Domains 101 – Your very first decision

My first question for a potential client is “Have you purchased a domain or do you know the domain you want?”

Much of the time I get this response “Yes. I‘m going with or
[normally something I cannot say, much less fathom] it‘s the name of a mythical princess. Don‘t you just love it?”

Me: Tell me about your company?

Answer: “We make, sell and ship donuts!”

Me: Greek donates?

Answer: No, the regular kind.

Now if you make specialty donuts and your business sits in the center of Manhattan, then may be that domain will work for you. But if you don’t sell donuts for 20 bucks a pop, “donut princess” might be a better domain.

Must a domain reflect a business?
No. But if you want people to find your website, your domain must be something people can easily remember and spell!

The other response I will receive is: “I’ve done my research: Web Technology Enhancement Design Branding and”

a) Who is going to remember that?
b) Have you attempted to fit that on a business card yet?
c) Unnecessary Key Word Overload.

Must a domain contain Key Words? No.
Does it help? It may help, it may not.

How do you know if a domain fits your business or blog? Think about the people it serves.

Joe walks into my office and he tells me “I‘m a mechanic. I’ve had my own business, Joe’s Repair, for 15 years. People keep calling me to compare prices. I want to tell people go to my website, the prices are all there, then I can get back to work.”

What domain would work for Joe? – It’s short, simple, it’s the name of his business, people remember it, that works.

However, if Joe came to me and said “I own a gallery in the city. I want a site that will display the artwork of our featured artists” – Then “” – would probably Not be appropriate. That would be a good time to go with the name of the Mythical Princess – because people are expecting portentous and pompous.

A common question I receive is “How did you come up with your domain?”

I was making pizza, for our families pizza and a movie night and it just came to me.
I laughed almost uncontrollably for 10 minutes, burnt the crust, then purchased the domain based solely on humor and adhesiveness. It doesn’t reflect what I do, but people remember it …….. and sometimes that’s all you need.

Google and Yahoo – are memorable and they provide a much needed service, those domains stick with people.

The one thing you don’t want is for someone to say “I know a site where you can get that. I can‘t remember the name, I‘ll email you a link tonight.”
We all know that ‘by tonight’ whomever wanted what, will have Google what they wanted and the transaction will have already been made.

We all know that memorable domains are scarce, but putting thought into WHO will be searching for you and WHAT you provide, will go a long way in creating a workable domain.

Elements used to create Featured image Artwork provided by Created by Jill.

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