While many people focus on the usability and design of their website, too many website owners fail to recognize the impact of their domain name. This can be a very costly mistake since the success of your website is often largely dependent on the domain name. It is much simpler to start building your website with a strong domain name than it is to change it months or years after launching. However, there are times when a website owner realizes this a little later in the process or decides that a domain name change is necessary for other reasons. This article was written to help you determine if a change is in order and what to consider when making the switch.
Domain Name Significance
A premium domain name that matches your brand and enhances your online presence is an important factor in online branding and marketing. Many small to medium business websites that are ranked in the top 10 on the search engine results page (SERP) have domain names that consist of relevant and branded keywords.Your name is what distinguishes you from the rest of the websites online and it’s what your audience will associate with your brand. Building your online presence after a domain name switch can be an exhausting process but if you have a legitimate reason to make the change it may be worth it.
Reasons to Switch
The idea of changing your domain name can be a frightening prospect. This can be especially concerning if your business is exclusively run online. Making a switch over to a new domain will involve transitioning your current audience over to your new domain name. There will also be various technical and marketing related issues that need to be considered and resolved.
While this may be a daunting task, it can also be beneficial for your business. Especially if you are currently using a poor domain that is holding back your business potential. A few other reasons that may warrant a domain name switch include:
- Finding an opportunity for a domain name that is a better match for your brand.
- If your company is making some major changes and going through a rebranding process.
- If you have access to a premium domain name that is shorter, more relevant or has higher authority than your current domain.
These are just a few reasons that some people decide to change domain names. However, all the options should be carefully considered for the long-term benefit of your website.
There are several big-name online companies that decided to change their domain name after their initial launch. They chose to do this for different reasons but it was a successful move for each of them. In fact, these companies have become such strong brands that you may not even know that they started out with a different domain. The companies below are a few examples of a successful domain name swap:
This social media behemoth actually started out as thefacebook.com. While it has been stated that the company always wanted to be “Facebook,” someone else had already registered the domain and the asking price was too high for the new company. In 2005 they decided to purchase the domain for $200,000 in order to get their coveted name.
The original Twitter domain name was twttr.com. In spite of its starting domain name the company was always known as Twitter but was unable to use the current domain during its 2006 launch because it was already registered to a bird admirer. At a certain point Twitter’s co-founder, Evan Williams, decided that it was worth it to pay 7,500 to acquire the domain with the real spelling.
Would you have the same faith in PayPal if they had retained the domain x.com? PayPal was developed following an Internet Financial Services company’s purchase of Confinity in 2000. At this time PayPal was a new concept but the company began to see some success in 2001 after switching from x.com to paypal.com. The name PayPal explains the services provided by the company much better than X and also sounds more customer- friendly.
If you decide that a domain name switch is necessary for your business then be sure to do your research beforehand. As you are going through a site migration there are several best practices you should follow in order to implement and validate your new domain name. Successfully moving over to a new domain can be a tricky but if you take the correct steps you can minimize any problems that might crop up and take full advantage of the new opportunity that your domain offers.