10 Things to Avoid When Getting a Domain

Our previous article discussed things that make a domain better, but what might make a domain worse?

Even if you’re not on the hunt for a high quality domain, you should avoid getting something bad. Simply doing that may still put your domain above a lot of the competition.

Many people make the mistake of believing at worst, domains could be worth the registration fees paid for them. Bad domains can actually not only be completely worthless but even can cost you more money. Any marketing efforts used on a bad domain are less effective, and visitors lost or turned away represents missed potentials.

What bad qualities should you try to avoid in a domain?

1. Too long

Most people understand that 10 word, 60 character domains are bad. How long is too long through? There’s no set answer to that. A brandable phrase might have 4 or 5 short words, and a lengthy domain might only have 3 necessary but long words. Just keep in mind that the longer a domain is, the more there is to remember.

2. Confusing

Sometimes when you look at or hear a bad name, you just think “what’s that supposed to be?” Some good names are interesting and clever, but trying to be clever can backfire. If the majority of people looking at your name wouldn’t “get it”, it’s not a good name.

3. Hard to say or sounds awkward

Becoming a popular website involves many different aspects, but word-of-mouth usually is a big key to it. A name that is hard to say, hard to understand how to pronounce, or simply sounds awkward hurts that word-of-mouth potential.

4. Hard to spell or type

Many people wanting to go to your site may type the URL or your company name in a search engine. If they’re wrong and it’s not easy to figure out their mistake, you may have lost them.

5. Too weak for the extension

Using an alternative extension isn’t necessarily a bad thing these days. Using what amounts to a low-quality name on an alternative extension is a double whammy however. Your name becomes less interesting, which combined with not being on .com makes it much harder to remember.

6. Gives the wrong image

You can’t sell luxury items from a domain with “cheap” in it. Your name should target the market that would be interested in your product. Getting a name that appeals only to a completely different market will lose your true potential customers.

7. Too limiting

Some small businesses indeed start off with a very limited niche, which isn’t always bad. If that business wants to expand however, they should avoid getting a limiting name. A name targeting dog leashes would be hard to continue using as a full pet store. Having to rebrand later may be costly and lose customers.

8. Easily replaceable

The internet is filled with over 200 million registered domains and over 20 billion web pages. Having a name that blends in and is interchangeable with many other names used in your niche can hurt memorability. You need to give people a reason to look at you.

9. Hyphens

Once upon a time, hyphens were THE way to split words in domains. Hyphen domains can still be useful for SEO, but in brand domains they heavily lower the quality. Saying it aloud, you have to say “dash” or “hyphen” and people often forget to type it.

10. A lesser version

If you used a name like Ready2Go.com and didn’t also have ReadyToGo.com, your name becomes a lot worse. Many visitors will not remember “2” replacing “to” and type the “to” version instead. This doesn’t always spell doom but it can delay your success while people get used to your name’s variation.

Like with good qualities of domains, this list could be much larger, but these are the major bad qualities to avoid. A good starting point is to have as many good qualities and as few bad qualities as possible in your domain.

At Domainate we can work with you to find the best domain to brand or rebrand your website. We have looked at millions of domains over the years and understand the things to avoid in domains. If you need a domain, contact us and we can help you get the right one for your business.

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7 Comments on “10 Things to Avoid When Getting a Domain”

  1. […] article 10 Things to Avoid When Getting a Domain received some interesting feedback. One response in particular from one of the LinkedIn groups […]

  2. […] a straightforward process. Most of the time, you could simply look for good domain qualities and avoid bad ones. Like with the English language however, there are always […]

  3. […] Despite being only one word, the domain has many bad qualities […]

  4. […] the right domain for your business or website. Sure you want to look for good domain qualities and avoid bad ones to help ensure your success, but at the end of the day, the brand is what matters. Does the brand […]

  5. […] Not sure if something might be a flaw or not? See 10 Things to Avoid When Getting a Domain. […]

  6. […] ← 10 Things to Avoid When Getting a Domain The Future Outlook on Domain Names […]

  7. Sharon Hayes says:

    Reblogged this on Sharon Hayes Dot Com.


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