June 10, 2015 Last updated September 19th, 2018 2,114 Reads share

The Complete Guide to Getting a Domain Name

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Publisher Channel Content by DIY Marketers


7 Tips To Developing Your Killer Domain Name

Getting a domain name isn’t just for newbies — you can have an established company and get domain names so that your prospects can find you more easily.

The Complete Guide to Getting a Domain Name

As you’re brainstorming domain names, consider these 7 attributes to a great domain name.  You won’t be able to meet all of them, but when you have to make trade-offs, do your best to give more weight to the top five on this list.

  1. Short: Remember your domain name will also be used for social media profiles, so shorter is better.
  2. Memorable : We don’t just type anymore, so make your name easy to remember.  Also, if you have the kind of business that you’ll be promoting via video or radio, you’ll want to be able to say it and have people remember it.
  3. Pronounceable :  Right after memorable, pronounceable is key.  Because if people can’t pronounce it, they won’t be able to remember or spell it. (wait that’s next).
  4. Easily Spelled (a single way) : You don’t want to waste your marketing time and money teaching people how to spell your name.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative — like Triberr, but notice that these sites have maintained the true spelling of the word and added an extra “r”.  So that’s pretty easy to remember.
  5. Descriptive or Brandable:   I can’t say enough about this one.  DIYMarketers is so clear, so brandable you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand what kind of site this is.  Other great descriptive or brandable sites are 99Designs, Fiverr
  6. No hyphens:   This is so important.  Hyphens confuse people and will literally send your potential customers to someone else when they type in your domain without the hyphen.  Find a domain where you don’t need a hyphen.
  7. Aim for a .com extension:  I always aim for a domain that has a .com extension as well as an open .net extension.  But these days there are a TON of other domains that you can use.  For example look at Visual.ly, they used a new domain extension to better enhance the descriptiveness of their brand.  So use your best judgement.

How to Brainstorm A Domain Name or Company Name

Because your blog and your website will be under the same domain name, you want to make sure that you think this through carefully.  If your company name is Taylor and Associates — you can certainly use that as a domain, but consider coming up with a domain name that is more descriptive.

Here’s an example from one of my clients;

AFV Natural Gas Fuel Systems — This is the actual name of the company.  When it came time to reserve a domain name, we chose AltFuelExpress.com.  AFV actual stands for Alternative Fuel Vehicles.  And in our research, we discovered that a lot of people were reversing the letters to AVF, instead of AFV.  Another problem we had was being confused with Americas Funniest Videos, which also goes by AFV.  So it made sense to use the descriptive and easy to remember domain name “AltFuelExpress.com”

How to Start Brainstorming

  1. Write a bulleted list that answers the question “What’s the site/business/blog about?”
  2. Create a series of adjectives that will describe your content, company or brand.
  3. Play with prefixes and suffixes: You can create your own words by adding prefixes and suffixes to words that describe your product or service.

Want more cool ways to come up with names?  Check out POP! Create the Perfect Pitch

After you have some brainstorming material, you can start playing with domain name tools.

Domain Name Generators and Brainstorming Tools

Don’t freak!  This is supposed to be fun.  And I would never leave you hanging with these rules and no tools to use to play with.  Here are some name generators and domain brainstorming tools that you can play with.

How to Purchase Your Domain Name

What’s The Difference Between Domain Registrars And Web Hosts?

Now that you’ve got your domain name, you’re ready to buy your domain and host your web site.

You typically buy your domain name from a registrar (like GoDaddy or Network Solutions) and you host your web site with web hosting companies like HostGator or BlueHost.  Now you can certainly buy your domain from a web host or host your site with a registrar, but I would recommend that you stick with the program — buy your domain from a registrar and host your site with a web hosting company.  Here is why.

Domain registrars are best at domains and hosting companies are best at hosting.

Domain registrars’ strengths are in buying and selling domains.  Their entire infrastructure is dedicated to this function.  Yes, they also offer hosting, but hosting, but their business system isn’t as dedicated to hosting as a hosting company’s is.  The same holds true for buying your domain from a hosting company.  They offer this service, but it’s not their strength.

SNEAKY TIP:  Buy all your domains from one company.  It’s a great idea to keep all of your domain names with one company because you will get the best price that way.  Also, there is a good chance that you will be switching hosting companies from time to time and you don’t want to have domain names strewn all over the internet.  

The Best Places To Buy Your Domain Names

Here are my favorite sources (and most popular) sources for buying domain names:

GoDaddy.com: My favorite thing about GoDaddy as a domain registrar is how easy it is to search for names.  All of the registrars make it easy to search for domains, but there’s something about their interface for finding, buying and managing names that I really like.

Network Solutions.com: This is one of the first and original registrars.  Over the last few years, they’ve been acquired by Web.com and that means that they’ve added some pretty powerful ecommerce solutions to their platform.

1&1.com:  I’m not sure that I would call 1&1 a domain registrar per se, I’m including them on this list because I think they consistently have the cheapest domains.

When in Doubt, Try it Out

The best thing about domain shopping, is that domains are really affordable.  And another good thing is that you can resell them or simply let them expire if you don’t use them.  It’s a totally win-win situation.

Images: “domain name browser search illustration graphic design/Shutterstock.com


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Ivana Taylor

Ivana Taylor

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