Choosing a Domain Name – Part 1 – Rules For Bloggers #20

by on January 29, 2011

My wife and her friend are starting a website together and had trouble picking out a good domain name.  They had plenty of good ideas but it was hard to come up with the ideal name that was still available.

Between the number of real sites and domain squatters, most of the good keyword targeted domains are taken, so creativity is a must.  But keep it within reason.

They aren’t targeting a particular product or keywords like I would do with a money making website, but they want to write together about a subject that interests them.

Let’s just say for example, their website is going to be about sewing.  Simple domains like,,, are all long gone.  So how to pick one given the more limited options?

We’re talking here about the first part of the domain.  Don’t worry about the .com or .org or .net part yet.  That’s next time.  Pick a good first part, and see where it leads you.

Domain Name Rules

Keep in mind the following four qualities when choosing a domain name.  Your site should meet at least two of these.   Good luck meeting all four, but if you can you have a winner.

  1. Keep It Short – ideally under 8 characters before the .
  2. Must Be Relevant – For the sewing example, make sure it tells people this site is going to be about sewing.
  3. Make it Memorable – See what I did there?  Make it Memorable, both words start with M, sticks in your head a little.
  4. Keyworded – If you want search engines to find you, put keywords people might search for in there.  At least one keyword related to what your site is about.  Sew, sewing, thread, fabric, etc.

How To Check Domain Availability

Simple, type it in below!  Don’t get frustrated if the first few sites you try aren’t available.  Be creative!

Site Naming Examples – Fits none of these qualities.  People are always tempted to put their personal names in domain names.  Unless your personal name is a brand or you want it to become a brand, don’t bother. – Fits none of these qualities.  Too many people pick site names like this. – Not bad!  It fits #2, #4, and comes close to #1. – Even better!  Meets pretty much all of them.  Too bad it’s taken. however is available, as is!

Stay tuned for Choosing a Domain Name – Part 2 where I’ll go over what’s at the end.  Do you need a .com?  Can you get a .org if you aren’t a non-profit?  And more!

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