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How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website

There are many factors to consider when choosing a name for your website. The name you choose will become your identity on the World Wide Web and therefore you must use careful consideration in the naming process.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a name for your website.

Use a domain that ends in .COM – I am continually surprised by the number of people that don’t know there are websites that end in something other than .COM. When I tell people how to get to HyperDuck , I often get an odd look when I tell them it ends in .net. Using a .COM domain name will help avoid confusion and help build a sense of creditability.

Use your name – Using your business name or your personal name is a good way to get people to remember your domain name.

Avoid confusing names – Avoid words in your domain name that can cause confusion. The classic example is Experts Exchange, a website where people share their tech knowledge. When you look at their domain name it can be read as expertsexchange.com or expertsexchange.com.

Use keywords if possible – Using a keyword in your domain name may provide some added benefits in search engine ranking.

Avoid hyphens and numbers – Avoid using hyphens and numbers in your domain name. This can cause confusion when you try to tell someone the name of the website. If you have to explain how your name is written, it’s likely it will be forgotten or mistyped later. Avoid names like gadgets4geeks.com or gadgets-for-geeks.com.

Keep it short – A short domain name is easier to remember than a longer one. Ideally domain names should be four words or less.

Make it easy to spell – If you have to explain to someone how to spell your name, it’s likely they will forget or mistype it later. Cutesy spellings like weRgadgets.com or gadgetZ.com will cause confusion unless you are a well branded company like ToysRUs.com.

Here are some things to do after you have chosen a name for your website.

Get opinions – Get opinions from colleagues, family, and friends about the name you have chosen. It’s always good to get a second opinion before you go live and getting some good constructive criticism can help avoid any potential problems later.

Don’t search – Don’t search for the domain name you want at a domain registrant site, like GoDaddy or NetworkSolutions, before you are ready to buy. The reason is because there are companies that monitor what people have searched for at the registrants, buy them, and then try to sell them at a higher rate.

These are just a few tips to remember when selecting a domain name. If you have any tips to add to this list, please leave them in the comments.

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