15 Criteria for Creating Domain Names

Domain naming is very similar to business naming.

This is particularly true if your business is primarily an Internet-based business

Judging Domain Name Candidates Doesn't Need a Panel, Only Predetermined Criteria
Judging Domain Name Candidates

Yet there are subtleties that should be pointed out. That is why I’ve created this list of criteria for naming domains. For any particular business you may wish to weight several of these items more heavily than others. It is up to you to determine the importance of each based on your naming brief.

In case you haven’t been a regular reader of this blog, you should know that I am an advocate of the naming brief, a document that sets the direction and relevancy of name candidates. Mostly, the content of the naming brief comes from your business plan and identifies market segments; competitors; your business model; your internal values, mission, and vision. It may also give guidance to the tone and style of your website and other branding elements.

Here are the criteria in no particular order

1. Can the domain name also be your enterprise name?
2. Does the domain name contain your major keyword?
3. Is it available as a “.com” name?
4. Is the domain name the same as someone else’s enterprise name?
5. Is it available for other domain categories besides “.com”?
6. Does it use tricks in order to be available as a “.com”?
7. Is it short?
8. Is it memorable?
9. Is it similar to competitive domain names?
10. Is the name representative of the site and the business
11. Does it flow naturally?
12. Can it be trademarked?
13. Does it translate well globally?
14. Has it been owned previously?
15. If someone else owns it, can it be purchased from them?

Just a short note about the sixth criterion: if you must use hyphens within the domain name or insert words such as “online” or “now” or “blog”, you are creating a name that will be difficult for most people to remember and or to type.

As I said before, you can weight each of these attributes, or even ignore one or two if they are not relevant to the business

Hope this post will be of value.

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