It seems like it should be pretty easy, right?
So you go to your favorite registrar and start putting in your ideas.
Your first choice isn’t available.
No problem, that one was a bit of stretch anyway.
So you move on to the next one.
And the next.
You keep cranking out the ideas, and you finally found one that you think will work.
But then you look at your phone (because who’s really wearing watches any more?) and realize you’ve just sunk an afternoon into searching for your new domain name.
Maybe it’s no big deal because you didn’t have anything better to do, like say, work on other aspects of building your website.
So maybe sinking a couple hours in to searching for a domain name wasn’t the best use of time and maybe you could have done it differently.
The person in that scenario was me on more than one occasion until I decided I was going to get smarter about how I search for domain names for my projects.
Long gone are the days where domains were not so freaking hard to find.
So, it’s time get a little creative so that you can focus on something other finding the perfect domain name for your new website.
There are a lot of factors take into consideration when you’re looking at domain name ideas. You’ll be living with this choice for a while, so make sure you think through each factor carefully and make a good decision based on what you’re long term goals are.
1. Think About Finding Something Unique And Catchy
Think outside the box when you choose your domain name. Find something witty, funny or catchy.
This could be hard if you’re not witty or funny, granted. So recruit some help from a funny friend or someone you know who’s a master of words.
Find some relevant words or phrases that fit your project. Brainstorm all kinds of ideas to see what you can come up with.
2. Make It Memorable
One of the most important factors is you want to have a memorable domain, so approaching it from a unique perspective can give you some additional ideas to choose from.
Didn’t I just mention that you want it to be memorable? Yep.
You want your domain to memorable.
You want it to stand out. When you tell someone about your website you want it to stick with them, so make sure your domain name is memorable.
3. Make It Brandable
It follows very naturally that if your domain is memorable that you will also want it to be brandable. When someone hears your domain you want it to instantly call to mind who you are and what you stand for.
Think about some of the big domains you know and what comes to mind when you think of them:
- Amazon.com – everything you need from A to Z
- Google.com – the world’s biggest and best search engine
- Yahoo.com – search and news site
- Facebook.com – the greatest of the social media giants
- Reddit.com – social news, discussions and community
Whatever you choose, think of this domain as the place where you’re going to build your brand.
4. Your Domain Name Must Be Easy To Communicate Verbally
One of our principles here is to be creative, but be careful because you don’t want to get carried away.
One of the things you want to think about when it comes to your new domain is that you want it to be pronounceable. Think about using easy-to-use words in your name so that it rolls off your tongue and people know what you’re talking about.
If they can’t pronounce it, it’s not really as memorable as it could be, is it? They may just remember that it was that crazy domain name they couldn’t pronounce and will have a hard time getting it into their web browser.
5. Choose A Domain That’s Easy To Spell
Keeping things simple here is the rule. Your domain name needs to be memorable, and creative, but it also needs to be easy to spell.
I changed the entire branding of my web design and development business because I thought a witty spelling would be a great place to build a brand.
Instead, I found myself constantly explaining the spelling and that got really old.
6. Make it short
Short domains aren’t always easy to come by these days, but the shorter they are the easier they’ll be to remember, and being easy to remember is one of our keys. Try to keep it as short as you can.
7. How well does it describe your website or business?
When you’re starting a new website, in most cases you’re building a brand, whether you want to or not.
When you’re building a brand, you want everything you can get to add value to that brand. It’s not always easy to nail all the criteria laid out here, but it’s well worth the time and effort and research to get one that fits well.
You will know that you’ve found the right domain name when it fits like a glove and is descriptive. Think about it in terms of the benefit you are offering to your visitors.
We’ve covered short, easy to spell, pronounceable, etc. Once you’ve nailed those put it through the filter of how well it describes your website.
8. If you need to, spend some cash on your domain. It’s worth it.
Don’t shrink back from spending a little money on your domain. A lot of times when someone sees a domain has been registered they head back to the registrar to see if something else is available without ever thinking that they could possibly get their first choice at a reasonable price.
If the domain you want is already registered by someone else, don’t be discouraged. If the person who registered the domain isn’t using it, consider making an offer. Build a budget for it into your plans. Don’t let a couple hundred bucks stand between you and the perfect domain.
You may be pleasantly surprised. Sometimes owners will accept reasonable offers because they may just be ready to move on from that domain. You help them clear inventory, and you get the domain you’re looking for – it can be a win/win so don’t be discouraged if it’s registered when you’re doing your search.
9. Consider The Social Handles
You will want to check to see if the social handles are available for your domain. This will go a long way to help make sure you’re presenting a consistent brand on all platforms.
Before you click that “buy now” link, make sure your domain take some time to consider where you plan to build your following on social media and see if that name is available.
It may be a challenge to find something so cohesive across all channels, but it’s worth thinking through so you can create a consistent brand for your project.
A great tool to help you find out what’s available quickly is a site called knowem.com. That site will let you search tons of social media platforms to find out what user names are available.
If you’re looking for a great guide to get started with WordPress you can download the Ultimate WordPress Start-Up Guide here to get everything you need to know about starting a new website project with WordPress.