June 17, 2020
Once you have decided to start your new business, your thoughts are likely to divert to thinking about your new website and ultimately wondering if you’re preferred domain name is available.
Let me give you the bad news: It’s highly unlikely that your first, second or even third preferred domain name will be available!
So, it’s likely that you will have to get creative. But how do you choose a good domain name from what is available?
What’s the difference between .com .co.uk or .org etc?
Having worked with hundreds of new startup websites just like yours, we’ve got plenty of experience in this arena so read on to get some useful advice on choosing the right domain name for you…
The end of a domain name e.g. .com is called a ‘Top-Level Domain’ or ‘TLD’ for short. They are also sometimes referred to as a ‘domain extension’.
You may want a .com for your new startup website but because of its popularity (48% of websites have a .com TLD), you’re unlikely to get your domain of choice.
With that in mind, our first recommendation would to not get too hung up on owning a .com.
The .com was once synonymous with commercial websites but this has become somewhat diluted. In addition, new TLDs are always being released so there is a huge amount of options when it comes to selecting the best TLD for you.
For UK startups, the next most obvious choice would be a .co.uk domain as this is fundamentally an extension of .com but for UK-based businesses.
If your business is only going to deal in the UK or you want to highlight your British location then a .co.uk TLD would be the best place to start.
That being said, .co.uk is also very popular and therefore you may still find that your preferred domain name is not available with a .co.uk
So, if you can’t get what you want with either a .com or .co.uk, what next?
Well, as we already mentioned, there are plenty of further options to choose from and there is likely to be something perfect for your business. Here are some examples…
Starting a new accounting business?
Try .accountant .accountants or what about .tax?
Is your new startup in fitness?
How about .fit .fitness or .coach?
Perhaps you are a consultant or coach?
Check out .coach .consulting or even .guru
If you’re looking for something else, you can view a list of all available TLDs.
In summary, it’s always worth starting with .com if your new website is for a business and then check .co.uk if you’re based in the UK before checking for a more specific TLD.
Once you’ve got a few TLDs which you’re happy to use it’s time to start searching for your preferred domain.
If you have been creative with your business name then you may get lucky with your domain being available with a .com address.
However, the more generic your preferred domain name, the less likely it is that it will be available so you may need to go down a different path.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If someone needed your services and decided to ask a friend for a recommendation, what would they ask their friend for?
This is important because you may refer to yourself as an ‘auto technician’ but if your customers are searching for ‘mechanics’ they may not find you.
Once you are confident you know how people may search for your services, try using your service as a domain name. Again, if you’re in a niche industry, you may get lucky but forget securing bookkeepers.com!
So, assuming that you’re new website is not for your belly-button fluff collection, you may need to get more specific.
Does your business service a specific area? Consider adding a town, county or country to your domain.
If we go back to the mechanic example and your new business is based in Twyford for example, you could try a search for twyfordmechanics.co.uk
We’ve checked and that example is not available – we warned you that it’s unlikely you’ll get what you want!
Before going back to the drawing board, you’ve got one more option and that’s to add a dash/hyphen.
Separating the words in your domain name with a dash will open up more possibilities while retaining the meaning of your domain.
Does it work for our Twyford based mechanic?
twyford-mechanics.co.uk is available …and so is twyford-mechanics.com!
Hopefully, you now feel confident about searching for your preferred domain name.
We recommend Name Cheap for buying domain names.