Your domain name matters so it’s important to find a good, unique and catchy name for a website. The right domain name helps make your website more valuable, helps convey the purpose and value of the website to new visitors quickly and most importantly, it helps you establish a trusted brand
While there are plenty of helpful name generators available (linked at the end of this blog post), the best way to come up with great domain names is to follow some best practices.
A good domain name has value.
When you have brand awareness, when you have a good website name that contains the essence of what your website is about you can:
- Charge more for products and services because you have something that has an identity.
- Get more back links to your website naturally as a thought leader.
- Network with successful people more easily because you’ve made something of value.
- Increase the social shares of your website and brand.
If your website is perceived to be generic, like HowToBlog.com it will lack that critical differentiation you need for your unique selling point. It won’t capture the essence (yes this describes the website but that’s not good enough) of what your website is about quickly and easy. It will lack distinguishing characteristics to make it better from the rest. This also applies to your tag-line as well.
Only when you get the name right does that turn a bunch of words into a recognizable identity that defines something greater than its parts.
Many of the best names use alliteration to great effect. Examples: BoingBoing.net, JavaJacket.com and Coca-Cola.com
These names are not simply good website names, they’re fantastic examples of brand equity. Particularly the Java Jacket example whose name is clearly worth but more than the product itself.
That now ubiquitous paper cup sleeve or “java jacket” is an all too common feature at any coffee house. That part of the coffee drinking experience we don’t even think or care about actually had to be invented by someone.
Now, is the product itself that creative? No. Is revolutionary? No really. It’s definitely one of those “duh” ideas huh? Yes! Anyone who drinks coffee out of a paper cup could have made this product (especially any paper manufacturers), but none of them did.
So the real genius is in the implementation of the idea for the product to bring it into reality. The second part is the creation of that the brand name – Java Jacket.
Why Java Jacket is so perfect as a name
Java Jacket is the perfect name for the product and website because it describes so clearly what the product is in a clever, creative and concise way. It adds novelty to an otherwise boring product. It also builds brand equity like Coca Cola in that it defines and industry. Sometimes you say I want “coke” but in reality you don’t really care what you’re brought so long as it’s soda.
It’s a domain name that’s also easy to type in since it’s so easy to remember. No dashes, no numbers, no additional words. Just Google “Java Jacket” or type in JavaJacket.com (not .org, not .net) and you find their website sitting at the top of the results. Brilliant.
How to name your website, blog and online store
Ready to create a domain name or slogan with rhythm and a musical nature to it?
1) Create a list of core words related for your website.
They can be keywords but they can also just be words related to your topic. Come up with a long list of related and relevant words associated with your industry. Alternate spellings, slang and so forth.
(10 minutes – 20 minutes)
2) Come up with potential names and tag lines for your website.
Just start writing. The creativity will eventually kick in and you will move from a writers block into a fluent out pour of names and tag lines. Your first few tag lines will be basic and generic but as you keep writing you’ll come up with something better.
(30 minutes – 60 minutes)
3) What are your non negotiable words?
Once you have an extensive list of words, what words must stay in? If you’re launching a coffee blog as an example, the word “coffee” would most likely be one of your non-negotiable words.
4) Use domain name generator tools.
Write everything down. Even if it’s stupid and not usable. Some words like “website” are terrible for this exercise. Other words have the potential for brand equity gold. Find synonyms for words that have the same sound as your select words. Even if they start with a different letter. The sound is what’s important – like “melt in your mouth” as rhythmic sound.
Last is to use all these word and name combination in a domain name generator to get more ideas.
How to name your website
Let’s cover some advice for different types of websites names. We have specific advice for how to name a website depending on the purpose and intent behind the website.
- Web Service Website
Specific service website
A service website is a website that does one specific thing. very well. Like a file converter website or an image editing website. For these types of projects, often the best names are either something cute, fun and short like Pixlr. Which is a play off the word pic, or to use a specific exact match domain name.
While we suggest you shy away from keyword heavy domain names because they can come across as spammy and low quality they do make sense for specific service oriented websites. A keyword focused domain does make sense for a service would be something like CreateaClickableMap.com.
It’s not a blog with endless blog posts, it’s a clear and specific website that let’s you create a clickable map that you can embed on your website.
Name your blog
Generally with a blog, go for a domain name that’s more memorable, brandable, and related to a topic over something that is keyword focused.
Like the travel blog onestep4ward.com -which is written by Johnny Ward. See how it’s a play on his name? The travel site PracticalWanderlust.com is good too because wanderlust is related to travel and practical works too because they provide practical travel advice.
When it comes to blogging, you’ll do much better by building a brand. One of the most popular blogs about the topic of minimalism a few years ago was called “far beyond the stars” which was a magical, interesting and strange domain name.
Blogs are the most fun to name because they can be true, artistic expressions. Build a brand, don’t name your blog something boring.
Name a local business
A local business should strive to own it’s own .com. Your domain name should match your business name but sometimes that is not always possible. To counter this you can use alternate domain extensions apart from .com, use an abbreviated form of your business name as a domain name or add devices onto the end of the domain.
Domain Name Tools
There are numerous domain name generators available that you can take advantage of. We suggest using these tools after you’ve spent an hour or so brainstorming possible domain names following our process.
These domain name generators are free but make money by referring you to a domain name registrar where they receive a commission if you purchase a domain name through them. Instead, use the generator to get domain name ideas and then go to Namecheap to get the lowest prices on domain name registration.
Conclusion – How to name your website
Don’t spend too much time on this when starting a blog. Your domain name is important, but it’s not the end of the world. What is more important is to get started creating your website, publishing content and getting traffic. Those are the things that will make an actual difference long term.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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