How to Choose a Domain Name

How to Pick a Domain Name | Howard Huang

If you are a business or individual who is starting an online web presence you should consider registering your own domain.  Owning your own domain name allows you to control what people see when they search for you or your business.  It also builds a safeguard to prevent other people to use the domain against you.

A domain name system or DNS is simply the address of which people can find your website.  For example, the domain name for this website is “whatshuang.com.”  Before you purchase a domain there are some considerations to take into account.  Below are guidelines that I use before making a purchase.

Use Company Name or Full Individual Name

The first thing I do when considering a domain name purchase for a company is to see if the domain name of the business name is available.  For instance, if Joe ran a local florist shop called “Flowers for Life”, I would check to see if the domain name for “flowersforlife.com” was available.

Similarly, if I was purchasing a domain name for an individual, I would check to see if the domain name for their first and last name was available.  For example, if I was purchasing a domain name for John Smith, I would check to see if “johnsmith.com” was available.

Easy to Remember

The next thing I consider when purchasing a domain name is to make sure that it is easy to remember.  Keep in mind that in order for people to find you on the internet they either have to search for you or type in your domain name.  If you have a difficult domain name to remember or it is a domain name that is difficult to spell it makes it harder for people to find you.  To avoid confusion stick with domain names that are relatively short in length.  You don’t have to over think it, just make sure that the name is concise and easy for people to type into their web browser.

Location

There are times when the domain name that you want is taken.  In cases like these you may consider adding your city in the domain name.  I typically recommend this if you are a local business.  Putting your city in your domain name can help lay a foundation for your customers to find you locally, however, if you are a business that conducts business at a more national or international level I would stay away from this.

Always choose a .com

I often see circumstances where someone checks to see if a certain domain name is available.  They find out it is not available on a .com but they see that the same domain name is available for a .net.  In this case I would still recommend choosing a different .com domain name for a number of different reasons.

One of the reasons is the fact that the overwhelming majority of all websites reside on a .com top level domain or (TLD).  The other reason is the fact that if someone has already taken “whatshuang.com” and you purchase “whatshuang.net” you may lead people to the wrong address because they may make the mistake of typing in the .com address.  To avoid confusion, always choose a unique .com domain name.

Avoid generic keywords

The best domain names will have unique keywords that describe the brand or entity.  When choosing a domain name for purchase I take into consideration of avoiding using words that provide low value in describing the brand or entity.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, but in general I avoid purchasing a domain using “to be” verbs.  “To be” verbs would include words such as be, am, is, are, was, were, been, and etc.  I would also avoid leading names that start with “The” as well.

2 thoughts on “How to Choose a Domain Name

  1. Pingback: How to Create a Powerful Website in 30 Minutes | What's Huang

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