How to choose a domain name?

What is a domain name, and how to choose one?

A domain name is the website name that people can type into their browser like google.com, yahoo.com or AsiaTraining.com. Before we get to how to choose your domain name just a quick rundown of some domain terminology:

Top level domain (TLD): this refers to the type of domain, for example .com, .net, .org, .biz and so on. By now there are dozens of top level domains available, including rather obscure ones like .guru, .golf, .gamble and a huge lot more. From a practical point of view you should stick with .com and not even consider any other TLD.

Most people associate a website with .com, so I’d strongly recommend to stick with it.

Second level domain: this is the actual website domain name that comes just before the top level domain. For example, in ‘mywebsite.com’ the second level domain is ‘mywebsite’. Since real estate is very much a person-to-person business, and the blog is all about the professional ‘you’ I strongly recommend to name the blog and domain name after yourself. Here are some pointers:

Make your domain name a part of your personal brand. Consider naming it after yourself together with your profession, like JohnSmithRealEstate.com’ or ‘JohnSmithRealtor.com’ or ‘JohnSmithProperty.com’ or along those lines. Please note that big caps or small caps are treated as the same, so ‘JohnSmithProperty.com’ is the same as ‘johnsmithproperty.com’, I just capitalize the beginning of each word to make it easier to read.

Make it easy to communicate and don’t use numbers and hyphens: if you name your website something like ‘John-Smith.com’ and tell this to someone the other person may forget the hyphen later and type the wrong website address. Same for JohnSmith4u.com, people may remember it as ‘JohnSmithForYou.com’.

Don’t include trademarks or brand names if they don’t belong to you.

Make sure you proofread your domain name, write it out and show it to your friends before you register it. It may sound great to you because your mind is fixed on how to read it. Your friends may see a hidden, undesirable meaning in your chosen domain name. Here are some example of actual domain names where the owners have not heeded this advice:

  • a company name Pen Island selling specialty pens registered ‘penisland.com’ – also reads ‘PenisLand.com’
  • Sam, a massage therapist, registered ‘samtherapist.com’ – also reads ‘SamTheRapist.com’
  • the design company Speed of Art that prides itself with quick art designs registered ‘speedofart.com’, which unfortunately also reads ‘SpeedoFart.com’
  • a company named Kids Exchange registered their business name ‘kidsexchange.net’.

I could go on, but you get get the idea.

So, this is now your first hands-on task: take a piece of paper and write down some variations of your perfect domain name. Take your time with it, after all you will be stuck with that domain name for the rest of time.

If you need just a domain name without hosting then the following domain name seller is probably your best choice at the moment: World’s Largest Registrar.