I’ll start by confirming one of your fears: Finding the ideal name for a web project is not easy.
In general it is difficult to find a name for any project. Don’t you think
The moment your idea begins to take shape and you are determined to turn it into a web project, we may face the dreaded blank sheet syndrome. It usually appears when you intuit that something is going to last in time and you want to give it the best of names.
How to choose a good domain name for your web project?
So in this article we want to show you some strategies that help you get closer to that perfect name, the possibility of knowing availability as well as registering domains easily.
But before that, let me make some clarifications for you.
- 1. Notice that before I did not tell you about the name of the website, I’m talking about your web project. I’m going to call it that because the name you choose will be for the web and its sections, but also for email addresses.
- 2. You may not choose the ideal name on the first try. Do not worry. All the web work you have done it will not be lost if you decide to change its name.
- 3. A web project does not have to be focused on a single name. You can combine several names that are interesting to give light to your image on the Internet.
- 4. I told you before that we are not going to talk about the name that you will give to a website but to a web project. Well, from now on I will refer to that name with the word Domain.
We could add several more clarifications, but I do not want to make you wait. We’ll see what is the domain, what structure does it have and what strategies should you consider to choose the ideal domain.
What is the web domain?
The domain is a word or set of joined words that we use to display a website in browsers and to send email messages.
Google users, when they want to get to a website, just write what they are looking for and click on the results of that search. In order to appear in those results, Google needs to know the name of your domain.
How is a domain structured?
A domain is made up of a word or set of joined words, which is followed by a period and an extension. Every time there is a change in the word or the extension, we will be talking about a different domain.
For example: webempresa.com is a different domain from webempresa.es
The domain is the name that you will see in the address bar of a browser. In the previous image we can see the domain webempresa.com in the address bar of the browser.
The domain is necessary to have a website, but it is not the website.
The Dominion we will also use it when writing an email. You will have the mailbox name first, then the at sign, and finally the domain name.
For example, when you write to email@example.com your message is reaching the domain’s commercial mailbox webempresa.com
The symbol @ (at) acts as a separator between the mailbox name and the domain.
The domain is required to have email but it is not email.
In order to have a website and email accounts you need to have, in addition to the domain, an activated hosting. In this link we explain: what is hosting and how does it work?
Now that you know what a domain is, let’s see what recommendations to follow to select the best domain for your web project.
Choose the best domain for your project
Here is a list of my 10 tips or recommendations:
- Think of a phrase and focus it on one word or several unified words.
- Shorten that word to the maximum.
- Take away any recurring letters.
- Remove the numbers, hyphens and any specific character from your country (accents, ñ, etc.).
- Tell your father to pronounce it.
- Let two hours pass and tell your father to tell you the name again.
- Tell your mother to write it for you.
- Ask your family and friends for help.
- Select and check that you like the result.
- Register the main domain and alternative domains.
We are going to disengage these recommendations that I make and see them more in depth.
Think of a phrase and focus on one word
The domain can be a text that reflects your brand name but it can also focus on the objective of your project.
Depending on the web project, you will be more interested in one type of name or another. In a generic way we can find that:
- On corporate websites, the domain coincides with the name of the brand / company.
- In online sales websites, the domain matches the name of the product or the generic name of the type of product.
- In training websites, the domain name will coincide with the subject under study.
- In personal websites (such as blogs) the domain corresponds to the name and first surname of the owner.
A domain name cannot contain blank spaces (watch out for this!). You have to find a single word that is authentic, that defines your project well.
Due to the high volume of registered domains, the name you are interested in may not be available. You can search for a combination of keywords that define well the objective of your web project.
One aspect to keep in mind is that there are also a large number of registered trademarks, so I advise you to check that in your domain name you are not including the name of any of them. In this way you avoid possible claims and disputes for the future.
When I ask you to think of a phrase, I am asking you to reflect on the key words that will give personality to your project.
Write down those keywords. Mastery can be one of those words or a combination of several. Your domain will reflect the fundamental idea of your web project.
Shorten that word to the maximum
Look for a short domain name. An appropriate length will help users remember your domain name.
You will also prevent typos from being made if you type it directly.
A word of 10 or 15 characters is enough. Try not to exceed that number.
Take away any recurring letters
You should avoid difficult-to-pronounce sounds. If you combine words, the last letter of one may be the first letter of the next.
I advise you to look for words that when joining do not have that effect.
A word that is easy to pronounce is much more likely to be remembered. Our thoughts, and therefore our memories, are built with the sound of words.
Remove the numbers, hyphens and any specific character from your country.
The human brain does not remember very well the combination of numbers and letters. You just have to think about what it costs for some people in your environment to remember the license plate of their own vehicle.
Your domain should be a combination of the letters from A to Z.
Today we have IDN domains (special format to adapt to the alphabets of different languages) but I do not recommend that you include accents or characters such as Ñ or Ç in your domain as they can give you problems with email.
Furthermore, those characters are not available on all keyboards. It can be a difficulty if your users are outside of UK or if you have to expand your web project to new horizons.
Prohibited characters in a domain name
Your domain cannot contain the comma, the period, the semicolon or the symbols of admiration or question marks. The underscore cannot be used either. You cannot use in a domain name: &% $ / (),; . : _ = ¿? !
The domain may contain a hyphen, but you cannot use it to start or end your domain name.
Tell your father to pronounce it
Of course it’s a little joke I’m doing to you. The idea is that your domain has to be easy to pronounce.
You can ask different members of your family or friends to pronounce your domain out loud. If they have difficulties, you should consider a change.
You are going to have to talk about your project with many people. A desired effect is also that many people talk about your web project.
It’s an important reason for you to look up an easy-to-pronounce name. Now you are on time!
Let two hours pass and tell your father to tell you the name again
Check that the chosen name is easy to remember.
Your domain is the name with which they will recognize you. RE-meet or meet again. You’ve told someone in the family the domain name, they know it.
Now you have to check if it recognizes it a few hours later.
I advise you to avoid anglicisms and some trends that, in addition to making it difficult to remember, may soon become obsolete and may be a hindrance to reaching new audiences.
Tell your mother to write it for you
A domain is a word that we have to write.
Avoid poorly defined or little used letters like h, x, w, y …
Think about the radio ads for some companies. Except in the case of highly established brands, how many times do the domain have to say letter by letter?
Ask your family and friends for help
Explain your project to a circle of trust. Ask them to tell you words that define it. Surely one appears that you did not take into account.
You can also use a thesaurus (there are many online options). Write those words on post-it and then discard the least representative or interesting ones.
Select and check that you like the result
Once you have refined the words and only 4 or 5 post-it remain on the table, go on making combinations with those words. Apply the tips we’ve seen before and write down the most outstanding results.
Register the main domain and alternative domains
Don’t let a minute go by. Perhaps the domain you are interested in will not be free when you register it.
My tip is register the domain with the .com extension and if your project focuses on a specific country, also choose the national extension:
Each country will have its own extension.
How can you register a domain?
To register a domain see if it is free. If so, you can contract the registration.
With the main domain registered, check if other interesting domains are available for your project.
As you have seen in this article, domain is the word or group of words that will define your web project. With it users will recognize you. They will use it to send you emails and type it into the web browser to get to your page.
Find an authentic, clarifying, and easy-to-remember name and record additional names that are also optimal for your web project.
When your project comes to light, you can make the web visible both from the main domain and from the other domains that you have registered.