A domain name is the text you enter into a browser to visit a website. For example, the domain name for this website is ‘netmonics.com’. You will need to register a domain name for your website or we can do this for you if you prefer.
If you don’t have a domain name already, you will need to register one at some point or we can do this on your behalf. It can be tricky to think of and find an available domain name, so in this article I’d like to offer a few tips.
Top Level Domains
When picking a name you also need to decide on a top level domain. ‘.com’ is probably usually for a worldwide business or organisation. If you do business in a single country, a country code top level domain may be better:
A country code top level domain tells the search engines your that your site/business is related to that country. If you use ‘.co.uk’ you’re telling the search engine your company or organisation is based in the UK and therefore will be easier to rank in the UK but harder to rank in another country. So if you’re in the UK but sell worldwide you probably want to use ‘.com’ domain. Also remember that .com is what people are most likely to type if they’re not sure.
A full list of top level domains is available here:
You can consider buying multiple names and redirect one to the other. Also consider buying similar names before a competitor does.
Domain Name Availability
Just enter the name you’re interested in and the site will tell you if the name is available, if it can be purchased and may also make suggestions with differing top level domains and even variations of your chosen name.
Try to keep the name as simple and as short as possible, make it easy for people to type it in correctly and also easy to pronounce. A simple way to test a name for ease of pronunciation and spelling is to give it to a colleague verbally and ask them to email it back to you.
Localised names like ‘bestberkshirewebdesign.com’ for example, may help for organic local search, if someone searches for “best web design in Berkshire”, though I wouldn’t use that name personally.
If your business is international, check the name doesn’t have a different meaning in another language, especially those languages spoken in countries you intend to trade with.
Avoid dashes, numbers and plurals, it’s too easy for people to enter the wrong details and possibly find a competitor with a similar name. For the same reason, it’s not a good idea to deliberately misspell words. Also, avoid acronyms.
For a personal website, consider using your own name, if available. Though this isn’t a good idea if you have a long or complicated name to pronounce. Using your own name for a business may indicate a smaller entity than you might prefer.
If the domain name you’re looking for isn’t available try post fixing the name with another word possible words are:
So as vegetarian.com has gone try Vegetarian + hub = vegetarianhub.com
Homophones, Homographs and Homonyms
Homophones are words are pronounced the same but differ in meaning.
Homographs are spelled the same but differ in meaning or pronunciation
Homonyms can be either a homophone and homograph or both.
A wave can be of the hand or in the sea, waive is spelt differently but pronounced the same as wave but has different meaning altogether. Other examples are ball/bawl, knew/new, plain/plane.
Using Homonyms in your domain name means it will have to be spelt out when given verbally or risk giving out the wrong name.
Tools to Find a Domain Name
It can be tricky to find available names, so here are some tools that can help.