9 Do’s and Dont’s of Picking a Winning Domain Name

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Let’s talk about something super important in the online world – domain names. Think of a domain name like your home address, but on the internet. It’s how people find your website. Just like how a catchy address can make your house stand out in your neighborhood, a good URL can make your website pop in the vast world of the internet.

Where everyone and everything is online, having the right web address is like having the perfect sign for your shop. It’s not just a bunch of letters and dots; it’s your first impression, your brand’s identity, and sometimes, it’s what makes or breaks your success online. So, whether you’re starting a new business, a blog, or creating a personal site, picking the right domain name is a big deal. Let’s discuss how you can choose the best one that fits your online space!

1. Do: Keep It Short and Simple

Short n Simple

When it comes to choosing a domain name, think short and sweet. Why? Because the best names are the ones that are easy to remember and type. Imagine telling someone your website address at a coffee shop or in a quick phone call. You want them to catch it without needing to grab a pen.

For example, “BestQualityBooksOnlineForYou.com” is way too long and complicated. It’s hard to remember, easy to mistype and can be frustrating for your visitors. It’s like trying to remember a super long phone number – nobody wants to do that! On the other hand, something concise like “ReadEasy.com” is much more effective. It’s quick to say, easy to remember, and reduces the chance of errors when typing it into a browser.

So, stick to a web address name that’s under 15 characters if possible. This way, your domain name is not just a web address; it’s a catchy, memorable brand in itself.

2. Don’t: Use Hyphens and Numbers

No hyphens and numbers

Hyphens and numbers in a domain name can be a real headache. They might seem like a good way to get the URL you want when your first choice is taken, but they can actually cause more problems than they solve. Here’s why: they’re easy to forget and often lead to mistakes.

Think about it – if you tell someone your website is “Number1-Guitar-Store.com,” there are a few things that could go wrong. They might forget the hyphen, or spell out “Number” instead of using the digit “1,” or vice versa. It’s like giving someone directions with too many turns; they’re likely to get lost along the way.

Instead, aim for a name that’s smooth and straightforward. You want something that rolls off the tongue and can be typed into a browser without a second thought. Keeping it simple means people can find you easily, without any mix-ups or confusion.

3. Do: Make It Brandable and Unique

Creating a brandable and unique domain name is like choosing a catchy nickname that sticks in everyone’s mind. It’s all about being memorable and setting yourself apart from the crowd. A great name should capture the essence of your brand, be it fun, professional, or creative, and make a lasting impression.

For instance, think about names like “Etsy” or “Spotify.” They’re not just unique; they’re fun to say and have a certain rhythm to them. These names don’t just describe what the company does; they create a brand identity that’s recognizable and memorable.

When brainstorming your web address name, consider something that reflects your business’s personality or mission. Avoid generic names that blend into the background. Instead, aim for a name that has a spark of creativity and makes people curious to learn more about what you offer. This uniqueness is what will help your brand stand out.

4. Don’t: Choose a Name That’s Too Similar to Competitors

Picking a domain name that’s too close to what your competitors use is a risky move. It’s not just about avoiding confusion; it’s also about establishing your own unique identity in the marketplace. If your URL is too similar to another, especially a well-known one, it can lead to legal issues and customer confusion.

Imagine if you chose a domain like “Amazoon.com” for an online store. Not only does it tread dangerously close to Amazon’s brand, but it also doesn’t do much to establish your own identity. Customers might think you’re a knock-off or, worse, they could mistake you for the other brand and then feel misled.

Your goal should be to stand out, not blend in. A unique name helps build a distinct brand image and ensures your audience knows exactly who they’re dealing with. It’s about making your mark, not riding on someone else’s coattails. So, take the time to come up with something original and reflective of what makes your brand special.

5. Do: Consider Using Keywords

Do_ Consider Using Keywords

Incorporating relevant keywords into your domain name can be a smart move, especially for boosting your site’s visibility on search engines. Keywords can give potential visitors a quick hint about what your site offers. For example, if you’re in the business of selling handmade candles, a domain name like “ArtisanCandleShop.com” immediately tells people what you’re all about.

However, it’s important to strike a balance. Overstuffing your domain with keywords can make it sound forced or generic. Plus, search engines have evolved; they prefer brandable names that offer a clear and unique identity over a string of keywords.

So, how do you get it right? Use keywords thoughtfully. If there’s a natural way to include a keyword that enhances the domain’s appeal and clarity, go for it. But remember, your domain name is also your brand’s first impression. Make sure it’s catchy, memorable, and gives a hint of your unique story or the services you offer.

6. Don’t: Overlook Local TLDs If You’re a Local Business

Dont overlook local tlds

If your business primarily serves a local community, considering a local Top-Level Domain (TLD) can be a smart move. TLDs are the last segment of a domain name, like .com, .net, or .org. Local TLDs, such as .us (United States), .ca (Canada), or .uk (United Kingdom), can help your business connect more directly with local customers.

Using a local TLD has a couple of big advantages. First, it immediately tells people that your business is focused on serving their area. This can be a huge plus if your target audience prefers local options. Second, it can help with your search engine rankings in local searches. When someone in your area is looking for the services or products you offer, your local TLD can give you an edge in appearing in their search results.

However, don’t forget about the global picture. If you plan to expand your business internationally in the future, it’s a good idea to also secure a more universal TLD like .com. This way, you’re prepared for both local and global audiences.

7. Do: Think Long-Term

Think long term

When selecting a domain name, it’s crucial to think about the long haul. Your domain isn’t just a short-term marketing tool; it’s a fundamental part of your brand’s identity that will stick with you for years. So, it’s important to choose a name that not only fits your business now but will also continue to be relevant as your business grows and evolves.

Consider the future direction of your business. Will the products or services you offer change? Are you planning to expand into new markets or regions? Your domain name should be flexible enough to accommodate these changes. For instance, a business starting with selling coffee beans might initially think of a domain like “JustJavaBeans.com.” However, this could become limiting if they later expand to include teas or coffee equipment. A more adaptable name like “BrewAndBean.com” leaves room for growth, covering a broader range of beverage products and services.

Also, think about the longevity of the name itself. Trends come and go, and a name that sounds catchy and contemporary today might feel outdated in a few years. Aim for a timeless quality in your domain name – something that will continue to resonate with your audience and remain relevant no matter how your business grows or changes.

8. Don’t: Ignore the Domain’s History

Dont ignore domain history

Before you settle on a domain name, it’s essential to check its history. A domain name might look perfect on the surface, but it could have a past that’s not so shiny. Just like a used car, you want to know where it’s been before you commit to it. A domain with a negative history, such as association with spam or malicious activities, can affect your website’s reputation and search engine rankings.

To delve into a domain’s past, tools like the Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive are incredibly useful. This tool lets you view archived versions of web pages across different points in time. For example, if you’re considering “VintageBikeShop.com,” you can use the Wayback Machine to see what kind of content the site hosted in the past. This can reveal if the domain was ever associated with questionable content or practices.

Another handy tool is Whois Lookup. It provides information about the domain’s registration history, including previous owners and any changes in ownership. This can be particularly helpful in identifying any patterns or concerns, such as frequent changes in ownership, which might be a red flag.

Using these tools to investigate a domain’s history helps ensure that you’re making an informed decision. Choosing a domain with a clean history is crucial. It ensures that you start on the right foot, without inheriting any digital baggage that could hinder your website’s success. So, take the time to do your homework and choose a domain that’s not just appealing, but also has a clean and positive track record.

9. Do: Protect Your Brand

Protect your brand - Domain

Once you’ve chosen the perfect domain name, it’s important to protect it. This means securing various domain extensions and similar domain names to safeguard your brand. Think of it like trademarking your business name – you don’t want others capitalizing on your brand’s reputation or causing confusion among your customers.

For example, if your chosen domain is “GourmetBakes.com,” consider purchasing other common extensions like “GourmetBakes.net” and “GourmetBakes.org.” This prevents others from registering these domains and potentially misusing them. Additionally, consider buying common misspellings or variations of your domain name. If your brand grows in popularity, these domains can become targets for competitors or cyber-squatters who may try to leverage them for their gain.

By securing these related domains, you not only protect your brand but also ensure that even if potential customers mistype your domain or remember it incorrectly, they will still be directed to your website. It’s a proactive step in maintaining control over your brand’s online presence and ensuring a consistent experience for your customers.

Recommended Domain Name Search Sites

When you’re ready to choose your domain name, the right search site can make all the difference. Here are some top picks, each with its unique strengths:


As the name suggests, Namecheap is a go-to for affordable domain names. But don’t let the low prices fool you; they offer a wide range of TLDs, ensuring you have plenty of options to choose from. Namecheap is also praised for its straightforward domain management system, making it easy to handle domain renewals and transfers.


Web.com is known for its user-friendly interface, making it a great choice for beginners. It’s not just about domain name searches; they offer a full suite of web services, including website building and hosting. This makes it a one-stop-shop for many looking to start their online presence. Their customer support is also noteworthy, providing helpful assistance throughout the process.

Web.com Site Builder


DreamHost stands out with its robust hosting packages and comprehensive domain management tools. They offer a wide array of services, including privacy protection and automated domain renewals. Additionally, DreamHost provides free domain registration with some of their hosting packages, making it an attractive option for those looking to streamline their web presence setup. DreamHost is ideal for those who are looking for a reliable and scalable solution as their online business or presence grows.


Hostinger is not just a domain name search site; it’s also known for its integrated hosting solutions. If you’re looking to bundle your domain registration with web hosting, Hostinger offers competitive packages, including free domain registration with some of their hosting plans. Their platform is user-friendly, and they provide strong customer support, which is a big plus for those new to web hosting and domain registration.

Each of these sites offers unique features and benefits, so consider what’s most important for your website and brand. Whether it’s affordability, a wide range of TLD options, integrated hosting solutions, or advanced domain management tools, there’s a platform that fits your needs.


Choosing the right domain name is a crucial step in establishing your online presence. It’s more than just an address for your website; it’s the foundation of your digital identity. Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the dos and don’ts of selecting a domain name, emphasizing the importance of keeping it simple, unique, and reflective of your brand.

Remember, a great domain name is easy to remember, resonates with your audience, and aligns with your long-term vision. It’s about striking the right balance between creativity and clarity. And don’t forget to protect your brand by securing related domain names and considering the domain’s history before making your final choice.

Finally, with the help of recommended domain name search sites like Web.com, Namecheap, Hostinger, and DreamHost, you’re well-equipped to find and register a domain that perfectly suits your needs. Each offers unique features, from user-friendly interfaces to free domains with hosting packages, catering to a variety of requirements.

Take your time, think it through, and choose a domain name that will serve your business well into the future. Your domain name is your first step towards building a strong online presence, so make it count!

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FAQ – Click to open/close

Can I change my domain name later if I don’t like it?

Yes, you can change your domain name, but it’s not recommended as it can affect your brand recognition and search engine rankings. It’s better to choose a name you’re happy with from the start.

Are .com domains better than other TLDs?

.com domains are the most recognized and remembered. However, other TLDs like .net, .org, or local TLDs like .uk, .ca can also be effective, especially if they align better with your brand or target audience.

How much should I expect to pay for a domain name?

The cost of a domain name varies. Standard domains can be quite affordable, but premium domains (short, catchy names) can be expensive. Prices also vary based on the registrar and the TLD.

Is it necessary to buy multiple domain extensions for my brand?

It’s not necessary, but it’s a good strategy to protect your brand. Purchasing various domain extensions prevents others from using similar domain names and can redirect traffic to your main site if visitors mistype your URL.

How do I know if a domain name has a bad history?

Use tools like the Wayback Machine to check the domain’s past content and Whois Lookup for its registration history. This can reveal if the domain was associated with spam or other negative activities.

Do I need to include keywords in my domain name for better SEO?

Including keywords can help with SEO, but it’s not as crucial as it used to be. Focus more on making your domain name brandable and memorable. Search engines now prioritize the quality and relevance of your site’s content over exact-match domain names.

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