You’re getting ready to build your website and dreading the daunting task of choosing the right domain name. Although a critical step, this process doesn’t need to be as complicated or as stressful as it often seems. We’re going to walk you through a few key things to consider to help make choosing the right domain name for your website as painless as possible.
1.) Domain Extensions: Do I have to use .com?
Nope! Although .com is arguably the most popular and familiar domain extension, there are other viable options depending on your website/business. If possible, we recommend buying the .com version of the domain name if it’s available and within your budget but there are other things to consider. Depending on your industry, you might consider some alternatives that could be much more cost-effective. You can always purchase other domains in the future when you hit your cash flow and revenue goals. We are a custom software development company and we chose to go with a .co, https://modernlaunch.co/. Choosing .co over .com saved us thousands of dollars when starting our business and our website functions perfectly! We put the money saved towards other important areas of the business. Here are some examples of other domain extension options to consider:
The .co extension is a solid option for a wide range of businesses and is often cheaper than its .com brothers and sisters. Although it actually refers to the Columbia country code, .co is most often viewed as “company” and is now one of the most popular extensions. .co is globally agnostic so this extension helps your website/company scale internationally. We use .co so we may be biased but for almost any company out there, .co will work perfectly. Another key benefit over other extensions is the fact that Google considers it an organic Top Level Domain (TLD) giving it optimal SEO potential just like a .com.
The .io extension is a popular option for many new tech and start-up companies. Although the actual code stands for “Indian Ocean,” the relation to “input/output” has made this a quite popular option for tech folks. You may find more affordable options using .io although, it’s becoming more and more competitive. If you’re a new tech/start-up company, .io is worth consideration.
The .ai extension has become more popular in the past few years with the rise of artificial intelligence and bot technology. Although this extension actually refers to the internet country code for Anguilla, it’s generally acceptable and becoming popular for tech/AI companies to use this extension. If you are in the artificial intelligence space, you should consider a .ai extension for your website.
The .org extension was once exclusively used for non-profit organizations but has shifted over the years with recent changes in regulations. That being said, most people assume and expect companies using .org to be some form of non-profit. If you run a non-profit organization, grab yourself a high-quality .org! This is appropriate and often a cheaper alternative to any .com you’ll find. If not, we recommend choosing another extension.
The .net extension refers to “network” which really should only be used for companies in the database/internet/web hosting spaces. This is common practice and generally accepted by most people. However, if you are not in any of these spaces, we’d recommend going another route.
2.) Length and structure
The length and structure of your website domain matter! Try to stick to letters only if possible and avoid dashes and long phrases. You want to use something that’s easy to remember and won’t be easily misspelled or misheard. Try to avoid using filler words like “my”, “the”, and “our” just to find and force something available. Straightforward and simple is almost always better when choosing your domain name. Do your best to avoid having double letters next to each other to avoid spelling mistakes. There’s nothing worse than folks getting frustrated trying to get to your website. The longer the domain name, the better the chance a user will enter the wrong characters.
3.) Keywords and branding
Not all websites need to use keywords associated with the business/product. However, using relevant keywords can help with SEO and make the purpose of your website very clear just by looking at the domain name. It’s important to choose words that are either associated with your company name or relevant to your brand. Oftentimes, websites will take the shape of the company name which can make the choice very easy.
Hopefully, these 3 key areas of focus will help you in building your own website. There’s no perfect solution and everyone’s needs are different. One key thing to remember is, that you can always buy another domain name. You can even buy multiple to redirect. What’s more important “today?” Can the time and money you’re about to spend on a domain name be better leveraged to help bring on new clients or build out your business? It’s all up to you. Keep it simple, stay professional, and build a kick-ass site!
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