How to Pick the Right Domain Name

Picking a domain name is kind of like getting married. It’s one of those things nobody ever wants to screw up, but it still happens a lot. Things don’t always work out like we planned. Divorcing a domain name after you’ve established a great website or blog under it is not a fun ordeal and can lead to lost time, lost money, and a major headache. Before you take that plunge and start building a home on the web, I’ve compiled some guidelines to help ensure that you’ve found that special one you can live in perfect harmony with.


Your audience is going to be looking for you at a .com. Don’t settle solely on a .net, .org, .biz or anything else. If your desired .com name is already taken then think harder and get creative. It’s not a bad idea to buy multiple extensions, but make sure that at minimum you own a .com.

Keep it Short and Simple

When it comes to blogging and writing I like long and fancy titles as much as the next guy, but please do everyone a favor and keep the domain as short as possible. A long name takes longer to type and is harder to remember. A majority of humans are lazy and forgetful. Make it easy for everyone. Forget about hyphenated names also.

Look at the Competition

GoDaddy and Domjax are great resources for checking to see if your name of choice is available. If it’s not available, use WHOIS to find out who owns it. Sometimes you can contact the person who owns it and buy it from them if they’re willing to sell and you want it bad enough. If the name is still available do a little bit of research and check out names that are spelled or sound similar. It might be smart to pick those up also.

Do it Now!

Don’t wait this one out or sit and think about it too long. Go buy www. yourfirstandlastname .com if it’s available. Pick up your children’s names if you can. Grab www. yourbusinessname. com or something as relevant as you can find. Do not procrastinate. I bet the folks over at Nissan are still kicking themselves for having to take Nissanusa.com and not being quick enough to grab Nissan.com.

Additional Resources

12 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name
How to Choose a Domain Name
How to Pick a Domain Name Checklist

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