What’s a Domain Name? How to Choose the Right One for Your Business

Get tips for finding and buying a domain name, so you can start using it with your website and landing pages.

A woman thinking with thought bubbles that say ".info", ".net", ".org", ".com", and ".biz"

A domain name is more than just the internet address where people can find your website—it’s the online identity of your business. And choosing the best one for your brand requires some research and consideration.

Domains are affordable and easy to register, and when you buy one through Mailchimp you can use it to unite your website and landing pages under a single, recognizable name. You’ll look more professional and gain instant credibility with your audience.

In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know about buying and registering a domain that you can use across your marketing channels in Mailchimp.

Finding your domain name

Your domain is made up of 3 main parts—a domain name, an extension (also known as a top-level domain or TLD), and an optional subdomain—that are all important to consider when choosing one that will make it easier for people to find (and recognize) your brand online.

Parts of a domain name diagram. For the web address www.happillyeverafter.com, 'www' is an optional subdomain, 'happilyeverafter' is the domain name, and '.com' is the domain extension or top-level domain (TLD). The domain name and TLD together form the root domain, happilyeverafter.com.

As you’re choosing your domain, keep these guidelines in mind:

1. Keep your domain name short, pronounceable, and ownable

If you already have a business name, try to claim it as your domain. This will make it easier for people to make the connection between your business and your site. No matter what name you choose, it should be easy to type and spell.

Be sure to:

  • Keep it 15 characters or less
  • Avoid slang (don’t use u in place of you)
  • Never include hyphens or numbers

Above all, your domain name should sound like a company name.

Still images of 2 websites that are meant to show a good and bad example of a domain name. The image on the left is the good example, with the web URL www.growingup.com typed in the address bar. The bad example is on the left: www.growingstrong4ever.com.

2. Try to get .com (but don’t stress if you don’t)

When it comes to choosing a domain extension (the suffix at the end of a web address), there’s some debate about which one will get your website more traffic.

The .com extension is the most popular and easiest to remember, but it might not be the best fit for your brand.

Here are some other top-level domains to consider:

  • .org: If you run a non-profit, this will help distinguish you from a for-profit company
  • .info: Try this extension if you’re only using your site to share information
  • .biz: Got an e-commerce site? This is a good alternative to .com
  • .net: A good option if you’re in the tech industry

Get the best extension for your brand. Still images that highlight 2 domain options for a nonprofit's website. The image on the left shows the good option: www.smartlocalfarms.com. The image on the left shows a better option: www.smartlocalfarms.org.

3. Include keywords if it makes sense

Consider using broad keywords that will help people find you when they search, but don’t overdo it. Getting a more branded domain name might be better for the long-term success of your site than trying to get one that’s keyword-rich.

So instead of going with something very specific, like sneakersforwomen.com, use your business name, like azalea.com, and make sure people recognize you as a women’s footwear brand.

Include keywords in your domain name for SEO if it makes sense. Still images that show a good and bad example of domain names that include keywords. The image on the left highlights that it's better to use your business name for your domain—www.azalea.com—instead of using descriptive keywords like the example on the right, www.sneakersforwomen.com.

4. See if you can use your domain name for your social handles

Check the availability of your domain name on social media. A unified brand name and identity across all of your channels can help increase your reach.

If your top choice isn’t available on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, consider choosing a different one or tweaking your social handles in a way that makes it clear they’re tied to your brand.

Once you’ve got your handles, set up your account profiles on each platform to prevent getting flagged for inactivity.

5. Research the history of your domain name

Make sure your domain doesn’t come with any baggage that you’ll have to deal with later, like trademark conflicts or awkward foreign translations. You don’t want people to confuse you with another brand or, worse, a legal battle if your domain happens to violate any trademarks.

How to register your domain name

After settling on the perfect domain, you’re ready to enlist the help of a registrar. With Mailchimp, you can search for a domain for free and buy it right from your account. Every domain you buy through Mailchimp automatically comes with SSL certification and WHOIS privacy, making it easy to create a secure site experience.

Want to learn more about registering a domain? We have a guide to walk you through the process.

Put your new domain name to work

Now you can use your domain to start marketing your business and building brand recognition.

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Build a website

When you’re ready to create an online home for your business, you can use Mailchimp’s new drag-and drop website builder to design and publish your site.

Whether you’ve already launched your business or you’re just getting started, you have what you need to manage your online presence in one place:

  • A built-in signup form to help you build an audience that’s interested in hearing more about your brand
  • Design tools that make it easy to create a site that looks and feels like you without any coding skills
  • A published website that’s connected to all your marketing channels, so you can keep everything your customers see consistent

And you can be the one of the first to try out our website builder while it’s in beta, so you can tell us what you think and help us make it just what you need.

Build your website

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Create landing pages

Landing pages are a type of campaign designed to help you reach a specific goal, like selling a product or getting more contacts.

Whether you’ve purchased a new domain through Mailchimp or connected one you already own, you can set up an unlimited number of subdomains to help you achieve different business goals.

For example, use a landing page to highlight a specific product or collection from your site, and create a unique subdomain that makes it clear what you want visitors to do: Buy that product.

With Mailchimp, you can even connect Square payments to your account and sell an item directly from your landing pages.

Create a landing page

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Connect your social accounts

When you connect your social accounts to Mailchimp, you can publish social posts and ads to help you get more eyes on your website and landing pages.

Create a social post to introduce your site to your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter followers. Promote your landing pages with Facebook and Instagram ads that will drive people to take action faster.

And if your social handles are similar to your domain name, it will be easier for your audience to find your brand wherever it lives online.

Publish a social post