So you’re ready to start a website. That’s great.
Of course, before you do that you have to choose a domain name.
This post is going to show you exactly how to choose a domain name for your blog or website that you’ll love.
It’s probably more important than naming your kids.
Am I joking? Who knows.
How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website
There is one simple rule when it comes to choosing a domain name.
You have to love it.
That’s the rule that is written in stone. The rest of what you read below will simply be guidelines on what you should consider.
You never want to choose a domain name that you regret using 3 months later.
It’s happened to me before and while you can change your domain name later, it’s a pain to make sure that all of your content redirects to the right site and that you grab all new social media handles.
So your best bet is to pick a name that you love right now.
5 Rules on How to Choose a Domain Name You Love
Please keep in mind, that it’s okay to break any of these rules.
This is your domain name. It’s like naming a child. You can get as weird as you want and the worst thing that happens is that the kid gets bullied.
You won’t get touched though.
1. Don’t Get Too Specific
It’s easy to think that your domain name should clearly state what your site is about. If you have a site about betta fish it’s tempting to buy BetterBettaBaby.com, but what happens if you want to talk about other fish?
I love talking about fish so when I thought about a fish blog I made sure that I gave myself some flexibility with RitzyTails.com.
You pin yourself into a corner that you can’t get out of.
One of the LAST things that you want to do is to buy a new domain name and redirect the old one.
However, if you feel that you’re only going to bake cakes and talk about cakes then there is nothing wrong with CuckooCakes.com.
But you just have to make sure.
2. Don’t Use Your Name If You Want to Sell
There is a trend of people using their own names for their domains.
Look, I get it. 100%.
Your business. Your name.
However, you’re kind of stuck if you want to sell the business because your name is your name.
No other business is going to look at your domain and be tempted to buy it until you die and let’s not hope that is any time soon.
So if you even think there is a 0.01% chance of you selling your site down the road, then you don’t want to use your name.
3. Make It Easy to Say
I used to own a domain called Drawar.com. It was a site about web design.
It got pretty big.
But there was a problem.
Instead of focusing on how awesome the site was, people kept asking me how to pronounce the name.
It took all life out of it.
I began to resent the name that I loved.
If it’s difficult to say then pick another name.
4. Make Sure It’s Not Vulgar
One thing you have to keep in mind about domain names is that once they are all together in the URL, the words are together.
So Pen Island Pens looks great until you see the domain is penisland.net.
5. .com Above All Else
I know, I know.
All of the good .coms are taken, but not if you get creative.
I was very surprised that PocketBusiness.com was available.
You want to get a .com because people are familiar with that. Sure, as more and more younger people get online they don’t worry about your TLD (.com, .net, .org, .io, whatever), but there are still adults who will only trust a .com because that’s all they know.
There are exceptions. Like if you find a great domain name such as Struggle.co then it makes sense to scoop that up.
But it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice a .com to get a silly domain name such as jiggybottoms.io.
If you go with anything else other than .com then it better be a good one.
3 Tips for Finding the Perfect Domain
While there is no tried and true way to find a domain, I can show you different methods that I use that could possibly help.
1. What Do You Want Them to Feel?
I like to start by imagining the feeling that I want someone to have when they hear or see my brand.
When we came up with Pocket Business we did so because we understood that people could easily see building a business as some big venture and that can be quite intimidating.
So we thought about what wouldn’t sound intimidating and Pocket Business was it.
Nobody is scared to build a Pocket Business!
When you know the feeling then you can think about words that help to describe that feeling. When I was thinking about a blog on personal finance I thought about my issue with money and how I always struggle so I looked for a struggle domain and was able to get Struggle.co.
When thinking about a site on houseplants I wanted people to feel closer to nature and so Unbox Nature was unlocked.
For Odd Noodle (this site) we liked the idea that to start your own business you have to be a little bit odd. A bit different from the rest of the world.
Your brain is odd in a good way. Odd Noodle.
This is where a thesaurus is huge.
2. Use a Name Finder
Sites like Namevine are great for giving you ideas that you can either use for inspiration or buy right now.
Sometimes a name I find on Namevine makes perfect sense to use while other times it can trigger an idea of another name.
3. Write It Down and Say It 10x
If you find a name that you think you’ll like write it down. Type it out. Say it 10x to see if it sticks with you or if you get tired of it.
Imagine walking up to someone else and telling them the name of your business.
What is their expression?
How to Register a Domain
If you’re starting a blog then you’ll need to find someone to host the blog and usually, that web host will ask you to register the domain with them.
I don’t like to do that because if I move the site I don’t want to worry about moving the domain.
So what I do is host all of my domains with a 3rd party service, Hover.com.
Why? Because that’s what they specialize in and it’s easier to host my sites on different web hosts and not have to remember where in the hell the domain is hosted.
Remember to Love It
I just want to bring this point up again. It’s important that you love your domain name.
Don’t get one that you’re lukewarm about when you have plenty of time to search for one that really resonates with you.