A domain refers to the part of the website’s address that comes after “http” or “https” and before any other extension such as “.com” or, in the case of a free website domain by Strikingly, the name that goes before “.strikingly.com”. Choosing a domain name is critical to the success of your website. It’s as important as say, choosing a name for a newborn. Your brand’s image and reputation will be stuck with that name for a long time so you might as well make sure you select a good one.
1. Keep it short, sweet and easy to remember
One of the most important things you need to remember when choosing a website domain is brandability. You want to make your domain name short, punchy and memorable. The aim is to make your domain name so easy to remember that it takes on a generic meaning eventually. Think, Google or Uber. These names are no longer just domains, they now refer to actions and activities.
If you’re going with a free web hosting and domain, you will have to make do with a slightly longer website address because the web host’s name is attached to your domain name. Try out a few different options of domain names to test out which one is easiest to remember given this limitation.
2. Make it mobile friendly
When you upgrade your free account with Strikingly, you get free website hosting and domain (for the first year) that you can customize. This gives you a chance to try out a mobile-friendly domain for your website. By mobile-friendly, we mean it should be easy for users to type in the website address using their phones and mobile devices. Think of users who have autocorrect enabled on their phones. Make sure your domain is as concise and easy to type in as possible by testing it out using your phone first or have someone who is not so savvy at typing on the phone to test it out for you.
3. Use keywords sparingly
Another tip when you buy web domain: don’t do generic keywords. At the risk of ruffling feathers in the SEO community, we don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to use keyword-rich domains. A keyword might be good to have but use it in moderation. A keyword targeted website domain used to be an influential ranking factor but over time, they became associated with low-quality content so search engines tend to be very cautious when ranking these domains.
4. Make sure your website domain isn’t trademarked
Before you go and register your free website and domain, you want to make sure you’re legally cleared to use the name in the first place. Check the trademark status of any domain through your local patent and trademark office. You can also check out WIPO for global websites that may share the same name as the one you chose.
5. Select the appropriate extension
If you’re going to buy web domain, you want to select the right extension (i.e. “.com”, “.org”, “.biz”) to your domain. “.com” remains the favorite extension for most websites because it is great for SEO and for memorability. In general, you can’t really go wrong with a .com website. Everyone just assumes your domain extension is .com anyway so might as well go with that.
Once you have chosen your free website domain, you must act fast and get it registered. With thousands of other individuals and businesses trying to get their websites up as we speak, there’s a good chance that you will be competing for the same domain with at least one other entity. Make sure to get your domain registered soon. If you expect to use this domain for a long time, we also suggest purchasing various domain extensions, including the misspelled version of your domain. This will keep competitors from using variations of your domain and ensure your visitors are directed to your website.