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So you’re sat there with scrunched up paper balls, ink blotches all over you hands and a mighty headache coming on because you just cannot figure it out. How to come up with your website name.
You’ve got the idea down, you know your skills and your unique selling point and you are ready to take the steps to create your website. But you know your name has to be PERFECT. It needs to be fun and catchy but also authentic and very you.
Take a breath friend, because we’re going to work through this together. Here are 10 things to consider to find the perfect website name:
- Create a mood board
- Try your own name
- Use your business / brand name
- Browse available names on Instant Domain Search
- Use aliteration
- Keep it readable and easy to spell
- Make it rhyme
- Use a .com domain
- Use keywords in your domain name
- Beta test your website names
1. Create your mood board
Creating a mood board involves spewing all the wonderful ideas, colours, inspirational images, fonts and quotes in your mind onto one canvas, so that you can visualise your brand and stimulate ideas.
You may be wondering how this links to coming up with your website name. Creating a mood board is something I do with all my website clients before we begin designing. Once you can visualise the elements of your website, you’ll be able to think of your website as a person.
What do they like, what colours do they wear, where do they like to go, what are their hobbies, and then, you’ll be able to give them a name and address.
There are a few ways to create a mood board.
You could create a Pinterest board. I love Pinterest because it’s a endless pit of fabulous inspiration and you could get lost in it for hours (you have been warned!). Of course I have a Vanilla Vadz mood board which even now, I continue to add to – you can see it here. You should add anything and everything that inspires you to your boards.
You could also create a physical mood board. If you like hands on DIY projects, grab some old magazines, order a cork or sticker board and some pins, pens and tape – then create a collage which represents your online business.
And if that doesn’t work, below are some more concrete ways to find your name, but a mood board is a fun surefire way to take your mind off the stress for a few hours.
2. Try your own name
An obvious place to start is by naming your online business, and then your website after yourself. People do it all the time and essentially, your name becomes your brand.
If you’re a freelancer or small creative entrepreneur, and you don’t want to tie yourself down to one name or niche, but might you want to create a brand where they can do multiple things, you can easily create a website or social media presence under your own name.
Think www.yourname.com, does it have a ring to it?
If you have a common name it might already be taken so maybe you can play around with your name and initials to come up with something unique.
3. Use your business / brand name
If you already have a brand name or a business name that you’ve registered or one that you’re currently doing business under, you could use that for you website name.
Chances are it’s unique so the domain will be available.
4. Browse available website names
If you have a rough idea of a word you want to include in your domain name, a good way to brainstorm is by browsing available options in a database like Instant Domain Search.
If you type in a word or phrase they will generate the available options and ideas for domain names.
5. Consider aliteration
Aliteration is the use of consecutive words that begin with the same letter or sound. What this creates is a very pleasing sound when it rolls off the tongue.
When coming up with my own name, I made use of all the literary tools I knew. My nickname is Vadz and so I knew I wanted that somewhere in my brand name. I knew I wanted it to sound good but there aren’t many pretty words that start with V.
I put words that started with V next to Vadz and Vanilla sounded right, so that’s what I went with.
To find words beginning with a certain letter you can use The Free Dictionary.
6. Keep it readable and easy to spell
If you have a name that is more difficult to pronounce and that is lengthy to spell, you might want to consider shortening it before using it as your website name. Similarly with your business name, you want to avoid words that a listener wouldn’t catch quickly.
You want to be able to say your website name out loud and have people catch it easily. You want people to be able to read it and have it stick in there minds. Something too long or too difficult will be easily forgotten because it’s too much effort, and that’s what you don’t want!
7. Consider making it rhyme
Rhyming words always roll off the tongue and are memorable, so consider using them in your website name.
Word Hippo is a great tool for when you generally feel like you can’t find the right word.
8. Use a .com domain
This is mostly because the majority of people are familiar with .com domains. Although using other extensions can be just as successful, you want to go with something that the everyday person is familiar with.
9. Use keywords in your domain
Keywords are the words or phrases which you type into a search engine (eg google, yahoo, YouTube) in order to get a result.
If you use a good keyword in your domain name, then when people search for that word or phrase, your website has a better chance of popping up.
A hypothetical example – If you’re a baker in Amsterdam, you can use amsterdambakker.com and so when people google ‘recommended Amsterdam baker’ your website will be one of the first they see (if the rest of your website is also SEO optimised, but this is more advanced stuff.)
It’s more difficult these days to use common keywords in domain names because chances are, they’ve already been taken, so you have to be very clever when coming up with your name to try and find a niche keyword that applies to your brand.
You aren’t obligated to use a keyword in your domain, if you’re using your own name or business name for example, you won’t be using keywords, but for lack of another name, this is an option you can look into.
10. Beta test your website names with friends and family
Once you’ve come up with a couple of options and ideas, run them by your close friends and family and see if they can give their two cents. They’re your best bet for honesty and might give you some helpful alternatives or suggestions.
Do remember however that at the end of the day, it’s your website and you have to love the name you pick.
Can I help you pick you domain name? If you need an extra pair of eyes, you can always hit me up by email and we can have a website name brainstorm session!