Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Choose '.com' first

Up to 75% of all websites are '.com' domains. It is still the preferred extension and the easiest to remember. If your number one name choice isn't available, then try your second choice before accepting other TLDs. Remember that some browsers accept address-only entries in their address bar. If you type just the domain name (and who knows how many of your users will just do that?) they will return, by default, to the '.com' site. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Try a domain selection tool

If you are having a hard time brainstorming for an idea, no worries, the internet has your back. Try using a domain selection tool to help you find the perfect domain. Tools like DomainsBot or NameMesh can help you find that perfect domain. But remember to adhere to the advice above when using these tools. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Easy to say and spell

The goal is for your domain name to be passed along easily by you and by others. This is more likely to happen if people don't have to stop and think about how to say or spell it. - Amy Lynn Andrews


Avoid trademark infringement & confusion

The ideal domain name is distinctive. It shouldn't be easily confused with the name of another site or brand. After all, you don't want any lawsuits on your hands. If your domain name infringes on a trademark, you could be sued and forced to give up the domain. Before you register your domain name, you can check to see if it violates any US trademarks here. On a related note: if people can confuse your name with another brand, so can search engines. Picking a name that's too similar to another business can lead to your name's search engine results being littered with irrelevant links. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Pick a Unique Domain Name

A unique domain name will help your clients remember you. Stay away from names that play on the reputation of an existing business. Generate a following that is exclusively yours. - Wix


Check the Domain History via who.is

Right after Wayback Machine, who.is is your other go-to tool for getting to know the history of a given domain name. This one is very useful for at least two reasons: First, you can see the current domain info - stuff like who the owner is (provided they don't have ID protection - more on that later) - who the registrar is, and so on. There's no point in me listing everything here - just go to who.is, input your favorite website and see what's up. Second, who.is gives you access to a 'whois history report'. This is a paid service - $10 - but the price tag is rather small in relation to what you get in return, which is all the whois data associated with a given domain name from the very beginning. This means that you can see what the domain's history is, when it was registered, and how many times it potentially changed hands. In the end, if you're considering getting an existing domain, which can be quite pricey, spending an additional $10 doesn't seem that brutal. Plus, it can save you headaches later on. - Karol K - Winning WP


Choose a Brandable Name

We all know that branding is crucial to long-term success, but what exactly makes a domain name brandable? There are many factors that come into play here, but the most important ones are as follows: A brandable name has no specific meaning (eg 'Google' is not a word, 'YouTube isn't one either). It's unique - your competition doesn't use anything similar. It's easy to memorize - not too wordy, no complex vowel combinations. It's easy to pronounce and dictate over the phone. It sounds trustworthy - some names can be a little shady by definition, for instance, WinTheLotteryToday.com may be too bold, but Lotterio.com sounds way better. To make the brainstorming process easier, you can experiment with some combinations of actual words and random suffixes, like I did with the Lotterio.com example above. The main goal here is to create a potential for the domain name to build brand value over time. In other words, as much as possible, try making sure the name has a good ring to it. It should be fun to say out loud, and not difficult to memorize immediately. Think about the likes of Uber: It's short and snappy, and there's no confusion as to how to spell it - even when mentioned in passing in a conversation. - Karol K - Winning WP


Bias towards .com

I know, it's 2017. Why are we still talking about .com? The internet's been around 20-plus years. Why does .com matter so much when there are so many TLD extension options? The answer is, .com is the most recognized and most accessible TLD. Cognitive fluency dictates that we should go with something easy, that people have an association with, and .com is still the primary TLD. If you want to build up a very brandable domain that can do well, you want a .com. Probably, eventually, if you are very successful, you're going to have to try and go capture it anyway, and so I would bias you to get it if you can If it's unavailable, my suggestion would be to go with the .net, .co, or a known ccTLD. Those are your best bets. A known ccTLD might be something like .ca in Canada or .it in Italy. - Rand Fishkin - Moz


Consider Experimenting with Non-Traditional TLDs

As mentioned in No. 1, these days you can get yourself a multitude of different TLDs that weren't available just a couple of years ago. For example, you can get domain extensions such as: .shop, .club, .store, .blog, .design, .xyz, and so on. Also, you can experiment with some of the TLDs that were originally intended to be local TLDs, but, because of their unique appearance, can be used for various other purposes as well. These are domain extensions such as .is, .io, .fm, .it, .ly, .cc and others. Just to give you an example of the latter, if it makes sense for your brand and intended name, you can try making it seem as though the whole domain, including the TLD, is one complete expression. You can achieve that by choosing your TLD creatively. For example, Microsoft Translator is available under translate.it - that's the whole domain name and quite a creative use of the Italian TLD, .it. However, the thing with these TLDs is that not every domain registrar offers them. Currently, GoDaddy gives you access to the largest catalogue. GoDaddy domain auctions Nevertheless, if you're after some specific TLD, it's still smart to shop around with other registrars, too. Here's our other resource, where we talk about the top registrars in the market, plus some of the TLDs they offer. - Karol K - Winning WP


But all the good names are taken!

Be creative. It's very possible (and in many cases probable) that you'll come up with the perfect domain only to find it's already taken when you try to register it. Don't be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Try looking up similar words in the thesaurus. Ask others for ideas. Mix words up or around. Use a tagline, a nickname or a phrase you say all the time. - Amy Lynn Andrews


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