Establishing the Right Domain Name

Establishing the Right Domain Name


Establishing the Right Domain Name

21.12.2012


The first step to take when building a new website is one that is often overlooked for its long-term significance and this is the domain name. The domain name is the registered name by which your company or brand will be identified on the web. Choosing the most suitable domain name is essential to the presence you will have on the web, and a poorly chosen domain name can even affect your visibility within Search Engines.

There are no set rules when it comes to choosing a domain name, however, certain elements must be considered. 

The ideal domain name, if available, should be above all unique and easy to remember, and should use a minimum number of characters so that it can easily fit onto a business card and other print media. The name should be easy to spell, type and easy to remember.  An easy to remember domain name allows users to share your website via word of mouth, social media, and allows your website to be found easier. It is also important that the name is free from special characters, numbers and hyphens that make the domain cumbersome to type and to remember.

Of course, it is no use choosing a domain name before you have a website planned. In the planning stage, discuss your current branding, any future rebranding, your main focus (a particular product or service), and then search for available domain names. There are numerous domain name registrars where you can browse for a domain name, and check the availability of the domain you prefer.  If you are interested in a particular name, search for its various availabilities, and research a number of Search Engines to find out how popular this name is already. How many companies have similar names to yours? How many of these will be in direct competition with your website? If there are numerous companies for both of these answers, then it is better to choose an entirely distinct domain name.

Adding a location to a domain name can help you to create a distinct domain name that can also aid local search and search engine ranking potential. For example, websites.com may be taken, but websites-malta.com may be available.

There are also two important issues to consider and that is copyright infringement and the domain extension. Including another company’s trademark in your own domain could cause legal issues and in certain cases can even lead to the loss of a website.

The domain extension generally preferred is .com; used for websites in English across the world. .net and .org are also popular, but if .com is available this should be the first preference as it typically encourages higher website visibility and traffic. Websites of companies in Malta can also use the national domain extension .com.mt if preferred, or particularly if the website is a Malta branch of an international parent company. 

The ideal domain name should provide an initial insight into your company, the project, product or service you are selling. Include an essential word and a descriptive word, describing what it is that you do as well as a more distinct word that will make your domain name stand out from the competition and ensure a strong web presence for years to come.

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