Domain name for your online store
Choosing the right domain name for your e-commerce business is key to your success.
Domains: how does it work?
Many people think there is a direct connection between the domain and the hosting. There is not. Hosting is the place on the internet where your online store can be found. The domain name directs your customers to this place. The domain name can also easily link to another website.
When you choose for an online store that runs on open-source software such as Magento you will need to arrange both hosting and a domain name. They often come together in a package offer.
In case you have an online store via Shopify or other e-commerce software solutions, you mostly only need a domain name, because the shop is already hosted on their servers.
The costs of a domain name
It is already possible to register a domain name for about 10 bucks a year. I recommend, however, not being too economical about registering domain names. It may be a good idea to already register a few nice extra potential domain names to match your good ideas for your (future) projects.
I normally register my domain names with godaddy and domaindiscount24. They are both trustworthy companies to register a domain name. It is also easy to check whether a domain name is still available.
A good domain name is worth fortunes
A domain name is very important for your online store. It is not without a reason that domain names are sometimes transferred for thousands of dollars.
A domain name should be easy to remember
You should be able to pass on your domain name easily on parties and network events.
Therefore, take care that the domain name
- has the relevant extension for your country/public (international/American: .com, UK: co.uk, etc.)
- is not too long
- doesn’t contain hyphens *
- contains key words of your business
* I often see hyphenated domain names. Sometimes the website owners didn’t even also register the alternative spelling without the hyphens! Imagine the case your competitor registers that domain name – you will lose hundreds of sales.
Always choose the right extension
The domain extension is the “code” behind the domain. For example .com, .co.uk, .eu. If you are active within one country make sure you have the respective domain name.
Don’t use strange extensions behind your domain name just because that extension was available, and the desired was not. If you are operating in the UK, you need .co.uk, if you are doing business in Germany, you need .de, etc.
Even if you are not active internationally yet, it is always smart to directly register .com as well. Also consider expanding internationally. Perhaps you will want to take your business to foreign lands in 5 years. Register the relevant extensions now so you will not be sorry later!
Keywords in the domain name
Make sure the most important key words are in the domain name. This almost always guarantees a top ranking in Google for this keyword.
An example: you sell shoes. Register a domain name with the word shoes in it.
Do think about the future. Maybe you are selling shoes today, but what will you sell next year? Are shoes your core business or will you expand to include clothes, for example? A domain name with a single focus on shoes than sends the wrong image.
The same applies for brand names in your domain name. Adding a new brand doesn’t fit well with the domain name. You should also pay due attention to the question whether it is allowed to use a brand name in your domain name. Many brands are not happy with this and this may lead to legal issues that you want to avoid.
Choose the perfect domain name for your online store
Don’t make any concessions when choosing a good domain name. It is better to brainstorm a couple of extra days about your domain name than to register a domain name that is worse.
Where can you register your domain name?
I registered domains through godaddy and domaindiscount24. They are inexpensive and the registration of domain names is automated. They feature a handy client account where you can administer your registered domain names.
There are many small businesses that offer to register your domain for even less money. But rather than saving 2 or 3 dollars per year you probably prefer a good working system that you can rely on for years.