make a difference. For example, we built a
dentists’ directory website with the domain name, DentistsNearMe, which was also a keyword the
webmaster wanted to target. In this case, it made sense to use SEO keywords in URL. But keep in mind
that it’s not always a good option for branding your business.
Choose a .com Suffix
When looking for a domain name, you will find the option to select a suffix for your URL. .com, .net, .org
are all examples of common suffixes used in domain names. .com is the most recommended because it’s
the first thing that comes in a user’s mind when he’s typing in the URL address. So, if you use the .com
suffix, your domain name will be more easily remembered.
Should You Choose A Free Domain?
When purchasing domains, you will come across the option of getting free domain names. Those are
actually subdomains. So, for example, if you want a set up a website that sells flowers and you want a
domain FlowersForYou.com, a free domain would look something like FlowersForYou.wordpress.com,
which looks very unprofessional and amateurish. So, unless you only want to blog about something,
choosing a free subdomain is not recommended at all.
How To Buy The Domain
There are many domain registration sites from where you can buy the name you want. You will first
need to check its availability. Not every name is available, of course, so you will need to brainstorm
some variations of what you want.
Once you find the name that is available, you will have to pay an annual registration and maintenance
fee. It’s also recommended to get your domain registered for a longer period and pay the annual fee in
advance for multiple years. Some SEO experts say that it’s possible Google uses registration period as a
ranking factor as longer registrations might mean more commitment to a site. Therefore, you should try
to get your domain name registered for multiple years in advance.
That’s it about buying a domain name…
Keep in mind that once you buy a domain name and set up your website, you’ll be stuck with it, as it’s
not easy to change it after. So, take your time, think about it and make a strategic choice.
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About the Author
Maria is an Ecommerce Manager at Codup who accepts challenging strategies and puts amazing ideas
on the table! She is an active community manager and also blogs at Codup Readers.