Buying a domain name is one of the first steps to getting your website online. It is a big decision that can have a long lasting impact on your business. If you are looking for a domain name, it’s important that you know what to look out for before making your final decision.
There are many factors you should consider before buying a domain name, such as whether it’s easy to remember and short enough to be easily typed, if it’s easy to spell, or whether your desired domain name is even available.
You should also consider the type of domain that you want (e.g. a .com or a .co.uk) and ensure that you’re buying from a reliable source like Google Domains.
In this article, we will go over the most important things to keep in mind when buying a domain name so that you don’t find yourself regretting your decision later on down the line.
What You Need To Know Before Buying a Domain Name
There are many things to consider before buying a domain name, including how much it costs, where to buy the domain name from, who owns it and if similar domain names exist already.
In this article we’ll go over 11 things you need to consider before buying a domain name.
1. Existing Domain Names
Before buying a domain name it’s wise to consider the domain names of your competitors and other websites. Are there any domain names out there that are similar to the one you want?
You might find it difficult or even impossible to get a .com for your business if somebody else already has the name. Not to mention, it could confuse the people looking for your website if they find a similar domain name to yours, but with a different extension or spelling.
2. Words & Spelling
Another important thing to consider is the ease of spelling and memorability. Make sure that your domain name can be easily spelled, or else you’ll lose potential customers because they won’t be able to find it by typing it in.
You should also avoid trademarked words such as brand names if possible, as these could result in legal issues with big brands. You could be served with a copyright notice and your domain will be suspended.
3. Domain Extensions
Think about what domain extension you want to use for your website. A .com is the most well known and popular, but it might not be available if somebody else has already bought that name.
An alternative would be a country specific top level domain (TLD) such as a .co.uk or an organisation specific domain (.org). These are often a lot cheaper than .com domains as well.
4. Avoid Trendy Names
A lot of people look for domain names that are catchy, but it’s better to avoid this if possible. Trendy names can lose popularity once the trend is over.
That’s why it’s better to avoid buying a domain name that is trendy, because it can become difficult to gain traffic once the popularity wanes.
5. Domain Length
The length of your domain name should also be considered before you buy it. Short names are easy to remember and easier for people to type in on the go when they want quick information without having to type long URLs.
With a short domain name it’s also less likely that a person will make a mistake when typing it.
6. Domain Registrar
Buying from a reputable domain registrar such as Google Domains ensures that your domain is secure and that you will be the only owner of it. You can also manage all aspects of your domain (such as DNS changes and WHOIS settings) through their easy-to-use dashboard.
7. Social Media Availability
You should also consider whether your desired domain name is available as a social media handle on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This can be a good way to attract additional traffic from these platforms, but it’s often better if you own the specific URL instead of letting another brand use it. This will give you more control over how your business appears online.
8. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
You should also avoid using hyphens or numbers in your domain name, as these can be hard to write and remember.
Not to mention, it could confuse people on whether they should use a number or spell it out. As a rule of thumb, if you do want to include numbers in your domain name, they should be spelled out if possible (for example “seven” instead of the number “07”).
9. Use a Domain Name Generator
If you can’t think of a good domain name, you can use a domain name generator like Domainr which randomly generates hundreds of different combinations for domains that are available.
These could give you some good ideas on possible names for your website.
10. Watch Out For Hidden Fees
You should also watch out for hidden fees when buying a domain name. It’s always best practice to read the fine print and check whether there are any extras that may be added on before you make the purchase. For example, is the domain name you’re buying a one-off fee or a monthly subscription?
Also, if you’re buying the domain through a hosting company, make sure to check if there any other fees besides buying the domain. You should also check how much it will cost if you want to transfer your domain name over to or from another registrar.
11. Domain Name Cost
A .com domain name can cost anywhere from £10 per year to well into the thousands of pounds. But if you want an alternative extension like .org or .net they are usually much cheaper.
If your chosen domain has already been bought by someone it might be up for resale. More often than not, they are very expensive — especially premium .com domains consist of just a single word. The sellers contact details will usually be available, but you should consider whether it’s worth paying the asking price or if you can find an alternative domain name instead.
As long as you keep these 11 tips in mind before buying a domain name, you should be able to make the right choice that will help your business website flourish and grow. Just make sure that your domain name is memorable and available on all social media profiles if possible. This way, you can protect your brand and ensure that more traffic will come to your website.
If you need help with your digital marketing and website development, speak to us today. Ambition Digital is a 5-star rated digital marketing agency in Edinburgh and we would love to help you grow your business.