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Choosing a Domain Name - Ten Qualities of Excellent Domain Names

Paul Flyer

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There really is no trick to choosing a domain name. However, making sure your domain name has certain inherent qualities may give your website an edge. Below are ten qualities for excellent domain names.

1) Use common words used normally by people. This means words found in a dictionary which can be comprehended by those with a sixth grade education. Keep it simple!

2) Use four words or less to communicate the name of your website. Shorter domains are easier to remember and easier to type in a browser. Plus, if you have business cards, it will fit better.

3) Use words that make sense together. For example, really doesn't communicate much. However, definitely communicates the essence of your website.

4) Keep your domain name under 21 characters. Shorter domain names are easier to manage.

5) Use only alphabetic characters in your domain name. Numbers can tend to confuse people especially if they occur in the middle of the domain name. Alpha-only names are “clean" and are easily recognizable by search engines.

6) The best domains do not use hyphens. Short simple “word based" domain names are “clean" and are easily communicate to people and to search engines.

7) Be original without infringing on other people's intellectual property. Seriously. A quality domain is one that stands on its own merit and not on the merit of others.

8) Choose full words over abbreviations when possible. This is not a hard and fast rule. Generally speaking, if someone can read your domain and instantly know what your website is about, then the better off you are.

9) Use a . COM extension if available. While it is possible to have a popular site based on other extensions, the . COM extension is by far the most recognized extension. People will ALWAYS assume a . COM extension if recalling the average domain from memory.

10) Make it memorable. Yes, people debate this all the time. I fall into the camp that believes if your domain name can be easily communicated and spelled, it will stick better in people's minds.

Paul Flyer writes about the registration of domain names on his Recommended Web Tools website. For more information on choosing, registering and managing domain names, download his free ebook, The Domain Name Handbook at


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