How To Pick Your Next Sexy Domain Name: A Practical Guide
Let’s face it, most domain names on the internet are boring.
I don’t really know why that is. Maybe it’s because the process of getting a domain is too technical.
Or maybe people don’t really like taking time to think of the right name.
Either way, this must change… Your next domain name should be taken seriously, and it should be sexy.
That’s why I decided to write this guide, in which I’ll show you my process on how to pick a domain name for your website, that doesn’t suck.
But first, let’s answer this:
Why do domain names even matter?
To me, starting a new website is like giving birth to a child. You’re creating something that will live on the web and is going to bring joy to a lot of people (hopefully).
The name you pick for this website, is something that you’ll have to live with for quite some time.
After all, it’s a big part of your brand. You’re going to be telling your friends and clients about it, putting it on your business card and if you blog – you want your audience to love and remember it.
With all that in mind, it’s worth to put in the time and think about the name you choose.
After launching a little over 50 websites, I’ve come up with this process of picking a new domain name:
1. Brainstorming domain name ideas:
I love to start every creative process with a brainstorm.
I will usually take out a notebook and start writing up different names and word combinations.
Besides my good ol’ notebook, a great tool I use for coming up with name combinations is www.namemesh.com.
You just put in a couple of words in their search box and it spits out domain name ideas.
And the best part? It only gives you domain names that are available for purchase.
Namemesh will show you domain names grouped by different categories. For instance:
Common: will show the domains with the simplest use of the keywords you chose.
New: will show new domain extensions such as .news, .live etc.
Fun: will show new ideas using the keywords you chose.
After we have a few name ideas in front of us, it’s time for us to examine them further:
2. Tips for choosing the right domain name:
Make sure it’s easy to say
As human beings, we remember and have more positive associations with things that we can easily say and easily think about, and that includes the things we say in our own minds.
Every time someone reads your domain, he will say it in his mind.
Not to mention the times when you or other people will actually talk about your site ?
That’s why your domain name should be easy to say, understand and remember.
What I do here, is say the domain name out loud a few times and figure out if it sounds catchy.
I also try to use it in a conversation with my friends or spouse.
Keep it short
As far as domain names go – shorter is better. You want to make it easy on your visitors to remember, type and share it.
One word is great, two words are OK, but three words are a bit much.
Avoid double letters
It’s best to avoid domains with following double letters, like “Designninja.com” because they are harder to read and remember.
This opens room for typos when users are searching for your site on Google (was it one ‘N’ or two ‘N’s?) And you wouldn’t want that, right?
Hyphens make multiple word domains, like “Design-ninja.com” easier to read but also harder to type.
Users could easily forget to use the hyphen and end up not finding your website, or worse – landing on your competitor’s website.
Check for trademarks
When using a domain name for any purpose, and especially for business, you should double check to see that it’s not already trademarked by another business.
If it is, the owner of the original name could ask you to take the domain down at some point, or even try to sue you.
Let’s not go there…
A simple google search will tell you if there are other businesses using that name.
If you’re not sure about whether you can use a name or not, you should consider consulting with a copyright attorney.
3. Buying the domain name (separately from hosting)
If you’re looking for a new domain name, you probably need web hosting too. These two services usually go together. This is why the majority of hosting companies also offer domain registration.
For a lot of you, keeping all your website stuff in the same place sounds like a good idea. You only have to keep up with one set of login information, right?
But in my experience, it’s best to get the hosting and domain name separately. Why?
- It’s better Security: it makes sense not to put all your eggs in one basket. If your hosting login gets hacked, you would still have control over the domain. And vice versa.
- Flexibility to changes: If you ever get mad at your web host and decide to move your site, you’ll also probably want to transfer your domain if it’s registered with the old host. Domain transfers can be annoying, time-consuming, and confusing. But if you’ve registered the domain elsewhere, you don’t have to do anything except update your DNS settings to point to the new host.
The two best places to buy your domain name are:
4. Standing out
The most important thing a business should do in the online world is find a way to stand out.
To do so, your website must look and feel unique, and your domain name plays a big role in it.
You can stand out with a unique name, but to really leave a mark, you can also go for a creative and sexy domain extension!
Go beyond the .COM
Most websites have a “.COM” extension, so when buying a new domain, people usually try to find a “.COM” as their default option.
This is probably the safe bet, but here’s the thing:
first, it’s boring. And second, most of the “.COM” domain names you can think of are already taken.
Even this trumphair.com domain:
And because people are hung up on having a .com domain, they end up over-complicating their website name and using strange words,
hyphens, and even miss-spelling to find a .com domain that will be available.
Don’t do that.
There are plenty of domain extensions to choose from, so you don’t have to settle for a bad-sounding name just because it’s a “.COM”
So, what else is out there?
As the web gets bigger, ICANN (the organization in charge of domain names) keeps adding more domain extensions to our disposal. You can now get domains that end with cool extensions such as: .PIZZA, .COFFEE or even .BLACKFRIDAY.
you can find the full list here.
Here at the NuSchool, we went through the entire list and found these 4 sexy domain extensions for creatives:
Align your domain name with your brand
If you spend a lot of your time online like me, you’ve probably noticed a pattern when it comes to domain extensions for certain brands.
For instance, a lot of tech startups use the .IO extension. Why? Maybe because it sounds like Input / Output and it gets their groove on. Don’t ask me ?
As for creatives, we started to see a trend of people using the .SPACE extension.
and to be honest? We think it sounds awesome. it’s very memorable and fits a lot of creative businesses.
So we thought it would be cool to reach out to the guys over at .SPACE domains and get you, our readers something nice.
So if you want your next website to have a creative (and sexy) domain, ditch the .COM’s and GET YOUR SPACE ON.
You can get your next domain here for a 70% discount using the coupon code: NUSPACE
I believe domain names should be taken seriously, since they are a big part of your online brand experience.
But they should also be bold and unique. Hopefully this guide will serve you well when you’re faced with the decision of picking a new domain name for your business or for a client.
Now over to you:
do you have a creative domain name? please share it in the comments and tell us how did you come up with it. I would love to hear about your process ?
Good stuff is on the way.
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