Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Research it

Make sure the name you've selected isn't trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain! Don't forget to research the value of your possible domain. As the largest reseller of aftermarket domain names, GoDaddy has access to extensive data that we use to analyze millions of historical domain sales. Try out GoDaddy Domain Appraisals to determine the value of your domain, so your can name your business with purpose. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


.Com? .Org? .Info?

Every web address ends with a period followed by a domain extension. Those 3 to 4 letters are known as 'top-level domains' (TLDs). Wix lets you choose from 33 TLDs. Each one has its benefits, so find the one that best suits your business. - Wix


Check the Domain History via who.is

Right after Wayback Machine, who.is is your other go-to tool for getting to know the history of a given domain name. This one is very useful for at least two reasons: First, you can see the current domain info - stuff like who the owner is (provided they don't have ID protection - more on that later) - who the registrar is, and so on. There's no point in me listing everything here - just go to who.is, input your favorite website and see what's up. Second, who.is gives you access to a 'whois history report'. This is a paid service - $10 - but the price tag is rather small in relation to what you get in return, which is all the whois data associated with a given domain name from the very beginning. This means that you can see what the domain's history is, when it was registered, and how many times it potentially changed hands. In the end, if you're considering getting an existing domain, which can be quite pricey, spending an additional $10 doesn't seem that brutal. Plus, it can save you headaches later on. - Karol K - Winning WP


Always Go for the .com

Let me say this again: Wherever possible, always go for a .com domain. Exhibit A: This site. Technically speaking, the .com is just one of many domain name extensions (TLDs) that are available (more on TLDs and other components of a domain name here). Some of the other popular options include, .net, .org, .co, .edu, .biz, or even things such as .shop, or .blog. And while all those fancy TLDs are tempting, getting the classic .com is nearly always the right thing to do. Two reasons: People are more familiar with .com domains than with anything else; they will default to typing '.com' into the browser address bar, and are unlikely to remember your extension if it's too weird. Everyone will always assume a website is a .com. The .com TLD is used by ~47% of all websites, data says. Can they all be wrong? What all of this means is that if your perfect .com is taken, then perhaps you should either forget about that name entirely or try contacting the current owner to see if they're willing to sell the domain to you. Warning! This could be expensive. - Karol K - Winning WP


Make it brandable

Your domain name will be your brand. Some names speak for themselves. When you hear the name, you know what the website is about. Take a look at Top 100 blogs by DailyTekk, and you'll see that most popular websites have brandable names. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Append or modify if necessary

Tried all the tips above, but ended up with a domain name that's unavailable? If you have your heart set on a domain name, you can append or modify it a little to make it unique for registration. You can add a prefix or suffix, as was done in Rand's examples of 'ThePastaTerra.com' or 'PastaTerraShop.com'. You also have a little wiggle room on tip #4: go ahead and use a different extension, so long as it doesn't conflict with the other tips and works for your brand and audience. This might look something like 'Terra.Pasta'. We hope that these 8 tips help you zone in on the most effective domain name for your site. If you're currently juggling a few domain name ideas, feel free to share them in the comments. We'd love to hear what you're considering, and can help your business establish a thriving web presence. We offer services like website design and search marketing, all engineered to give you a leg up on the competition. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Marry your domain name

It sounds odd, but you have to be absolutely sure you love your domain name. Once it's set, you have it for years to come. If you decide later to rename it, then you will lose time, money, branding, and rankings. We do not recommend changing your domain once your blog has been live for any considerable amount of time. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Choose a Simple, Memorable Domain

Your website helps establish your business's brand and credibility. The domain is often the first thing clients see, so find a domain that fits your business, is memorable and easy to spell. - Wix


Be Careful When Buying Existing Domain Names

As I mentioned a couple of points above, buying an existing domain name is a bit different from buying a new one. First of all, since it's not new, this means it already has a history. And you can never be entirely sure what that history is. On the bright side, the domain's history may give you a boost in Google since you're not starting from scratch - Google already knows the domain. But, on the flip side, if the domain has featured any kind of 'non-kosher' stuff (porn, gambling, spam content, email spam distribution), then it may be banned from Google entirely. Buying your domain from a marketplace such as Flippa gives you some safety, since every domain is validated at least in the most basic way. However, to make things a bit safer, you should also perform checks of your own. First, do a manual check by going to Google and searching for: site:YOURDOMAIN.com This will tell you whether Google has any pages indexed from that domain. Finding anything is a good sign. It means the domain isn't banned. Not finding anything doesn't have to be a deal-breaker, though. If the domain is blank - no website - then there's nothing for Google to find in the first place. However, if there is a website but Google can't see it (via the site:YOURDOMAIN.com phrase), this is a red flag. You can also do checks via tools such as bannedcheck.com and ismywebsitepenalized.com. But also keep in mind that these things are not foolproof. Consider them helpers. - Karol K - Winning WP


It's okay to append or modify it

If your domain name is not available, it's okay to go out and add a suffix or a prefix. It is okay to use an alternate TLD extension, like we talked about previously, and it's okay to be a little bit creative with your online brand. For example, let's say my brand name is Pastaterra. Maybe I've already got a shop somewhere maybe in the Seattle area and I have been selling pasta at my shop and now I'm going online with it. Well, it is okay for me to do something like ThePastaterra.com, or PastaterraShop.com, or even Pastaterra.net. With these rules in mind, I would love to hear from all of you about your domain choices, domain name biases, and what you think is working in 2017. Hopefully we'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care. - Rand Fishkin - Moz


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