What is your site name

Basics: 8 rules for the correct name (domain) of a website

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Each website has its own unique address. No, the partly cryptic address line at the top of the browser is called a URL, not a domain www.xyz.de/xxy/zzz.html. The domain, on the other hand, is only the part xyz.de. It consists of several characters, numbers and special characters and a domain extension, in this case .de for Germany.

And this is exactly the domain you need for your company website - the only question is, what do you want to name the address? Our 8 rules for choosing the right website name show you what to look out for.

Rule 1: My name or an art term?

If your company already has a company name, i.e. a name, then you should use it. Unless it is as general as “Frisör Berlin” or as cryptic as “Frisör Berlin Else Mustermann GbR”. In the first case you will hardly have a chance to reserve the domain - nobody can remember the long variant. You should use your personal name especially when you are the brand yourself, when you work as a consultant or coach. (See rule 6.) However, if you are looking for an artificial term for your company, then make sure that you can also imagine something under it as an inexperienced Internet user: The domain www.eierlegendewollmichsau.de may apply to your business idea, but every user will imagine something else under it.

Rule 2: With a hyphen or without it?

Let's stay with the domain www.eierlegendewollmichsau.de - to be honest, it'll be an effort for you to read it. Basically, if you have more than two words, separate them with a hyphen. And it is also best to use the hyphen for two-word domains in order to avoid errors in understanding.

Rule 3: Short, easy to remember and distinctive

You know this from your own Internet search: The names of web pages are best remembered when they are short. Website addresses, i.e. their domains, are very often passed on by word of mouth. To do this, they have to be easy to understand and remembered. In addition, the more complicated a domain name, the greater the likelihood of making mistakes when typing it in - especially when browsing on mobile devices, domains that are too long are annoying, typing is simply more complicated.

By the way: the longest and most complicated domain

is the one-word domain according to the Guinness Book of Records www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf.org.uk Behind the registered 63 (+8) letters is the Internet address of a municipality in the south of the island of Anglesey in the county of the same name in northwest Wales. But nobody can remember it.

Rule 4: Avoid numbers and umlauts

The Internet is the most global of all places, so domain names with special characters, such as our umlauts, are difficult to understand internationally. That is why there were no umlauts in the web addresses for a long time - that has changed. The problems with understanding, however, are not: If you tell someone your domain, umlauts or even numbers can be misunderstood.

Umlauts in email addresses do not work

This also speaks against umlauts in your domain, later you will certainly want to use email addresses such as [email protected] But that doesn't work with umlauts. So you'd better use a domain without umlauts.

Rule 5: Create expectations - and meet them!

If you read the website www.schoener-einkaufen.de on a flyer, what do you expect there? Certainly no discounter advertising, then it should be called www.billger-einkaufen.de. In fact, a memorable name is good if it arouses an idea, an expectation in the reader. The art of being a good name is to match these expectations with your offering. You have to be creative, because on the one hand you may no longer have the perfect names and names as a domain (someone reserved them long before you) and it is not that easy to split the content of your website and your company in two summarize up to a maximum of three words (one would be best!).

Name brainstorming tips

Take a practical approach: think of names, ask your friends, family members, partners for ideas or even afford a copywriting agency. Then check whether the address still exists: To do this, simply type the term above into the address line of your browser: Either a website appears immediately or you get a message that the page is still “under construction”. Then someone has already secured the domain, but has not yet started anything. Maybe it's worth buying the domain. You can contact the owner of the domain for all websites with “de” suffixes at denic.

Rule 6: your name, your brand, your keyword

It is certainly the goal of every entrepreneur: to turn his company into a brand. But even self-employed people who have not come up with an elaborate name want a brand to have a strong impact: It is then your personal name that becomes the brand name. How you can now turn your company name (your company name) into a brand is another topic. But one thing is certain: you should consider the triad of name / brand / keyword. Because if your company is called “Shoes from Heinrich”, then your brand is ideally something similar or exactly the same. But be careful: The keyword “shoes” will not help you on the Internet - the competition is too big for that. With “Heinrichschuh” you might have a chance.

Stay away from keyword domains?

Anyone who has ever dealt with the Google ranking (behind this is the complicated algorithm with which the search engine defines its hits) may have heard that domains that primarily use one keyword are bad for the Google ranking. That's nonsense, it's just not as beneficial as it used to be. Google has downgraded the importance of a keyword in the domain and is looking much more closely for the content of a page. Nevertheless, you still have advantages with a keyword in the domain: The domain appears in the search results and is even highlighted in color.

Rule 7: de, com, net - which ending is the right one?

.de, .com, .info, .net - For a long time, the choice of extensions for your desired domain, the so-called top level domains, was limited. That had an advantage: there weren't that many ways to find your page. The disadvantage: the addresses were limited, www.cafe.de there was exactly once. Well, that's changing: A lot of new endings are currently being allowed, for example .coffee shop. But this creates new problems: Your customers now also have to remember which ending you used. This means that you have to think carefully about whether one of the new endings really fits the content of your website.

Reserve new domain extensions now

Over 1500 new endings are to be approved worldwide soon. But so far you can only reserve it, but not use it. Nevertheless, millions of reservations have already been received and you should check now whether your desired domain is still free and, if in doubt, reserve it. This is possible, for example, on the website of the domain host united-domains. You can see a nice overview at the hoster 1und1.

Rule 8: Beware of Copyright Infringement

As in the rest of life, you shouldn't mess with others in the digital world, especially when they are bigger. Avoid third-party brands and company names for your domain, this also applies to names of celebrities.

  • The private first and last name enjoy name protection according to § 12 BGB.
  • You are also not allowed to use brands and names of companies or persons.
  • Work titles, i.e. titles of books, magazines, films, TV programs and software, are also taboo.
  • City names, license plates and designations of government institutions as well.

You can also get into a lot of trouble with so-called typo domains (e.g. mikrosoft.de instead of microsoft.de): The case law gives the companies concerned appropriate injunctive relief. You risk high claims for damages.

important links


You can see how a domain name becomes art in this video:


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