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How to Choose the Best Domain Name (14 Tips and Tools)

Choosing the right domain name for your website is crucial for your success. If you choose the wrong domain name, then it can be a hassle to switch later on without hurting your brand and search rankings.

That’s why it’s extremely important that you choose the best domain name from the start.

When first starting out, it can be hard to come up with catchy business name ideas with a perfect domain name.

In this article, we’ll share all the tools and tips you need to get domain name ideas, choose the best domain name, and register your new domain (for free).

How to Choose the Best Domain Name

14 Tips for Choosing the Best Domain Name

When starting a blog, choosing a domain name can be stressful because you don’t want to make a mistake.

To make the process easier, we have a simple 14 step framework that you can use to pick the best domain for your website.

  1. Stick with .com
  2. Use keywords in your domain name search
  3. Keep your domain name short
  4. Make it easy to pronounce and spell
  5. Keep it unique and brandable
  6. Avoid hyphens in domain name
  7. Avoid doubled letters
  8. Leave room to expand
  9. Research your domain name
  10. Use domain generators for clever ideas
  11. Act quickly before someone else takes it
  12. Best place to register a domain name
  13. Get free domain with web hosting
  14. Most popular domain registrars

Let’s take a look at these tips one by one with more details.

1. Stick with .com

Stick to the .com extension

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 name.

While it can be tempting to come up with clever blog names using new extensions, .com is still the most established and credible domain name extension.

In our opinion, newer domain extensions like .ninja, .photography, and others can make your business appear less trustworthy.

Dot-com domains are the most memorable. Many users, especially those who aren’t as tech-savvy, will automatically type “.com” at 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 website.

It’s smart to avoid that risk by sticking with .com.

Not to mention, most smartphone keyboards automatically have a .com button.

2. Use Keywords in Your Domain Name Search

Keywords play an important role in a domain. By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about. Together with quality content and good user experience, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google.

It is very hard to find a good domain with your target keywords, that’s not already taken.

You will need to be creative and combine your keywords with other words to make your domain stand out.

3. Keep Your Domain Name Short

While keywords are important, don’t go overboard with domain length. It’s better to have a domain name that’s short and memorable.

We recommend keeping your domain name under 15 characters. Longer domains are harder for your users to remember.

Not to mention, users will also be more prone to entering typos with longer domain names which can lead to loss traffic.

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your domain length short.

4. Make Your Domain Name Easy to Pronounce and Spell

You should be able to easily share your domain name when speaking as well as writing. You never know when you’ll be asked to share your domain name in person.

If you’re planning to use your domain name to create a professional business email address, then it definitely should be easy to understand and spell for any listener.

5. Keep it Unique and Brandable

Your blog domain name must be unique, so you can stand out in your readers’ minds. It’s smart to research other blogs in your niche and find out what domain names they’re using.

You don’t want to accidentally use a trademark name or get accused of copying another blogger.

You can also choose to pick a domain name that’s more brandable.

Brandable domain names are unique, catchy, and memorable. For example, “Amazon.com” is a much more brandable name than “BuyBooksOnline.com.”

6. Avoid Hyphens in Domain Name

Never create a domain name with hyphens. Hyphens can be a sign of spam domains which you do not want to be associated with.

Hyphenated domains are also prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with hyphens because the domain you want is already taken, then your users will likely end up at your competitor’s site if they forget to type in the hyphen.

7. Avoid Double Letters

It’s a good idea to avoid domains with doubled letters, because it increases your chances of losing traffic to typos. For example, a domain like Presssetup.com will be more prone to typos, and result in lost traffic.

Avoiding doubled letters will also make your domain easy to type and more brandable.

8. Leave Room to Expand

It’s smart to choose a domain name that’s related to your industry / niche because it gives users some idea of what your website is about. But you also don’t want to limit your long term options too much.

For example, a florist might choose a domain name like orchidblog.com, but then they may want to start blogging about other flowers beside orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting readers interested in other flowers.

Properly moving your site to a new domain can be a frustrating process, and it can cause you to lose search rankings if you don’t do it right. That’s why it is important to pick a flexible domain name from the start.

9. Research Your Domain Name

Before you register a domain name, try to find out if there is already a registered business using the same name.

You can perform a trademark search to see if there is already a similar or exact name already trademarked.

Research trademarks to avoid conflicting domain names

You can also perform a Google search and check for the name’s availability on top social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

A similar or matching name would not only cause confusion, but it could also have severe legal implications which may cost you a lot of money.

Once you have your own website up and running, you can learn more about how to trademark and copyright your website name and logo.

10. Use Domain Name Generators for Clever Ideas

Currently, there are more than 360 Million registered domain names. This leads to many people saying that all good domains are already taken.

Searching for individual domain name manually can be very time consuming.

This is where domain name generators come in. These free tools automatically search for your defined keywords to find hundreds of clever domain name ideas.

Nameboy domain generator tool

We recommend using Nameboy, which is one of the oldest and most popular domain name generator tool online.

You can also use WPBeginner’s free Business Name Generator tool, or IsItWP’s domain generator to find more domain name ideas.

11. Act Quickly Before Someone Else Takes it

Each day thousands of new domain names are registered from all parts of the world. If you have found a domain name that you like, then don’t wait too long.

Domain names are like real estate. Thousands of people are actively looking for good brandable domain names that they can register for better rates in the future.

If you don’t act fast, then someone may go ahead and register your domain idea.

Since domain names are relatively cheap, we always recommend our readers to act fast. If you change your mind later, then you can simply let it expire.

Best Places to Buy a Domain Name

How to register your own domain name and how to get one for free

There are hundreds of domain registrars on the web. It’s important to choose carefully because it can be difficult to move your domain later on.

Just like with web hosting, pricing for domain registrations can vary anywhere from $9 to $24. You can even get it for free*.

Let’s take a look at how you can easily buy a domain name.

Free Domain Registration with Web Hosting

Majority of web hosting companies also offer domain registration as a service. Some of those companies offer free domain registration with new hosting accounts.

If you’re starting a new website, then it’s a smart idea to take advantage of this offer and get your domain name for free.

Below are the two WordPress hosting companies that are offering our users over 60% off web hosting, free SSL certificate, and a free domain name:

Bluehost is one of the oldest and largest brand name when it comes to web hosting. They’re an official “WordPress” recommended hosting provider.

HostGator is another popular web hosting provider that’s offering a free domain name with very affordable website hosting options.

It’s important to keep in mind that most hosts offer free domain registrations for 1 year only. After the first year, your domain registration will renew at usually around $14 per year.

A lot of users take advantage of the free domain for the first year because you would have to pay for the domain name regardless, why not get it for free.

Most Popular Domain Registrars

If you just want to register a domain name without purchasing hosting, then you can do that by purchasing it from a domain name registrar.

Domain.com is one of the best domain registrars on the market. They offer all top-level domain names, with a smart search feature, premium domains, and all the necessary tools to manage your domain names.

Search for domain name on Domain.com

Domain.com is offering WPBeginner readers a 25% discount, and our domain.com coupon should be automatically applied on your purchase.

Network solutions is another popular domain registrar with over 7 million domains registered.

They’re offering our users 25% off discount with Network Solutions coupon code: WPBEGINNER.

GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world. They manage over 63 million domain names for over 14 million customers.

They also offer web hosting plans as well. If you use our GoDaddy coupon code, then you can get a free domain name.

Related: 7 Best GoDaddy alternatives that are cheaper and more reliable.

Final Thoughts

If you are starting a blog for the first time, then you may find our ultimate guide on how to start a WordPress blog helpful because it walks you through everything step by step.

You may also want to check out our WordPress and Blogging Coupons page to find the best deal on other web tools and services.

For more domain name ideas, you can see our post on the 14 best free domain name generators or just use the WPBeginner’s AI powered business name generator that also checks domain name availability.

That’s all. We hope this article helped you understand how to choose a perfect domain name for your blog or business.

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Reader Interactions

45 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you very much for detailed and useful comments, I have a question please in regards to choosing my domain name… does it make a difference in SEO if my keyword(s) is at the beginning or the end of my domain name? does it make any difference with SEO algorithms?

  2. This is a great roundup of reminders, thank you! One thing I would also suggest, is to look carefully at “hidden words” inside your domain name, that you may have not thought of, that are spelled inside the domain. Some can actually be embarrassing.

  3. Thank You Brother, thanks for this detailed information on choosing a good domain.
    Speaking honestly, I was unaware of that trademark search. Thank you for mentioning that point. I will research all my existing domains as you suggested.

    Thank you again for the information.

  4. Why buy a domain at a site like godaddy, etc when you get a free domain when you start from any of the site builders?

    • It’s a personal preference question and sometimes you can get renewal deals or offers from different registrars :)

      Admin

  5. This article was right on time! It was extremely helpful and had all the information I needed. Easy to follow, links were accurate and useful.

  6. Thanks for these tips. Is it possible to start working on developing your site BEFORE selecting the domain name? I want to make sure I pick the right name so I’m giving it some time to percolate in my brain before making a decision, but I’d like to go ahead and get started on designing my site. Is this possible? Most options I see force you to select the domain name before moving forward.

    Also, just FYI, you have a typo in number 10 :)

  7. Extremely impressed with the information that you provided in this article, I gained the needed information that I was looking for from this article. I appreciate you making this information available to those sincerely looking for the correct and reliable information.

  8. how to hide main domain title name from subdomain WordPress title in google search. I have just created a subdomain for my site and Yoast SEO. I am sure everything and I doubled checked everything. But my when I google my subdomain my main domain title is showing next to the post, plz any can help me with this issue?

    • That would normally be determined by your theme’s styling, if you reach out to your theme’s support they should be able to let you know if there is an option to remove that.

      Admin

  9. Thanks for the information & tips about how one can choose a perfect domain name according to the niche the website will be about, it was great to read all the tips and they are very useful. Keep sharing and posting.

  10. Suppose you want to affiliate with another company. How do you go about creating a domain or sub-domain name?

    • It would depend on the specific hosting provider for how to create subdomains for your domain

      Admin

  11. I just finished my PhD and have looked at various grad students, postdocs and academics websites and was wondering if simply using your name as domain name was a good idea? Provided of course that you remove hyphens, accents, etc.

  12. Hello! Firstly, thanks for sharing this blog. No doubt I have already read many such blogs but this one is special in many ways for me. I like all top domain hosting and domain providing companies you have discussed here. Definitely, many other also like your blog.

  13. This was very informative, and very much appreciated so I shared to my LinkedIn profile. Keep up the great work and research you do.

  14. Very informative site thank you.
    Question: Does it matter if the main subject word is not at the beginning of the
    domain name.

  15. This article is very helpful. Thank You. Now I understand how to pick a domain name. But, unfortunately, every short two-word domain name in a .com I have thought of for my niche is already taken. And the ones I thought of that are available I don’t like. I will keep racking my brain until I figure it out! :)

  16. if my name.com has gone is using .blog, .site or .online a good alternative? Like to know how and if they would rank well

  17. Is a .net domain equally as detrimental to SEO? The .com sites are very limited. Some registrars will provide suggestions when the chosen name is already taken. What then? Hyphens, underscores, and symbols are suggested as options.

  18. So, wpbeginner.com was made based on its niche right, which is WordPress. SO if this website posts about Blogger then it will be untrusted by the readers. That’s what you mean?

  19. Thank you WPBeginner editorial staff for this nice little guide. After reading this, I can safely direct my blog readers to this page for further guidance on domain name selection.

  20. Thanks to your recommendation for Siteground (I made sure I used your link), I just finished moving my blog to their cloud hosting. I’m so glad I’m now with them.

    I also got my free domain name and I’m happy I followed most of your tips here. It was actually very difficult to find a short but brandable domain name with keywords.

    By the way, for those thinking of getting a free domain with Siteground, you should specify a new domain during initial signup. My mistake was I specified my existing blog during signup and I could no longer find a way to get the free domain.

    I then contacted support and they made an exception and registered a new domain for me anyway… nice!

    By the way, is the domain name in Siteground free for life as long as you stay with them, or only for a year?

    • Hi Jay,

      The domain is free as long as you host your site with SiteGround. However, if you decide to move your site to a different host in the future, then you can transfer your domain registration.

      Admin

  21. Hello Sir Very Helpful Post,

    Does having a free domain with .tk extension matter inSEO Rankings ??

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