Having bought hundreds of domain names over the years, we've created a process and checklist to help us narrow the field and select domains with impact.

Here's a quick summary of our key considerations:

  1. Is it relatively short & sweet? Think about how much time you'll save over the years not having to spell or type out a long phrase. Also think of the trees (and those conference banners, headed notepaper etc.), short headlines and tweets.
  2. Is it distinct and memorable?
  3. Is it easy to understand? ie. If I said it to you over the phone would you be able to write it down without making errors
  4. Will search engines like it? The domain extensions can be important too.
  5. Does it align with your brand and intended audience? It can help to ask your audience for ideas and feedback.
  6. Is there a keyword or phrase that you want to include in the name?
  7. How does the name sound or mean in other languages and cultures?
  8. Are there any legal restrictions on the name? ie. nike.eu
  9. If the focus of the project or business changes over time will the domain name still make sense for your audience.

This site is great for generating ideas framed around keywords: leandomainsearch.com

And this one is great for checking availability across domain extensions (ie. .com, .org) and digital channels (ie. twitter). namechk.com

Worth also checking the domain's history of previous potential owners and uses, here's a handy site to help with that: archive.org/web/

Let us know if you have any tips to add to this article!


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