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Picking the Right URL - 6 Common Mistakes & Problems Businesses, Nonprofits, Main Street Associations and Others Make with Their Website Domains

Last Updated 12/16/2021In Marketing Fundamentals

Your website's domain, also known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator for those of you who like to know where the acronym comes), is incredibly important - it's literally your address online.

Ours is "" though you access it at and it loads securely over https with Cloudflare's free SSL Cert service.

In working with hundreds of businesses and nonprofits we've seen a some painful, often expensive mistakes

  1. All else being equal, keep it simple. Simple and easy to spell is more important than short
  2. Avoid hyphens, numbers and other characters, and limit the length but don't abbreviate things unnecessarily
  3. Beware of redundant letters in name i.e. "Locable's Signs" could get confusing if it was "locablessigns" with the double "s"
  4. Pick a .com, .org or .net version if at all possible
  5. Register the domain yourself, don't have a tech person do it, and maintain control of it. You can share access to the domain if necessary but it's your property, losing it can be costly and frustrating. Consolidate your domains into a single account if you have many domains in different places
  6. Ensure it doesn't lapse due to a failed credit card

There is a lot of confusion around domains and how to use them with our website and email but don't defer ownership to someone else.

You can quickly and easily register domains, we recommend Google Domains which is just $12/year and includes private registration - you can buy domains or transfer existing domains to them. Usually, there's an additional fee for private registration which ensures your contact info is kept private. More than that, they don't try to scare you into upsells or creep the price up when it renews.

Using a confusing domain can make it hard for people to find you online especially when coming from offline promotion or referrals. Meanwhile, losing your domain or not having direct access can cause serious problems. All of which can be avoided.

Need help with your domain...

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