Whether you are planning to launch a new website, write a blog, develop a web service or establish a start up company – the domain name is one of the important factors which decides the success or failure of your online venture. Choosing the right domain name for your business or organization is necessary because there is no undo button, when you have registered one.
A good domain name is in the eye of the beholder. If you are looking for a domain name for your new startup then something brandable is a good choice. However, if you are looking for domain name for your new blog about dogs, then it’s best to use something descriptive. For most purposes we recommend using a .com domain, but .net and .org domains can also work well.
Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
In this post, we’ll be comparing the 14 most popular alternatives to WordPress available — covering general website building tools, content management systems, website management platforms and e-commerce platforms. In short, systems that can all be used by relatively inexperienced users as tools for building new websites. We’ll cover their basic features, their pros and cons and how each one compares to WordPress.
Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy
Bonus Tip: Make sure your name doesn't accidentally spell out anything embarrassing when the words are smushed together. For example, if you wanted to make a blog all about things you and your girlfriends say, Girls Talking is a short memorable name that fits most of our advice here very well. However, you probably don't want to rush out and buy girlstalking.com, right?
If possible, stay away from alternate spellings such as c4t.com for cat, unless you are targeting a specific audience (e.g. millennials who are more familiar with alternative spellings), or can grow your brand long-term. c4t may be a great domain name, however, you always run the risk of losing potential visitors to the actual cat.com website, as some visitors will be confused or just forgetful and type cat.com into the address bar.
Before you register your desired domain name, it’s always a good idea to check social networks for the same name. To keep your site name constant and to build your brand, you want a name that is readily available. For example: check facebook.com/yourdomain, twitter.com/yourdomain – and secure them as well. KnowEm is a great tool to use to see if certain names are already branded on social platforms.
The second disadvantage of using domain name suggestion tools is that some of the registrars reserve your keywords and suggest the available domain name to other prospective buyers. Let’s say you devoted 2 hours of time and found a very unique domain name e.g “laptopcasesforstudents.org”. Feeling very happy, you went to bed thinking – “I will buy this domain name when I have transferred the money from my bank to the Paypal account”.
How To Choose the Best Domain Names