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.

The key to any online presence is the domain name. Choosing the right name that meets your company’s overall business and marketing needs typically requires some time and research. Here’s a list of a few things you should consider when choosing your domain name:

Choose the Right Top-level Domain (TLD)

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

.com

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

.com

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

.com

You can engage the world with your .tv domain and let them know it’s your channel, your passions, your stories.

.com

Establish your online presence in a creative and memorable way with a .cc domain name.

.com

Make it easy for others to learn more about you with a .name domain name and create the perfect place for promoting your personal profile, your interest, your links.

Be Creative

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!

Know Your Audience

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?

Length

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.

Hyphens

choose a domain

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 your user remember your domain name.

Ex. We-love-cats.com vs. w-elovec-at.com

Don’t Forget to Check Trademark Issues

To avoid infringing on a trademark, double check the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and do an online search of your proposed name to avoid legal issues in the future.

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 (welovecats.com), consider purchasing the same name but with other top-level domains (welovecats.net, welovecats.cc, 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.