With the millions of websites which means fewer choices of domain names. Sometimes business owners in a rush or panic when choosing a domain name, end up not benefiting their business. Here are common mistakes people make when choosing their domain:

Being too similar

You should never choose a domain name that is similar to another company. It may seem like a good idea at the time when you can get hits from people who are looking for the other site. However, this makes your business appear to be a “knock-off” of the original. It can also lead to legal troubles. Your domain name should be original to you and your brand.

Try to come up with a website URL that is unique to your site and reflects what your site is about. Unless you have strong brand recognition like Google or Amazon, you may want to avoid using a distinctive URL that might sound like another site entirely.

Top Level Domain (TLD) extension

If you want to use a specific name, but .com, .co.uk and .net addresses are taken, then its time to choose another name or try a TLD. There are countless different TLDs that you can register your domain name under, ‘.com’ being among the most popular.

There are no wrong TLD, it is important that you choose one that is appropriate for your site. For example, if you have a website for a school, a ‘.edu’ TLD is the most appropriate.

You may also want to consider registering multiple TLDs.

You can then either create complementary sites (like blogs) to use them for, or you can register the ones that you think will gain a lot of traffic in order to redirect them to your primary URL.

Easy to say

Most company names are their domain names. While this does not have to be the case, you need a name that is easy for people to remember. You can get your friends and co-workers to help you decide on one. You should make sure it is easy to say and clear to read.

Making it too long

Keep it short (one or two words) otherwise people can misspell or forget the domain name. When you create a domain name, you will want your site visitors to be able to get there easily. A lengthy name can obstruct those trying to access your site from a small device like a mobile. It can also make it more difficult for site visitors to remember your website URL to revisit in the future. It doesn’t look appealing on your marketing materials, either. Try to limit yourself to 16 characters.

Always check the spelling

Odd spellings and confusing domains can make for a disaster. Companies such as ‘MovieFone’ succeed by using their unique spelling. Along with moviefone.com, they also own the domain name moviephone.com. This helps if anyone were to spell the name wrong they would be redirected. If you can’t also register all similar spellings then do not use an odd spelling.

Dots, dashes and numbers

Other companies have learnt the hard way and they don’t use dots, dashes and numbers. There’s a lot of room for confusion when it comes to communicating website URLs that contain numbers or dashes. You’ll spend considerable time constantly explaining that numbers are either spelt out or typed as numbers and indicating what kind of dashes go where. So if appropriate for your brand, take a letters-only approach.

Paying too much money to be generic

The philosophy that someone looking for a book or an auction site will first try book.com or auction.com is now obsolete, thanks to places like Amazon.com and eBay and because generic websites were snapped up years ago. While it is not necessarily “a mistake,” it is not always beneficial to spend a fortune to get a generic domain name. You can use that money for marketing and branding to identify yourself as a distinct business with a catchy name.

Trying to fit a domain name to a business

When starting a business, too many people say, “I’ll worry about the domain name later,” and then get stuck with a bad domain name because nothing close to their business name is available. While older companies simply had no choice. If you are starting a business, when choosing the business name, consider and research your domain name at the same time. That way you can include your domain name on all your branding material right from the beginning.