If you are looking to start an online business, an effective and interesting domain name is where you want to start. Choosing the right domain name can help kickstart your online business.

On the contrary, choosing the wrong domain name can poorly affect your online presence and create unnecessary problems for your users. It’s best to keep the following ideas in mind when choosing your domain to get the best results for your small business.

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When is the best time to pick your domain name?

The best time to pick a domain name is before you have chosen your brand name. Sometimes, this isn’t possible if you are already set on a business name, or if your company has been around for a long time. However, if you are just starting, then you are in a great position to check to see if domain names are available while choosing your brand name. This allows you to pick something original right out of the gate.

What is the most reliable domain type?

A .com domain isn’t necessarily more reliable than other domain types, but it’s more expected than other domain types.

For example, when using applications like Microsoft Word, the application will automatically pick your .com type domain name as a URL. The application automatically knows what you mean when you are typing in a document.

People also expect this type of URL more often because the .com extension has been utilized for so long that you don’t even have to put a www before your domain anymore if it ends in a .com. Everybody knows that it’s a .com.

Whereas if you pick one of the other extensions like .green or .design or .info, people might not know that is your domain name unless you include the “www” in communication.

In general, it goes against everybody’s intuitive thinking to choose something besides a .com domain.

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What if your domain isn’t available in a .com?

If the domain you would like isn’t available with a .com when you are choosing your domain name, it’s probably not a good choice anyway. You probably should reconsider being more creative with your domain name so that you’re not competing with another business with the same name.

Do you need to buy a domain from the same website you are purchasing your website hosting from?

You do not need to purchase your URL from the same website you would like to purchase web hosting from. You can always connect your domain to your domain name server from hosting anywhere else.

Does it matter where you purchase your domain name from?

You want to go with a company that you know is large enough to trust. Some of the largest domain-purchasing sites are GoDaddy, Hostinger, and HugeDomains. Here at Monarkk, our clients use GoDaddy. That’s not to say that some clients don’t come to Monarkk already having purchased their domain in other places. Especially if their domains have been around for a long time.

How to Choose a Domain Name At GoDaddy

What are a few things to avoid when choosing a domain name?

  • Long domain name
  • Name that is hard to spell
  • Dots, Dashes, Hyphens
  • Numbers

Why your domain name for your website should be short and simple

From a marketing point of view, when making any type of flyers, posters, social graphics, etc… you want your domain name to be short enough to fit anywhere. If your domain name is too long, your domain name may not fit on your business card, a tradeshow flyer, or any type of marketing material being created for your business. A short domain name is also easier for potential website visitors to type and remember.

Why your domain should be easy to spell & easy to type

When you uniquely spell something, as we do with our brand name “Monarkk”, you need to clarify every time you tell someone your business name/URL. Many times, people’s computers automatically spell-check what they are typing, so even if someone types in monarkk.com, it might change it to monarch.com, which is not our website.

Why avoid numbers, dots, and hyphens in your domain name

Similar to hard-to-spell domain names, when using numbers, dots, and hyphens in your domain, you will need to always reiterate how to spell your domain name when telling people where to find your website. Instead of saying your website is at warehouse.com, you will need to elaborate that it’s 156warehouse.com. It is harder to remember, and much more difficult for the customer.

Should you put LLC in your domain name?

This question is more so for your attorney, as far as legal advice is concerned. However, from a web perspective, we typically do not include LLCs in customers’ domain names. To protect yourself, always communicate with an attorney first.

We generally do not include LLCs in domain names or logos. What we do include in logos is a registered trademark or a copyright symbol.

Should your domain name be your company name?

Your domain name doesn’t have to be your company name, especially if that domain name is already taken. We have several clients who have more generic brand names and their specific URL is already taken.

There are lots of ways to get creative with keeping that business name in your domain name.

Add a short phrase before or after your business name

One way we help clients pick a domain name when their specific business name in URL form is already taken is by adding a short phrase before or after your business name.

For example, our client Precision Group has lots of competition when it comes to brand names and domain names. There are tons of other Precision Groups, so we needed to get creative. We decided to put an action at the beginning of their domain name, thus creating goprecisiongroup.com. This added positive energy to their domain name and is a simple addition that is easy to spell and type.

Precision Group Website Design

Keywords in your domain name

One thing to consider when picking a brand and domain name is picking something that might bring you more traffic. If your domain name is also a product or service that you sell, it may help get you better results in Google and also bring more traffic to your website. So consider the search volume of keywords when choosing a domain and brand name.

How much does a typical domain name cost a year?

Most domain names cost $10-$20 a year, but there are other things that you want to make sure you purchase and do when buying a domain.

Set your hosting to auto-renew

Plenty of clients have not set their hosting account up to auto-renew, or have not kept their credit card or email on the account up to date. Before you know it, the whole website has disappeared because you didn’t renew your domain or hosting. So always set your account up to auto-renew.

Add domain privacy

If you are worried about your information being public, you can also pay an extra amount of money to have domain privacy. What this means is that your information isn’t public so people can harass you to try and buy your domain or get your contact information. If you don’t buy domain privacy, there are websites where people can search your URL and see exactly who owns your domain, and where they are hosted at. If you purchase domain privacy, all they will be able to see is where you bought your domain from.

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SSL certificates

You will want to buy an SSL certificate when purchasing your domain, which will also be a separate purchase. This gives you the “https” to your URL. That separate purchase safeguards your website information. So if you’re taking online payments, or personal information from customers, it is a baseline requirement.

If you do not purchase an SSL certificate, some search engines and browsers will warn users that the site that they are trying to visit might not be who they say they are, which will hurt your overall website traffic.

Ready to start an online business?

We would love to help.