Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Make it expandable

You never know how your business might expand, so avoid names that box you in. For example, FlyFishingLures.com is nice, but what if you want to sell fishing poles down the line too? I also recommend avoiding life-stage-specific names like AllAboutMyWildAndCrazyToddlers.com. (It's good now, but they're toddler years will be over so fast!) - Amy Lynn Andrews


Always Go for the .com

Let me say this again: Wherever possible, always go for a .com domain. Exhibit A: This site. Technically speaking, the .com is just one of many domain name extensions (TLDs) that are available (more on TLDs and other components of a domain name here). Some of the other popular options include, .net, .org, .co, .edu, .biz, or even things such as .shop, or .blog. And while all those fancy TLDs are tempting, getting the classic .com is nearly always the right thing to do. Two reasons: People are more familiar with .com domains than with anything else; they will default to typing '.com' into the browser address bar, and are unlikely to remember your extension if it's too weird. Everyone will always assume a website is a .com. The .com TLD is used by ~47% of all websites, data says. Can they all be wrong? What all of this means is that if your perfect .com is taken, then perhaps you should either forget about that name entirely or try contacting the current owner to see if they're willing to sell the domain to you. Warning! This could be expensive. - Karol K - Winning WP


Make sure the name is available on other social media sites

When picking your domain, check other social media sites to make sure it's available on those sites too. If you use the same name on your blog and on Twitter, Facebook, etc., it solidifies your brand and makes it more memorable. My favorite tool to check your name across all networks at once is Namechk. Another tool is called knowem? (hat tip, Kikolani) but as of this writing, they don't check Instagram for you which these days, is a must. - Amy Lynn Andrews


Make it easy to pronounce and spell

You should be able to easily share your domain when speaking as well as writing. You never know when you'll be asked to share your domain name in person. It should be easy to understand and spell for any listener. - wpbeginner


Go after .com

When it comes to extensions, being unique isn't always better. While new extensions like '.me' or '.pro' may feel hip and eye-catching, '.com' is still the easiest to remember and most often used. In fact, _ of all websites use a '.com' extension. If you can't get the '.com', go with other well-known extensions like '.co' or '.net' or '.org'. Then plan on acquiring the .com in the future. Of course, you'll need to check who owns the .com first. If a big brand already owns your preferred .com, you won't be able to afford to buy it from them down the road. Unless you make mega bucks. But what about those country-specific extensions, such as '.nl' for the Netherlands, or '.de' for Germany? These are perfectly fine if you're not planning to do business outside the country you select. For instance, the .ca extension is great for a Canadian company operating solely in Canada. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


.Com? .Org? .Info?

Every web address ends with a period followed by a domain extension. Those 3 to 4 letters are known as 'top-level domains' (TLDs). Wix lets you choose from 33 TLDs. Each one has its benefits, so find the one that best suits your business. - Wix


Protect and build your brand

To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


Choose a unique name

If you are marketing yourself, ideally you'll be able to use your first and last names (johnsmith.com or janesmith.com). Even if you aren't marketing yourself, it's not a bad idea to register your name as a domain now, in case you want to use it in the future. If you are marketing your business, you should see if your business name (yourbusiness.com) is available. Using a search engine like Google, search for your proposed blog or website name. Does your search show any sites with similar domain names? If it does, try a different name. Giving your website a name that's similar to other existing sites is the first step to failure. Also, don't choose names that are plural or misspelled versions of existing sites. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Start with keywords

Before logging into to your favorite domain registrar, take some time to brainstorm a few ideas. It can be helpful to have three to five keywords in mind when doing this exercise. These words and phrases should clearly define what you do (or want to do). Mix and mash them together and see what looks right and makes sense. Don't force the process - just let it flow. For example, let's say you are starting a local bakery. Some terms you want to include would be your city, fresh bread, baked goods, bakery and so on. Here's a pro tip: Use prefixes and suffixes to help you create a good domain that grabs attention. For this example, you may end up with a domain like superfreshbread.com. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Create and meet expectations

What is the expectation you want to set when someone hears your URL for the first time? If they can't instantly grasp what you do or who you are, you have a problem. While sites like Amazon, Trulia, Google and Trivago sound cool, it takes a lot more marketing and branding to make them work. Domains like NYtimes.com, Homes.com, and Overstock.com all let you know what to expect up front. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


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