Domain names are an extension of your brand and choosing the right one can be a big deal.
It can get tricky as the most common names are taken and this might force you to become a bit more creative with your domain name of choice.
This post will give you some tips around how to choose a good domain name even if what you have in mind isn’t available.
How domain names work
All websites are hosted on a type of computer called a server. In order to find each website there is a unique set of numbers, called an IP address, that can be typed into a browser to get to the correct server. It looks something like this: 184.108.40.206.
Naturally, having to remember a long string of numbers would be difficult for users so domain names are used to point to them instead.
Your domain name is the name, phrase or string of characters that you can use, for example google.com takes you to Google’s website.
Top-level domain (TLD) refers to the last part of a domain name that comes right after the “dot” symbol. As an example, in facebook’s domain the .com part is the TLD.
There are many TLD options, but .com is by far the most commonly used and most recognised. Because .com is used so much, it can be hard to find available domains for common words as they are already being used by others.
How do I get a domain name
Domain names can be registered with a domain registrar service for a yearly fee. You don’t actually ever get to own the domain name forever, it is more like a lease and if you don’t renew it you will lose the domain name and it will be made available to others.
There are many domain name registrars online, including domain.com, dynadot.com, godaddy.com and more.
All you have to do is head to their website and search for the domain name you want to use, and if it is available you can make the purchase.
Some things to consider when choosing your domain name:
- Try to keep it short and easy to say. Avoid dashes and keep it to 2 to 3 words where possible
- Keep it “on brand” — make sure it relates to what you do
What if my desired domain name is taken?
If this is the case for you, you can try to use another top level domain. There are lots of options such as .co, .net, .org, and many niche options or country specific ones such as .co.uk for the UK or .ca for Canada.
What happens after you register a domain name?
Your domain name registrar will give you the relevant information on how to connect it with your website hosting or use it for other types of services, such as professional email accounts.
Need extra help?
Check out the resources I have on futurestepscreative.com including online training and ongoing support, to help you build and grow your website and audience with content marketing.