Choosing the Best Domain Name

Choosing the best domain is something that our clients constantly ask us about. Here at Wiliam we regularly work on both new product sites and new web start-ups so having the right domain name is essential. So, with that in mind, here are some recommendations and things you should consider before clicking the purchase button on your next domain name.

Domain name & company name
Your company name and domain name need to be the same, so start off by investing time researching available domain names even before you have the product or company name in mind. You might have a great name or brand in mind, but these days the chances are that someone has already registered it.  It’ll be frustrating and time consuming, but you’ll ultimately find the perfect domain name to use. Just think outside the box.

The .com and .net debate?
For those that don’t know, the suffix .com is short for commercial and is the most popular domain name suffix on the internet. It’s also the first domain name suffix that people try by default when searching for a website. Don’t settle for the .net if you can’t get the .com. It’s best to keep searching and acquire a domain name with the .com. But when you do decide on your .com and the .net is available, there is nothing wrong with buying that also; particularly if you think someone else may pass off as you in the future.

International or Domestic
Do you have offices overseas or are you ever going expanding overseas? You’ll need to think about this answer carefully as it will definitely impact your decision on what you buy. If you are going to one day expand internationally, even if it is just New Zealand, then get the .com and the If you are never going to expand overseas, then just get the We have some clients that have even purchased the .com, and then purchased the local domain names for the places where they operate offices.  i.e Singapore, Hong Kong etc. If you go down this path of acquiring local domain names, then you’ll need to develop different websites. Dont fall into the trap of using the same content across all your sites.

Keep it short and memorable
People have a difficulty remembering and typing a so be sure to keep it short and memorable. Try to avoid using hyphens and plurals if possible as that can definitely be confusing.

Make sure you can spell it
Choose a name that is spelt the way you say it. This is critical if you are going to advertise the URL on radio or in a podcast. If the spelling isn’t logical and first nature, then you could lose people before they even arrive at your website. Don’t be afraid to by a second name if the domain could be spelt an alternative way, even think of misspellings. We previously had a client that bought about 10 domain names because there were 10 different ways to spell it! If this is the case, you don’t need separate web pages for each domain; simply redirect them to the main website URL.

Sometimes you have to pay
People that buy and sit on domain names don’t usually purchase bad names. Many professional domain name sitters actually watch the expired list, waiting for their million dollar domain name to expire so they can buy it. With this in mind you might have to pay to get the domain name you want and it’s not always a lot. We’ve had clients pick up really good domains for less than US$600. Ok it isn’t $6.95 but if the domain name you really want is for sale, and is just a few thousand dollars, and it will make a difference in branding etc, then you may benefit greatly by purchasing it. 

Buying Expired Domains
Not an essential thing to consider, but domain names that were purchased a few years and have expired become available every day. Buying old names which were previously purchased can sometimes come with good directory and search engine listings as well as backlinks pointing to the domain. Certainly a lot of domain names from the “dot com” era have expired and are up for grabs. Even some domain registration websites like Drophunt allow you to search on expired domains by Alexa and Pagerank. This can be a good strategy if you need to launch and get results quickly in the search engines.

Domain Names are an asset
Lastly, treat your domain name as an asset. Keep the domain name keys and passwords safe. The last thing you want is for somebody to steal your domain and re-direct it on the internet.

If you need any other advice when it comes to finding and registering domain names, contact us.