What’s in a name? Well, like your logo the name of your company is an intrinsic part of your brand, and the domain name or URL is something you will put about everywhere, on your business cards, signs, social media, advertising, so it needs to fit with what your company is all about.
Your domain name is a visible representation of everything you stand for so should be chosen carefully. By domain name, we are of course talking about the www.yourdomain.com that you register and use as the website address for your eCommerce store and my goal for you by the end of this article is to understand both the implications and options available when choosing a domain name for your eCommerce business.
The Anatomy of the Domain Name
A domain, such as www.yourname.com has three main parts, the ‘www.‘ the ‘yourname‘ and the ‘.com‘.
To register a domain name for your business, you need to use the services of a domain registrar, someone like GoGaddy, BlueHost or similar.
I already have a domain and just want to add eCommerce to my website
If you are an existing retailer and are looking to launch eCommerce to grow your revenue streams, then the likelihood is you will already have a domain name and website in place.
If this is you, then you have three options. The first is to create an eComm Store on the main domain name and effectively overwrite your current site (SEO warning. Be sure you implement proper migration procedure to ensure you do not jeopardise your Google rankings).
The second is to substitute the www. with what is called a subdomain prefix, your store would then sit on something like http://store.yourname.com.
The third option would be to create a new folder on your server for the shop to sit inside; this would give you something like the following http://www.yourname.com/store/.
These choices are also intrinsically linked to the selection of platform for your eComm, check out an article I wrote to help you Choose the Right eCommerce Platform.
I do not have a domain name yet
If you are just starting out in the wonderful world of eCommerce, then choices abound at which domain name you should choose, or so one might think, but you will quickly become disheartened when your seemingly great name ideas get shot down one after the other because they are all registered. Do not fear; let us explore some of the options.
You may be lucky enough to have a business name that no one else has if so register it quickly while you can. For the rest of the population, yourbusinessname.com is not an option.
One alternative is to examine all of the different domain extensions that are available (the .com bit). It might be possible that the .com for your business is not available, but you could use an imaginative .store or some other alternative. Have a play around on Google Domains or some other domain registration site to explore some of the options available.
You could also consider naming variations so that yourname.com could become yournameyourcity.com or similar if you are targeting a specific area. You could also create a name based upon the products or services you are offering. These are all valid options for you to contemplate when choosing your domain name; I would suggest your goal should be to keep it as short as possible, so it is memorable and less confusing for your customers – avoid hyphens and numbers where possible too.
If you have explored all of the options and are still tearing your hair out trying to come up with a suitable domain name, then another thing you could try is a cool creative naming website called Wordoid (http://wordoid.com/). Wordoid is a free web-based tool that will intelligently suggest name options and catchy names for your eCommerce store based on made-up words that sound good; it will even tell you if the .com and .net variants are available.
I hope that has given you some food for thought and some ideas on how to choose the best name for your eCommerce business.