How to choose a domain name

I get a lot of clients asking how to choose a domain name for their website, so I thought I would give you my 5 top tips.

Sometimes you find the domain name you want isn’t available because someone else has bought it. You could buy it from them, if they’re not using it, but sometimes it can cost you hundreds, even thousands of pounds.

Alternatively go through the 5 steps below first and see if you can get a domain name that works for you.

  1. Keep it short – typing a long domain name can leave room for error and be harder to remember.
  2. Put two words together – combinations of short words often work well if they are distinct.
  3. Make it easy to say and spell – you don’t want the person trying to remember some weird spelling because you though it was cool.
  4. Use the .co.uk as your primary domain especially if you’re only dealing within the UK – you may want to purchase the .com or .net extensions as well for protection against your brand, site or for future expansion.
  5. Think about keywords that are relevant to your business and incorporate them into the domain name if possible, this will help with Search Engine Optimisation.

One last bonus tip, when you want to check to see if your domain name is free or not, do not use companies who sell the domains to check them, why? Well some of them sell lists of popular searched domains to companies who buy and then intend to sell them at a huge profit.

So what can you do to safe guard your potential domains, well simply use the following sites to check if your domains are available as they are the main registry companies for domain names across the internet.

A. http://www.nominet.org.uk for *.uk domain names

B. http://www.internic.net/whois.html for most others

You can of course type in your potential domain name into a browser but this is not a good indication if someone else has bought the domain name or not as they may not be using it yet.

I hope that’s useful to you.

Regards

Alan

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