Rules for choosing an awesome domain name for your business

If you are lucky, then the perfect domain address may be available and waiting – but, what should you do if it isn’t?

There’s plenty of creative ways to get a great domain name that looks good and is easy to communicate to your customers. When deciding on a domain name consider the following key factors;

  • Does it clearly identify your brand?
  • Is it easy to communicate verbally?
  • Avoid complex and/or long domains
  • Avoid symbols like the hyphen
  • Bonus: Can you get a familiar Top Level Domain (TLD) like .COM or .CO.UK?

Not too short, not too long and easy to say over the phone

It is a good idea to try and choose a concise domain name that clearly represents your brand. Just make sure you aren’t going too concise and jeopardising any of the key factors mentioned above!

I had a fleeting desire to purchase the domain al4.com for Alpha Labs as it sounds like “alpha” out loud – but, it doesn’t clearly identify the brand and it would be quite difficult to verbally communicate over the phone. So, it was a nonstarter!

confused phone

In a similar vein don’t go too long with your domain. Even if you’re brand name is really long, consider a shorter alternative like initials or a keyword or nickname that customer’s may use when talking about your business. The reason for this is simple, the longer the domain the more room for a typo!

For similar reasons, avoid special characters like hyphens and numbers where possible. Sometimes using a hyphen or a number can be tempting if your first choice of domain isn’t available. But just remember that when you verbally communicate your website that there will always be someone who spells the number or mixes up a hyphen with something else entirely!

Which Top Level Domain (TLD) is best?

Alpha Labs uses the .NET TLD and although this has been around for a long time it isn’t as familiar as .COM. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but if a customer mishears the domain name, they’ll try the more obvious choices first. The message here isn’t to rule out less popular TLD, it’s just something to consider if you have the choice of multiple options.

confused laptop

I can’t find a good domain that is available

Our ideal domain name would probably be alphalabs.com or alpha.com, but both are already taken. Considering everything already spoken about the options I would strongly consider today are the following;

alpha.dev (or a similar variation like alpha.io, alpha.digital)
As we’ve said the ideal TLD is not available and even though “dot dev” isn’t well known we have the benefit of a concise and easy to communicate/remember domain. Plus, “alpha dot dev” is relevant as we develop websites!

alphalab.co.uk
Technically, we’re missing an ‘s’, but we get a popular TLD and it’s short and easy to say!

Start looking up available domains

Now you are ready to see if your domain name is available, so head over to a service like GoDaddy to search for your domain.

Tip: If your domain is available, then before buying give us a shout and we can do a price check. For example, GoDaddy charge roughly £17.99 a year for a .COM, but purchasing the same domain through Cloudflare (who don’t add any markup) cost $9.15 (£7.90) a year. (prices correct at the time of writing). You’ll have to register to use Cloudflare and you can do this on your own, or we can do it via our account for you!

Have a question give us a shout

As always, you can drop us a message on our contact page or hit the chat icon to speak to someone right away

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About the author

I'm Joseph D'Souza, an experienced .NET developer with a speciality in Umbraco and WordPress development. My professional journey began in 2010, when I graduated with a degree in computer science. Since then, I've navigated the web development world, honing my skills as a full-stack developer across front-end, back-end, and database design.Today, I'm proud to be the Director of Alpha Labs, a leading web development firm based in High Wycombe. I use my broad expertise in various web development technologies to deliver high-quality, user-centric web solutions, setting Alpha Labs apart in this fast-paced digital world.

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