How to Get Online

How to Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is going to be the front door to anyone searching for your products and services on the Web.

With the dominance of search engines such as Google, customers are not as likely to type in a domain name or URL as they are to type key words into a search engine. As you think about your domain name, there are a few areas to cover:


The extension you see to the right of the dot ( is just as important to what’s to the left of it ( Learn more about TLDs to help you choose the right one for your business - Verisign powers several reputable extensions like .com and .net:


With more than 15 years of reliability, .com is the foremost trusted domain and where customers want to do business online.


An established domain with a strong legacy, .net validates your online business


With this in mind, we recommend that you write up a list of your top domain name choices then check their availability. If the choices you want are available, the next step is to register your domain names.


There are many choices of registrars to register your domain name for you. Ask friends and family for references or use this Verisign page to look up a registrar. Registrars are the domain retailers that send the necessary domain name system (DNS) information to a registry such as Verisign – the wholesaler – to register a domain name on behalf of your business.


Find a Registrar

Location & Categories

Your domain name should be memorable! Try creating your own word by compounding two whole words (YouTube), blending parts of two words together (Microsoft), tweaking a word (Tumblr) or using a phrase (ImLovinIt). Also, remember you don’t have to use your company name as a domain name, try your slogan or product name!


When it comes to choosing a domain name, consider what tone is appropriate and will resonate with your target audience. For instance, will using slang words be advantageous or disadvantageous to your business?


Don’t be afraid to have a longer domain name. In fact, the average domain name is 13 characters long. Descriptive names that are naturally longer in length can be memorable and great for branding. Some businesses even add in location or other words that help to describe their business in their domain names.


Ideas for choosing a domain name

Domain names with hyphens can open the possibilities of what is available to you. Though you should take into consideration where you place the hyphen. It is best practice to place them at natural word breaks, as it will make it easier for a user to remember your domain name.

Ex. vs.

Consider Alternate Spellings

When registering a domain name that has more than one possible spelling, try to register all variations of the word to help ensure your customers can easily find your business online.

Consider Registering with Other TLD Extensions

Once you determine the domain name you like is available (, consider purchasing the same name but with other top-level domains (,, etc). Then redirect those extensions to the original domain name to help protect your brand in the future.

Using the tips provided above, brainstorm a list of possible domain names you want to secure for your business. Then check the availability with our register a domain name tool.