Before you can build and launch a website for your business, you first need to register your domain name. A domain name is a recognizable name that people use to access your website on the Internet through Internet browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. For example, on this website, we are using the domain name WebsiteDesigner.PH.
Your domain name can be one of your most valuable digital assets since it carries your brand. Its market value also increases as your business grows. If you own a business, it’s wise to register your perfect domain name as early as possible, even if you’re not yet starting to create your website.
Here are 8 tips that will help you learn how to choose the right domain name for your business in the Philippines:
1. Choose a domain name that matches your trade name.
The best domain name for your business is none other than the name of your company. For example, Google Inc has Google.com, Apple Inc has Apple.com, and Facebook Inc has Facebook.com.
By registering a domain name that exactly matches your registered company name, you are not only having the best domain name but you are also protecting your brand name from domain squatters who may use your trade name in inappropriate schemes.
2. Choose the best domain name extension.
The top and the most valuable domain name extension is the .COM. It should be your first choice. However, if your business name is common, you may find out that your desired domain name is already registered by other entities and not already available for your registration.
If that’s the case, you can consider other domain name extensions. If you’re making a website for a non-profit organization, you may choose a .ORG instead of a .COM. For businesses in the Philippines, a good choice if .COM is not already available is its equivalent in .PH.
To begin your search for the availability of your domain name, you can visit NameCheap.com for .COM, .NET, .ORG, and other top level domain name extensions. For .PH and .COM.PH, you may visit Dot.PH to search for their availability.
3. Keep it short and easy to remember.
You don’t need to include the full registered name of your business in your domain name. You can cut out the words Inc, company, association, foundation, et cetera. You do not also need to include the words that represent the place where your business is located, such as your city or country.
Those descriptive words, such as the type of your company and its place of business, can be included in your website’s title and description anyway. They are displayed in your website and in search engine results. Thus, even without including them in your domain name or URL, people can still see them.
4. Don’t rush.
Yes, take your time. Do brainstorming. Choosing the wrong domain name can be regretful. If you have chosen the wrong domain name for your website and decided to change it after a year or more of using it, the process of migrating to a new domain name can be costly. It may require you to hire a website developer, an online PR, and even an SEO expert to redirect your website users and search engines to a new URL.
5. Try to get your perfect domain name.
This means that if your first choice of domain name is not already available, try to offer the person or organization that has already registered it to buy your domain name from them. This may cost you a fortune, but if you have the money, consider investing in your perfect domain name.
Domain registrars, such as NameCheap, GoDaddy, and Dot.PH provide Whois information (i.e., the name of domain registrant, registrant’s organization, and date of registration and expiration) of the domain names that are already registered unless the registrant chooses to hide their Whois information and are not interested in selling their domain names.
If the registrant’s information is available, consider buying it from them. However, if you think that the price they are offering is not reasonable, consider choosing a .PH instead. Between a .PH and a .COM.PH domain name, I personally prefer a .PH since it’s shorter and easier to remember and type on a browser.
6. Claim your social media usernames.
Don’t forget to claim your username on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media pages. You may have successfully registered your perfect domain name. However, there’s a chance that your perfect username on Facebook is not already available.
For example, if your domain name is XYZBusiness.com, the perfect usernames are Facebook.com/xyzbusiness for Facebook and Instagram.com/xyzbusiness for Instagram. It’s the address people can use to visit your social media pages. Although social media usernames are not equally valuable as your domain name, isn’t it great if they match with each other?
7. Look for vouchers and promo codes.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get discounts. Some domain registrars always offer promo codes that give you a discount for your first year of domain name registration. For instance, Namecheap offers monthly coupons to give customers a certain discount for new registrations of .COM domain names.
8. Get full access to its domain name manager.
Last but not the least, always have the access to your domain name account and have the ability to manage it. There are website design and web hosting companies that offer free one year domain name registration but their clients don’t get the chance to access their domain names. This setup could create a problem for you in the future.
What if you stop your website hosting service? What if your website designer is not already reachable? I have seen some business owners who have lost access and ownership to their domain names because their website designers have left them, and they don’t have any access to their domain name registrar.
To prevent such a problem from happening, request your website designer to give you access to your domain name registrar so that you can manage it, renew it, or transfer it as you like. Here at WebsiteDesigner.PH, we manage all of our clients’ domain names since they are busy people, but we can simply push the domain name to their own domain name account so they can manage it themselves if they request it.
Another good security measure is to have a separate website hosting provider and a domain name registrar. Don’t let one company manage your website design, website hosting, and domain name registration. Don’t put all your eggs in a single basket.
Choosing what your domain name will be could be one of your most important business decisions. A domain name represents your business online and even offline. It’s what you will print in your business cards, letterheads, advertising banners, and other marketing materials. Make it real, short, simple and brandable. Finally, you may also register it for several years to make sure you will not forget to renew it when it expires after a year. Finally, you may also register it for several years to make sure you will not forget to renew it when it expires after a year.
Featured image by Burst