When starting a new web design project, one of the first, most important decisions is choosing a domain name.
This will be your website address, and often, will be used in email addresses too. Here are a few essential points to always consider:
1. Does it reflect what your business does?
Your domain name should closely match your brand, product or service. Choosing the right domain name will create a good first impression. Think about how your domain name will be perceived when presented in search engine results pages.
2. Will people easily remember it?
People will type your domain name to go directly to your website or when composing an email. It needs to be easy to type, to spell and to communicate verbally. Avoid numbers, long words, more than 3 words, words which are difficult to spell – and hyphens.
3. Is it future-proof?
Your domain name should be able to stand the test of time and not limit your business scope in the future. Prepare for any possible diversification your business may later take. It is possible to switch domains in the future but this can often require significant work, time and expense.
4. Choose the right TLD
The part of the domain name which comes after the first full stop is known as the ‘top level domain‘ (domain type). This decision will affect how your website is perceived. Choosing a domain name which ends .uk demonstrates that your business is UK based and can instil greater trust. It can also assist your search engine visibility within the UK.
5. Ask for feedback
Once you have a shortlist of possible domain names, run them by your friends and customers for feedback. Ask them to write it out and speak it aloud to see if there are any possible areas for confusion.
It’s important to make sure that your chosen domain name doesn’t infringe on existing company names, trade marks or copyright. And avoid domain names which are too similar to others, in case users go to a different website, by mistake.
7. Register other variants
To protect your brand, it’s often a good idea to register other variations, including other TLDs (see above) which potential competitors could later use.
How to register a domain name
123-Reg is our recommended domain name registrar. Use their website to check domain name availability and to register domain names (inexpensively).
Josh.biz can register and manage domain names (for clients), if preferred.
We always recommend that new clients discuss their choice of domain name with us before proceeding.