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Registering a domain – your website’s business card

If you want to register a domain, there are a few points to note first.
Image: ©Jacob Lund / Adobe Stock
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Why is a good domain name so important?

When starting a new web project, the business idea is usually the focus. The common assumption is that if the concept is well thought out and innovative, success will follow automatically. However, if you neglect to look for a suitable domain name and opt for a half-hearted, uninspired draft, even the most brilliant idea can fail miserably. Contextless, complicated, and even typo-ridden domain names don’t go down particularly well on the Internet, making it all the more important to take the time to brainstorm before you register your domain. Only then will the domain name be easily found during an online search and stay in the minds of your target group.

What makes a good domain name?

First impressions count – nothing demonstrates that more than a carefully considered domain name. If the name is memorable and appeals to both users and search engines, your website will generate interest and draw in potential customers. A new quirky combination of words may at first seem tempting as a name, but you should ask yourself the following questions prior to a domain registration:

  • Can you remember the name offhand?
  • Can you correctly enter it in the browser address bar after only hearing it once?
  • Does the chosen name also sound good in conversation?
  • Does everyone who sees or hears the name immediately know what kinds of products or services are being offered?

A good domain name should be as short as possible and work without complicated wordplay or unnecessary characters.

What does a domain name contain?

The name of a domain is the part between “https” and the extension, such as “.com”, also known as the top-level domain. Acquiring a good domain name – also referred to as the second-level domain – for your specific industry is not exactly an easy task. Basic domain addresses, e.g. www.dogs.com, were already registered way back in 1998. According to Verisign, there were around 370 million registered domain names globally in 2020. It’s worth noting that a lot of these domain names are still unused. Nevertheless, it isn’t impossible to find a creative name that is also easy to remember. There are merely a few technical rules to be aware of in Germany when constructing your Internet address:

  • You can use any letter from A-Z, any number from 0-9, and also hyphens.
  • There should not be a hyphen at the beginning of the domain name.
  • Special characters, such as periods, question marks, or slashes, are not permitted.
  • The domain name should generally be no longer than 63 characters.
  • Unlike previously, umlauts, e.g. ä, ö, and ü, are now also allowed.

Good to know: If you’re looking for a domain for the international market, you should avoid hyphens. It is uncommon to use them in most countries.

Which top-level domain is appropriate?

First things first, the distinction between top-level domains is not relevant from a search engine perspective. Deciding which is the right extension to reach the desired target group depends much more on the type of website and whether it has a national or international focus.

If it offers content or products that are intended for the international market, top-level domains like “.com”, “.net”, “.eu”, and “.org” are recommended. If your portfolio is tailored to customers in Germany, the “.de” country code is the right choice.

Register your ideal domain using our guide and checklist

Your choice of domain name can determine the rise or fall of your online presence. Registering a suitable domain is essential for acquiring and retaining customers. In our free guide, we provide a practical checklist, give you some important tips on how to get the perfect domain, and also examine the legal pitfalls.

Download it here
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