Your Essential Guide to Choosing a Domain Name for Blog

choosing-a-domain-name-for-blog

You don’t want to be caught in a situation wherein after spending a considerable amt of time blogging, you realise the domain name you chose is not appropriate for your blog.

Your domain name represents your brand. Changing it will be like changing your brand name. It can be a painful process.

So it is very important that you choose the right domain name from the beginning.

You can change the hosting provider if you are not satisfied or want to switch to a higher plan, but your domain name remains the same. It’s your online identity. You should not take any chances with it.

But how you can get it right the first time remains a challenge.

In this foolproof guide to choosing a domain name for blog, I shall cover all the points you should keep in mind when choosing a domain name for your blog and where to register it.

Why should you have your own domain name?

Although there are many other platforms to start a blog – both free and paid ones, we shall focus on a self-hosted WordPress platform. WordPress is the most powerful and popular CMS (Content Management System). If you are serious about blogging and want to earn money from it, then without a doubt, go in with a self-hosted WordPress.

For this, you have to purchase your own domain name from a domain registrar like Namecheap.

Once you register your domain name with the registrar, let’s say for a year, you’ll need to renew it to avoid the expiry of that domain name. You can stop paying for it, if you are not interested in renewing it further. Once it expires, it will be deleted.

How to choose a good domain name for blog

Choosing a bad domain name is one of the most common mistakes bloggers make. Be sure you choose a domain name that is…

1. Easy to Remember

Don’t choose a name that’s tough to spell or a long name full of hyphens. It should be simple enough to remember that helps you in your brand recall.  

2. Prefer .com TLD as its the most common and easy to remember

Although you can buy .info, .net, .org etc TLDs for your domain name, I suggest you to stick with .com. It has occupied a place of its own that seems invincible.

We’ve seen examples of some famous bloggers like Darren Rowse from Probloger.net who had to change it to problogger.com, simply because the .com version was getting a lot of hits which was a big loss of traffic for him. He finally had to purchase problogger.com for this very reason.

Although there are some instances where blogs have successfully changed their brand names without affecting their SEO negatively, but the examples are few. Seomoz.org changed its name to moz.com but that’s a site with the best SEO guys.

3. Should you use your name or your business name?  

It makes sense to use your name if your business revolves around you. It often helps to use your name if you are a business coach, author, speaker or a well known public figure. But, if you are selling products or services you are selling by focusing on a niche, then it makes sense to choose one that reflects what the blog is about. This brings us to the next point.

4. Use keywords

If you are focusing on a specific niche, then using keywords related to that niche that describe your site, then makes sense. You get some SEO benefit also. What is the topic of your blog? This question can give you keywords for your blog niche.

5. Unique and descriptive, short and memorable

Building an authority in your niche starts with creating a unique domain name that reflects who you are and what you stand for.

Do some brainstorming and make it catchy, memorable and unique. It will be your online identity and business card.

6. Should pass the ‘phone test’

This is a very simple test. If you are able to tell your domain name over the phone, without the other person asking you to spell it out, then the domain name has passed the phone test. This has a better recall value.

7. Avoid hyphens

Using too many hyphens can make it difficult to remember and communicate to another person. It also makes it look spammy.

8. Make it expandable

Consider the ‘future factor.’ You never can tell beforehand if you want to expand your reach in other related areas.

Leave room for expansion. Example – you may select the domain name as mycutetoddlers.com but also realize that your toddlers’ years will pass pretty soon. A name like carsinindia.com will attract only Indian audience. In future, if you want to expand the coverage of countries outside India, then it will be a huge hurdle because of the name.

9. Avoid a string of words  

Don’t use too many words in the domain name, like yourbesttravelguide.com. It’s confusing to remember the sequence. Its long and increases the chances of making mistakes while typing them.  

It may happen that after brainstorming for domain name ideas, you come up with a domain name, only to find that it’s already taken. This happens often. But there’s still room for creativity.

You should also check if the domain name you select is available for social media profiles because you’ll want to create them once you start your blog. Using the same name on your social profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. is so important for brand building.

A good online tool to check if the name is available across social channels is Namechk.

Some good domain name suggestion tools are:

These tools help you to come up with some really good name suggestions, but you’ll have to keep trying until you find some cool ones.

The process of moving your wordpress site to a new domain name can be a difficult task and highly frustrating for most bloggers and can lower your search engine rankings. So put in your best effort to come up with a name that you can bank upon for your blog.

So, you’ve chosen your domain name, what next?

The next step is to register the domain name with a good domain registrar. Something to remember is that you also need hosting for your blog so that you can make your blog live with your chosen domain name.

There are many out there but the best ones are :

  • Namecheap
  • Bluehost
  • GoDaddy
  • Hostgator

It’s not necessary that you have your domain name and hosting from the same company. You can purchase a domain name from GoDaddy and hosting from Hostgator.

Rather, it is advisable to keep them separate because later on if you wish to change the hosting provider to a different one, it will be easy.

Conclusion

Don’t spend too much time thinking about it. Don’t stress too much on the name. Just give it your best shot and start your blog. After all, having a not-so-perfect domain name is better than not starting a blog for lack of selecting a good one.

Hope you have found this post on selecting a domain name for your blog useful. Do let me know if you have questions and I’d also love to read your comments, suggestions and more information on this topic.

Mind doing me a little favour and sharing it on your social media channels, please?

I’m Surabhi from DigiPanorama. This blog emerged out of my passion for blogging in the digital age.

As a passionate blogger, I love to read and write about blogging, social media and digital marketing. That’s what I blog about at DigiPanorama.

The articles, tutorials and guides are guaranteed to help you with your blogging journey.