Choosing a Domain is the First, Crucial Step to Launching a Website

The first critical step that every would-be website owner must take is determining the appropriate domain name for the new site. While this may seem like an easy, straight forward process, it should be carefully considered and the decided-upon domain should be appropriate to the nature of the website or business that is being launched.  Here are several tips to consider when deciding on a new domain to register:

1. Consider the Extension – “TLD” is the term that many in the industry use to refer to “Top Level Domains.” This is merely a reference to the extension of the domain name, such as “.ie”, “.com” or “.net,” among others. Generally speaking, the“.com” extension is the most popular and the domain that is most readily remembered by those browsing the Web. However, there are many instances in which a country-specific top level domain is more appropriate. In the UK, for instance, the “” extension is extremely popular and a very appropriate choice. In Ireland, the .ie extension is the most popular and should generally be used by companies or websites based in that country. If the country is not a consideration in registering a domain, the “.com” extension is typically the best choice, though websites built for organizations, and especially non-profit organisations, may be best served by a “.org” top level domain.

2. Branding is Important – All other things being equal, the shorter the domain, the better. Your domain should also be easy to remember, so that someone seeing the domain in print, or hearing it spoken, can easily remember it. Branding is an important consideration as well, so if you feel as though your website is going to rely heavily on branding efforts, generic domain names are not as valuable as very specific domains. Be creative, and your branding efforts will be easier.

3. Keywords Can be Crucial – If branding is not a terribly important element of your website development or business plan, or if your branding efforts include a keyword or keyword phrase that is specific to your website or business, adding a keyword in the domain can be highly effective. This can also aid in search engine optimization, as the domain plays at least some role in determining rankings.

4. Dashes Are Best Avoided – If you can avoid dashes in your domain, do so. While a single dash is acceptable, domains with multiple dashes are seen as being “spammy” and can turn off would-be visitors. Dashes also make a domain harder to remember, and their presence may lead would-be visitors to type in an incorrect name when trying to recall your site’s domain.

Once you have decided on your domain name, it can be easily ordered from the website, at