Choose your domain name wisely and you will be glad that you did. By John Russell
Having a stunning website with great content is important, but having a great domain name that captures the attention of the world is a must. What makes your site even easier for potential customers to locate and recognize is a great domain name. A domain name is one of the most important steps in creating a website, as it allows potential customers to know what your site offers at a single glance. Choose wisely and you will be glad you did.
Domain names can be a maximum of 63 characters. Keep this in mind when coming up with ideas. The shorter the name, the better. You want to come up with something that people are going to be able to remember easily and that flows off the tongue.
Hyphens can be nice in a name, but try keeping them to a minimum. A name with only letters or a mixture of letters and numbers is going to be much easier for customers to remember than a name with hyphens throughout.
One problem with adding ‘special characters’ to your domain name is the fact that this can confuse customers and your name can be easily misspelled; causing your potential customers to possibly end up on a completely different site, losing you money and even helping out the competition.
Basically, you want a name that is easy to say and something that you do not have to spell out for people to understand. If you do feel the need to spell out the name, then it may be time to simplify.
Be creative when it comes to the naming of your site. Find fun ways to add your site keywords into the domain name without coming across as ‘generic’ or ‘plain’. The goal is to stand out from the crowd. Look at the sites Flickr or YouTube for example; they each have a unique approach when it comes to their spelling but are simple and to the point. They technically break the ‘spelling’ rule listed above but have the potential to do well since they are not overly complicated or confusing.
Purchasing a domain name is very simple. All you have to do is go to a domain name registrar (such as GoDaddy). A registrar is going to typically charge you a registration fee, which is usually less than $30 (There are some for as low as $10!). This fee is going to cover you for an entire year. If you are considering whether or not to select a name you like, remember; good names go fast. Snatch it up for the small cost before someone else does.
If the domain name you want already exists, you can choose to either come up with another name or attempt to buy it from its current owner. Depending on the history of the site, this could end up costing you a pretty penny; so choose wisely. Much of the time, simply coming up with a different name is going to be your best bet.