When you create a free website on WordPress.com, your site’s default address will look something like example.wordpress.com. When you’re ready to build your professional presence, buying a custom domain — such as yourgroovydomain.com — is a great next step to personalizing your site and carving out a space for your business online.
You can register a domain in a few clicks, but choosing the right name for your site can be a challenge. Here are a few tips to consider before you settle on a domain name.
Choose a Domain that Represents Your Website
If you’re a professional such as a freelancer, artist, or consultant, your domain should represent who you are or what you do. You can claim your own name as a URL or incorporate your profession in your domain.
Elizabeth Hunter is a fantasy and paranormal romance author. Her domain, elizabethhunterwrites.com, includes her name and hints at what you’ll find on her website.
Your business domain should be consistent with your business name and branding across social media platforms. Take a peek at comedy blog The Annual: they registered theannualonline.com, which is in line with their name, branding, and overall purpose.
Choose an Easy Name to Remember
Your domain name should be easy to say and remember. Domains that are long or difficult to spell might confuse your customers instead of getting them to your website. Puns can be fun, but not at the expense of clarity. If it takes more than seven seconds to explain your domain, it’s probably too confusing.
Visual artist Emily Jeffords blogs at beautifulhelloblog.com, which is both easy to say aloud and read on paper.
Chaitanya Chunduri runs the marketing blog brandednoise.com, a simple and clever combination that’s easy to retain.
Make Sure It’s Available
Don’t panic if the domain you want is already taken! In addition to popular Top Level Domains like .com and .net, WordPress.com offers other extensions, including .org, .co, .me, .biz, and more.
Richard Gendal Brown, a professional in the field of technology and global financial markets, blogs at gendal.me. He snagged a short and relevant URL using the .me extension, which looks both personal and professional.
A fun trend in domains is getting creative with extensions. Well-known sites like deli.cio.us, the social bookmarking site, and bit.ly, the link-shortening tool, make use of unique extensions beyond .com. Our very own staff member Michelle Weber made her extension a part of her photoblog’s full domain name picturesofthin.gs.
If you register the perfect domain name, don’t let it expire accidentally. You can set up annual automatic renewal for your WordPress.com domains. Renewals are processed 30 days before the domain expires, so you’ll get a heads up if there’s a problem with your payment.
Ready to take the next step? Claim your personal web address, starting at $18 per year, through WordPress.com. We streamline the registration, mapping, and setup process so your new address is up and running in no time.
Whatever you choose, always be sure to double-check spelling before you confirm registration. Already have a domain registered elsewhere? Find out how to map it to your WordPress.com website.