Picking the Perfect Domain Name in 2015 and Beyond

Picking the Perfect Domain Name

When you set out to launch a new website, settling on a fantastic domain name is easily one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make. At the end of the day, a domain name is so much more than an easy way to find your site. In many ways, it can determine whether or not your site is successful. Use the following tips to select the best domain name possible.

Pick a Name with Staying Power

Domain name fads tend to wax and wane over the years. For instance, it seems like every other site that comes out nowadays dislikes vowels and has to have the letter “R” on the end. Tumblr, Flickr and Pixlr are some of the most egregious examples. Ignore the popular trends and find a domain name that hasn’t been claimed yet without becoming a soon-to-be-dated cliche.

Avoid Confusing Spelling Choices

The worst domain names are the ones that don’t feature a clear delineation between their constituent words. Repeating letters should be avoided at all costs. For instance, something along the lines of “SmartStartup.com” or “RusticCooking.com” looks terrible and can lead to errors when visitors try to type it into their browser bars. Pick a domain name that’s intuitive and won’t lead to spelling errors on the part of would-be fans.

Use at Least One Dictionary Keyword

While the intricacies of SEO are always changing, the focus on major and minor keywords does not. Your domain name should feature at least one moderately specific keyword related to the focus of your site that can be used to direct searchers to your content. Try to get specific but not too specific. For instance, a site about horseback riding should at least feature the word “horse” in the URL.

Make Site & Domain Names Identical

Some sites have domain names that don’t quite jive with their brand name. While that’s acceptable in some cases, it’s best if your domain name and site name are as close as possible. A business called “A1 Stucco Roofs” should use a domain name like “A1StuccoRoofs.com” for its primary website. This helps to eliminate confusion on the part of potential clients and solidifies the brand.

Use an Extension That’s Logical

Lastly, your choice of extension can have a big impact on the success of your site. A customized TLD is easy to get but not always warranted or wise. Most people want to see a “.com” or some other fairly common extension on a reputable site. A “.me” extension is fine for social media sites. Only use uncommon extensions if it makes sense in the context of your domain name.

Finding a Home for Your Domain Name

Once you’ve nailed down a great domain name, the next step is to find a domain registrar to buy from. A good start would be Register.com, one of the outfits online that also boasts superlative customer service. Losing the perfect domain name because you’ve opted for a lousy domain registrar is tragic and ultimately preventable if you exercise sound judgement

Do It Yourself Web Design Done Right

 

Building a website on your own can be a daunting task to say the least. Many people have tried, and, where some Do it Yourself Webfind success through hard work and perseverance, others fail in the face of confusion and web jargon. Terms like SEO, CMS, HTML, web domains and hosting services can make green small business owners and other do-it-yourselfers red in the face before they’ve even thought about launching.

Well, rest easy, because we’re here to simplifying things as much as we can. DIY web design isn’t nearly as difficult as it used to be in years past. Why’s that?

It’s simple. These days, you need only do a little research, find yourself a trustworthy free website builder, and viola! You’ll be well on your way to designing your own website before you know it.

The best part? You won’t have to spend one red cent!

Why Build a Website From Scratch?

Ultimately, the reason for building a website will vary greatly from person to person. Some people simply want a public place to house their blog articles or pictures, while some are looking to launch an entire ecommerce web store.

There are DIYers out there who just want to make it easy for people to RSVP to their life event (think wedding, golden birthday, etc.), and some are merely looking to create an online portfolio of their work.

Needless to say, the amount of work you will need to put into building your website in the beginning will depend heavily on the reason you have decided to build it in the first place.

But regardless of what exactly you intend to do with your website once it’s built, here are the hard facts about how to do it right.

The RIGHT Way to Build Your Own Website

  • First things first. Start thinking about your domain name (the URL you want to use for your site). Depending on which website builder you choose to use (there are many out there) you may not have to worry about a domain name until a bit later in the process. But be careful! Some domains are more expensive than others. Note: this should be the only part of the process you will have to pay for.
  • If you’re smart and you’re looking for an attractive but relatively simple website, you should look around to find a web builder that provides free hosting services. They’re out there, and they’re great. Just imagine, working with only one company for all your different website needs. Sounds too good to be true—except, it’s not!
  • Now we get down to the good stuff: web design. This is where many DIYers tend to get a bit frustrated, and understandably so. If you’re looking at it from a freelance writer’s standpoint, for example, designing a website may seem akin to translating a book into a language you’ve never heard of. Picking colors and shapes is no problem, but making that come to life online? Um. Help. PLEASE. Make sure you find a website builder with a good selection of unique and beautiful web design templates that you can choose from. That way, you can pick one that suits you perfectly.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it,” right? WRONG! Not in terms of your website editor. When it comes to editing your own website, the easier the better—TRUST ME. Choose a website editor that’s simple to use and gets you the results you want.
  • Whether you’re familiar with reputable SEO practices or not, finding a website builder that incorporates the latest web technology while also helping you implement appropriate SEO tactics with your website is a must-have in today’s day and age.

Consider Your Audience

Another important thing to consider with DIY website building is whether you want a site that reads like an infographic (one long page that provides all the information up front) or whether you’d rather build a site that has multiple pages dedicated to different features.

Obviously, you’ll need to ask yourself whether what you’re building your site for requires more than one page. An ecommerce website, for example, would never be able to get away with only one page to house the content, products, blog, and everything else that comes with that.

But, you’ll also need to consider the customer, your friends or relatives, or your potential clients: whoever your target audience is who you want to visit your site. Will they want to read one long text-filled page of information in order to figure out who you are?

Or, would they rather see images that relate your brand’s story? Perhaps a little of column A AND a little of column B will work best for you. However, you’ll never know until you get started.

Image courtesy of Flickr user SEOPlanter.