Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Don't fall for trends

Just because something is trending now, it doesn't mean it always will. Copying what someone else is doing can lead you down the wrong path. Stay away from odd spellings and lots of hyphens or numbers. Keep it simple, focused and easy to remember. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Stick with .com

There are plenty of new domain name extensions available today, from the original .com, .net and .org to niche extensions like .pizza, .photography, and even .blog. We always recommend choosing a .com domain. While it can be tempting to come up with clever blog names using new extensions, a .com domain is still the most established and credible domain extension. Newer domain extensions like .ninja or .photography can be untrustworthy. Dot-com domains are also the most memorable. Many users, especially those who aren't as tech-savvy, will automatically type '.com' on the end of every domain without thinking about it. If your website is something like jane.photography, and your users accidentally type in jane.photography.com, they will end up on an error page on photography.com. It's smart to avoid that risk by sticking with .com. Not to mention, most smart phone keyboards automatically have a .com button. - wpbeginner


Choose a Simple, Memorable Domain

Your website helps establish your business's brand and credibility. The domain is often the first thing clients see, so find a domain that fits your business, is memorable and easy to spell. - Wix


Easy to say and spell

The goal is for your domain name to be passed along easily by you and by others. This is more likely to happen if people don't have to stop and think about how to say or spell it. - Amy Lynn Andrews


Check the Domain History via who.is

Right after Wayback Machine, who.is is your other go-to tool for getting to know the history of a given domain name. This one is very useful for at least two reasons: First, you can see the current domain info - stuff like who the owner is (provided they don't have ID protection - more on that later) - who the registrar is, and so on. There's no point in me listing everything here - just go to who.is, input your favorite website and see what's up. Second, who.is gives you access to a 'whois history report'. This is a paid service - $10 - but the price tag is rather small in relation to what you get in return, which is all the whois data associated with a given domain name from the very beginning. This means that you can see what the domain's history is, when it was registered, and how many times it potentially changed hands. In the end, if you're considering getting an existing domain, which can be quite pricey, spending an additional $10 doesn't seem that brutal. Plus, it can save you headaches later on. - Karol K - Winning WP


Consider Using Keywords

Keywords can help improve your SEO - but you need to tread carefully here. If you try to awkwardly stuff keywords into your domain, it comes across as generic (like we talked about before). If you do choose to use keywords, put the keywords at the beginning of your domain. That's where they'll be the most powerful for your ranking. You can find keywords with tools like Google Keyword Planner and Keywordtool.io. - ROBERT MENING - WebsiteSetup


Beware of trends

Anything that deals with something trendy will, like the trend, fade away. Stick with a classic name that will span the generations and not be tied down to a trend or fad. Deciding whether something is a trend or here to stay, is a matter of personal judgment, but it's usually not too hard to tell. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


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


Leave room to expand

It's smart to choose a domain name that's related to your niche because it gives users some idea of what your site is about. But you don't want to limit your options too much. For example, a florist might choose a domain name like orchidblog.com, but then want to start blogging about other flowers besides orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting readers interested in other flowers. - wpbeginner


Check the Domain History via Wayback Machine

Note: This one is worth checking even if you're getting (what you think is) a new domain name. In some cases, the domain name you're trying to register may have been registered in the past but then abandoned by the owner. It's still good to have a look at what was on it. There are a couple of ways in which you can look up a domain name's history. One of the more popular ones, and one that's also within anyone's reach (read: Not too technical), involves Wayback Machine. This is one of the first tools of its kind. Quite simply, it lets you enter a time machine, so to speak, and have a look at how any website used to look in the past. When I say 'any website', it's not actually any website. But you can expect to find most websites that had any noticeable traffic at any point in time. In our case, doing a check via Wayback Machine allows us to see whether the domain we're interested in has ever been used for anything significant, and, if so, whether it was all 'kosher' or not. For example, if you look up this site, you'll get records dating back to 2013: It's safe to assume that this site didn't exist before then (which is true). When you click on any of the records, you get a snapshot of the site back then. Quite handy, isn't it? If you're buying an existing domain name, it would be a good idea to go to Wayback Machine and browse through every month of the domain's history, just to make sure there wasn't anything shady going on at any point. - Karol K - Winning WP


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