Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a Domain Name

When it comes to choosing a domain name for your new business there are a lot of things to consider. And if you have never done it before, it can be quite daunting.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address that you type into your web browser to locate and access a certain website.

A domain name is made up of three parts: the word, the dot and the extension. For example, if you want to access Google’s website you will have to type www.google.com into your web browser.

A domain name can only be registered by one individual or company at any one time. If the domain name you are looking to purchase for your business is already taken, you have two choices. Either wait until the current owner leaves it to expire – this will likely take years, or will never happen!. Or you can contact the current owner and make an offer for that particular domain name.

Keep in mind that the domain name market is a huge business and that companies are ready to spend millions on a good domain name. So we would recommend that you just keep searching for a good domain and register the best one that you can find.

For instance, for our business, Grow Digital, www.growdigital.com was already taken, so we settled for and purchased www.grow-digital.com.

There are no limits on how many domain names you can register. However once registered, there is an annual renewal fee for each domain name which needs to be paid, otherwise, you will lose your domain names.

Some businesses choose to protect themselves by purchasing a .com domain and a country domain, like Amazon for instance with www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk. A business might not use both domains, but owning them stops another business from purchasing them. Another option is to redirect one domain to the other, so accessing either domain will show the same website.

Searching for a domain name

Searching for a domain name is straightforward. Most hosting providers will also offer domain name registration. But if you want to keep your domain names separate from your hosting company, then take a look at GoDaddy and 123Reg. They offer a quick way to check domain name availability as well as affordable pricing.

One of the recommendations we always make is, try and get your domain name registration and your website hosting with the same company. This isn’t critical – it just means you will have one company to contact and one annual invoice – Keep it simple.

Remember to think about how your domain name choice could impact your social media profiles. Check out our recent blog post (for more information). If you are still trying to decide on a name for your business, then take a look at our business name blog post.

Hopefully this blog post has helped you in choosing a domain name for your business.

Sorting out Social Media

Sorting out Social Media

A lot of people make the mistake of settling on a business name, registering the domain, and then realising that the matching social media profiles are already taken.

This leads to businesses having one name for their website, and another (or others) for their social media profiles.

Consistency is key, especially if you are trying to grow a business or a brand.

Making it easy

Once you have decided which social media platforms you are going to use to promote your business, there are websites which make checking availability really easy.

Simply search the name of your business and the website will check all of the popular social media platforms for availability, rather than you having to visit each social media website individually. One website, one quick search, and you can begin to get your social media profiles registered to start promoting your business!

We recommend using the following websites to check availability.

https://namechk.com/

https://www.namecheckr.com/



If your desired names are already taken, you could always experiment with other names for your social media platforms by using – or _ in the profile name. Another tip is to use your country code at the end of the profile name (for example, UK).

Once you have checked what is available and you are happy with your choices, get the profiles registered asap, even if you are not quite ready to begin using them. This will prevent someone else coming along and registering them.

If you are yet to register a domain name, the above websites can also check domain availability. If you need more information on domain names, then check out our recent blog post to get you started.

Deciding on a Business name

Deciding on a Business name

In the early stages of creating a new business, choosing a name is one of the most important decisions you will need to make.

With an estimated 300 million companies in the world today, and with so many brands in existence, where do you begin?

To help you, there are three steps you should follow.

1. What type of name do you want?

There are seven categories of names, and pretty much every brand fits into one of these categories.

Eponymous – These embody the vision and beliefs of the founder, such as Disney, Burberry and Tesla.

Descriptive – These tell you exactly what the company does – for example American Airlines – but these are sometimes harder to own and protect.

Acronymic – These are often just shorthand versions of descriptive names, such as BP, KFC and HSBC.

Suggestive – These can be broken down into three categories:

  • Real Words
  • Composites
  • Invented

Real Words, such as Uber and Slack, are real words taken from a dictionary that suggest what the benefits of the business might be. With 300 million businesses in existence, it’s getting harder to find real words which are not already taken.

Composites are created by adding two words together, such as Facebook or RayBan.

Because it’s hard to find real words which are not already taken, some businesses use invented names by changing, adding or removing letters for impact, such as Kleenex or Pinterest.

Associative – These work by reflecting the meaning of the brand, a great example is Amazon; the Amazon in South America is the largest river in the world, reflecting that Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the world.

Non-English – Some brands are derived from non-English languages, such as Samsung (which means ‘three stars’ in Korean) and Lego (which means ‘play well’ in Danish).

Abstract – These have no intrinsic meaning but rely on the power of phonetics to create really powerful brand names, such as Rolex or Kodak.

2. Decide what you want your brand name to say

It’s very tempting to create a brand name that says who created them (Dell), what you do (Microsoft) or where you operate (Southwest). These brand names are descriptive and functional.

However, some of the best brand names don’t describe, rather stand for a big idea – ones that translate into an emotional appeal. Nike, for example is all about winning, whereas GoPro is about heroism. And Apple is all about simplicity

Some businesses are started using the actual name of the founder, such as Jacob McMillen. This is fine if you are operating as the face of the brand, and might make your website easier to find in search results. However, if you have aspirations to sell your business further down the line, you may want to disassociate yourself from your business from the outset.

So, as you think about your name for your business, think about your big idea.

3. Check the name isn’t already taken

You might have to create hundreds of different names until you find one that isn’t taken.

There are different online tools available to help you. If you are based in the UK you could use the company name availability checker; if you are setting up a PLC then check out the choosing a company name guidance.

If you decide to choose a non-English or abstract name, then it’s always a good idea to check your name doesn’t have any negative connotations in another language.


Some of the information in this blog post is taken from the excellent Ted Talk by Jonathan Bell. You can watch the full talk below.

Free Stock Photo Sites

Free Stock Photo Sites

High-quality images are really key when it comes to representing your brand, whether it’s online or offline.

Yet for some reason, many companies still use poor quality stock photography to represent their brand. The truth is that high-quality stock photography doesn’t have to command a high price tag.

(As an example, we got the image above for free on Unsplash.)

To prove this, we’ve compiled a list of brilliant resources for free, high-quality stock images – for websites, blogs and similar online properties.


Unsplash

Unsplash is a fantastic photography resource!

There is so much to choose from here.

Plus, every photo published is licensed under Creative Commons Zero, so users are free to copy, modify, distribute and use any photo without permissions or attribution.

https://unsplash.com/


Negative Space

Negative Space offers beautiful, high-resolution stock photos.

Whether for personal or commercial use, and all of the CC0-licensed images are completely free to use!

The site is really well designed, and finding images is easy. You can, for example, filter through the gallery of photos, by category.

https://negativespace.co/


PicJumbo

PicJumbo features a large range of free stock photos, backgrounds and images in high resolution, for personal and commercial use.

The site is really easy to navigate, thanks to the onsite search and all of the images being categorised.

Keep checking back as new images are added daily. There is also a paid option if you want access to more photography.

https://picjumbo.com


Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photos probably has one of the smaller collections on offer, but the quality is excellent.

The photography is perfect if your project needs to capture the look and feel of a startup environment.

The only small negative is that there is no onsite search, so you have to scroll through the pictures until you find something you are looking for.

http://startupstockphotos.com/