January 29, 2024

Nailing Your Website’s First Impression: A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Domain Name

So, you’re ready to launch your website and conquer the internet. One tiny detail that might be keeping you up at night? Choosing the perfect domain name. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back.

Choosing the right domain name for your website is like picking the perfect outfit for a special occasion – it sets the tone and leaves a lasting impression. To help you navigate this important decision, we’ve put together some key tips and tools to help you choose the right name for your brand/business.

Table of Contents

Brainstorm Like There's No Tomorrow

Grab a snack, your favorite pen, and a notepad. Jot down words related to your brand’s vibe, your products, your audience, and what you’re all about. Play around with combinations until you find something that clicks.

Use business name generators or AI tools like ChatGPT to help take some of your keywords along with your industry to provide a list of potential business names that will help you stand out from the competition.

If you’re in the business of selling stuff, Shopify suggests adding a sprinkle of e-commerce magic to your domain name. Make it relevant to your products, so when customers see it, they know they’ve hit the jackpot.

Be Audience Savvy

Consider who you’re talking to and make sure your domain name speaks their language. Are they laid-back millennials, tech-savvy professionals, or maybe fitness fanatics? Are they looking to buy your products? Tailor your domain to their taste.

Avoid jargon or complex terms that might leave your audience scratching their heads.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Channel your inner poet and keep it concise, or better yet, think of your domain like a cool nickname. Shorter names are catchier, easier to remember, and they just look cooler in the browser bar.

Avoid adding numbers, hyphens, and definitely no confusing extensions like .pizza as tempting as they are.

Think of your domain like your signature – unique and easy to read. 

Remember KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid.

Boost your SEO with Keywords & Location

Think about tossing in some keywords your customers are typing into Google that they would use to find you, that scream what you’re all about. For instance, if you’re rocking a guitar repair side hustle, snag something like GuitarRepairs.com. It helps boost your search engine rank, brings in more clicks, and just makes your site the cool kid on the block.

Now, if your gig is more of a local scene, throw in your city or state in the mix. Makes life easier for the locals trying to find you. Imagine something like TorontoGuitarRepairs.com – easy peasy, right? So, go on, make your domain name the neighborhood hero!

Emotions Matter

Consider the emotional impact of your domain. What vibes does it give off? Is it on-brand? Is it trustworthy? Does it scream “click me”?

Does it sound like something your audience would respond to with a nod of approval? 

Your domain is your site’s first impression – make it count!

Check the Availability

There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a name, only to find out it’s taken. Use domain name generators such as Nameboy or IsitWP to help turn your brand names and keywords into domain name ideas. Try to stick with .com if you can. If you are set on a domain but its .com variant is unavailable, .org, .net, or .co are also decent alternatives.

Once you’ve nailed down a killer domain name, you gotta make sure it’s not already swiped by someone else. Here’s some research tips to help:

Trademark hunt:

Jump on USPTO.gov and see if anyone’s trademarked a name close to yours. In Canada, you can use Canada.ca to look up names in the business registries.

Social media scouting:

Hit up Instagram, Facebook, TikTok – all the cool places. Check if your name is partying elsewhere on social media. Plus, it’s handy when you’re snagging those social handles.

Google is your friend:

Type your dream name into Google. If someone’s already cozy with your brand, time to rethink.


But what if your desired domain is taken?

Don’t panic! Here’s some options:

Contact the owner:

Try sliding into the DMs of the domain owner and make them an offer they can’t refuse. You can find their details with a WHOIS lookup. Work your charm.

Try some variations:

Get creative with variations. Switch it up a bit. If GuitarRepairs.com is taken by a music store chain, try TotalGuitarRepairs.com for your repairs hustle.

Location, Location, Location:

Go local with a city (.nyc) or country (.mx, .ca, .us) vibe. It’s like shouting out to customers in specific spots and boosting your global street cred.

Shop It Up:

If you’re selling online, slap on [shop] + [brandname].com. Our friends at Katakomb are doing it right with shopkatakomb.com – easy peasy.

Register Your Domain

Now, the last piece of the puzzle: registering your domain. For this, you gotta team up with a registrar – the company that sells you your domain.

Shop around for the right fit:

Different registrars offer different perks at different prices. So, don’t settle too quickly. Look at a few and see what floats your boat.

Watch out for tricks:

Check the fine print! Some companies may lure you in with a low first-year price and then hit you with a big bill the following year. Sneaky, right? Also, be wary of being locked into a super long contract.

Don’t let your domain expire:

Keep an eye on the expiration policy. If you forget to renew, someone might snatch your domain away. Look for registrars that auto-renew and give you a little grace period just in case.

Privacy matters:

Your personal info usually goes public when you get a domain. Privacy protection is like putting a shield over it, so strangers can’t just peek at your details.

Subdomains and Forwarding:

No need to register subdomains separately – your registrar should make it easy. Plus, check if they let you forward your domain to an “under construction” page or a social media handle while you’re still figuring things out.

Now, about choosing a registrar – there’s tons out there! If you’re thinking about a hosting provider, see if they also do domain registration. Sometimes you can score a sweet deal by keeping it all in one place (like with us😉)

With all that being said, remember, the domain world is your playground. Get creative, mix it up, and find the perfect spot for your online presence.

Happy naming! 🚀

Overwhelmed by all this stuff domain? We’re here to help if you have any questions or need help registering your domain and set up your hosting. 

Ready to amp up your brand and be loud?