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How to Choose A Domain Name…



Advice for picking a good domain name. A good domain name is easy to type, easy to remember, easy to say, unique, and descriptive.

Short domain names are better than long ones, but domains made of real words are better than short ones.

Az4gf.com is short, but hard to type, hard to remember, and hard to communicate over the phone.
BananaBakeryBox.com is long, but easy to type, remember and say.

Domains that are too generic will get buried under billions of search results, but if your domain name has nothing to do with your website, it doesn’t look professional.

Books.com is too generic and not memorable enough.
Amazon.com is memorable and fairly unique for a bookseller, incredibly easy to remember, type and communicate, and it works because they named the company “Amazon,” so it makes sense even though there’s no other obvious connection.

You can make up a nonsense domain, but if you do that, you should make that nonsense word the name of your organization (see Groupon, Spotify, Shoutleaf, etc.)

Make sure that your domain doesn’t have potential misspellings or ambiguities in it.

RottenTomatoes.com (or is it spelled) RottonTomatos.com (or maybe) RottonTomatoes.com?

Make sure your domain doesn’t make other words when you take out the spaces! Bad examples:

PenIsland.com (can look like) PenisLand.com !
ExpertsExchange.com (can look like) ExpertSexChange.com !

Don’t be afraid to narrow down the scope of your domain with another word if the domain you wanted is not available.

Say JohnsBakery.com is taken. Consider using:
JohnsBakeryPasadena.com
JohnsBakeryRestaurant.com

Lastly, don’t stress too much. Most people will click on links when they go to your website and will hardly even notice the domain name. In the world of social marketing the best domain name in the world won’t do as much as a catchy name that people can remember when talking to friends. If they want to share it, they’ll send a link through Facebook / Twitter / SMS / Email / Skype / gChat / Reddit / Google+ / Instagram / Tumblr / YouTube / etc… you get the idea.

Part of the Webmaking 101 course: http://shoutleaf.com/webmaking-101/

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