Before you choose your domain name or name your website, you might want to consider the following:
1.Your Domain Name Should Be Your Website Name
This may seem an obvious point to make but having a business name that is different from your domain name can cause marketing issues with potential customers.
What if you cannot get the domain name of your choice? It really depends on how committed you are to that particular name. If you have an existing brand name that you’re known for, you’ll probably not want to ditch that name just because you couldn’t get the domain name. After all, it took you a lot of time and money to establish that name. If so, you might simply want to try to buy over the domain name from the current owner. Check up the “whois” information for the domain, and contact that person listed to see if they’re willing to sell it. You probably should be aware that they are likely to want to charge a higher fee than you’ll normally get when buying new domains (assuming they want to sell it in the first place)
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, you might prefer the cheaper alternative of trying to obtain a domain name first, and then naming your website (or business) after the domain that you’ve acquired.
2. Generic/Brand names
These are unlikely ever to come available for example cinema.com they are also as the title suggests generic and not business specific to you so choosing something related is the best way to go about it. For example Beeston-cinema.co.uk gives you the area and the service.
Established brand names or similar names to them should really be avoided as this can lead to legal action as an obvious example registering new–york–yankees.com will only lead one way.
3. Long or Short Domain Names or Hyphenated Names?
Shorter names are preferable however as most of these are now taken a well thought out business related domain can be useful for example comparethemarket.com . There is no right or wrong way but it must be business related and hopefully hint at what your website represents. Hyphenated names are a useful way of getting the domain you are after however more than one hyphen can be awkward to type and in most cases can just lead to people remembering the sites without the hyphen leading them to a different/competitors website.
4. COM, ORG, NET, etc?
One common question I encounter is from people who can’t get the “.com” domain of their choice, but find the “.net”, “.org” or other country-specific top level domains (TLDs) available (like .de, .nu, .sg, etc). Should they try for these?
The general rule of thumb is for local business or a country specific business country specific domains are advised for example the uk use .co.uk .
For a international audience or US a .com is advised
Another school of thought finds that “.net” and “.org” extensions are actually quite acceptable domain names. For some, the “.org” extension actually describes the non-profit nature of their organisation. So, for example, the famous Apache web server can be found at “apache.org”.
5. In conclusion…
The ideal scenario in the current climate would be to obtain the domain first before deciding on your business name as most short or generic names are taken. Retrofitting your domain to your business can be a hassle and become expensive when chasing down a specific domain.
Having your country specific domain is advised and for those attempting to reach a broader audience a .com domain as well.