Let’s say you have a great business idea. You figure you will need a website. The very first step should be choosing your domains name. It can make you project grow or blow in and of itself.

Big Mistake: Too long domain!

Some people don’t realize that people have to remember their web address. They come up with long names that look like sentences.

How long should it be then?

Ideally stay below fifteen characters. If you think you have to go above that, by all means, try to stay under 20. Longer than that and nobody will remember to your site address. And if you think about it, it doesn’t look that professional either.

There are lots of proof to that. Think Google, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Youtube. These are some of the biggest sites and they all under ten characters long.

Should you go for a .net or .org when .com is taken?

This is my personal opinion, and the answer is absolute No! If you are serious about that business long term, it is crucial to get a .com domain. First of all, when average Joe tries to remember a web address he always thinks .com first. It’s the most widely used and trusted tld. An exception is local domains.

There are also SEO reasons. In the past, Google had deindexed whole TLDs (thinking co.cc) because of the high frequency of spamming off those domains. .info domains are not that good either in my personal experience, because they are cheaper than the others, so they are likely used for low-quality spam sites.

If you absolutely must have a domain that’s only available among .net or .org, you should go for the .net. Recently Google has changed how they trust .org domains. Much of the exact match .org-s has fallen in rank after the EMD update.

Should you go for an EMD (Exact Match Domain)?

It depends but let me first tell you why EMD is good. First of all, it’s easy to remember. Think about if you are looking for a dentist in your area. Wouldn’t it be easy to remember www.*yourtown*dentist.com? Sure it would. It’s also good for SEO, but you should be careful about it. You have to have a high-quality website with lots of content and stay away from over-optimization. Otherwise, the SEO advantage turns into a huge disadvantage, and the site would be impossible to rank in Google.

Now back to whether you need an EMD. I go for it when I have a chance. Then again, what is the purpose of your website? If it’s a new thing that you want to brand you can go with an abstract name. Think Twitter. It’s not an exact match for anything. If you would register an EMD for that type of website you would probably go with microblog.com (already taken). Now that’s doesn’t mean anything to people. They have a connection with the brand name Twitter.

Should it contain hyphens or numbers?

Ideally not. You can get away with it but again, think long-term and go for quality from the start.

Where should you register them?

DO NOT register them with your chosen hosting provider. They usually give you a free domain for the first year but charge a lot starting from the second. Go for a discount domain registrar like Namecheap, Namesilo, Internets. These are all companies I have dealt with and have excellent prices and flawless service.

You don’t have to register the domain name at your hosting company. You can register it at any other registrar and point it to your hosting account. It’s quite easy, copy/pasting two lines of text. You can search “update nameserver” on Google, and you will find countless helpful articles on it.

How about local domains?

If you are from a smaller country, it’s a good idea to register a local tld, even better than a .com.

So these are my quick tips on domains. Hope it’s useful and saves you from the most common mistakes. If you liked the article you can like, share and subscribe.