Imagine walking up to a storefront. Maybe this store is known around the world. People have spoken of its offerings, the quality, and how they enjoy every visit. As you take each step, drawn ever closer, you start to realize why this shop is so popular.
The decor, store logo, name and font, color choices, material usage, the size of the windows and what’s behind them — every aspect of what you can see, feel, and will eventually remember has been deliberately chosen to speak to you, so you’re invited in, and compelled to stay.
The right domain for your business needs to do the same.
Every domain name in existence tells us something. It’s a message or a signal that leads our perception in one way or another. From quality to style, product to service, if you want to send the right signals then you’ll want the right domain name.
In essence, no online business can expect to meaningfully connect with audiences, establish long-lasting brands, or gain considerable returns with a domain that doesn’t resonate.
The question is, what’s the difference between right and wrong when it comes to business domains?
Okay, first things first — there’s no business domain definition… because business domains don’t exist.
Let me explain.
Some domain names, like google.com or wikipedia.org, better suit certain businesses, but there’s no such thing as a business domain per se.
Sure, you have guides as to the best domain name for small businesses, and bigger companies can use specific approaches to create a domain for their business website (something we’ll cover today). But if you’re looking for a category named business domains, or a solid business domain name meaning, then you’re out of luck.
This, however, isn’t a bad thing — have an idea for a domain name? Provided it’s not already taken, then it's yours, and usually with little to no qualifying restrictions.
So, if a business domain is really just a domain that’s more suited for your business, wait, what’s a domain name again?
A domain is a unique and easy-to-remember name that identifies a website. They consist of two main parts: the top-level domain (TLD) and the second-level domain (SLD).
A TLD is the item to the right of the dot (.com, .org, .biz), and the SLD is the item to the left — ‘namecheap’ or ‘google.’
Technically speaking, a domain name is a key component in the domain name system (DNS), a naming database that stores domain records. The TLD serves to identify the top level of the DNS tree, and the SLD specifies a particular domain within the TLD's namespace… Okay, let’s stay away from domain name infrastructure today.
All you need to know is that the right domain name for your business is worth weighing up.
To really understand why a domain name is important for business, let’s think of the word branding.
If branding exists to strengthen awareness, create appeal, and garner loyalty, then a domain is one of the biggest bricks in the wall of branding tools.
In the same way that strong company names represent identity, seek recognition, and build reputation — a good domain name should do the same. But does that mean they are the same?
You might be thinking, ‘Can my domain name be different from my business name?’ or, ‘Why wouldn’t I just use my company name with a .com?’
Most use their company name as their domain name. It makes sense; you want your entire brand to be as succinct as possible, easy to remember, and convenient when it comes to online navigation.
Your business idea and company values are probably informed by market research, keyword analysis, and competitor examination, too — so why choose a name that differs from your well-considered company’s?
It’s also true that .com is the most popular TLD, again upping memorability, recognition, and (in most cases) international appeal. So your company name with a .com TLD is a great choice for your business.
But you didn’t come just to hear that.
There’s far more to domain name vs. business name usage. And besides the fact your favorite .com could be taken, who’s to say it would be the best choice online anyway?
In order to choose a good business domain, let’s look at some of the best business domain names around, and give you some ideas of your own.
Think about these examples of business domain names:
You can clearly see traits of functionality, memorability, and creative potential in all three. Dropbox conveys its function as a quick and easy data storage business, a connection made stronger after users visit the site more, and capitalizes on a snappy feel to help boost memorability and marketing potential.
Ice, a financial data management company, makes the most of the creative potential in visuals and marketing power when it comes to the connotations of ice, helping to make dense financial information appear more vibrant at the same time.
As for Purple, well, the word purple for creative potential and memorability speaks for itself.
Looking closer, you’ll also recognize these domains as unique, trustworthy (no numbers or weird grammar), and highly searchable.
If you want people to be able to find you online, trust that your site is safe, and remember to come back, then you’ll need to consider these brandable factors in your own domain name.
Let’s say you want a domain name for a new business.
Big or small, new businesses are only ever joining a more competitive market. With every valuable industry growing in size, more competitors, and increasing innovation, you could take a unique approach to stand out and compete effectively.
Take a look at these domains:
We don’t need a spot-the-difference segment here — these domains use alternative TLDs to further their unique position, establish their function more specifically, and boost the potential brandability of the domain.
They function mostly the same as our examples in the previous section, but they also make use of alliteration, compounding, and, in the case of mindful.ly, splitting one word across the SLD and the TLD.
Terms that come to mind? Memorable, unique, searchable, and brandable.
Think of all the wordplay options with SLD and TLD combinations. And the possibility of branches or sub-sites for a primary site (.store, .gallery), all the while staying short, memorable, and focused on target demographics.
Sure, .com domains are more popular (something big businesses will need to consider). But if the .com domain you want is taken, this approach is more than viable. And can even have better results depending on your goals and audience.
Maybe you want to focus on smaller, regional demographics.
By targeting a specific group of people, you might benefit from using geographic TLDs (geoTLDS), focussing on domain name properties that resonate with a local area.
Take ranchapparel.texas, for example.
The domain uses a geoTLD — .texas — that people in the area may connect to more easily. To strengthen that connection, with the topic or product denoted by SLD, people in the area might also value the company’s product or service more.
But just because this TLD has local appeal doesn't mean it lacks international value.
In the case of ranchapparel.texas, the company capitalizes on local values to promote authenticity and local qualities. And given that people around the world often value trust, credibility, authentic products, and traditional production, ranchapparel.texas may well have some international visitors.
Long story short? Your local business could blow up online with the right domain — targeting both local demographics and global audiences too.
While local businesses can use their domains to strengthen authenticity or localized trust, larger, for-profit companies can explore different strategies.
Take Alphabet Inc — Google’s parent company.
We've already discussed the popularity of .com domains. However, just because the TLD is popular doesn't mean it conveys your business goals, values, or positioning as effectively as other TLDs can.
The domain name alphabet.inc makes its position as an incorporated, for-profit organization clear with a .inc extension. From enhancing customers’ perceptions of professionalism to global respect, the .inc domain signals to audiences around the world that this company means business.
Okay, you've seen the term TLD mentioned several times, so let's dive a little deeper.
You might think of a TLD, or domain extension, as a surname. Famous family surnames — Rockefeller or Kardashian — carry a certain weight, and preconceived ideas about those names exist in droves.
To remind you, your business needs the right TLD for its goals, type, and aims to really help sell it online. And while there aren’t any rules (some TLDs do have criteria, like .bank, for example), those preconceived ideas will affect your business’ success.
A .finance TLD probably wouldn’t look so good on a charity.
Take a look at our full list of TLDs, but check out some examples below to see what different extensions could say about your business:
|Originally intended for network-related websites, .net is now used by various businesses and organizations.
|Popular among tech startups and innovative companies, this TLD is short, memorable, and has a futuristic feel.
|While it stands for Anguilla, a Caribbean island territory, it's often used as an abbreviation for "artificial intelligence." It's popular among tech companies and startups working in AI and related fields.
|Perfect for ecommerce businesses, this TLD is an excellent way to let customers know precisely what your website is about.
Currently, there are over 1,500 TLDs to choose from. You’ve got options. And while there isn't a single best TLD for business, that’s not to say there aren’t TLDs that work better for certain companies, let alone alternative TLDs you could bounce ideas off, too.
So, we’ve learned about what a domain is and how it functions. We’ve discovered the importance of domain names and brandability, right down to how you could name locally vs. globally. And we’ve also uncovered the need for the right TLD in conveying values and denoting what type of business you own.
So, what else do you need to find the best domain name for your business?
Let’s run through vital questions to help you choose a good business domain:
Remember, choosing the right domain name for your business takes a bit of thinking — and to make the most out of the process, you should consider as much as you can. Oh, not to mention avoiding common domain naming mistakes.
It should go without saying — your domain needs to be easy to spell. If it isn’t, users are more likely to forget your domain name, search for the wrong address, and, at worst, visit a competitor or help fund a cyber-squatted domain (something we’ll cover later on).
In simple terms, you’ll lose traffic if your domain name isn’t clear enough — could you remember howmowna.estate after seeing it once, and what about hearing the address on the radio?
Clearly, from answering important questions on domains to reflecting on your ideas, both your perspective and your domain need to be clear.
Okay, so perhaps you’re still a little stuck. Maybe you’re worried about falling into some naming traps. With so many angles to cover and the possibility of rubbish ideas, it’s understandable.
Let’s make sure you avoid both.
Take a look at these business domain ideas:
Now you’re moving closer to becoming an expert in what makes a domain name great for business, let’s have a look at how to get a business domain of your own.
Most registrars (the go-to places for domain registration) let you search for a domain name and register it in minutes.
The majority offer quick and easy domain registration and deals on registration fees and renewal prices for certain TLDs. However, it’s always worth weighing up which registrar to register your domain through — each will grant you certain benefits over others.
Whether you want to learn more about domain tools and services, register a domain today, or start creating a domain for your business on paper, head to Namecheap to check domain prices, availability, and to inspire some ideas now.
Time for some legal and safety sidenotes — you and your business can only benefit from knowing legal aspects and privacy issues when it comes to domain registration.
Nobody wants copyright or trademark problems. Sometimes they occur by mistake, but often people take advantage of smaller differences in names or loopholes in the law.
Sure, as soon as you register your domain through an accredited registrar, like Namecheap, that domain will be legally yours for as long as you pay for it. But that doesn’t mean you won’t face problems. You’ll want to stay vigilant to those attempting to profit from your domain and trademarks, so watch for similar domains on the web, make sure your domain is renewed, and make sure you register with an official registrar.
There are many ways to deal with fraudulent or illegal websites, but it’s down to you to stay aware of them.
Domain squatting, also called cybersquatting, happens when someone registers a website name that's the same or similar to a popular brand or person.
Why do people do this?
To make money by selling it or profiting from redirects. Namely, someone might see a new and valuable brand pop up and register the domain before the company can register it first.
For redirects, customers searching for one site could mistype the name, or accidentally click on a site on Google SERP with a similar name, and be hit with a load of ads.
Panavision.com is an infamous case of cybersquatting. The domain was registered by a company intending to sell it back to the camera equipment manufacturer, Panavision, at a higher price. The case went to court, and Panavision won.
Combat this by registering similar domain names, especially when it comes to TLD variations, and always staying vigilant against online threats.
Now, this topic shouldn't need an introductory sentence telling you how important privacy is. But the possible threats to your online safety and the specifics of security types might.
One of the first points of call when it comes to domain defense is concealing your contact info. Thankfully, the WHOIS database (a database of domain records displayed to the public — yes, that means yours, too) can be set to hide vital info — full name, email, phone number, and so on.
But cybercriminals don’t just profit from WHOIS info.
To make sure your domain is properly protected, you’ll want to take advantage of your chosen registrar’s security measures. Most offer high-end security packages, so, again, weigh up your options.
To learn what Namecheap has to offer, head over now and discover premium security options, VPN deals, SSL certificates, and more, before registering that perfect business domain name.