Choosing the best domain name

Getting ready to launch a new business or website? Choosing the best domain name is an important step.

1. The .com domain name is still the best option

Even people who are not tech savvy will assume “.com” is your probable domain name extension. It’s becoming more difficult to find relevant and catchy .com domain names open for purchase. We like the easy search bar on to find availability and possible variations. Try your business name or a phrase describing your service in keywords. For example, if is taken, might be a strong alternative.

A country extension such as .ca is an excellent second choice. With the price of domain name registration being quite affordable (roughly $10-$25/year), consider buying both the .com and .ca versions. This is an easy way to help protect your brand. Vanity extensions like .photography or .guru are less popular and usually a bit more expensive. You’ll only use one as your web address, but you can redirect traffic from any of your other domain names to your website URL.

2. Buy your own name, too

If your personal name is available as a domain name, it’s wise to snatch it up during your search. Heck, grab your kids’ names, too. These domains could be valuable for personal branding and promotions down the road. Even more importantly, you don’t want searches for you coming up with unfavorable results. My married name is the same as a popular XXX porn star with dynamite search engine ranking. I’ve had business contacts ask if I’m that busty brunette they found Google. Take it from me: it’s best to control what you can.

3. Select a name that's consistent across platforms

Use Namechk to see if your domain name and handle is available across your favorite social media platforms. Aim for them all to be identical for brand consistency and recognition. Some platforms will limit the number of characters you use in your handle, so…

4. Choose short, easy to spell domain names

Short domain names are manageable to write or type and help decrease the chance of errors. Put your domain name to the verbal test by saying and spelling it as you would over the phone. Some letters can be confusing. For example, I am constantly spelling out “F as in Frank, Fetching as in fetching a ball, F as in Frank, i, n n…that’s two N’s in Finn”. Equally painful are domain names with numbers and clever alterations, such as Recognizable words and familiar spellings are always the best domain name options.

5. Beware of repeated letters and hidden words

Repeated letters and unintentional word recognition can be a nightmare. Before you choose your domain name, take a good look at it and be sure you’re not missing the obvious. A domain name like makes you go a little cross-eyed and is begging to be misspelled. Then there are cases like I’m betting you didn’t think that was a web address for Pen Island, right?