12.09.07

Choosing Your Domain Name: Don't Make These Mistakes!

Choosing a domain name is tricky business. Here are some suggestions to help:

  • Get .com of the name. The dot com version is better than a "better" dot net or dot tv.
  • Don't use dashes in the name. Yes, you can use them, but you shouldn't.
  • Avoid number in the domain name. If you do use a number, be sure and buy two versions. For instance, www.my5companies.com should also own www.myfivecompanies.com
  • Generally avoid "e" "i" and "x" names. They're a little dated now and will only get moreso with time.
  • Shorter is better, but make it reasonable to spell. Don't leave out letters to create abbreviations.
  • It should be explainable, but doesn't have to be explained.
  • A multi-layered name is great.


A good test is to make it easy to say. Test the name in a sentence or two:
Answer phone "___________, may I help you?"
Talk to board " At _____________, we pride ourselves in..."
Yes, I've started a new company, "________________"

Some options to add to your brand -- you could end it with:
Group
Firm
Associates
Partners
Professionals
Managers
Practice

You'll also want to consider what else is spelled by your chosen name - since there's no punctuation, spacing or capitalization to make sense of the name. Here are some examples of the worst domain names I've encountered:

  • The William Morris Agency in L.A. is the largest representative firm for Hollywood actors, etc. Instead of conveying "Who Represents?" like they wanted "whore presents.com" gives a better reflection of what they actually do for a living.

  • Doctor's Exchange owns "doctor sexchange.com"

  • This one's just a little too long: "Masterandcommander-thefarsideoftheworldmovie.com" I mean, really, masterandcommanderthefarsideoftheword.com wasn't available?

  • LSU just launched a new campaing for the baseball team - "makeyourpitch.com" could be interpreted as "make your p itch"

  • "Use Doil.com" and "T Women.com" instead of "used oil" and "two men."

  • jericholives.com - Is it for Olives, or a religious site?

  • Finally, my friend owns Holden and Associates and actually had a Web person suggest "holdass.com"
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