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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

Published on 9/20/2010 by

Domain names not only lead people to your website, but also help to identify you on the Internet.  A great domain name can set you up for a successful future and a poorly worded domain name can bring your big dreams to a crashing halt.

We’ve spoken before about how to choose the perfect domain name and now it’s time to look at a few mistakes you should always avoid.

1.  Thinking only short term

Thinking short term means that you’re only concerned about how the domain name will work today, but you’ve forgotten that it needs to fit into the future, as well.  Let’s consider that you’d like to begin a blog about the web hosting.  You could choose the domain name 2010GreatestWebHosting.com.  It’s catchy and it’s available, but who will remember you in 2011 and how relevant will your blog be in 2015?  You can help to set yourself up to succeed in the future by picking a domain name that can move forward with you, such as GreatestWebHosting.com. Your domain name should be as timeless as you’d like your website to be.

2.  Being unoriginal

Choosing a domain name that’s similar to another popular website or company may seem like a good idea, but name one website that has succeeded by doing this.  That’s right, you can’t.  Being unoriginal makes you a knock off and who wants to invest their time in that?  If you’re going to impress the online world, this isn’t the way to do it.

3.  Choosing a name that has nothing to do with your website

Your domain name will serve as your online identity for years to come, so it’s crucial that it fits with the theme of your website and your general niche.  If you blog about domain names, it wouldn’t make much sense to have the domain name of bluecars.com.  What do blue cars have to do with domain names?  Your domain name should always have these features:

  • Relate well to your niche.
  • Be easy to remember.
  • Be easy to pronounce.
  • Be instantly recognizable.

4.  Use words that are trendy today

The Internet is all about tracking the latest trends, but you don’t want your business or website to rely heavily on a theme that may be popular today, but will be outdated tomorrow.  In the 1980s, the word grody was used by every teenager in America to describe something that was distasteful.  How many websites are online today that take advantage of that word?  None!

Be forward thinking with your domain name, but if you plan to be around for years to come, don’t bank on what’s trendy today.

5.  Trying to be too unique

Words that are oddly spelled can be catchy, but it’s difficult for others to recommend your website if they also have to explain your misspelling, too.  WebHostingFone.com does have a certain appeal, but each time you mention your name offline, you’ll need to make sure that people understand the unique spelling, lest they end up at your competition, WebHostingPhone.com.  The basic rule of thumb here is that if you’re going to go with a misspelled domain name, also make sure you can buy up the name spelled in its proper form.  So, in this case, you’d be investing in both WebHostingFone.com and WebHostingPhone.com.  If you can’t buy the original, don’t invest in a misspelling.

Use online domain picking tools for inspiration and take time to choose a domain name that will be catchy, unique and help to propel your website into the future.  After all, sometimes it really is all in the name!