What is a Domain Name?

When we think of a domain name we automatically think of the name of a website or blog.

For example, the domain name of this blog is called DiggingIntoWordpress.com.

If you are interested in reading in more depth about the numerical component of the address and a detailed breakdown, I suggest you read this article on Wikipedia. It gives a greater understanding and insight into the origin of domain names as we know them now.

Choosing a Domain Name

One of the first steps of setting up a blog or website is choosing a domain name.

Actually choosing the domain name can be a tricky process, so if you have any moments of brilliance at 2 am make sure you write down anything you may think of and start a list.

I always have a notepad and pencil on the bedside table for those moments of clarity that occur in the middle of the night. You may think you will remember that perfect domain name in the morning but in reality you probably won?t. By the way, Good luck reading what you have written in the morning. I can usually decipher the scribble just enough to jog my memory.

Be prepared that your chosen favorite name might already be taken, so don?t get too hung up on one name. ?Having a list is a good idea.

Some Tips to Help with the Decision

? Make your domain name memorable so that it can be easily remembered by people who visit your site.

? You want people to return to your site so don?t make it complicated. This blog, bloggingfornewbies.com is a specific name and gives the visitor a clear impression of what they might expect to see by visiting the site.

? Choose .com as your first preference. ?Most people will automatically assume a site is a .com and you don?t want to send traffic to a competitor?s website.

? Sometimes the .com might be available at a higher price which means that someone already owns the name but they are willing to sell if the price is right. ?Don?t worry about this when you are starting out. It?s an extra cost and hassle that you can do without. ?Choose another name.

? Don?t choose a trademarked name because this could get you into legal hot water and you don?t want to have to change your domain name once you have started.

? Hyphens?can?make a domain name difficult to remember but if it?s the perfect name go for it.

? Consider protecting your domain name by purchasing the other extensions that may be available.?When you buy the .com you may also consider buying the .net or .co.uk etc, if they are available.?Domain names are cheap, so this is not a huge investment. ?You certainly don?t have to do this, it is fine to just stick with the one domain name and you might choose to buy the extensions once your blog is established. ?It is just worth mentioning so that you know this is an option.?Quiksilver, the international surf brand has several different domain name extensions so that when you visit the site you are directed to the domain extension for your country. If you are a US visitor, you would visit quicksilver.com however if you were a UK visitor you would be directed to quiksilver.co.uk.

? Make sure your domain name is easy to spell. ?You want return visitors however if you have chosen an unusual spelling it may work against you. ?Note that some big sites like Fiverr.com have capitalized on an incorrect spelling but it could be risky for a smaller blog.

? Depending on your niche you might want to use your own name.com.

? If you are specifically looking to target visitors in a particular country than you might want to consider the domain extension for that country, eg .com.au for Australia, .co.uk for The United Kingdom etc.

? If you already have a bricks and mortar business then you will want to have the business name as the domain name also, if possible or a variation.

To www or Not

It’s not essential to have www. before a domain name these days. This site, DiggingIntoWordpress.com does not use www.

Google says that it is personal preference however fewer and fewer blogs now use www

?Some of the more popular places to buy domain names that you may have already heard of ?include GoDaddy, NameCheap or Name however there are many others.

In the next article we will look at buying a domain name in a step by step process.

In the meantime

  • start making a list of domain names
  • have a look at a domain name providers like Go Daddy NameCheap or Name.

***This article has been updated from an article that was originally published on February 29, 2016 on BloggingForNewbies – now part of the DiggingIntoWordpress Network. 

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