What is a Domain Name and How to Choose One in Seven Steps

Do you already have an identity on the internet through a domain name? Do you know what a domain name is how they work? For you to have an online presence you need a domain name, and a good one. That is why knowing what it is and how domains work is vital for creating a memorable and successful online presence.

In this article I will show you in great detail about domain names and how they work, so read on.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the identity of your website on the web. The same way offline you need an address for your house so that people can easily find you. In the internet is also the same, you need an address for your blog or site so that when people search for that name they can find you.

Normally a domain name is divided in three parts and usually has the following format: www.domain.com, where:

WWW: it stands for World Wide Web

Domain name: this is the name of your domain name

TLD: .COM: this is the top-level domain (TLD), and there are so many variations for this one, the .com however, being the most popular one. There are different types of TLDs, for example:

.com: this is mostly used for businesses

.edu: this is for education, schools, and universities

.org: this is for organizations

.gov: this is for the government

.me: this is for a personal domain

.tv: this is for tv programs or video sites if you like

And the list goes on and on, at least now you understand what TLDs are and how they work.

To get  a domain name you need to register it on a place called a domain registrar, and you do this by placing your chosen name in a form and search to see if it is available. The most popular domain registrars are Enom and Namecheap. Many web hosting companies allow you to register your domain name when you set up your hosting account.

 Subdomain vs Subdirectory

Subdomain: A subdomain is the name that comes before the domain name, it is the first level of the domain name. In this case www.domain.com, the WWW would be the subdomain of that domain name. Normally what you do when you create a subdomain is that you give it a name, for instance it could be store.domain.com. Where “store” is the subdomain. What you need to know is that a subdomain comes before the domain name.

When you create a subdomain it becomes a separate website from the main site that is on your domain. So you must know that the content that comes on the site has nothing to do with the content that is on the main site. That is because it is a singular site with its own identity.

Subdirectory: The subdirectory is what comes after the domain name preceded by a forward slash (/), in this case it would be www.domain.com/store. Where you create the subdirectory by creating a folder for it and upload all the files in it. And these are all separate website

Seven Steps to Choose the Right Domain Name


  • Easy to remember

Your domain name has to easy for people to remember, the last thing you want is for people to forget about your domain name. If you are a business site that is not good for you because if people cannot remember your site’s name they will look for your competitor. So always make sure that the average person will not forget the your domain name.

Avoid using difficult names that have to do with your language, unless it’s a local website and everybody can easily relate to your language. That could be an exception.

  • With a .com TLD

This is a general advice and not a rule because every website is different and the purpose of each site online is also different. But all things being equal it’s always advisable to start with a .com extension. This is because it’s the most popular domain extension and people are already used to it. I am sure that things might change in the future especially with the new customized TLDs.

If you cannot find a .com for your name you can try playing around with variations of the same until you find one that suits you and that you are comfortable with.

  • Easy to  Spell

Spelling is a big issue, and not everybody knows how to spell. Even though we all expect everybody to know how, however, that is not always the case. So make sure that your domain name is not complicated to spell, make it easy for me please. What i am trying to say is do not make people think, they have a lot to think already.

  • Without Numbers

Avoid using numbers, and if there is a number on your domain name just right it in extension and do not put the number. This can  at times confuse people, again this is not a general rule but a simple guideline. Because it always depends on the purpose of the website. Think about List25 for example, it is a website that only creates lists of 25 things. That is all it does.

  • Without Special Characters

Special characters are confusing and nobody actually remembers about them. So avoid using special characters in your domain name. You know the $, %, &, @, in fact you cannot even register a domain name with a special character, so when you are thinking a bout your domain name, think about one without the special character.

  • One Which is Short

Short, concise, and straight to the point domain names are excellent. Think about google.com, list25, mashable.com, and the list goes on. The shorter the domain the better from the users stand point. I know that this does not always apply, and this particular blog is not a good example of it. But if you can find one good short domain name, that is great.

  • That is According to Your Brand

There must be consistency between your brand and your domain name. If your business or blog topic is about cars, do not register a domain like bestbooks.com, that is misleading and inconsistent with your brand. So always make sure that your domain name is consistent with the brand of your site or blog.


I hope that this article was clear enough for you, these are just basic things about domain names and how they work. I hope that you got an understanding of domains and you can now go and register your own if you haven’t done so yet.

Edgar Chauque
Edgar is an entrepreneur, blogger, who likes to share ideas and build new things, as long as they help to make the world a better place. He is still fascinated by the internet and the things that you can do with it.

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