Find a domain name

1. Brainstorm

Write down the 5 most appropriate terms for your domain name.
Ask yourself “What are the relevant words that searchers are looking for?”
Visit www.wordhippo.com or www.wordiq.com/thesaurus.html to find similar or related words.

2. Check your keywords

The keyword use in the domain name is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines.
Visit www.google.com/insights/search/ to check how many people are searching for your keywords.

3. Combine keywords

Pair your keywords to create possible domain names. You can also add hypes, words before (prefix) or after (suffix).
Visit www.bustaname.com if you need help to find good combinations.

4. Choose a suffix

Choose a suffix for your domain. This can be a global and/or a country-specific top-level domain. Sometimes it makes sense to register more than one suffix.
The .com domains for example are most popular. I recommend that you always register the .com domain because some people still think that .com is all that’s out there.

If your business is local and has a close connection to the country it makes sense to register in addition to the .com domain a country-specific top-level domain.

Most common global top-level-domains:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .biz
  • .name
  • .info

Country specific domain

Find the top-level-domain for your country: www.iana.org/domains/root/db

5. Check availability

Visit www.marcaria.com and check if your domain is still available.
If the .com domain for the name that you want to use is already taken, change the entire domain name.
Check also additional domain names for alternative spellings, abbreviations, or common misspellings.

6. Investigate trademark infringements

Avoid possible trademark infringement by searching for domain names that are similar or use a different suffix. Do a trademark search also, to be sure that the name you want to use is not a registered trademark.

Every country has its own copyright office and there are also many professional trademark investigators:

Change your domain name if

  • it’s part of a registered trademark.
  • it already exists in a very similar form.
  • the .com suffix is already taken.

Learn more about how to avoid trademark infringements: www.iplawforstartups.com

7. Register your domain name

If your domain name is still available you can register it yourself or through the website builder (Weebly.com or Wix.com).

Register a domain name through the website builder

If you are using www.weebly.com, www.wix.com or www.wordpress.com you can register .com, .org. and .net domain name through these website builders. It’s much easier than registering it yourself. Weebly.com, Wix.com and WordPress.com offer a service to register and set up the domain name. You will need to upgrade to a premium account to use your own domain.

Register a domain name yourself

If you want to use your own country specific domain name (for example .ch, .uk) you will need to register the domain name yourself. After registration you can match the domain to your blog.

You can use a registrar service in your country or one of the popular registrar services such as:

Make sure the registrar offers:

  • Free transfer to another provider.
  • Possibility to set-up an A-record.
  • Optional privacy registration to hide your contact information in the public WHOIS database.

Related links

How to register a domain name

If your domain name is still available you can register it yourself or through the website builder.

Register a domain name through the website builder

If possible, register your domain through the website builder. It’s much easier than registering it yourself. www.weebly.com and www.wordpress.com offer a service to register and set up domains with the extensions .com, .org or .net. Since September 2011 WordPress offers .me Domains too. www.wix.com is testing a domain registration service but the service is currently not available to all users.
Note: You will need to upgrade to a premium account to use your own domain.

Register a domain name yourself

On www.wix.com you will need to register the domain name yourself. This is also the case if you want to use a domain with an other extension than .com, .org or .net. on www.weebly.com or www.wordpress.com. After registration you need to map the domain to your website’s name servers. And you will need to set-up an e-mail account.

Make sure that the registrar offers:

  • Free transfer to another provider
  • Possibility to set-up an A-record
  • Private registration to hide your contact information in the public WHOIS database

Tip

Also check additional domain names for alternative spellings, abbreviations, or common misspellings. Investigate any possible trademark infringements!

Related links

How to choose a suffix

Your domain needs a suffix, also called top-level-domain.
That’s the part after the last point in your domain that identifies your location or the type of organisation you are.

Most popular global top-level-domains

  • .com for commercial websites worldwide.
  • .org for non-profit and non-government websites
  • .biz for businesses
  • .name for individuals to create their own presence on the web
  • .info for all other use

Country-specific top-level-domains

Each country has its own country specific top-level-domain. If your website’s identity is closely connected to a specific country you can use this domain.
For example

  • .nl = Netherlands
  • .uk = United Kingdom
  • .se = Sweden

Related links

How to create a domain name

Make your main activity part of the name

Make it clear who you are and what you do. Put your most important keyword into the domain name. The keyword use in the domain name is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines.

If you specialize in doing Hawaiian hot stone massage at least the word “massage” should be part of the name to give users a sense of what you do.

Examples

  • hot-stone-massage
  • hawaiian-massage
  • stone-massage

Avoid non-descriptive names

If your company’s name uses a non-descriptive name such as xlix.com you can use it.
But bear in mind that a domain name with no intrinsic meaning doesn’t communicate what you do. It will be difficult to achieve a good search engine listing.

Keep it short

Make it easy to remember and write your website’s name.
Choose a name that‘s easy to read and sticks in users’ minds.

Don’t use long terms such as

  • hotstonesmassage
  • hawaiianhotstonesmassage

Avoid more than 2 dashes

Domain names with dashes such as http://www.stone-massage.com are easier to read for the eye and easier to parse for search engines but many users forget to type the hyphens.

Related links