In order to put your site online, you need to connect a domain name to it. To learn what a domain name is, consult the article on the subject.
Your choice of domain name is very important for your activity because it supports your visibility on the internet as well as your branding. You should therefore give it a lot of thought and not make any errors which might cause problems for you in the future. Here is some advice to help you choose a proper domain name.
Choose your extension
The extension is located after the dot in an address such as mysite.com and it always carries a meaning. Normally, there are two types of extensions.
National extensions show belonging to a country:
- .fr for France
- .be for Belgium
- .uk for the United Kingdom
Generic extensions are either reserved for certain areas of activity or accessible to everyone worldwide:
- .edu is reserved for institutions of higher learning and universities
- .com is accessible to all
Take the time to think about the extension of your domain name because it is part of the identity you will give to your website.
- If you are targeting the French market, use the extension .fr to strengthen your connection to this country;
- If you are targeting a wider French-speaking market, use .com and later on the national extensions of the relevant countries (France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, etc.).
ICANN (the organization regulating domain names) has allowed the creation of new extensions which can be used to show your connection to a specific geographic zone or type of activity. Here some examples of new extensions:
Locations: .paris, .bzh, etc.
Sectors: .hotel, .agency, etc.
Thematic: .app, .music, etc.
Choosing your name
Once you have chosen your extension, you must think of the name you wish to give to your site.
- Choose a name that is short and simple; it should be easy to remember.
- Use the name of your company or project, if it is not too long.
- Test it out on your family to see if they are able to write out your site's address when you speak it aloud.
- Use authorized characters: letters from a to z, dashes, numbers from 1 to 9.
- Dashes can be used to replace a space but they are not recommended because they might be forgotten or wrongly placed by your future clients.
- Characters with accents are definitely not recommended.
- Use a keyword in your name to help with search engine optimization. However, this may work against you because Google penalizes sites which which use too many keywords in their domain names.
- Differentiate yourself from the competition in order to avoid confusion. If you purchase a domain name which is too similar to that of a competitor, you risk losing potential clients.
Think carefully about your site's address because it will have an impact on both your brand and your visibility among internet users . Once you have made your choice, you are ready to publish your site under this new domain name.