Tips and insights on how to choose your domain name
Your domain name is the foundation of your online success.
So, choose your domain name wisely.
How to choose the perfect domain name to let people know why you're online at a glance
10 tips to choose a domain name
When you’re selecting the perfect domain name for your website, it’s not just about finding a catchy name – it’s a decision not easy to change later. So, here are ten tips to help you choose a domain name wisely.
- Your domain extension
Choose the right domain name extension e.g. .au, .com, .com.au, .org or .net.
- Your domain name
Select a domain name that stands out, that is memorable and builds your brand. Explore your ideas with a domain name generator like Wordoid or Lean Domain Search.
- Protect your brand identity
Protect your online brand identity by registering various domain name that have similar spellings and abbreviations, with different extensions, even if you don’t plan on using them.
- Make it easy to remember
Opt for a domain name that is not only easy to remember but also easy to spell, type, and pronounce. If you find yourself having to clarify your domain name, it’s an indication that it’s too complex
- The shorter, the sweeter
Domain names must be from one to 63 characters. But the golden rule is: the shorter, the better.
- To include keywords, or not?
Consider including a keyword that reflects your service or product offering. But think long-term, don’t include keywords if you might have other service or product offerings in the future. If you do choose to use keywords, put them at the beginning of your domain name.
- Check for trademarks
Avoid names that have trademarks or are used on social media. Check if any trademarks are registered using a tool like Knowem.
- What characters to use
Use English-language letters (A-Z). Numbers (0-9). Hyphens (-) can be used but should be avoided.
- The start and end of your domain name
Domain names can’t start or end in a hyphen or have two hyphens consecutively and you can’t use spaces and special characters.
- Uppercase and lowercase don’t matter
Domain names aren’t case sensitive, so don’t rely on upper and lower case formatting.
Why choosing the perfect domain name is essential
Choose your domain name wisely
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, changing it can send your online identity back to prehistoric times
Your domain name is the foundation of your online identity. Once you’ve chosen a domain name and launched your website, transitioning to a new domain can be complex and time-consuming task, requiring careful consideration and planning.
Changing your domain name disrupts the online identity and brand recognition that has been built around the original domain. Existing customers or visitors may struggle to find the website, leading to a potential loss in traffic and revenue. All SEO efforts and search engine rankings associated with the original domain could plummet, requiring a significant amount of time and effort to regain lost ground. External links from other websites pointing to the old domain will break, further impacting search engine visibility and credibility.
In addition, changing a domain name also affects email addresses tied to the domain, causing communication issues and confusion among clients, partners, and colleagues.
Understanding the importance of domain name selection
The selection of a domain name is vital for various reasons:
- Branding and identity
Your domain name is a vital part of your brand identity. It should reflect your business name, products/services or brand identity, making it easier for customers to remember and recognise your business.
- First impression
Your domain name can be the first thing visitors interact with. A well-chosen domain can create a positive first impression, while a poorly chosen one may lose potential customers.
- Search Engine Optimisation
A relevant domain name can positively impact your website SEO. It may contain keywords that users search for, increasing the chances of your site ranking higher in search engine results.
A simple, easy-to-remember domain name is essential for repeat visitors and word-of-mouth referrals. A complex or confusing domain might be harder for users to recall. Consider using abbreviations if you have a long business name.
A consistent domain name helps maintain your online presence over time. Domain name changes, although not impossible, can confuse customers and disrupt your branding efforts.
- Legal and copyright issues
Choosing a domain name without infringing on someone else’s trademark or copyright is crucial to avoid legal troubles and potential loss of your domain.
- Accessibility and typing errors
Long or complicated domain names increase the likelihood of typing errors, leading users to a different site or causing frustration.
- Extension suitability
Consider which domain name extension (.au, .com.au, .org.au, .com, .net, .org, .co, etc.) is appropriate for you, based on your business type, location, and target audience.
A guide to selecting the perfect extension for your domain name
A .com domain is a top-level domain (TLD) used globally by all types of entities including individuals, businesses, and organisations. It is one of the most recognised and versatile domains if you’re targeting a global audience.
Broadly used for commercial purposes, but can be used for any type of website.
There are no specific restrictions for .com domains; anyone worldwide can register a .com domain.
A .com.au domain is a second-level domain under the .au name space, specifically intended for commercial use within Australia. The .com.au extension is used by Australian businesses to signify their presence in the Australian marketplace.
To register a .com.au domain, the registrant must be an Australian registered business or company with an active ABN or ACN.
A .au domain is the shorter, local choice for Australian websites. It is a standard for Australian domains, so if you’re an Australian business, you can show your audience that you’re local with an .au domain name.
Every Australian business that has an Australian audience can register a .au domain name.
A .org domain is a global top-level domain and it’s often associated with non-profit organisations, charities, and open-source projects. The .org domain extension is typically used by non-profit organisations, communities, and clubs.
.org Domains have no specific restrictions; anyone worldwide can register a .org domain.
A .org.au domain is a second-level domain under the .au name space, intended for non-commercial organisations in Australia. The .org.au extension is used by Australian non-profit organisations, charities, and community groups.
The registrant of a .org.au domain must be a non-profit or charitable organisation registered in Australia.
A .net domain is a global top-level domain originally intended for entities involved in networking technology. However, its use has expanded over time. Originally intended for network infrastructure companies, .net domains are used by various entities including individuals and businesses.
There are no specific restrictions for .net domains; anyone worldwide can register a .net domain.
A .info domain is a global top-level domain intended for informational websites. The .info domain extension can be used for websites providing information, blogs, resources, etc.
There are no specific restrictions for .info domains; anyone worldwide can register a .info domain.