What is a domain?
To put it simply, a domain is comparable to your home address: You will be found via your home address and can, for example, receive visitors for a barbecue. Your website is reached on the Internet via the domain and there you can convince your desired customers of your business idea.
If you look more closely, you are connected by IP address when you surf the Internet on websites. The IP addresses of the server are stored on so-called "name servers" so that the website content can be accessed. Since IP addresses are difficult to remember and make no logical sense, websites are identified in the browser by a domain name. You can freely choose this to match your website content. For this purpose, we give some tips in the following text that will help you find a suitable domain name.
How is a domain structured?
A domain consists of several elements and must always be read from back to front, hence the designation top, second and third level domain. The top-level domain therefore contains the domain extension, the second-level domain the name of the website and the third-level domain the subdomain / host name.
Find the right domain name
Which top-level domain is right for me? Does it make sense to include the main keyword in the domain name? And which third-level domain is suitable for my business idea? All of these are questions you ask yourself when trying to find a good domain name. The following points could give you answers and suggest different possibilities:
Which third-level domain should I choose?
The third-level domain is the area that is in front of the registered domain. The most common variant for websites is “www.” In our example, “kcp.keyweb.de” is the third-level domain “kcp.”. This represents a subdomain for the second-level domain "keyweb".
With the help of a subdomain, your own website can be divided into individual areas, e.g. B. in a customer portal. Our customers can access the customer menu via the full domain name "kcp.keyweb.de". For example, if you want to run a blog or online shop next to your website, you can create a subdomain such as "blog." Or "shop." As a third-level domain.
A good domain name is easy to remember
You can understand a good domain name immediately, remember it well and type it without errors. Domains are specifically entered if they are burned into the mind of the user. Most of them memorize their favorite websites and type them into the address bar of the browser or they search for them using a search engine.
Brevity is the soul of wit
The shorter the domain name, the easier it is to remember. Still, shorter doesn't mean better. An abbreviation made up of four or more letters can be difficult to remember. You should therefore be careful with abbreviations or complicated structures and choose your own domain name that matches the website content.
No special characters
So that the domain name is easy to remember, it can only consist of numbers and letters. The only allowed special character is the hyphen. This is used as a link between two or more words that represent the website name, for example "www.server-technology.com".
The domain name immediately shows what it is about
Many search results are clicked not only because they are high up, but also because the domain name immediately conveys what it is about. If a user is looking for information about the TV program, an address such as "tvinfo.de" is favorable, since the user promises to find exactly what he is looking for here.
Possibilities for the second-level domain name would be for example:
- the use of the brand name (brand domain)
Certain features of an ideal domain name can take a back seat if the domain corresponds to the company name or corporate identity (brand domain). If the brand is strong enough, for example, the domain name can be dispensed with. Visitors then usually know the brand name and associate it with the content that they are looking for and expect. A brand domain can be the right option, especially when marketing takes place on different channels.
- a keyword of the website (Exact Match Domain)
Does it make sense to include the keyword in the domain name (Exact Match Domain)? As is so often the case - it depends: Well-known brand names make it to the first page of the Google ranking with a brand domain. Smaller companies, which may still be in the process of being set up, could, on the other hand, get more relevance to the search term with a suitable keyword in the domain name. However, it is always important that the relevant keywords are as relevant as possible. Think about how your target audience would search for you or what keyword you would like to be found by. Should your target group reach your domain specifically via your brand name or rather randomly via the appropriate keyword?
- a combination of both (partial match domain)
Can't make up your mind? Perhaps a combination of the brand name and the website keyword (Partial Match Domain) is the right alternative for your domain name. Especially niche products or local offers can benefit from a partial match domain.
Find the right top-level domain
The domain ending (top-level domain) is an important criterion for many users in order to judge how serious a page is. The ".com" domain ending is one of the most popular endings worldwide. The “.de” domain is the most common for German websites. It is therefore possible that your desired domain name with ".com" or ".de" is already taken. That doesn't mean you have to come up with a new domain name. Perhaps you dare to step out of the comfort zone and choose a domain suitable for your industry from the multitude of new top-level domains. On the domain order page of the hosting provider Keyweb you can take a look yourself at the multitude of domain endings and you will find that there is almost everything Industry gives the right domain extension.
It is important that the domain name and extension harmonize well with each other. For example, if you want to address international customers with your domain, the ".com" extension is of course more suitable than the ".de" extension. If you decide on a new domain extension, consider whether your desired customers can really remember complete domain names. A domain ending that matches the website name in terms of content and resonance could make this easier. Good branding is crucial so that your target customers do not enter ".de" or ".com" out of habit. Make a name out of your domain that cannot be ignored and at least as burns itself into the minds of desired customers as the catchy tune "YMCA" from Village People. Sorry if we've got a catchy tune now. ;)
Legal protection for your domain name
Legal protection should not be neglected in the entire creative process of finding a name for your website. Does your domain name violate naming rights? Has it already been registered as a trademark? Research in advance whether the selected domain name is not already taken: To do this, simply type your desired domain into the browser address line or check the website of the German Patent and Trademark Office to see whether your domain name might infringe naming rights. You should also make sure that your domain name does not contain the following features:
- private first and last names of acquaintances or celebrities - these are legally protected by name according to §12 BGB
- work titles of films, books, magazines, TV shows
- pure city names, license plates, government institutions
- typos of other brands (e.g. www.nikee.com)
When you have found the right top, second and third level domain for you, it should be possible to answer these questions with YES:
Does the domain name really reflect my business idea?
Can my customers remember the domain name easily?
Does the domain name harmonize with trademark law?
Cybercriminals use lousy tricks to transfer property to someone else. It is often forms of attack that cannot be surpassed in terms of inconspicuousness, e.g. social engineering. A fraudster could change the domain registration and register as the owner without you noticing. Of course, that shouldn't happen - that's why we've put together a few tips here on how you, as a domain owner, can prevent such a scenario:
- limit website administration access to trusted team members only
- Protect yourself from phishing attacks. You can read about how this works here: https://www.keyweb.de/en/keyweb/blog/detect-phishing-mails
- keep the domain administration under your own control
- if possible, set up two-factor authentication
- find out about the security services offered by the registration office
Is a domain of your choice still available?
You can easily check whether your desired domain is still available on the websites of hosting providers such as Keyweb. With most providers, you have the free choice from the full number of top-level domains such as .com, .de or .info and many new options such as .support, .berlin or .insurance.
It is often not possible to meet all of the points, but this list provides a good basic framework that you can use when looking for a domain for your business.