Do’s and Don’ts of Securing a Domain Name

One of the most important things you need to do if you are ever serious about starting a website is get your own domain name. Having your own domain name is not only good in establishing your website’s identity and credibility, it also gives you a lot of freedom and minimizes the risk of losing your audience if you ever need to move to a different host.

However, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when choosing a domain name. Remember that you’ll be stuck with it for a long time, so you have to make sure you pick the one that is perfect for your website. A mistake during the choosing stage can be costly or even irreparable after a year or so. If you want to avoid this scenario, you should consider the following DOs and DONTs of securing a domain name:

Do: Incorporate a Location or a Keyword in Your Domain Name

There are a number of good reasons why you should incorporate a location or a keyword in your domain name. First is that there is a big chance that the domain name you had in mind is already taken. Instead of choosing a different name, you can instead use a location or a keyword to differentiate yourself from the others. Additionally, it will help you attract traffic from people who are specifically looking for businesses based on location.

Don’t: Forget to Renew Your Domain Name Registration

You should pay your domain name registration several years in advance, unless you’re merely testing a domain name. If you’ve bought a domain that you’re planning to use indefinitely, you should put it on auto-renew. Forgetting to renew your domain can be disastrous, especially if you have a very popular website with massive traffic. On the one hand, getting your domain suspended because you forgot to renew could result in your site going down for everybody. On the other hand, it also means that people who are specifically looking to snipe popular domain names might be able to snatch your precious domain from you, and either use it for themselves or hold it for ransom.

Do: Ensure That the Domain Name is Relevant to the Site

You’re not going to get the full benefit from search engines if you have a website about flowers and gardening while using an unrelated domain name, like Make sure your domain name at least matches something in your site’s theme or the company name. Mismatched domain and content will not only wreak havoc on your search engine placement, it’s also going to make your website look cheap and amateurish.

Don’t: Use Domain Names That Are Too Long

You thought you were being clever by registering, but you’ll realize it’s a bad idea once you find out that nobody in the world managed to memorize your domain name, and that the only visitors you are getting are the random visitors who only reach your website through search engine hits. There are already people who fail to reach websites with 6 letter domain names due to incorrect spelling. Imagine how many people will misspell your 48-letter URL?

Do: Register the Domain Under Your Own Name

Domain names should be treated the same way you do real estate properties. Do you really want your real estate property to be registered to someone else who may run away with it? Of course not. You should have the same policy for domain names. Keep it under your own name or your business name, just so you’re not leaving a loophole anywhere. If you need to keep things private, you can enable WHOIS masking during registration, which should only incur a minimal cost.

Don’t: Use Abbreviations or Dashes in Your Domain Name

As much as possible, you want to make it as easy as possible to remember your domain name off the cuff. You don’t want to miss out on a lot of visitors who were confused with a dash (or the lack thereof) only to type in the domain incorrectly. This will also make you prone to domain name snipers who might want to steal traffic from you by using versions of your domain name minus the dash. Or in cases where you used a dash because someone else already registered the domain name you had in mind, you could end up losing a certain amount of traffic from people who forgot about the dash.

Do: Prioritize .Com extensions.

The thing is, when it comes to URL, people tend to go with dot com. Even browsers try to append dot com to a word if you type it at the address bar. This is a byproduct of the fact that the Internet has become synonymous with .com domains, and that anything else is deemed amateurish in comparison. So don’t try to go with that .me or .to extension even if they are cheaper. At the very least, you can opt for a .NET or a .ORG if a .COM is too expensive. You only need to look at the prices of domain names just to see how much better a .com is – a .com is usually priced way higher than its .net and .org counterparts, while other extensions are significantly cheaper.

Do: Check a Domain Name’s History Before Securing It

Sometimes you’ll come a cross a cheap .com domain name that is a very common word, and you’re wondering if it’s your lucky day. Chances are, it’s not. You might want to check the history of the domain – it could be something that has been deregistered after being taken to court and considered as infringing on another company’s trademark, or maybe it’s a domain that was already blacklisted on search engines and VPNs due to illegal activity. If you can’t afford to consult a lawyer over domain names, you can check out its history at


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