Domain Name Ideas

Your domain name is your home on the web, and taking the time to pick a name that expresses what you do in a memorable way has benefits. Not only will visitors remember your name, but they're also less likely to confuse you with a competitor, misspell your domain, or make other errors. But how do you choose a domain idea?

Sit down for some brainstorming first. List your business name and variations on it. For example, Law Offices of Whitman & Coombs could become a domain of WhitmanCoombsLaw, LawOfficesofWhitmanCoombs, WhitmanCoombs, WCLaw, or other variations. Next, brainstorm the top five keywords that you associate with your business. For the law firm above, this might be law, attorney, criminal attorney, DUI lawyer, and geographic information about the city in which the firm is located.

Take your keywords and business name and start jotting down combinations. A name like ChicagoSalon sounds generic, but TrinaSalonChicago is more specific, and will be easy for your customers to remember. If your name is distinct, you may use it alone for your website name, or combine it with a keyword like this: WCLawDenver, or DUILawyerWhitmanCoombs.

Once you've got a list of names, check them for common errors that can lead users astray. Names that are plural as opposed to singular can be tricky to remember. Likewise, alternate spellings of words or misspellings (such as TrinaSaloonChicago) can be confusing. Run your name by the government's Copyright website,, to make sure that you're not infringing on an existing trademark. Failure to check existing copyrights at the outset could leave you in court fighting a lawsuit to keep your domain name, or having to change that website address down the road. Avoid hyphens, underscores, and other punctuation.

Once you have several names, check a domain registrar to see whether they're available. Since only one person can own a specific domain, you may not be able to hold your first choice name. If you want, try a different domain name extension for a variation on your top choice. If is not available, might be. Once you find a domain name that's available for purchase, snap it up to get started on your new website.