Domain Name Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

If you’re thinking about the best domain name for your new website for your business and you’re not feeling any pressure, you’re probably not giving it enough thought. The domain name is what people will type in their browser URLs to get to your site. Therefore, it’s important that the domain name obeys certain rules if you expect your customers to be typing it often. A domain name that is short, relevant and easy to recall can easily become a brand. However, even with these guidelines in mind, there are certain mistakes you may still make in picking a domain name for your company.

1: Wrong Domain Name Extension

Domain name extension refers to the ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’ etc. that you’ll find on all domain names. Getting some of these top level domain name extensions or TLDs is quite straightforward. Some, such as the ‘.edu’ extension require that you meet certain requirements. The domain extension says something about the nature of the site. A ‘.org’ extension is hardly suitable for a business.

Solution: Focus on a domain name extension that is in line with the primary purpose of your site. For a small business, your preferred option should be a .com extension. Not only is this extension appropriate but it’s the most frequently used in the world. This will make it easier to remember. You may also choose an extension that says something about the location e.g. ‘.nz’ for people based in New Zealand.

2: Thinking of a Domain Name Last

Many people start thinking about their domain name much later after having already chosen and registered a particular business name. The hazards of doing this include:

  • Your business name may not be domain name friendly
  • Somebody else may already be using your business name as a domain name

In such situations, the business owner is usually forced to make one of a few unpleasant decisions such as choosing a domain name that is somewhat similar to the business name or having to pay for the domain name that goes with the business or having to go with a different domain name extension. None of these alternatives or any other will give you a result that is wholly satisfactory.

Solution: “If you’re only just starting your business and believe it will benefit a lot from having a web presence, you should start thinking about your domain name before settling on a name for your business” says Brendan at Umbrellar Domain Names and Web Hosting. Your work will be much easier if your business name also works as your domain name. For businesses that have been around for a while, consider buying the domain name from the other owner. It may be costly but in the end it could be worth it.

3: Relevance

There are many online businesses that have achieved success online despite having domain names that say nothing about what the company’s business is about. There are however, several factors that must come into play for this to happen. Most of these sites either rely quite a bit on proper marketing or provide a product or service that is quite unique. It’s hard enough to generate traffic to a new site without using an irrelevant domain name.

Solution: Try as much as possible to get something about your business on the domain name. If your business is delivering pizzas then the word pizza should probably feature somewhere in your domain name. This makes it easier for people to associate your website with your product or service.

4: Not watching out for Similarities

There are several mistakes that a person could make in relation to this. The first mistake is getting a domain name that is a little too similar to an already existing site. Depending on how popular the existing site is, you could easily be seen to be an imitation of the existing site. The owners of the existing site could also sue you depending on the level of similarity.

The second mistake you could make is to have a site with a particular top level domain name extension and not be aware if someone else has the same domain name with a different extension. In the event that a person trying to type your site’s URL puts in the wrong extension, they could end up in a site that is irrelevant which is the best case scenario. Alternatively, they could also end up in a site that they find extremely offensive.

Solution: Do some serious research before picking a particular domain name. You don’t want to end up with domain name that sounds similar to that of an existing business especially if your business is doing something similar or if either of you is doing something that customers of the other will find offensive. Try as much as possible to get a domain name that is very unique.

To avoid the second mistake, check to see which top level domain extensions associated with your site name have already been taken. Many people nowadays prefer to buy all top level domain name extensions associated with their site. The other extensions can be made to redirect to the primary domain name or to something associated with the company such as a blog. Sites such as allow you to do this with your domain names.

5: Spelling Difficulties

Many people will tell you that the domain names they hate the most are the ones that are easy to misspell or those that are difficult to spell. Things that can make a domain name easy to misspell or difficult to spell include:

  • Being too long
  • Having an odd spelling e.g. fone instead of phone
  • Having words with spellings that vary depending on region e.g. centre/center
  • Having words that are frequently misspelt e.g. conscience
  • Having words that are difficult to spell or are rarely used e.g. Prospicience

Solution: Use simple words. Preferably, these are words that don’t sound like other words and they should also be words that are somewhat unique. The idea is to be easy to pronounce and spell and to also be memorable.