How to Choose a Domain Name That Will Stand Out + What to Avoid

How to Choose a Domain Name That Will Stand Out + What to Avoid

A domain name is more than your web address. As the first element visitors see when accessing your website, it plays a significant role in your branding and marketing efforts.

With millions already registered, finding the best one for your website can be challenging. Luckily, there are guiding principles to help you find the perfect domain name for a more memorable site.

This article will provide 10 tips for choosing a domain name that boosts your business. We’ll also offer pointers on finding the right registrar for easy domain management.

10 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Whether you already have options or are starting from scratch, the following tips will help narrow down your domain name search.

1. Choose the Right TLD

A top-level domain (TLD) takes place in a domain name after the dot. For example, has .com as its domain extension.

Each domain extension caters to specific uses. For example, businesses often choose .com due to its popularity and versatility, while non-profit organizations lean towards .org. Websites targeting local audiences usually take advantage of country-code TLDs like or .us.

There are no restrictions on using specific TLDs for your website, except for non-public TLDs like .gov and .edu. However, each TLD can influence how users perceive your website, so it’s important to pick one that best suits your website’s goal.

Browse our list of domain extensions to see the available options and compare prices.

Domain Name Checker

Instantly check domain name availability.

2. Keep It Short and Simple

Having a domain that’s easy to spell and pronounce can boost your word-of-mouth marketing efforts. By making it catchy and memorable, you increase the chances of people remembering your web address and sharing it with others.

Using no more than 15 characters is one way to keep your domain name concise. To improve memorability, use two-word phrases relevant to your niche. For example, “gourmetbites” works for a food blog, while “canvascreation” is perfect for an art supplier site.

Play around with our domain checker for inspiration. Powered by AI, it can generate multiple domain options based on your brand description.

Hostinger domain name checker

3. Avoid Using Double Letters, Numbers, and Hyphens

Many users add numbers or hyphens to their domain name to make it more original or when their first choice is unavailable. Unfortunately, this approach often backfires, as it makes the domain harder to spell and memorize.

For the same reason, we recommend against using double letters in a domain name unless it’s integral to your brand. Words like “blogger”, “knee”, and “cocoon” are prone to typing errors, directing users to the wrong site.

Test your domain name with potential audiences to catch any issues with readability or memorability.

4. Watch Out for Trademarks

Before finalizing your domain name, conduct research to verify it isn’t trademarked or similar to existing brands. Doing so reduces the risk of rejection by your chosen registrar and prevents customer confusion and potential legal issues.

Trademark databases like the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and national trademark registries are good starting points for your research. If your first option isn’t available, consider adjusting the spelling or translating the name into your target audience’s native language.

Consult a legal expert to help navigate your domain search and registration process.

5. Implement Targeted Keywords

While a domain name doesn’t directly affect search engine optimization (SEO) performance, it can enhance it.

Besides having good readability and memorability, an SEO-friendly domain name should include keywords relevant to your brand’s niche. Keywords give visitors context about your website and boost your pages’ rankings for relevant search queries.

Let’s say you want to start a travel blog. Incorporating keywords like “flight” and “tourism” helps visitors understand your website’s goal. You can also experiment with niche keywords like “surf” and “beach” to narrow down your target audience even more.

Use keyword search tools like Keyword Planner to get insights into users’ search behavior and compile suitable keywords.

6. Consider Your Brand

As your domain plays a significant role in establishing your online presence, it should contain your brand name. This approach helps establish a memorable and professional image and boost brand recognition.

Registering a domain can be challenging if it doesn’t use unique words. If your first choice isn’t available, try using a different TLD or pair your brand name with another relevant keyword. Remember to prioritize readability and memorability over keyword stuffing.

See our guide on building a brand from scratch for ideas on aligning your domain name with your brand strategy.

7. Check Availability on Social Media

Using the same name for the domain and social media profiles is ideal for brand building. It creates familiarity, making it easier for visitors to find you on various platforms. Linking social accounts to your website can also boost customer engagement.

Once you narrow down your domain options, check their availability on popular social platforms with username checkers like Namecheckr or Namechk. Alternatively, add the word “official” to your social handle if your preferred domain is unavailable.

Checking domain availability on social platforms using Namechk

8. Check the Domain’s History

When a domain expires, it becomes available for re-registration. Buying a previously used domain with a history of spam can damage your brand and SEO from the start.

Use domain history checkers like Wayback Machine, WhoISrequest, or DomainTools to investigate your domain’s past. Look for red flags like spammy backlinks, malware, and questionable past content.

Checking domain history using WhoISrequest

9. Think Long-Term

If you aim to expand your brand in the future, make sure your chosen domain can grow with it.

For example, avoid using specific location names in your domain to make future business expansion into another region easier. We also recommend against using trendy terms, as they will eventually fall out of trend.

More importantly, consider the domain’s cultural and linguistic longevity. A good domain name should be able to adapt to changing language and social trends.

10. Purchase the Domain in Advance

Once you find the perfect domain, buy it immediately, even if your website isn’t ready yet. With around 33,000 new domains registered daily, delaying could mean losing out on your preferred name.

Some domain registrars may offer limited-time discounts on specific TLDs, giving you another reason to act fast. If you have the budget, register your domain for multiple years upfront to secure a lower price and avoid potential price hikes in the future.

How to Choose the Best Domain Registrar

After finding the perfect domain name for your website, register it through an ICANN-accredited domain registrar like Hostinger. We offer web hosting plans with free domains to simplify your website-building journey in one place. Alternatively, you can buy a domain separately starting at $0.99/year.

Hostinger web hosting banner

Here are some factors to consider when looking for the best domain registrar:

  • Registration period ‒ check if the registrar gives discounts for longer registration periods.
  • Domain transfer ‒ pick a domain registrar with flexible transfer policies.
  • Value for money ‒ some registrars, like Hostinger, offer free add-ons like WHOIS domain privacy protection and domain forwarding.
  • Domain extensions ‒ choosing a domain registrar with a wide range of TLDs means having more domain options.
  • Customer support ‒ make sure the domain registrar has reliable customer support to help troubleshoot issues.
  • Ease of use ‒ going with a user-friendly domain registrar can save you time and effort in managing your domain.
  • Renewal process ‒ pick a registrar that offers an auto-renewal feature to prevent your domain from expiring.


Choosing a memorable domain name is crucial for attracting visitors, boosting SEO efforts, and increasing brand awareness. Therefore, site owners need to strategize and plan carefully before buying one.

Here are the 10 essential tips on choosing the right domain name for your website:

  • Choose the right domain extension.
  • Keep your domain simple and short.
  • Use letters only.
  • Avoid trademarked names.
  • Incorporate relevant keywords.
  • Consider your brand.
  • Make sure the name is available on social media platforms.
  • Run a domain history check.
  • Consider the domain’s longevity.
  • Secure the right domain immediately.

We hope this article helped you find the ideal domain name to start your online venture. If you have any questions, check out the FAQ guide or leave a comment.

How to Choose a Domain Name FAQ

In this section, we’ll answer a few common questions related to choosing a domain name.

Can I Change My Domain Name Once It’s Registered?

No. You can’t change your domain name after registration, except if the domain is refundable and not activated yet. Otherwise, you’ll need to delete the domain name and purchase a new one.

Can I Register a Domain Name With Special Characters or Spaces?

No, you can’t. Domain names only allow letters, numbers, and hyphens. Moreover, domains can’t start or end with a hyphen.

Are There Any SEO Benefits to Purchasing a Previously Owned Domain?

It depends on the domain history. Domains with good reputations can offer SEO benefits by increasing site authority and building backlinks to your website.

The author

Jordana Alexandrea

Jordana is a Senior Content Writer with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing and web development. When she’s not busy with work, she dabbles in creative writing and movie reviewing. Follow her on LinkedIn.