The domain name is part of the first impressions that people have of a site. Just like a business card, the company, the brand, or the blog will be able to present itself with its name and its top-level domain extension (otherwise known as the TLD for top-level domain).
If, basically, the domain name makes it possible to translate the numbers of an IP address, it’s the distinctive sign and the essential element of any internet site.
This first discovery of the DNA of a website is done well before the pages are loaded. Choosing a domain name is therefore no small matter: everything is in the name and in the sound that it will have. Adding your brand, keywords? Choosing a particular extension?
The future visitors must be there, and your name must convince them!
Kind of a lot of pressure, isn’t it? Don't worry—once the structural and legal bases are presented to you to register your domain name, a few marketing rules later, and your URL will be impeccable. It’s easy…just follow the guide!
What is a domain name?
On the internet, all websites have a domain name, a necessity that becomes a powerful marketing lever. People will be able to know at a glance what your brand and your DNA are.
Here’s a reminder of what a domain name is and how to use it for optimal reach, both for your visitors and for Google!
Definition of a domain name
The domain name is the equivalent of your postal address. It’ll determine the path through which users and search engines will behave to your website. It’s therefore a path as well as the DNA of your platform.
The domain name is unique: once it’s chosen and available, it’s reserved and cannot be used by a third party.
What should a domain name look like?
A web address is always composed of the same characteristics. Blog, ecommerce, showcase site... All types of websites are composed of the following specific elements:
- Top-level domain (TLD): the local or international ending, like .fr or .com
- Second-level domain: the complete name before the .fr, .com, or .org...
For example, in the URL “wizishop.com,” the first-level domain or TLD is “.com,” and the second-level domain is “wizishop.”
There’s also the third-level domain or subdomain, as in the URL “help.wizishop.com”: “help” is the subdomain separated by a dot from the second-level domain “wizishop.”
To be able to register it, it’s necessary to verify the availability of the desired name, which is generally pretty easy to do. To do this, many providers offer this service. Once this data is verified, the service consulted will be able to contact a registration organism in charge of the chosen TLD (registrar), like AFNIC and InterNIC, for example.
- AFNIC: all “.fr” domains are managed there
- InterNIC: for all the “.com” extensions
The registrars are the link between the user wishing to launch their site and these institutions. To be able to offer an address with several TLDs, these firms must turn to each of the organizations.
WiziShop takes care of registering your domain name: all you have to do is send us your information, and we’ll unlock your domain name for you!
The great advantage of choosing WiziShop is being able to check the availability of your NDD directly when you register!
Create your online store - 15-day free trial
What is the maximum character length of a domain name?
Length, content, extensions, accents... The composition of domain names is very delicate. Not too much information but enough data to allow users to recognize you: a marketing strategy as a pillar of your success.
Here are some tips to choose the right equation!
How many words maximum for my website name?
In many areas of the world, the creation of domain names is quite free. Nevertheless, here are some essential points to know:
- The maximum number of characters is 63 per subdomain, but it’s advisable to limit yourself to 59 characters to match all browsers’ counters. Of course, it’s recommended to have a second-level domain with a maximum number of about 15 characters.
- The length of a domain name is 2 characters minimum before the TLD.
- The characters are letters from “a” to “z,” numbers from “0” to “9,” and hyphens “-.”
- Other symbols and punctuation aren’t allowed.
- Hyphens cannot be stuck to TLDs (just before .fr or .com).
- Subdomains are separated by a dot; the higher one is at the beginning of the name.
- Accents aren’t banned, but they’re not recommended, especially when creating a domain name that’ll be available as an email address, because email addresses cannot contain accents.
The importance of the extension
The TLD or top-level domain is at the end of the name. Some extensions are more popular than others, like .com, .org, .net, or even .store for ecommerce domains, but national extensions are also very present, like .fr for France or .mc for Monaco, for example.
There are two types of TLDs available:
- Location TLDs, by region or country: these TLDs indicate the place of origin of the Internet site. Countries all have an extension that distinguishes them. Some regions also have their own extensions like “.corsica” for Corsica or “.bzh” for Brittany.
- Generic TLDs: these relate to the offer proposed by the website. ".com" was originally reserved for commercial offers, while “.org” refers to organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or associations.
In order to be sure to obtain an optimal impact, we advise you to register your name with several different TLDs. This will allow you to protect yourself from any risk of competition or piracy of your brand identity by cybersquatters.
How do you choose a domain name?
Now it’s time to use your imagination and common sense to optimize your web address as much as possible while catching the eye and staying in the minds of the people visiting your site. An effective ecommerce domain name is going to follow you throughout the life of your online business: your brand image is at stake!
How to find a good domain name: the choice of your name
The domain name is usually closely related to the brand name that the website will represent. The big brands choose short and simple names: “Dior.com,” “hermes.com,” “apple.com,” etc. In short, you’ll have understood that your brand name will be at the center of your domain name.
In addition, beyond your main URL, think about all the other channels attached to your link: your communication media and your social networks are going to mention your website. It’s better to find a name that matches your company! It must contain your DNA, a “personality” trait, etc.
What’s more, finding an original name will boost your visibility from a marketing point of view but also keep you away from any competitive issues, including the intellectual property of your brand name.
If you sell surfboards made in California and your brand name is “Wave,” the domain is surely going to be taken. But think about keywords that could be similar to you: “wave-store,” “wave-in-california,” “wave-surfshop,” etc. Be imaginative and avoid special characters that can’t be transcribed into URLs.
Choosing a website name: the importance of SEO
Choosing the right store name and domain name when you want to launch your online activity is very important for people visiting your site, but it can also be important for search engines.
First of all, you must be careful not to position your choice for keywords and information too close to pre-existing websites and or competitors. If you come up on the same level as similar content, you risk entering into a competition that’s too tough, ending in users turning to your SERP neighbor!
The names of the sites will influence the names of their domains. Only when users and professionals choose to push domain names to push SEO, beware!
Regulations have evolved over the years. Today, the rules are clear: you shouldn’t overload your URL with keywords and other information, at the risk of being penalized by Google in particular.
Exact match domains (EMDs) like “plumber-paris-17” or “pharmacy-marseille-10” are names to avoid to keep your professional side! They can also be considered by Google as spam, wishing to force the algorithm to obtain a better ranking.
Focus instead on the quality of the content added to your website and your popularity on the internet. These are the criteria that will be at the center of your SEO strategy.
What is the best domain name? Examples of record sales
People like the clarity of easy, recognizable, and short domain name choices that are easy to remember. Internet users or search engines, you need to pay attention to the data that must be part of your marketing strategy.
Avoid names that are too long in terms of characters: sentences and expressions are very difficult to read, even with a hyphen. The information, your data, shouldn’t be too numerous to be able to reach users very quickly.
To inspire you, let’s focus on 10 domain name sales records:
- business.com: $345 million
- CarInsurance.com: $49.7 million
- Insurance.com: $35.6 million
- VacationRentals.com: $35 million
- PrivateJet.com: $30.18 million
- Voice.com: $30 million
- Internet.com: $18 million
- 360.com: $17 million
- Insure.com: $16 million
- Fund.com: £9.99 million
As you can see, the right domain name is crucial. It must contain your identity in order to make you known to the whole world! Users will have your brand name in mind, an essential marketing lever in the long term.
Now, all you have to do is find the ideal name for your unique brand. Once you’ve decided on your idea, at WiziShop, we’ll take care of the whole installation of your domain name. So, let us guide you towards your success with WiziShop!
Create your online store - 15-day free trial