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How to choose a domain name?

How to choose a good name for your website? How to avoid common mistakes when owning a domain? Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a name for a business – it requires thought, selection and decision making, because it will be your identity on the web for a long time. To make brainstorming easier, experiment with different word combinations. The main aim is to find a name that is resonant and clear, and easy to say even over the phone.

We’ve put together a series of points to help you choose and register a domain name.

Choose your .ee top-level domain!

  • If your website is aimed at the home market, choose a domain ending in .ee, which is the top level domain in Estonia. This will reassure visitors that you’re in their home country, that you’re close by and that you’re respecting local customs.
  • By default, people type the home country’s top level domain (TLD) into their browsers first. Other TLDs are less memorable and harder to remember and guess.

Sometimes don’t choose the .ee top-level domain!

  • Think big: .ee is your home market, while elsewhere it’s easier to promote yourself as a .eu entrepreneur, or by choosing one of the neighbouring domains .fi (Finland), .lv (Latvia) or . lt (Lithuania). Why not choose a domain from another country? .se (Sweden), at (Austria), .be (Belgium),.ch (Switzerland), .co (Colombia), .cz (Czech Republic),.de (Germany),.dk (Denmark),.fr (France).
  • Popular domains, such as .com, .net, .org, etc. – these domains were the beginning of the Internet. And while it is difficult to find a free domain name today, they are certainly worth considering when choosing an international name.

Also consider unusual top-level domains

  • New top-level domains such as .beer, .design, .pink, etc. Domain names that say more about what you do and where or to whom you want to sell it are well suited to a borderless internet. In the search for thematic domains, you will often see variations that start with .agency, .apartments or .beerand end with .pink or .ninja.

Consider whether you should buy a domain with other top-level domains or a similar spelling

  • It would add weight to your main domain if you register the other popular top-level domains as well, if possible, and then have them forwarded to the main domain. For example, you would also forward zone.fi and zone.eu to zone.ee.
  • By registering alternative top-level domains, you can prevent someone else from taking them away and redirecting your customers to their own site. You can also prevent them from trying to sell them back to you for a higher price later. Apple, for example, did not own the apple.co.uk domain for a full 16 years: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/19/apple_gains_control_of_apple_dot_co_dot_uk/
  • It is often a good idea to register several similar domains under your company name to avoid competitors doing harm. For example, when registering mooblipood.ee, register the domains mööblipood.ee and mooblipood24.ee if possible.

Choose a name that is meaningful

  • Logical – related to the core business of your company or organisation.
  • Reliable – meaningful to your partners and customers.
  • Short – easy to write and remember. Easy to pronounce and understandable even over the phone. Avoid special characters in the noun (punctuation, etc.).
  • Clear, recognizable – easy to find and distinguish in Google and easy to recognize.

Subdomain – what is a subdomain and is it necessary?

  • Examples of subdomains are help.zone.eu or blog.zone.ee.
  • The most common reason for using sub-domains is to distinguish and sub-divide different categories of topics.

What is an alias domain?

  • An alias domain is a domain that automatically redirects visitors to your main domain. For example, zone.eu, zone.lv will be forwarded to zone.ee as aliases.
  • With aliases, it is also a good way to redirect several alternative, previously registered domains to your main page. For example, zone.fi and zone.lt are aliases for zone.ee, so that all visitors are always directed to the same place.

Don’t lose hope if your favourite domain is already taken

  • All expiring .ee domains will be listed for auction on the .ee auction environment from 26 March 2019. The domain auction will run for 24 hours and if no bid is placed for the domain, the domain will be released and will be freely available for registration to all interested parties on a first come, first served basis. Priority for domain registration will go to the auction. It is worth checking the domain auction page on a daily basis, as some real domain gems appear from time to time: https://www.zone.ee/en/domain-registration/ee-domain-auction/
  • If you have already entered the domain auction, be sure to check if there are any domains with the same name available with a .eu or .com ending, for example.

Be careful when buying a domain at auction

  • When you buy an existing domain, the history of the domain comes with it. This can be both good and bad:
  • Good: Google already knows the domain and it may be easier to find.
  • Bad: it can come with unpleasant baggage, such as links to gambling, spam and similar objectionable activities.

Check your domain history

There are a variety of websites on the internet that can be used to check the information of the old domain owner as well as to view the former content of the page. In this way, you can avoid registering a domain name with a questionable reputation, which could lead to potential problems. Here are a few examples:

Choose a reliable registrar

  • Zone is the preferred .ee and .eu registrar in Estonia – 24 years of experience and over 100 000 domains.
  • In addition, Zone is also the official .fi, .lv, .lt, .nl registrar.
  • For a full list of accredited .ee registrars, please visit the website of the Estonian Internet Foundation at https://www.internet.ee/registrars/accredited-registrars

Always register and configure your domain yourself

  • Then you can always be sure that you own all the rights and no one walks away with your assets.
  • You’ll also get experience of how to do some basic things with the domain yourself, such as changing domain name servers or DNS records to point the domain to the desired addresses, and so on.

Register a domain for the long term

  • If you are registering a domain, you can also choose a longer registration period than one year for the most common extensions. Choose as long as possible, as there is no risk of it expiring after a year. Once you have registered your domains in Zone, we will send you the first expiry notice 2 months before expiry. Depending on the extension, you will be able to register or renew your domain for up to 10 years at a time.

To conclude

The hardest part is now over. The next steps are much easier!

Domain registration in Zone is almost entirely automated and the domain is usually registered within minutes of receiving payment.

Start here: https://www.zone.ee/en/domain-registration/

Updated on 19. Apr 2024

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