Domain names help the world find your website. The right domain name can be the foundation of your business or blog, but then there are domain names that we simply forget. Everyone has a website that they visited in the past, enjoyed and can’t remember the name anymore.
I have been there countless times.
But these website owners didn’t make these mistakes on purpose. Owners want their website to be memorable, but sometimes, a person registers a domain without putting enough thought into it. What no one is telling you about domain registration, or perhaps you’re not asking, is that:
The Name Needs to be Short
The longer the name of the domain, the harder it is to spell. Keep your domain names short and simple, and you’ll reduce the risk of it being mistyped or misspelled. A secret that you may not know is that phone numbers were once five digits long.
Times have changed, and the telephone needed to have more than 99,999 possible number combinations.
Eventually, seven digits were chosen because it was the most reliable way for people to remember a number. A number that is longer is harder to remember, so the telecoms decided to keep numbers at seven digits.
Domain names also need to be short.
It may be difficult or impossible to find a lower character number, but studies show that the top 50 sites, in 2009, averaged a domain name that was just 6 characters long. The average for one million domain names, was 10 characters.
If you’re stuck trying to figure out the perfect domain name, you can use a domain name generator to help.
Research the Domain Name
Domain names that contain a copyright of another entity may cause you legal headaches in the future. Your web hosting company will often contact you about any complaints you receive, or the copyright holder may contact you directly.
It’s important to conduct your own domain name research.
Nolo claims that you can risk the domain name, even if you’ve worked on it for years, if the domain name infringes on another person’s copyright.
Some businesses will offer to pay you for the domain name, and this is the absolute best-case scenario. In this case, you’ll be able to profit from your registration. Others will bully you with demanding legal documents.
Customer confusion is a big no-no and may lead to legal issues.
If you register an infringing domain name and offer a service or product similar to the copyright holder, they will likely pursue legal action. The domain name cannot be confused with another person’s copyright.
Avoiding trouble means:
- Determining if the name is well-known
- Asking if you are or will be selling similar products or services to the copyright holder
- Determining whether your business will divert potential traffic or leads away from the copyright holder’s site
Proper research into all of these points can help you keep your website legal. Avoiding legal troubles is always a smart idea for domain owners.
Keep It Simple
Domain names should be kept simple. A few key points that you’ll want to keep in mind is that a domain name ought to be:
Most experts recommend trying to obtain the “.com” version of the website. Internet users are slowly getting accustomed to other TLDs, but the “.com” still remains king. When you’ve completely written off doing business outside of your own country, a country-specific domain name may suffice.
A .de, .us, .fr or any other country-specific domain name may suffice.
I would also recommend avoiding numbers wherever possible. There are times when numbers in a domain name are acceptable, but in most cases, numbers look spammy and should be ignored.
Domain names need to make a positive first impression, so make sure that the name is one that you can be confident in growing a business or audience around.
It’s important to take your time when choosing a domain name. Brainstorm names, do your research and ask others what they think about the name. A lot of research can go into the acquiring of a domain name, and if your desired domain is taken, you may contact the site’s owner and ask if they’re willing to sell their domain name.