Top Tips on Choosing a Domain Name
When planning a new website one of the first things that needs to be decided on is the domain name.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is essentially the web address for your website (eg. mgswebdesign.ie) and is made up of two parts. The first part before the dot is the part of the domain name that represents your business or brand. The part on the end after the dot is called the TLD or Top-Level Domain which is typically .com or .ie for Irish businesses however there are many more TLDs available to register. Often a website’s address is preceded with www. which is called a sub-domain and is optional. You don’t need to worry about sub domains when registering a domain name but you should decide on whether to go with www or non-www before launching your website.
How many domain names do I need?
Only one domain name is needed for a website however here are a few reasons why you might consider registering more than one domain name:
- To protect business/brand identity
- If you want a shorthand domain name that redirects to your main domain name and website
- If your domain name can be easily misspelled you might want to register the commonly misspelled versions
- To increase presence or localisation with multiple versions of your website targeting specific demographics or countries
Each domain name has an annual cost so if you're not sure what you need or you are just starting out it’s probably best just to initially register one domain name for your website. Additional domain names can be registered at any time as long as they are not already taken.
How do I choose a good domain name?
Here are 6 tips to picking a good domain name for your website:
- Always consider your business/brand name when choosing a domain name
- Try to have no more than three words in your domain name and ideally only have one or two words
- Consider including keywords in your domain but preferably use the name of your business/brand
- See how your domain reads and if it can be read incorrectly you might consider using a hyphen to separate words or a different domain name to avoid confusion
- Try to avoid using hyphens unless absolutely necessary
- Use a local TLD - for example register a .ie domain name if your businesses is located in Ireland and/or your business activities are focused in Ireland