In the previous article in this series What is a Domain Name, you learned about domain name endings, also known as the top level domain, or TLD. When you're deciding on a domain name, your first decision should be choice of TLD - the .com, .net, .org, .ie, .eu, .tv and so on.
When you have that decision made, you need to pick a good name to go with it that reflects your business.
Deciding on the TLD
There are broadly 2 types of TLD:
- Country TLDs - examples:
.ie, .co.uk, .es, .de, .it(Ireland, UK, Spain, Germany, Italy)
- Generic TLDs - examples:
.com, .net, .eu, .org
If your business is conducted mainly in Ireland, then choose the .ie domain. Why? Because Irish people trust the .ie domain. If your business is conducted primarily in Spain, choose the .es domain. Why? Because Spanish people trust the .es domain. If your business is conducted primarily in the UK, choose the .co.uk domain. Why? Because the UK people trust the .co.uk domain.
If your business is local, then prefer a country TLD
If you're an international business then prefer a generic TLD, like .com.
If you're an Irish business with a significant UK market, then prefer the .co.uk, .uk or .com
If you're an Irish business with a significant US market, then prefer the .com
If your charity or organisation qualifies, you can choose the .org domain name which is highly respected, like the United Nations at
TLDs like .org and .ie require qualifying documentation
Choosing a Good Name
Comes down to:
- It's memorable
- It's not too long to type
- It reflects your brand name, or contains a keyword about your business
Most registries allow 63 characters or less. The domain name cannot have spaces (use a hyphen instead), it must use
0-9 characters. It has to be in lowercase. Domain names can begin with a number!
An Example might Help
Lets say you are Gormleys & Daughters and your business is Butchering. Your outlets are mainly around Dublin. You are considering the following domain names.
Which of these do you think is the best domain name for the business?
I've ranked these from best to worst (imo).
gormleysbutchers.ie- this is the BEST one, it's short, memorable and has both the name of the business and what it does
gormleys-butchers.ie- close second. But that hyphen is just one more thing to remember
gormleysdublin.ie- it's ok, but what does Gormleys do in Dublin - that's the question right?
gormleys.ie- this just doesn't tell you anything about the business itself
gormleyanddaughtersbutchers.ie- this is way too long! You'd get RSI from typing out the email address alone:
Can I have buy multiple Domain TLDs?
Of course you can, if they're available, but normally you'll use only one of them for your website and email. The rest will be "parked", meaning they're doing nothing, but nobody else can register or buy them now. It's often done for brand name protection.
So you might decide that you'd like to protect your brand name by registering:
But are they Available?
To find out, read the next article in our series: Registering a Domain Name. Is it Available?