Lesson 12: Getting a perfect domain name for your website

Choosing a domain name requires a lot of thought. It can take hours or even days, but it’s worth it. The wrong choice can break your plans about website monetization. There are a few tips with real examples and I can bet that they will help you to make the right choice.

1. Buy .com Domain

It is one of many domain name extensions and nowadays you can choose other common options such as .net, .org, .edu, etc. Well, sometimes it makes sense to take, for example, .edu. If you have a university or language school, it will be the perfect match. Below you can find a clear example.

Harvad university
Harvard university/harvard.edu/

We are going to make an informational website, so the best option for as is .com domain. There are a few reasons:

  • People get used to .com domains. Earlier there weren’t a lot of domain name extensions, so all famous websites had .com. Nowadays people still default typing ‘.com’ into the address bar and other extensions, for example, .biz may seem strange to them. 
  • According to W3techs.com, this domain name extension is used by 47% of all websites. It has become the go-to for almost all major brands. Simply speaking, the .com domain name increases trust among users.
  • You want to share information around the world. If you want to create a website for a particular audience, for example, Germans then it’s logical to take .de address. But in our case, we will spread information worldwide. 

2. Keep it Short and Easy to Type

According to Statista, in the first quarter of 2019 48% of global website traffic was generated by mobile devices. Do you think it is fast to type, for example, positiveparentingsolutions.com? The average domain length of the Top 100 popular websites is six characters only!

Domain length research
Domain length research/Gaebler.com

Also, a domain name should be simple and predictable, otherwise you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. No complicated words, hyphens, and numbers unless it is absolutely necessary.

3. Avoid Buying Existing Domain Names

Buying an existing domain is rather different from buying a new one. Basically, it means that the chosen name has a history. On the one hand, it can give you a boost in Google, because the search engine already knows this domain name. On the other hand, you can’t be completely sure about the previous content. Maybe there were gambling or spam, so it’s better to check your domain name.

Go to Google and search for: site: Yourdomainname.com. If you find any pages indexed from this domain this is a good sign. Although, not finding anything is also possible. But if there is a website but Google can’t see it with the phrase above, it’s extremely bad.

4. Check the History of the Chosen Domain Name via Wayback Machine

This one is worth checking out even if you think you have bought an absolute new domain name. Wayback Machine allows you to see how any website used to look in the past. 

For example, let’s check the domain name timetofun.com. Right now this domain name is available and costs $6,450.00. Thanks to Wayback Machine we can see whether this domain has been used for anything significant or not.

As you can see below, we got the records dating back to 2007:

Wayback Machine/ records

When you click on any of the records, you will get a picture of the website back then.

Wayback Machine
Timetofun.com/web.archive.org

I highly recommend using Wayback Machine and check every month of the chosen domain’s history. At least you will be sure that there wasn’t anything like gambling or porn.

5. Pick a Respectable Domain Registrar

The domain registrar is a company that registers domain names and give the owners full access to them. Please note that not all domain registrars offer the same quality of service. It’s impossible to find ideal domain registrar but I have two top contenders: Namecheap and GoDaddy.

As you can guess, Namecheap is focused on selling domain names for a very cheap price. And it’s true! Sometimes you can find some deals for $1 or $2 per year and the average is from $8 to $10. Also, this registrar offers the most affordable SSL on the market. You can get it for free when purchasing a domain. 

Namecheap.com/How to get a perfect domain name.
Namecheap.com

GoDaddy is one of the oldest registrars and has been working since 1999. Similar to NameCheap, GoDaddy has extremely low prices but for privacy protection you need to pay on an individual basis. 

Godaddy.com/How to get a perfect domain name.
GoDaddy.com

Wrap-up

Now it’s time for you to buy your first domain name! Here is a short version of everything that’s been said above.

  1. Choose the .com domain.
  2. Pick a memorable and simple name.
  3. Don’t buy existing domain names.
  4. Check the domain history via Wayback Machine.
  5. Find a trustworthy domain register.

In our next lesson, we are going to talk about hostings. 

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