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5 Steps For Choosing The Perfect Domain Name

Posted on July 27, 2016 by Christopher Rhines

Every business needs an exceptional website. And every exceptional website needs a simple, smart domain name. Before we dive into the domain name pool, let’s first define what a “domain name” actually is.

According to the great and powerful Wikipedia, a domain name is defined as follows: A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the internet. Say what now? Let’s simplify that just a bit. Our definition is as follows: A domain name is a website’s “address” on the internet. You’re most likely reading this blog article on the Torx website. If you look at the address bar in your web browser, you’ll see the address of this page, which is http://www.torxmedia.com/5-steps-for-choosing-the-perfect-domain-name/. The “www.torxmedia.com” part of that is the domain name.

Now that we’ve defined what a “domain name” is, let’s run through the steps for selecting the perfect domain name for your business.

  1. Start with the actual name of your business. Let’s pretend that you’ve just opened a new restaurant called Checkers Pizza. In this example, www.checkerspizza.com would be the most logical place to begin. Always try a “.com” first. There are other options (.net, .org, .web, etc.) but the majority of website visitors are familiar with and often assume that a given website’s domain will often end in “.com”.
  2. A domain name can’t be shared between multiple businesses or entities. Let’s check to see if someone else already owns www.checkerspizza.com. Go to http://www.instantdomainsearch.com and enter “www.checkerspizza.com” to see if that domain name is available. In this example, somebody else already owns that domain name. It looks like www.checkerspizza.net is available, but let’s not settle for the “.net” domain name just yet.
  3. Let’s try a few alternative domain names. If we pretend that your imaginary restaurant is located in Richmond, VA, perhaps www.checkerspizzarichmond.com, www.checkersrichmond.com or www.checkerspizzarva.com would work. Keep your domain name as short as possible, and don’t abbreviate words unless it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t use numerals, and don’t use dashes. You shouldn’t have to “spell it out” when you verbally tell someone what your domain name is.
  4. In this example, www.checkerspizzarva.com is our best option. (“RVA” is a locally-known nickname for Richmond, VA.) This domain name contains the name of the business (Checkers Pizza) as well as its location (RVA). We could have gone with www.checkersrva.com, but we feel it’s important to keep “pizza” in the domain name. Do a quick check at http://www.instantdomainsearch.com, and you’ll see that www.checkerspizzarva.com is available for purchase.
  5. After you’ve found your perfect domain name, head over to http://www.godaddy.com to purchase it. (While GoDaddy’s hosting services leave something to be desired, they are perfectly fine regarding domain name purchases.)

Selecting a domain name is (almost) as important as naming your business. While your domain name isn’t literally carved in stone, it’s something that usually isn’t changed. Follow the steps above, do a bit of brainstorming, and find your perfect domain name. If you need assistance with domain names, website design, or digital marketing services, give us a call at 804-577-8679 or contact us here.


About the author:

Christopher Rhines

Partner, Director of Development

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Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.