How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog 2022 (16 Tips & Free Tools)

How to choose a domain name for your blog
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When you have decided on your niche for your blog, it is time to select a catchy domain name.

In this post, you will know what a domain name is, the importance of a domain, and how to pick a domain name for your blog.

Let’s get started.

What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the unique address of your website. When people type your domain name in search engines, they will land on your website. 

You can find a domain name in the URL bar starting with HTTP:// or HTTPS://.

For example, http(s)//www.example.com.

HTTP(S) + Third-Level Domain (www) + Second-Level Domain (example) + Top-Level Domain (com)

Now, let’s have a closer look at what each part means.

HTTP(S): It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (Secure). HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. 

You need to have an SSL certificate on your website for the HTTPS shown in the URL.

www: It is a third-level domain (a.k.a. subdomain) that comes before your domain name. 

www. is considered the most common subdomain. However, a subdomain can come in many forms, such as offices.mikewhite.com or books.google.com. Here offices and books are thesubdomains.

Second-level domain (SLD): This part is the domain name of your blog/site. For example, createearnlive is the domain name (SLD) of this blog (htttps://www.createearnlive.com) you are visiting.

.com: This is a top-level domain (TLD) extension. 

Some other top-level domains are .org, .net. Some new TLDs: .fans, .fit, .tube, .club.

Why Do You Need a Domain Name?

A Necessary Requirement for Creating a Blog

You will need a domain name and a hosting provider to start a blog.

Think of your website as your home property. You will need a virtual address (your domain name) to visit your virtual home.

Intangible Asset

Notice Title

“A better domain name will lower your lifetime marketing costs.” – Frank Schilling

Your domain name is valuable to your business and your visitors in the long run.

Good names can evoke positive emotions and attract more visitors to your site. So it is worth taking time to pick a catchy domain name.

How to Pick a Domain Name for Your Blog

1. KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid

If you have a close look, many famous and successful websites’ domain names consist of 1 word (3-6 letters) to 2 words (6-12 letters).

More than 3 words (12+ letters) would run the risk of being misspelled and forgotten, so try to make your domain name short and memorable.

2. Pick the Domain that is Easy to Pronounce and Type

If a name is hard to pronounce, it is probably hard to spell and easy to forget.

When people type a domain name into search engines, it is not uncommon to misspell some words.

3. Perhaps Drop the Last Vowel

Some websites deliberately omit a vowel sound, such as Flickr or Namecheckr.

Something different can make your site easily stand out from the crowd.

However, when people misspell the name, you might lose some traffic. For this reason, some website owners will also purchase the most possible misspelled versions of their domains and other variants to get all the traffic.

4. Use keywords in Your Domain Name

It is nice if your domain name can include a keyword or two so visitors and Google can get the idea of your blog just by checking your domain.

However, it is not necessary. Without keywords, it gives you more flexibility in the content you write on your website.

Also, if you use keyword-heavy domain names, you might get a penalty from Google in the name of keyword stuffing.

5. Avoid Hyphens, Numbers, and Symbols

Pure alphabetic characters would look chic, consistent, and professional, whereas adding hyphens, numbers, and uncommon symbols might increase the chances of misspelling.

For example, if you use 4 in your domain, some people might type “four” instead of a numeral digit (e.g., www.photos4you.com towww.photosforyou.com). This is a made-up example.

Hyphens (- or blank) and symbols (&) couldalso be confusing as there are different possibilities to type them (e.g., www.foodie&white.net orwww.foodieandwhite.net – another made-up example).

If you think it is necessary to use them, you can consider registering all the variants, but the bills will be higher.

6. Consider Misinterpretations

Word conveys meaning, and it matters.

People may interpret the same name differently. You don’t want a name with many meanings to confuse your visitors.

On the safe side, it is always good to check before making a decision.

You can use dictionaries like the Urban Dictionary to find out if the chosen name contains slang, cultural words, or obscure phrases, especially if you choose abbreviations.

You wouldn’t find this information in traditional dictionaries.

7. Don’t Have To Buy Premium Domain Names

Premium names are pretty expensive. Unless you are on a big budget, don’t buy a premium name.

You don’t need it, especially if you are a beginner.

Name matters, but what you deliver (content) on your website is far more important than what your blog is called.

8. Tools For Domain Name Ideas

It is hard to think of a catchy name out of nowhere. Here are some tips to help you.

Check Competitors

You can check out the most popular and successful names in your niche to get some inspiration first.

Use Dictionaries

You can write down a list of keywords in your niche and then use a dictionary for synonyms called Thesaurus and WordHippo (a dictionary for word forms, rhymes, and more).

How to pick a domain name for your blog using Thesaurus and WordHippo
Left image: Thesaurus | Right image: WordHippo

9. Get Inspired from Name Generators

You can also use some name generators to get more inspiration.

10. Choose an Appropriate Domain Extension for Your Blog

A domain extension comes after your domain name. 

There are domain extensions like gTLDs (generic top-level domains) and ccTLDs (country code top-level domains). 

You can target a wider audience globally with gTLDs. 

For example,

  • .com – commercial websites
  • .biz – online businesses
  • .org – (non-profit or charitable) organizations
  • .edu – education
  • .gov – government 

There are also some new top-level domain extensions such as .me, .club, .info, .coffee, .pizza.

On the other hand, ccTLDs are geographically related extensions for specific groups of audiences. 

For example,

  • .us – the United States
  • .uk – the United Kingdom
  • .ca – Canada 
  • .de – Germany
  • .us – the United States
  • .io – the British Indian Ocean Territory

Apart from the domain name, the appropriate domain extension can also tell your potential visitors some information like the location or categories of your business.

I would recommend using .com if possible because it is well-established (introduced in 1985) and one of the most popular domains in the virtual world.

This is probably why all your loved domain names with .com have been registered.

Besides, some people think .com is the extension for most websites. Or some may think the new extensions sound dodgy. If those are your visitors, you might lose their traffic for not choosing .com.

So if you have just started a blog, it is wise to choose .com for your domain extension because it is reliable, popular, and trustworthy. However, it doesn’t mean other extensions are not as great as the .com one.

If your business is focused on a specific geographic location, it is smart to pick a domain extension from the ccTLDs.

For instance, if you have a hair salon business in New York, you can have a name like justhair.nyc. Here .nyc is the domain extension that stands for New York City. When your business gets bigger, and you plan to have branches in other cities or countries, you can simply purchase the same domain name with different extensions such as justhair.london, justhair.de.

11. Protect Your Domain Name

If you can see yourself in the same business for more than 3 years, you can protect your brand by purchasing the same domain name with different gTLDs or ccTLDs (depending on the locations of your target audience) at the earlier stages.

For example, if your ideal domain name is financewallet.com, you can also buy the following domain extensions:

  • financewallet.net
  • financewallet.org
  • financewallet.co
  • financewallet.uk
  • financewallet.us
  • and more

If you have bought all or some of them, your competitors couldn’t buy them. Plus, it is also appealing to international visitors with the ccTLDs.

12. Check Availability

It is so true that many catchy names with the .com extension probably have already been snapped up. So if you have any great names in mind, check the availability with your domain registrar.

If it is available and you like it, grab it immediately. Don’t hesitate because it will be gone soon if the name is SO good.

However, if it is taken, which happens all the time, don’t get discouraged. Just think of other alternatives or use the same domain name but get a different top-level extension. For example, if the domain tastypizza.com has been registered, you can consider tasty.pizza.

Even a domain name is taken, it doesn’t mean you can’t have it. You can make an offer to the seller, buy your desired registered domain (fixed price) in a marketplace or wait for the domain registration to expire.

Note that a domain name registered long ago (such as 1989) could be very expensive.

13. Be Aware of Trademarks

When you come up with a great domain name, you don’t want to get involved in legal issues (domain name infringement) later on.

Make sure you check if the name has already been trademarked or copyrighted by another company before registration. If so, drop it.

14. Do the Domain History Check

You don’t want your handpicked domain name associated with some dodgy websites that Google has penalized before.

Wayback Machine

You can use the Wayback Machine (search the history of over 598 billion web pages) to check if the domain name has been used before and what the website is about.

How to use the Wayback Machine to do domain name history check

If the domain name has been used in the past, you should expect to see some activities.

For instance, when you hover over the specific date in the image (such as January 28, 2011) and click on the particular time, you can see a snapshot of the site.

Whois History

Another tool to check domain name history is who.is

You can find the following information about a registered domain using this tool.

  • Domain owner contact information
  • Domain availability status
  • The registrar company where the domain is registered
  • Registration and expiration dates of a domain
  • The nameservers the domain is using

If the domain owner doesn’t have domain privacy protection, you will see more contact details (the owner’s address, phone number, and email address). Then you can try to contact the owner to ask questions like: 

  • How long have you owned the domain?
  • Where did you buy it?
  • What did you use it for (any criminal activities)?

Having enough relevant information will give you more confidence in buying the domain.

Google

If you have any questions, ask Google. The same rule applies to your domain concerns (previously owned domain).

Simply type site:yourdomainname.com into Google; you should be able to see all the indexed pages on Google.

If there is nothing, it is a red flag that you should investigate the details.

15. Be Safe by Picking a Brand New Domain Name For Your Blog

If you want to play safe, you can choose a brand new domain name, so you don’t have to worry about trademarks or any odd activities associated with your name.

16. Domain Pricing 

Price varies depending on what domain you choose and where you register it. 

What: Short and popular domain names along with top-level domains could be more expensive. 

As for traditional top-level domains, the standard price could range from $6 to $15. However, newer TLDs could be more pricey (such as $10-$25). 

Where: Some registered domain names (at a premium price) are for sale. If you purchase it from an auction, the price could be high (such as $5900). By contrast, purchasing from a reputable domain registrar would be much cheaper. 

How to Register a Domain Name from a Reputable Domain Registrar

Once you have decided on your domain name, the domain registration process is quite simple.

First, you will need to find a reliable domain registrar to register your domain name. 

I use and recommend Namecheap for the following reasons. 

Competitive Price

As its name suggests, there is a wide selection of cheap top-level domains.

FREE Privacy Protection for Life

It is important to have this protection in place, and it is FREE forever on Namecheap.

  1. It keeps your information private, which means your contact details will not be shown on the whois database. 
  2. You wouldn’t be bothered by unwanted sales calls, unexpected visits to your house, or experience some scams and frauds. They are annoying, disturbing, and time-consuming.
  3. Privacy protection adds another layer to your site security as attackers couldn’t access your private information easily.

Customer Support

The fully dedicated support team (Real People) is available 24/7. You are in good hands if you have any issues.

Available Domain Names 2022

You can type your desired name in the search box below and hit the Search button once ready.

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Register Your Domain Name

Assuming you have researched your desired domain name based on the tips and tools, now I will show you how to register this name on Namecheap.

Go to Namecheap, type your desired domain name in the search domain box, and click on the Search button.

How to check available domain names 2022

I have made up this domain name (crazyaboutarts.com) for the demo.

How to register a domain name on Namecheap

Then you will see a list of the names with different extensions.

You can choose the one you like and click Add to cart. At the bottom of the page, you will see the Total Price and the Checkout button.

Click on the Checkout button, and then you can review the order.

You will see the domain registration fee ($8.88/y) along with an ICANN fee ($0.18/y) on this page.ICANN, (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is an organization that regulates domain registrars in general.

Review the registration fee and confirm the order

Then you can choose the number of years (from 1 year to 10 years) that you want to register. The registration fee in the image is for 1 year.

Note: If you forget to renew your domain before the expiration date for some reason, you might not be able to renew it at a regular price (a redemption fee might occur).

If your domain name goes back to the domain market, everyone could register it; then, you might lose your domain. Or some may charge you a high price to give it back to you.

Luckily, by default, the auto-renew button for domain registration and domain privacy is on, so rest assured.

Under the Improve Your Site section (on the same page), you will see SSL, VPN, EasyWP WordPress, Web Hosting, and Professional Email.

Additional offers to improve your site on Namecheap

You can ignore these additional features if you only want to buy a domain name.

As for SSL, WordPress web hosting, and professional site mail, some hosting providers like SiteGround offer all these for FREE.

If you have a promo code, you can enter it. After reviewing the order, then you can click Confirm Order.

If you don’t have one, the next step is to set up a Namecheap account.

Create a Namecheap account after picking a domain name for your blog

After setting up the account, you can choose your preferred payment method and enter the details. Then click Continue.

Choose a payment method to register a domain name on Namecheap

Next, you will be taken to the payment summary page. You can confirm the chosen payment method.

Now, you have successfully registered your desired domain name. Then you can review your order or download your receipt on the page.

As of January 1, 2014, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has mandated that all ICANN accredited registrars begin verifying the WHOIS contact information for all new domain registrations and Registrant contact modifications.

This message requires you to verify your email address. You can follow the instructions and click the link in theemail from Namecheap.

Now go to your Namecheap account > Dashboard > Domain List, and then you can view your registered domain’s status.

View your registered domain's status on your Namecheap account

Get Your Desired Domain Name and Act Fast!

Now you know how to pick a domain name for your blog and register it. It is your turn to take action.

Note that it is much easier to spend some time coming up with a great domain name for your blog instead of changing your domain name after starting a blog. It is possible to change your domain later, but there is a list of things to do, especially for older sites.

Want to choose a hosting provider for your blog? Check out my detailed SiteGround review here.

Do you think I’ve missed anything? Or do you have some other great tools you use to pick a domain name for your blog? Let me know in the comments!

How to pick a domain name for your blog
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