Finding a domain name for your startup

Finding a domain name for your startup

Simon Jenner

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Every business needs a website these days its table stakes but finding an available domain name is increasingly difficult. We look at how to find a great domain name for your start

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Time spent finding a good domain name is never wasted but it can be a very frustrating process to find the right name. To be honest you are going to have to compromise because the chances the name you want is available is somewhere close to zero.

A good domain name makes such a difference to your startup, compare a startup in the e-commerce space with the domain name and one with A memorable short name on one of the well established domain name extensions like .com or will generate more traffic and be valued by investors much higher than an obscure domain. In fact a good domain name is an asset that could be worth tens of thousands of pounds. For example sold for $49.7 million.

Your starting place is your startup name and trying something that is as close to that as possible.

Here are the tips for finding a great domain name:

It must be pronounceable

When searching for a domain name you can easily find yourself saying well if I just add another letter to this or a number it is available i.e. The problem with this is its not a word so when meeting people you have to say I am from s h zero zero p i n g five .com, doesn't flow off the tongue and you can guarantee know one will remember. Or you add letter combinations to make a word that is unpronounceable i.e Although people maybe able to remember it they will never spell it correctly and therefore never find it.

Try to stick with real words or combinations of words i.e

It must be spellable

More often than not, web addresses are passed between people verbally and not via email and therefore spelling becomes important, we have all been there when someone says you should download Uber next time you need a taxi. Then next time you need a taxi you are on the app store searching for Uber, now if Uber had only been able to buy the domain name then the chances are you would have never found it, because you heard Uber and searched for Uber. So try where possible to use the correct spelling of words it will make discoverability much easier.

You can use numbers where it makes sense and adds to the communication i.e.

The shorter the better

You are not likely to find a three, four or five letter domain name these days so you will be settling for something quite long anyway but the shorter the better. The less characters the person has to type the easier it is for them, we have, which is an 11 letter domain name, plus the domain extension.

It does what it says on the tin

Your domain name can help tell your customer what it is you do so you could have for your delivery company. The only downside to this approach is that if your business is called Arthurs Delivery Service Ltd but your domain name is know one will ever remember the company name.

It uses a mainstream domain extension

There are thousands of domain extensions available now, you can have .fun, .camera, .pub but your customer is likely still getting their head around .com or If you use one of these novelty extension it is likely your customer will assume it's a typo and will be typed as

So only use a non standard extension if it really adds to your domain name or your audience is tech savvy enough to get it i.e., or

Tools to help you

Here are some tools that can help you find a domain name:

Name Mesh - use keywords to generate options

Domain Wheel - uses keywords

Lean Domain Search - super simple, start with a single keyword i.e. coffee

Buy a domain name

There are lots of providers of domain names out there but they are not all created equal, don't be driven by the price alone. We recommend using Name Cheap because they provide flexible DNS services which you may well need.

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