To summarise: name + TLD = domain name
General/Common sense rules in naming
You won't go far wrong if you use these guidelines:
- Names can be composed of letters (a-z), numbers (0-9) and the hyphen (-)
- The name cannot begin or end with the hyphen
- The name can begin or end with a letter or number (eg 123go)
- The name should be in lowercase (superman, not SUPERMAN)
- There should be no spaces in the name
- If you want a space, add the hyphen mark instead (eg buy-for-less)
Some TLDs have particular rules associated with them (be sure to check though)
- .tv domain names must be 50 characters or less
- .ie domain names must be 255 characters or less
- Most other domain names allow 63 characters or less
Is there an SEO value in choosing a good name?
There definitely is. If you can get a major keyword into your site name its sure going to help both your SEO and your customers to remember it. Lets face it, gormleysbutchers.ie contains a major keyword "butchers" and it's descriptive. So for those reasons it's way better than just plain gormleys.ie.
Historic note about naming rules for .ie
The IEDR (Irish domain registry for .ie) used to have very strict rules about the names you could choose, but the rules have been relaxed and you can now pick any name you like.
In the next article in this series, we'll look at using the WHOIS service to see if the domain name you want is available.