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How to choose a business domain name

October 8, 2011

If you are interested in setting up a website for your new enterprise, one of the first things you should do is choose a domain name to represent your brand.

Here are some Bytestart tips to help you on your way.

How to choose a domain name

1. There are dozens of domain name types available, from the most popular (.com and .co.uk), to a wide variety of country-specific and ‘trendy’ suffixes such as .mobi. We’d recommend that you always try to secure at least the .co.uk and .com variants of your chosen name, to secure your web identity.

2. Don’t assume you need to buy a name which describes what your company does. This may be ideal in some cases, but some of the most successful online brands have names unrelated to their business, e.g. Amazon and Google.

3. You should think about your future plans when buying a domain name. You may just make ‘blue widgets’ now, however you may expand to make ‘red widgets’ in the future. So, ‘widgetfactory.co.uk’ would be a better choice than ‘bluewidgetfactory.co.uk’.

4. Most web experts would suggest that you try to keep your domain name as short as possible. With few really short domain names available these days (as of 2011), you will be hard pressed to find a three to five letter domain, however there’s no need to squeeze too many words into the domain.

5. For many years, business owners were convinced that simply by inserting major keywords into their domain names, they would rank well for those words. There may be a very small benefit in doing so, but it is just one of hundreds of factors used by Google in its ranking algorithm.

6. There are some restrictions on the types of characters you can use within a domain name. You can use letters, numbers and dashes, but no other symbols (or spaces) are allowed.

7. Make sure you use a decent domain name supplier – preferably a company that has been around for a while. We’ve used Easily for all our domain name purchases for the past decade without any issues.

8. If you are going to buy a large number of domains over time, it will be much easier to ‘park’ them with a single domain name company. Domains are far easier to administrate and keep up-to-date if you can access them all centrally.

9. Watch our for trademarks and brand names. Choosing “Googlewebdesign.co.uk” may result in you receiving a letter from the world’s ‘favourite’ web search firm.

10. Always keep your contact information up-to-date. Although your domain name supplier is sure to contact you via email when one of your names comes up for renewal, it is your responsibility to ensure you are contactable. This is why it is helpful to make all your domain name purchases from one company.

Further Resources

Read our guide to setting up a website for some initial steps to take when placing your business online.

Try Easily for all your domain name purchases – highly recommended by the Bytestart team.