All websites require a domain name, so if you have not already, you will need to register a domain for your new website. Choosing a domain can be difficult and even frustrating at times. Just when you think you’ve thought of a great domain name idea, you go to register it and find that it’s already been taken. Luckily ICANN, (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has recognized this issue and is releasing hundreds of new TLD’s (Top Level Domains).
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When choosing a domain, it’s important for the domain to make sense and have some correlation with your website. You don’t need keyword specific domain names to make your website rank well. Although it may help, there are many other important factors that go into increasing your search ranking – so don’t limit your domain choices. It’s okay to be creative, unique, and have fun with it.
So many extensions! Which domain extension (.COM, .NET, etc.) you choose is up to you, but it really comes down to if you are taking SEO into concern and often comes down to availability. .COM’s are always going to be the most popular and sought after domain extension for both SEO and professionalism. If you can get your hands on a good .COM, you’re golden. But again, don’t think that you NEED a .COM to make your website rank well. It won’t be the end of the world. .NET, .ORG, .CO, and sometimes .BIZ are all good alternatives if your .COM is not available. It all comes down to how well you market your new domain. It is also recommended that the higher the popularity is with a domain extension, the better your domain may rank, so keep this in mind when contemplating between each extension.
Keep it short. It’s important to choose a domain that is easy to type and remember. The shorter the domain, the better it is thought to be remembered by the public during marketing campaigns. Long domains are sometimes associated with spammers, so if you can avoid a lengthy domain, the more likely someone will pay attention to you in search results and emails.
To hyphen, or not to hyphen. That, is a question. Although hyphens make a domain easier to read, it’s not really recommended. Hyphens are typically associated with spammers, so you don’t want to mislead any of your customers. Also, if you have hyphens associated in your domain, it makes it more difficult to advertise by word of mouth, especially if you are spelling out a longer domain over the air. If you must have a hyphen, try to limit it to 1.
You don’t need to host your website with your domain registrar or vice versa. A lot of domain registrars also offer website hosting, just like a lot of website hosting providers also offer domain registration services. You can have your website hosting with one company and your domain registration with a different company. This allows you to choose the best services for both domain registration, and website hosting – two equally important website requirements.