Anyone who has ever faced the choice of a domain name for their own or a third-party site knows that this is not a tricky business. Some, without thinking twice as a name, choose the name of their own company, others – a phone number (and it happens) or a field of activity, but some still decide to be confused and enlightened in this topic.
Let’s take a closer look at this dilemma and first understand the general points.
What is a domain
Domain is a unique identifying address of a web resource on the Internet and consists of several parts (levels). For example, let’s take a site: https://www.city.example.com:
.com – 1st level domain (domain zone or top-level domain)
example – 2nd level domain
city - 3rd level domain (subdomain)
www – prefix (subdomain or 4th level domain)
https: // – data transfer protocol
Levels are counted from the end, that is, from right to left, a standard domain name can consist of at least two exemple.com levels. This will already be enough to get a full-fledged address for your site.
There is a generally accepted classification of domain zones. It includes:
- Subject domains: .shop, .wiki, .art, .blog
- International domains: .org, .net, .com, .biz
- National domains: .ru, .рф, .ua, .su, .kz
- Regional domains: .moscow, .tatar, .london, .melbourne, .berlin
Now, having figured out what a domain zone is and having chosen the appropriate one, let’s move on to the main point – choosing a domain name for the site.
When composing a domain name, you need to know and understand the following basic rules:
The characters of the Latin alphabet are acceptable, but depending on the domain zone, the characters of the national alphabet (IDN domains) may be appropriate. The case of characters (upper or lower) is not limited.
Hyphen is allowed, except for the beginning and end of the name. Sometimes the underscore character is allowed, but this also depends on the domain zone.
Figures. A domain name can consist entirely of numbers, but this is often a dubious decision, only appropriate in exceptional cases.
The total length of all characters of a domain name cannot exceed 255, and the maximum length of a name at each level is not more than 63. The minimum length is 3 characters, with the exception of some domain zones, where the minimum number of characters can be limited to two.
The registration period usually varies from 1 to 10 years.
What else to consider when choosing a domain name
If the brand already exists and, even better, it is well known, for example, in your city, then it is definitely worth buying a domain with the brand name.
The domain should reflect as clearly as possible the theme of the site and the direction of activity (stroymat.ru, auto.com, etc.). You can search for a domain name with the entry of keywords. This, of course, is not an important ranking factor, however it is taken into account. At a minimum, search engines highlight keywords in the domain name, which grabs the attention of users and increases the number of visits:
Try to choose a name that is easy to remember, shorter, in one or two words and, if possible, without unnecessary hyphens and underscores.
A domain zone of only the first level is recommended, for example .ru, not .ru.com or org.ru, etc. In addition to the fact that such an address does not look standard and less status, it can cause distrust of the resource on the part of visitors, since such zones are often one of the cheapest (or generally free) and are in demand when placing fraudulent resources.
Another plus is if the domain expresses regional affiliation. Not only domain zones are used, but also numeric designations in the name, for example go38.ru, novosibirsk154.ru, etc.
Little-known or thematic zones will be appropriate only if they correspond to the specifics of the site’s activities, otherwise it can mislead the visitor and, accordingly, increase the bounce rate with all the ensuing negative consequences.
Try not to combine the Cyrillic alphabet and the domain zone in the Latin alphabet or vice versa (flowersonline.com or saite.rf are bad options, at least it is inconvenient to switch the keyboard layout). But this rule can have an exception, for example, the combination “create.website” looks quite appropriate and easy to remember. Such a play on words is able to present a resource more profitable and interesting on the search results page.
And just in case, check that the domain does not have an inappropriate value in combination with the domain zone (nas.ru, pos.su, etc.).
Domain name generation services
If you can’t come up with an interesting or suitable name, then domain name generation services are in a hurry to help! They are quite capable of picking up something worthwhile, be sure to try it. Here is some of them:
- Lean Domain Search
- Business name generator
- Name Mesh
- Domain Name Generator
- Domain typer
- Domain Name Brain
The platforms given are in English, but this does not make it difficult to work with them, since their essence is quite simple. Enter a keyword, abbreviation, or other meaning, and you get different variations in the output. Simple and convenient.
Hosting a site on the old domain
As a rule, the desire to purchase a valid domain arises for the following reasons:
- The ideal and laconic version that you have come up with, unfortunately, is already taken, but is put up for sale.
- The old domain has a certain trust with the search engines, there are links to it, which means it will probably be easier to promote it.
It is also possible that you already have a seasoned domain available. Let’s consider the main arguments for and against.
New domain – a blank sheet of paper on which you will have to write your story from scratch. But it will not disappoint with possible inherited filters and sanctions from search engines, and it will cost significantly less.
But the promoted domain and competent transfer of your new site to it may well simplify the promotion of a web resource. To do this, you need a competent and well-thought-out approach:
The subject of the resource should be similar or very close to the one that was previously. You shouldn’t buy a domain name that had a bike site to host an animal feed site, even if the TCI domain is impressively large.
If you buy a domain with an excellent topic and drastically change the content of the site (not the design, but the content), then search engines have the right to reset the trust indicator to your site.
If your resource was previously hosted on a different domain name, be sure to set up redirects to new urls.
A significant advantage will be a similar structure to the site that previously lived on the old domain (for example, the CNC of individual pages can completely duplicate those that were previously).
Link anchors also need to be adjusted to the theme of your site.
It is allowed to borrow some keywords and phrases of the previous resource for promotion, but in practice, as a rule, the positions still decrease.
It is most efficient to use the current domain without downtime, due to which the previous site could completely fly out of search (about 1-3 months).
You should check the contents of the domain in the web archive and make sure that the site is not empty.
It is almost impossible to fully check the history of a domain, but Yandex.Webmaster and Google Search Console are suitable for determining the current state.
In the “Diagnostics” → “Security and Violations” section, pay attention to all current violations and threats:
In order to determine whether the required name is taken, various Whois services are used, for example: www.reg.ru/whois/ or www.whois-service.ru/
Finally, don’t forget to check your link profile! We have an article on this topic here.
Where to buy a domain
Previously used domains can be purchased at domain name auctions. Domains are published there, which may soon become available, and you, in turn, can monitor, make pre-orders or try to find an interesting domain name using filters.
A vivid example of such an auction is the Domain Name Auction from RU-CENTER. You can buy a new domain on the same RU-CENTER, through the store.
For a change, here are some of the most popular domain auctions:
- Famous Webnames and GoDaddy auctions.
- New as well as old domains can be bought at Reg.ru and DomenShop.
With the right approach to business, a seasoned domain is still able to serve for the benefit of a fresh site.
If you are a beginner, it makes sense to stop at choosing a new and untouched domain, and then start promoting it. In most cases, this scenario is simpler and more predictable than dealing with a previously used domain. But if you have any questions, be sure to ask them to our specialists – they will clarify any moment and help you place an application for a really necessary service.