How to choose the proper website domain
Website domain is the address of the website. The choice of the website domain is very important step and will influence the website during its whole life. It affects your self-presentation, the presentation of the company and search engine optimization as well. Changing the domain name after creating and publishing website will cost you visitors and probably income.
Even if you already have a website domain, read this article to understand if it was a right choice.
Website domain for visitors
Domain name for the website should be surely easy to understand and to write. Speak it loud and clear and ask someone to write it down. Better if no questions are asked considering spelling of the domain.
There are mainly 4 ways for choosing domain names:
- From personal name
- From company name
- Describing products or services offered
- Fantasy names like Google.com
It depends on your website what name is the best.
Website domain for search engines
The best choice for the search engines is to provide the main subject of your website in the domain name. If your name is Susan Smith and your page is about cat breeding, than cat-breeding.com would be better than susan-smith.com. It would be a bit lighter to promote the website for the keyword "cat breeding" if it included in the domain name. But it does not mean that you will not have success with any other domain name. The search engine ranking of your website would not sure enough depend on domain name only. The most important is still the content of the website, the information the visitor would find on it. On the other side making website about music on cat-breeding.com would not be the best choice.
Register new domain or buy the old one
New website domain is like a blank sheet for search engines. It means that no assumptions are made for the website itself depending on the domain name. Buying old domain you also buy the reputation connected to it. The reputation of old website domains can be good and bad. In the worst case the domain name is excluded from search engines if there was illegal content in past.
Good reputation (trusted website domain) will help you when you to promote the website at the beginning. But only if there are a lot of good back links to the domain name (links on other websites pointing to that domain name). You can check the number and the quality of the back links by typing link:mydomain.com into the Google search field. If nothing is found: "Your search - link:mydomain.com - did not match any documents", then there no or only few back links for the domain. If some websites are found containing back link to the domain, visit the websites to see if they qualitative. Back links from link directories are neither bad nor good. Think of them as if they were not there.
Be careful if there a lot of links to the websites with minor quality. It can harm your website rather than help.
Whether you decide for new or old domain, check the domain with WayBackMachine as well. This service has over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. Potentially you can see the old contents of the website domain. Be carefully if the archived content is not legal. This might be an indication that the domain is no more listed in the search engines and your new website is automatically punished from the very beginning. In doubt choose another domain name.
Top level domains
Top level domain is the last part of the domain name, that is, the label that follows the last dot of the website domain. For example, in the domain name www.example.com, the top-level domain is COM. The most of them are bound to special country. For example, DE means Germany, US - United States, RU - Russia and so on. Choose the top level domain of your country if you are going to promote your website in specific country or the content of the website is written in the corresponding language. Other top level domains like COM, INFO or NET are not dependant from geographical region. Choose this top level domain if your website has not any local dependency.
Free website domains
Free website domains are sub-domains. They include at least two points in the website domain, for example, mydomain.co.cc or mydomain.4you.com. If you think about saving some dollars not registering the website domain, consider that it will have negative effect on your website. Search engines do not like free domain names and it will be extreme difficult for you to promote your website. Experienced visitors would recognize the free website domain name and probably not trust the information offered on the website.
In real life you would not open registered office under the bridge even it is for free. So why should you do it in Internet?