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How to decide on a domain name

Your brand says everything about you, your values, your identity, and what you promise to deliver. Why should your domain name be any different? Before choosing one, it’s important that you educate yourself on the different styles and types of domain names out there so you can make the best decision for your needs.

A new startup business should select a domain name that parallels—or even better, matches—the company name to direct customers to your site without any confusion. This is a great opportunity to choose a name for your business that is unique and available as a domain before announcing yourself to the world.

If you already own an existing business and your company name or certain keywords you wish to use are not available, a little creativity might be needed to select a domain name. We’ll get into that later in this article.

Length of domain name

It is always better to have a domain name that is short and easy to remember. Ideally, the length should be between 6-10 letters, with 8 being the sweet spot. Simple, concise, and typeable should be the rule over longer, more descriptive names.

The longer the domain, the more opportunity there is for a misspelling when typing. Also, when combining words in a domain, beware of letters that don’t normally link together or are confusing, like for the site Experts Exchange. Not ideal.

Avoid using hyphens and numbers as they can complicate and frustrate users. Always remember: simple is best.

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Keywords are words related to the product or service used in a domain name. For instance, This is also known as an Exact Match Domain (EMD).

Although most people assume using keywords or EMDs will drive traffic to their website, Google has changed their algorithm in the past few years to downplay the strict use of keywords and now rewards sites with a strong sense of branding instead. It is Google’s way of weeding out the “noise.”

However, using keywords in a domain isn’t always bad. From a marketing standpoint, you know exactly what they sell at, but beware that you could be looked upon as a spam. This could negatively affect your Google ranking.

You are much better off creating a strong brand image and backing it up with useful and original web content to foster a trusted online presence.

Top-level generic domains (gTLDs) and new top-level domains (nTLDs)

gTLDs and nTLDs are the extensions within your domain name. Far and away the most popular and most effective TLD is .com. It is universally recognizable, easy to remember, and most trusted by web surfers.

The most common list of domain extensions are:

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org (non-profit organizations)

Some TLDs have certain restrictions associated with them. For instance, .biz, .name, and .pro are only assigned to credentialed professionals or businesses.

Sponsored TLDs are overseen by a sponsor who establishes the rules of eligibility for the specified community.

Some sponsored TLDs offers include:

  • .aero: dedicated to members of the aviation community, sponsored by SITA
  • .coop: dedicated to cooperative associations, sponsored by DotCooperation LLC
  • .mobi: dedicated to providers of mobile products and services, sponsored by dotMobi
  • .museum: dedicated to museums, sponsored by the Museum Domain Management Association
  • .jobs: dedicated human resource managers, sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management

New Top-level domains are released every week and help to fill in the gap from a limited availability of gTLDs. They also help users looking to specifically target a niche market or geographic location. For instance, offers domain name extensions:

  • .coupons
  • .marketing
  • .restaurant
  • .properties
  • .deals
  • .tech
  • .club
  • .wedding
  • .chat
  • .reviews
  • .tours
  • .yoga

These nTLDs can be very useful to create a domain name that quickly and creatively describes your brand or industry. The possibilities are seemingly endless, but now is the time to capitalize on a creative extension since, as with .com, they won’t be available forever.

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What are the pros and cons of hiring a developer and using an online website creation

Pros of a quick website builder tool:

  • It is possible to make a website fast and without special knowledge or skills
  • As you totally control the process of building the website, it will be just as you wish (to an extent that a site builder allows you to have)
  • It is cheap and some modern website builders even allow you doing that for free.

Cons of a web builder tool:

  • Your website won’t be too unique as many other users more likely used the same template so it’s not too good for SEO
  • In many cases, it won’t be as professional and powerful as a man builder would do for you.
  • You can’t build just any site you want. No site builders we have seen up to date allow building such types of websites as social networks or places where professionals meet (like freelance exchange sites or labor exchange).

Pros of a site builder (human):

  • The site of any complexity and uniqueness can be elaborated depending on your wishes.
  • Every your rated requirement can be implemented and so your website will likely to reach 100% flexibility.
  • You will not have any artificial limitations in any parameter of a website as site builders-tools stipulate you (like an online hosting space, bandwidth, a number of pages or buttons on one page, types of content or files you can place on your page, connection to social media and other things).
  • When you want to rebuild a website, it is possible to make it exactly as you want it to, not as a site builder tool allows you to.

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Benefits of a strong domain name

Deciding and registering a domain name should not be done in haste. It is a valuable marketing and search tool that should successfully lead customers to your site. Careful deliberation and research should be applied, as it might be the most important decision you make when carving out your slice of the online market.

A strong domain name:

  • Adds professional credibility to your business and separates you from the millions of get-rich-quick-scheme websites out there.
  • Provides visibility for your brand. Much like a storefront window, a good domain will create awareness and attract customers.
  • Establishes your business as tech-savvy and forward-thinking. Whether you actually sell products online or not, it is crucial to your reputation to claim your territory online.
  • Creates mobility for your internet presence. If you decide to change web hosting services, relocate to a different country, or shift to using your own in-house server, your domain name stays with you, allowing you to continue to build your brand without having to start all over.
  • Increases your search engine ranking. As you build your business and develop your website with quality content, your domain name will become more and more recognizable in search engines like Google, which draws more customers in your direction.
  • Will provide your brand with marketability around the world, or you can choose to focus specifically in a local region.
  • As opposed to traditional marketing—as long as you keep current with the low annual fees—your domain name will not expire.