When you want to start a new website you need a domain name because it helps identify your website from millions of other websites out there. Some of you want to purchase a domain for creating a new blog or a new website and others may want to make an online store to sell products or services on the internet. There is also a small group of people who want to buy domains in order to sell it to someone else for a small or big profit. Whatever the reason is, if you are thinking of buying a domain name here is a list of things you should consider before finalizing a name you want to purchase.
Short domain names are always better.
When you buy a domain name, always remember to choose a word that is very short and easy to type, Potential visitors are more likely to remember a name that is simple and easy to remember and the next time they think of coming back they’ll just type in your domain name in the url bar and pop right into your website. For example, a name like laptop.com is easier to remember and type when compared to laptop1234.com. Another thing to remember is, if you have a short name your domain has better resale value if you are planning on selling it to someone else. These days it is very difficult to find a short dictionary word if you are especially trying to find english words because there are many people and domain selling companies buying off all the short domain names in order to sell it to someone else and make a profit off them. But, if you are really lucky you might just find one so don’t give up so soon, you also have to consider the possibility that some people might just forget to renew some of the names and if you buy those names in the nick of time it can be yours.
Avoid hyphens or symbols
It is important to remember never to use any hyphens or symbols in your domain name. Hyphens or symbols in your domain name will confuse people most of the time or in most cases it will lead them to someone else’s website instead of yours when they type in a different name. For example, if my domain name were to be cheap-laptops.com and if people type in cheaplaptops.com they will get into cheaplaptops.com instead of cheap-laptops.com so basically your traffic is going elsewhere instead of coming to your website. If you still want to use symbols in your domain name you can still do it but if you want your website to perform better and pull in some decent traffic try and stick to single words without symbols in them.
Choose a name relevant to your niche
If you have a website that is going to be focusing on a particular niche then you will need to look for a keyword in your domain name that can be associated with your niche. For example, if you are planning on selling products like shirts or jeans you could look for a domain name like apparel123.com or fashion.com. This will help you with your branding for that particular niche and help you rank better on google. These days it is extremely hard to find good names for most of the niches because most of them are already taken which does give rise to a problem wherein you are forced to make your domain names longer just to stand out – in this case you will have to forget about making a short name and choose a longer name or go in for a name that has no relevance to your niche and work really hard on branding to make it more recognizable on the internet.
It is extremely important for you to be careful while choosing a name that resemble trademarks. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prevents anyone from using a name that has been trademarked by another company or person in a domain name. Check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to see if your name is trademarked before you buy it, if not you will be forced to take it down and may also face a few lawsuits especially from companies that are really big and this could happen at anytime. To make matters worse, if you have been using that particular name for a long time all the work you’ve been putting into making your website will all be for nothing.
Keep your domain name and hosting provider separate
If you build your website on wordpress or any similar platforms you will need to have web-hosting and your own domain name. There are several companies that can set you up with hosting and domain names, some of them can set you up with both. There are some web-hosting providers who will offer you a free domain name if you purchase hosting from them so you let go of your existing domain provider and put both your domain name and hosting under the same company. This may look like a good idea but the only problem here is – if you run into some trouble with your hosting provider and want to leave them it will be hard to migrate your domain name to a new domain provider, a name that you have worked so hard to brand.
Choose a .com domain
These domains have a better resale value and are more well known. There are other extension like co.uk, .edu, .org and so on but they are only good if you looking to build a website targeted towards that particular geography or industry. People also tend to remember the .com extension better because it is so common. If you want you can also buy other domain extension like .org or .net along with the .com extension if you are trying to make sure nobody gets their hands on a domain similar to yours. Some domain registrars even offer them to you at a discounted rate if you purchase them along with the .com domain.
Although this is not all that important it better if you find a domain name without any numbers. It is very common these days to use numbers in the domain name especially because good names are hard to come by, but giving priority to good clean words is still better. If you do plan on using numbers it must not be so hard to remember that people forget it in an instant – a name like laptop123.com is better than laptop2907.com.
Avoid lesser known domain registrars
Although most of them might be cheap to buy from it is always best to chose a domain registrar that is well known and offers good support. You can also check a few reviews of some of the top companies in the domain business before your settle on the one your like.
Do not post the name of the domain you want to buy on the internet
Some people make the mistake of asking people on the internet for advice on whether a domain name is good or not before buying it. You should remember that if you post the name online a lot of people are going to be looking at it and there might be one person who thinks your domain name is good and will go ahead and purchase it right away just to try and sell it to you or someone else for a higher price. Try and keep your domain names to yourself right up until you have finished purchasing it.
Observe the auction sites
If you are looking to buy a very good domain name – look at the auctions or places where domain names are for sale. You will get a sense of what type of domains sell for what price. In this case there are also other factors that contribute to the value of the domain like age of the domain, backlinks and so on which is not necessary for you to observe if you are buy a fresh domain name but what you could be looking at is the kind of names being used so you can get an idea about what kind of name you could use in choose in own domain name.
Avoid domain name suggestion websites
Even though it is not so easy to prove that this particular practice exists, there are some people who agree that websites that offer free tools to suggest a domain name might go ahead and purchase the domain name you were just searching for. For example if you have a good keyword you want to include in your domain name, what you might do is – go to a domain name suggestion tool to see what names pop up so you can pick one of those names to be the one you want to buy. Now when you do that, it is possible that the providers of these free suggestion tools are monitoring your searches and when they see your keyword they might just go ahead and buy off that name in the hopes that when you go to buy the domain name and find it already purchased you might reach out to them and ask if you can buy it from them. This is when they have a massive opportunity to sell it to you for whatever price they want especially if you really want that domain name.
If you are planning on selling your domain name to another person who is a complete stranger without any trusted brokers in between the two of you there is 99% chance of the deal being a fake one and you not getting your money. I’ve seen people complaining on forums about selling a domain name to someone and not getting paid for it – once you give away your domain username and password to someone they have full control of the domain and then it’s all over. If you still want to make deals with strangers you will need to get paid upfront before transferring the domain name or at-least get a broker in between to make sure both parties deliver. If you have premium domains (high value domains) you can sign up to get an escrow account so that the deal goes smoothly.
If you are selling a domain you are not using and if nobody approaches you to buy it from you – you can find a buyer by looking for small businesses that do not have websites yet. What you can do here is find an email address to contact them directly and ask if they are willing to purchase a domain name from you to have an identity on the internet which can make you a small amount of money if they do buy. When you are trying to make contact with your potential buyers be sure to mention what are the advantages of buying your domain and how it will help them get more exposure and maybe even some bigger sales because nobody wants to invest on something that they do not see a need or benefit in having. If you know how to install a website on the domain name you can also offer to install a website for them and offer it as an additional service to your buyers.
Be sure to have at-least a few names ready before you actually go ahead and buy one. There is a high possibility that your name could be taken so it’s best to have at-least a few of them ready to try for one by one. If you have picked out the name you want and if you still have a few names left you could buy those too because there is a chance that those names will not be available anymore – you can do this only if you want to start more websites or if you want to sell the domain names, if not, one name is more than enough.
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Hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions feel free to let me know.