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20 Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name

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Building your own website from scratch can be tricky, this is why it’s best to get a few tips and trick, to get a head start and build your website with confidence!

First and Foremost: What’s a Domain Name?

The domain name is the URL of your website, which people write in the browser’s URL bar in order to visit your website. The domain name is the word in your URL which is written between ‘www.’ and ‘.com’. www.DomainName.com Simply put: If your website is a house, the domain name is its address.

To put it more simply: The internet is basically a massive web, which consists of computers that are connected to one another through a global net of cables. Each computer of these is able to connect to the others. And in order to recognize those computers, each one of them has an IP address.

The IP address is a sequence of numbers which specify each computer. For instance: 66.249.66.1. Imagine if in order to visit your favorite websites, you needed to write such numbers!

The domain name has been invented in order to solve this problem. Now, if you wanted to visit a certain website, you don’t have to write a large series of numbers. Instead, all you have to do is is write the domain name in the URL bar, which is much easier to remember.

What’s the Domain Structure?

The domain is used to specify the website in the same way your address is used to specify your home. If we check a domain like: www.sbkits.com more in-depth, we’ll find that:

  • www = the name of the server (where the data is stored)
  • sbkits.com = the domain name
  • sbkits = is the subdomain to ‘com’ 
  • com = is the name of the Top-Level Domain (TLD)

In the next few lines, we’re going to discuss what exactly TLD is. 

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What Are the Different Kinds of Domain Names?

There are three different types of domain names: 

  • TLD: Meaning, Top Level Domain.
  • ccTLD: Which is short for ‘Country Code Top Level Domain’.
  • sTLD: short for ‘Sponsored Top Level Domain’.

Top-Level Domain

This type is basically public domain extensions which is at the highest level in terms of domain names. There are hundreds of TLDs but the most popular ones are: .com, .org and .net.

There are other TLDs which are less common for instance:  .biz, .club, .info, .agency, etc.

Country Code Top Level Domain

It’s an Internet top-level domain typically used for a specific country which ends with the country’s code. For example: .uk (for the United Kingdom) .de (for Germany) and .my (For malaysia).

Sponsored Top-Level Domain

It’s a type of TLDs which has a sponsor that represents a certain community. Such as: .edu (for organizations that are related to education) .gov (for governments).

Have You Ever Heard of the Term ‘Naked Domain’?

It’s a domain name without the ‘www’ in the URL. For example: sbkits.com.my is considered to be a naked domain. But if it’s written as: www.sbkits.com then it’s not considered a naked domain.

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Does Picking the Correct Domain Name for Your Website Affect Your Work’s Success?

I know what you’re thinking! ‘As long as my website is professional and its content is good that means people will visit my website regardless of its domain name, right?’ In fact, it’s not that simple!

Your domain name is the main component of your website; which can lead to its success or destruction. This is why it’s important to be precise and make sure you’re picking a domain name that suits your business.

This is why choosing the correct domain name is one of the most important factors for success. And an unsuitable name can negatively affect your trademark, as well as your website’s rank in the SERPs.

So, you need to be selective of your domain name from the start, in order to avoid having to change it in the future.

Why Is the Domain Name Important?

Your Website’s First Impression

The domain name is the first thing that your visitors see. A good domain name can leave a good first impression, while a bad one can make the visitors want to exit your website.

The Relation Between the Domain Name and Search Engines

Using keywords in your website’s domain name helps your website rank higher in search engines.

Increasing the Customer’s Awareness of Your Trademark

The domain name is a chance to introduce your trademark. Since, by using the correct name, increase the awareness of your trademark.

Putting You at the Forefront of Competition

When you have your own domain name, you appear to others as a part of the new generation. It gives you the appearance of someone who is up-to-date on all developments of the era, as well as being aware of the needs of business.

It might seem simple and small, but it can put you on the right track when it comes to competition.

Gives Your Work Credibility

Owning a domain name with the right extensions gives your company a polished and professional look. Make sure to pick the right domain name, which reflects what you offer to your customers.

Since regular domain names don’t leave a trust-worthy impression. And therefore, taking an unsuitable domain name will be directly reflected on your business. Which will lead to your clients assuming that you’re not ready to invest properly.

This results in your clients believing that your products or services are of low quality. Which is a danger you should avoid.

Your Domain Name Determines the Client’s Expectations of Your Website

The customers are going to build their own assumptions and expectations once they come across your domain name. Therefore, you need to make sure to meet those expectations in a way that will benefit your business.

The right domain name will make your trademark more popular. If it matches the company’s name, it strongly reinforces your trademark. Which will make it easier for the customers to remember.

Now, after learning the importance of domain names,

What Are the Factors That Help you Pick the Correct Name?

Select the Correct Extension

There are plenty of available domain names nowadays like, .com, .org, .net, etc. There are also more specific extensions such as: .pizza, .photography and even .blog! 

It’s advised to use the extension .com for many reasons. The first one is: it’s the most widely known, as well as more trusted than the new special extensions.

The extension .com is the most broadly used, which is why the user is going to subconsciously type it at the end of your domain name, even if it’s not the correct extension to use. Let alone the keyboards of smartphones, which have an automatic button with .com written on it.

Thus, we advise that you avoid this problem by making sure you use .com at the end of your website’s domain name. Although, you should consider some cases about research being done in regards to some unconventional TLDs.

As we’ve previously mentioned, you can get yourself a multitude of different TLDs which weren’t available even two years ago! For instance, you can get the extensions of a certain field like: .shop, .club, .store, .blog, .design, .xyz, etc.

You can also try out TLDs that were originally meant to be local TLDs, but due to its unique appearance, it can be used for plenty of other reasons. For Example: .is, .io, .fm, .it, .ly, .cc, etc.

For instance, if it’s more logical for your trademark and intended name, you can try and make it look as if the domain itself (including the TLD) is one, big expression.

In order to achieve that, you need to pick your own TLD creatively. E.g. Microsoft Translator is available under translate.it – which is the complete domain name and a creative way to use the italian TLD .it

And also Google has reserved a domain for itself which is .new where it allowed plenty of its services to use it, which makes it easier for the users. 

That way, you can start writing in a new google doc by typing doc.new in the URL bar. Or making a new form by typing form.new in the URL bar. As well as many other usages 

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Use Keywords

Keywords have an important role when it comes to your domain name. Since its usage can tell search engines about the topic of your website. And with good content and a good buyer’s journey, these factors help you rank higher in the SERPs.

Getting a good domain name using targeted keywords isn’t an easy task. But it’ll add a lot to you in the case of finding a domain name that includes your keywords.

You can write a large number of words in front of you and try to combine between your keywords and other words in order to describe your field and make your domain name stand out.

Make Sure Your Domain Name Is Short

Although using keywords is important, you should note that the domain name shouldn’t be too long. It’s best if your chosen domain name is short and easy to memorize. It’s advised to keep your domain name shorter than 15 letters. So that the users can remember it easily. 

In addition  to this, the chance of misspelling or incorrectly typing the domain name increases with the increase of the included letters, which is why it’s best to choose a short domain name.

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Make Your Domain Name Easy to Pronounce and Spell

Make it so the name can be easily shared both while speaking and writing, since you never know when you’re going to need to share your domain name. 

Also, if you’re planning on using the domain name to create a professional business Email, it definitely needs to be easy to share with a listener.

Search for Domain Names

Before registering the name and starting to use it, try to find out whether or not there an already-established company with the same name.

For this search, you can use Google. You can also search for the availability of this name on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform.

The redundancy of the name can lead to problems which might reach copyright issues. So, you need to make sure you thoroughly do your research before you settle on it.

You can use some websites to search like:

These websites work to tell you if this domain name is already used on any social media platforms or not, by simply typing it in. For instance, while using namechk, if you search for a name, most social media will appear on the screen.

If the sign is green, that means the name is available to use on these platforms. But if it’s dark, it means the name is already being used on that platform.

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Make It Unique and Attractive

Making your domain name unique will have it stick in the minds of the customers. Take time to research other domain names in your field. And of course, you don’t want to use an already used domain name by mistake.

There are plenty of tools and websites that can help you get to know your competitor. As well know more about your field. Such tools will give you more information and statistics that will help you better understand the nature of your competitors’ presence online. And also, the nature of your field in general.And thus, you can use the best possible name for your activities online. 

Examples of websites and tools that will help you in the search:

  • BuzzSumo
  • SEM Rush
  • SpyFu
  • Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  • AdWords
  • Crowdsourcing Keyword Research
  • Tag Clouds
  • WordStream
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Use Name Suggestion Websites

There’s more than 360 million registered domain names. Which leads to the assumptions of some people that all good domain names are taken. The manual search for an available domain name can also take a long time.

However, you can use one of those free websites which specialize in suggesting creative domain names. You can use them to come up with hundreds of ideas for your domain name. 

Websites you can use to look for an avialable domain name:

Use a Thesaurus to Find a Good Domain Name

Name-suggesting tools or other available tools online can’t always help you find the best domain name for your website or blog.

One of the websites you can use online is an online dictionary like: Thesaurus. Write the main words that you’ve come up with, as well as the features of the product or service relating to your business. The thesaurus gives you a long list full of possible suggestions.

It answers the question: is the domain you’re planning on reserving available as a username on different social media or not? This service will make it so you don’t waste reserving a domain name which is already used on all social media platforms.

This can lead to confusion of lots of customers when they see the similarity between your domain name and others’ usernames on social media.

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Avoid Using Numbers and Hyphens in Your Domain Name

It’s best not to use any numbers or hyphens in your domain name. But there are some cases when using them can be helpful. You can use hyphens in case of not finding your desired domain name directly. And even then, make sure you don’t use more than one hyphen.

Avoid Doubled Letters

It’s best to avoid using words that include doubled letters. Since it increases the chances of not being able to reach your website due to mistyping. For instance: Suziesscents – Supersmartteam – Presssetup. Avoid such words will make your domain name easier to write and remember.

Targeting Customers Outside of Your Country

If you plan on targeting clients overseas, avoid names that might have an embarrassing meaning in their language.

For Example: 

  • The word ‘Gift’ in English means ‘Poison’ in German.
  • The word ‘Salsa’ in English refers to the dance or tomato sauce, but in Korean it means ‘Diarrhea’.
  • The word ‘Peach’ in English means ‘illegitimate child’ in Turkish.
  • The word ‘Face’ in English sounds like ‘fesse’ in french, which means ‘butt’.
  • The word ‘Air’ in English sounds like ‘ah-yeer’ in Indonisian, which means ‘water’.

Be Careful When Buying an Already Existing Domain Name

Buying a ready-made domain name is a little different from buying a completely new one. Firstly, since it’s not new, that means it already has a history. You can’t be totally sure of what kind of history it’s had.

Looking at the bright side, having a domain name which has existed for longer will give you a boost in Google since you’re not starting from the bottom. But on the other hand, if the domain has had any kind of blocked material (Like: pornography, gambling, unwanted content, spam, etc.) it can be completely blocked from Google.

Which is why, in order to be absolutely safe, you need to do enough research on the name. What you need to do is go to Google, and search for the website: YOURDOMAIN.com

If you find any search results, it means it’s not blocked by Google. Which is a good sign. Although not finding anything doesn’t have to mean it’s a bad sign. 

If the domain is completely empty – doesn’t have a website yet – then Google won’t have anything to showcase. However, if there is a website and Google isn’t showing it, that’s a bad sign.

You can also do a check up using tools which are available online like: bannedcheck.com and ismywebsitepenalized.com. But keep in mind that these tools aren’t wholly trusted. It’s just a way for some extra help.

Use Wayback to Learn the History of the Domain Name

Wayback is one of the best tools, which can be used to find out the history of your domain and make sure it’s safe to use. This tool showcases the pages of the websites, that way, you can know how those websites looked before updating them. 

For example: you can view the way Facebook used to look in 2010 using this tool. 

To use it: go to archive.org and enter the URL that you’d like to view. Then enter the date which you want to view the website in. https://web.archive.org/

WHOIS tool

WHOIS History Lookup is a system which helps you get back information. You can go back upto 10 years ago and look at the history of a domain name in any field. And every search allows you to follow the last three copyright changes throughout the history of the domain name.

Find the previous owners for any domain name and get all the contact details, as well as the name servers and all the information relating to your website. You can find out all this and more by using WHOIS History Lookup. https://whois-history.whoisxmlapi.com/ 

Leave Room to Expand

It’s smart to choose a domain name which relates to your working field or expertise. As it gives people a general idea on what your website is for.

But you also don’t want to limit your options for the future. For example: a blogger could use a domain name like: naturephotography.com, but after some time, they might want to start blogging about photographing products instead. In that case, your name might hinder you from attracting readers which are interested in photographing products. 

You can create multiple subdomains for all the different every field that you can work in. 

What’s a Subdomain?

,what’s the difference between subdomain and  Subdirectory?

And does using either one of them affect search engines?

The subdomain appears before the domain in the URL such as: blog.sbkits.com. But the subdirectory appears like: sbkits.com/blog

You can use a subdomain if the components of your website are spacious enough to include a separate hierarchy. But when it comes to the subdirectory, all the components of the websites come from the main field.

How Using Subdomains and Subdirectories Positively Affects Your Experience with Search Engines

Google ensures that its web crawling tools can identify the subdomain and subdirectory and tell the difference between them. According to Google, the website crawls to subdomains and subdirectories, indexing and arranging them the same way you arrange them.

John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, says: subdomains in general don’t negatively affect the rank of the website.

In fact, Google states that the Google algorithm is so smart, it identifies your main domain as well as all the subdomains relating to it.

What’s WordPress Multisite? And How to Benefit from Them When Building Your Website?

WordPress Multisite allows you to construct a web of multiple WordPress sites after installing one WordPress website.

By using WordPress Multisite, all the content – pages, blog posts, categories and the media that’s been loaded – are going to be unique from all sites on that web.

But each website manages the same main WordPress code, plugins and themes. Thus, making website maintenance easy. You can install plugins and themes once and all the sites will be able to use them.

You can also make those plugins and themes only available to a select few of those sites, or mandatory to all websites. And after every update, all the sites are going to benefit at once.

Multisite also affects the visitors of your website. Instead of having separate accounts for each website, they can have only one account for all the WordPress Multisite web.

That account can reach individual websites, you can also give your visitors access to create their websites. 

When to Use WordPress Multisite? 

WordPress Multisite is considered great when you have a group of websites which are connected and have the same users, plugins and themes. 

Big establishments, like universities perfectly suited for WordPress Multisite. Since each department can have its own website, while the team can manage the main web of all the sites.

It’s also a great option for international companies. Since it allows them to operate regional marketing websites. After that, each local website can have a plugin to translate and communicate in a suitable native language. 

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Make Your URL Suitable for Mobile phones

Mobile devices make up 51.89% of all internet users since 2018. So, it’s needless to say that around half of your website’s visitors are going to be phone users. 

When it comes to mobile phones, you should consider autocorrecting, since it can affect the way your domain name is typed. This is why you need to make sure your domain name is short as well as easy to remember.

One of the most important things, when choosing your domain name, is trying it out on your own mobile phone first. How easy is it to type? If you’re tech savvy, get help from somebody of less experience with phones to test your domain name. That way, you’ll make sure it’s perfect to use with all internet users.

Target Your Region

If your work is local, consider including the name of your city or state in your domain name. In order to make it easy for your local visitors.

Also, it’s possible to find a geographical extension which suits your business. Consider this option when picking a suitable domain name.

Registering Your Domain Name

You’ll find plenty of attractive deals made by websites that sell domain names. Don’t let them fool you! Before agreeing on any of the deals, you need to first take a look at the annual renewal subscription. 

Some of these websites offer cheap domain names, while the annual renewal subscription is much more expensive. 

If the website offers a great deal once you decide to renew for more than one year, such as 5 years, you need to take advantage of that deal and choose the 5-year plan. But why?

Firstly, you’ll be saving yourself a fortune! And Secondly, this will be a good sign for Google which will positively impact your website’s SEO.

After doing your research on the domain name that you’d like to use, specify one of the websites that are responsible for selling domain names and buy your own.

There’s a plethora of such website, we recommend to you Siteground and Namecheap

Always Register Your Domain Name Yourself

It’s a great idea not to allow anyone else (like an agency) to register the domain name for you, even if it’s easier to just let them do so (since there’s going to be someone else who does all the work). This can lead to many problems in the long run.

If someone else registers the domain, you’re giving them complete power over your website. Which can hinder your plans if you decide to leave their service at any time. You could face some problems if they make it difficult to get full access to your website. 

Other problems that could arise would be: it can take a very long time to transport all the access to you, they could also blackmail you to get more fees out of you, or they could completely refuse!

Add to that, if the agency goes bankrupt, or if you lose contact with the person who has access to your website, for whatever reason. All this can cause you to lose all access to your website.

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Activate the Domain ID Protection Service

This service hides the contact information of the domain owner/the one who registered it. In order to protect your privacy.

Some websites offer this service for free when you buy a domain from them like Namecheap

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Activate the Automatic Renewal Feature

Renewing your domain can be annual or more according to the package that you’ve signed when you first registered the name.

When it’s renewal time, the website is going to send you an email, reminding you that the time for renewal is getting close. But with the amount of work you’ll be getting, you might end up forgetting about that Email, or maybe not even open it at all.

And once you’ve forgotten to renew, your website is going to stop working. Or something worse could happen. If you forget to renew a domain name that you don’t own, the company can put it out for sale once again, which can lead you to lose it forever. This problem will never occur if you activate the automatic renewal feature, 

We hope that these tips will help you when picking a domain name, which is best for your business. We’d like to hear your thoughts. And we’ll be happy to help you get a unique and special online presence.

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