Choosing a domain name seems straightforward, but there are actually many things to consider before you register your business’s website. And while domain names usually aren’t terribly expensive, it can be a real hassle to try to reroute all of your webpages to a new address later on, should you change your mind. Instead, spend a little extra time up front brainstorming multiple domain name options. To guide you, here are some definite mistakes to avoid:
Choosing a Domain Name That Is Easily Confused With Another Brand
At best, you’ll receive an uptick in site hits from people who have simply typed the wrong address. At worst, you might be hit with a lawsuit, especially if the brand you’re being mistaken for has a big budget and thinks you’re stealing customers. For example, if you sell fence building materials, you might think “Wall Mart” is a clever business name. But trying to register wallmart.com might result in a cease-and-desist letter from the lawyers of Walmart. Play it safe and make sure to choose a domain name that is quite unique.
Matching Another Domain Name But Using a Different gTLD
Let’s say you already have a great domain name picked out. The only problem is that someone else has beaten you to the punch, and the .com generic top-level domain (gTLD) is already registered. That’s okay because you can just choose to register as a .net business or use any number of other gTLDs, right? Wrong … for the same reasons as Mistake #1, this is a bad idea, but you’ll also be positioning yourself in the shadow of another business. It could hinder your marketing efforts if you have to keep reiterating that your business is the .net version, not the .com one.
Using a Domain Name That Is Difficult to Pronounce or to Spell
When you network with others face-to-face, you want to be able to casually throw out the name of your website and have it stick in the recipient’s mind. You don’t want to have to stop and laboriously explain how the domain is spelled or make it difficult to pronounce. For best results, choose a domain with words that are spelled how they sound and sound how they look