Your domain name is your identity on the web. Choose a name that fits your business and is easy to find, type, promote and resonates with your audience. Avoid generic categories – be specific. And choose website hosting with stellar customer service, fast loading pages and easy to use interface.
I’ve purposely kept this post as short as possible to get you started without a lot of chatter. If you want more details about anything on this page – send me a message on my contact page and I’ll do my best to help you in any way I can.
In the meantime, if you missed the first essential step in any marketing – online or offline – you can read it here: How to Define and Attract Your Target Audience.
Follow these guidelines to select a perfect domain name for your website. Consider using your own name to brand yourself and any products you choose – without limiting your marketing to specific products which may change over time as you grow. Not necessary but secures YOUR name online.
1. Make It Easy to Type
This is critical to your online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it may be harder for customers to find your site. And could even look a little cheesy for your business.
2. Keep it Short
Short and simple is the best so customers get the spelling correct easily every time. And it’s easy to brand and remember.
3. Use Keywords
Integrate keyword(s) to describe the products and the services you offer. Include the keywords people enter when searching for similar products or services. It helps improve your rank on search engines (to increase traffic) and makes more sense to your customers.
5. Avoid Numbers and Hyphens
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
6. Pick a Sticky Name
There are millions of registered domain names so a domain that’s catchy and sticks in their mind is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
7. Research It Thoroughly
Choose a name that isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain! These sites may help with some brainstorming ideas, however your gut will give you the right answers… so trust your intuition.
Don’t buy yet – but have some fun exploring: [ http://www.namestation.com ] [ https://gospaces.com/tools/business-name-generator ][ http://knowEm.com ]
KnowEm allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 500 popular and emerging social media websites. You don’t need to buy anything here – it’s simply a “tool” to give you a snapshot of names. You’ll find it helpful for brainstorming ideas.
8. Use Appropriate Domain Extensions
Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. Choose one that is appropriate for your business or project. The .com domain extension is the most popular, and easy to remember. People type it automatically so if the .com isn’t available – find another name to suit your business or you’ll lose potential customers.
Other Extensions to Consider:.co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community..info : informational sites..net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites..org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits..biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites..me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.
In addition to the .com name – you may also want to consider buying the .net and .org domains for your name to protect your branding. Especially if you plan to build a big business.
Remember: You don’t need to build a website for every domain. Just forward any additional domains to your primary website.
The Optimal Choice?
- It is short
- It is easy to remember
- It is easy to spell
- It is descriptive or brandable
- It does not contain hyphens and numbers
- It has a .com extension
An Alexa report that looked at the domains for the top 250 websites revealed these results: Over 70 percent of the sites had domain names of 8 characters or less, and the average number of characters per domain was just over 7. You get the picture.
New Top Level Domains (TLD)
A white paper just released by NetNames, a UK-headquartered domain name management firm, suggests that by 2020 these new TLDs will fragment internet users into “communities of interest.” Domain name endings like dot sport, dot news, and dot holiday will create areas of the internet specific to different interests.
This will also influence browser-based navigation because the descriptive nature of the new domain extensions make them easy to remember for internet users. NetNames research showed that 59 percent of internet users expected it to get easier to find their interests through domain extensions like dot art.
Choose Your Domain Registrar
The key is to choose a company you know has a stellar track record for customer service, reliability, security and a user friendly operations. Many registry companies include hosting and a slew of other services and try to be the one-stop shop for you. On the surface this seems like a good idea but in reality it’s often the opposite.
I’ve found it’s far better to keep the Registrar and Hosting Company separate. If you want more details on this – send me a message here and I’ll elaborate more.
Hover is highly recommended for it’s simplicity – fast efficient customer service and ease of domain management. They specialize in domain registry and email setup and they do it better than most other companies without constant up-sells every time you blink. More about this later…
Hover’s website interface is fast and easy to use so you find exactly what you want quickly without any hassle. Hover does NOT offer website hosting – and that’s a good thing!
Go here to find a great domain name >> Hover (aff link)
Choose Your Hosting Company
Now you have bought your domain name – you will need to host your WordPress website with a hosting company. Once again there are hundreds of hosting companies all scrambling for your business and it’s tough to know who to pick and why.
I recommend you register domains with a registry company (Hover) and host your websites with a WP dedicated hosting company. Mainly because companies who offer everything often don’t specialize in what you need and your website performance is compromised.
Ideally, you want to host with a company who offers Managed WordPress hosting like Host Papa. The many benefits include a security certificate at no extra charge. Site Migration within 24 hours and many more features. Most others charge additional fees for this service.
The scary truth is simply this – out of the hundreds of hosting companies you’ll find with a Google search – only a handful are worthy of your business. Here’s why. Security, Customer Service, and Page Loading Speed are critical factors in making your choice a wise one. Ease of use and user experience run a close second. All are important.
My considerable experience over the past 7 years with companies like Godaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost, A Small Orange and others, revealed inconsistent customer service and slow page loading. Without being rude – suffice to say they don’t even come close to my top two recommended companies below.
You’ll find this helpful… Let’s cut to the chase so you can save time, money and frustration in your new online adventures. I only recommend two hosting companies I have personally proven to excel in all areas – far beyond the others.
Managed WP Hosting Choice #1
Host Papa is well established with a high level of service, dependable hosting and lightning fast website loading, security (and more). My business partners and I have used many hosting companies over the years and Host Papa is at the top of our list for consistent reliability and competitive pricing. A Canadian company too!
Review their plans here >> Host Papa (affiliate link)
Managed WP Hosting Choice #2
Site Ground our second recommendation for Managed WordPress hosting. Their Start-Up Plan will appeal to you if you only have one website planned and working with a tight budget. You can upgrade later when you add more websites. Or go for the Grow Big Plan for more flexibility. SG has also earned my confidence for security, speed and customer service. They are top notch!
Review their plans here >> Site Ground (aff link)
I use both of these companies for my personal websites and also my clients’ websites. They are both excellent companies.
Get WordPress Installed
Now you have bought your domain and set up your hosting package you’re ready to install your WordPress and begin development on your website. It’s too easy! Only one click at either of these companies.
Of course, much more discussion could be engaged here – however, this will get you started on the right track to building your web presence. Yes, there are several alternatives to using WordPress and they may OK for certain projects. But keep in mind there are many valid reasons WP is the favourite of web developers & designers as well as business owners and customers.
Why Use WordPress?
WordPress is the top ranking Content Management System (CMS) in the world today and powers an impressive 25% of the web (and growing). 60% of all websites with a Content Management System (CMS) are built on WordPress. The stats demonstrate the dominance of WordPress speaks for themselves. Stats are as of 2016. WordPress is trusted by top enterprise companies such as:
So What’s Next?
Install WordPress with a Premium Theme or better still, hire a skilled WP designer to help you get it right and avoid a huge initial learning curve. The time you save is well worth your investment and gives you the opportunity to focus on the basics of building your business instead of spinning your wheels trying to figure out the geeky stuff to get a good looking, effective website launched.
How Do I Get Started?
It’s easy to get started…Click Here to Get Started Now