You have decided to open your own online shop ?! Congratulations on the good decision!
Shopify offers you a free domain in the following format: yourstore.myshopify.com . However, you also have the option to buy and use your own domain name, such as yourstore.com . Having your own domain name is more professional and makes it easier to promote your brand.
Do you want to get instantly to the list with Shopify stores from Germany, Austria and Switzerland? Then click here to look at domain names that work great!
However, with so many existing websites, you need to be creative to find a domain name that is not already taken. Some time ago, Smashing Magazine published a great article explaining how to do that. Here we highlight some of the key points.
The importance of the domain name
Registering your own domain name offers many important benefits.
A permanent address online
Domain names provide a permanent point of contact for interested people who want to find your business online. Regardless of how your business changes over the years, your domain name can always stay the same. Whether you find a new web host, redesign your brand, or change your business model, you can keep your domain name.
Without a trademark domain name, it will be harder for your business to attract attention. There will always be something behind the “main brand” with which you share the name, in this case mybrand. myshopify .com . It’s difficult for web browsers to remember your URL, possibly even your brand.
Trust and credibility
Investing a bit of money in registering your own domain is a sign that your business is legitimate. Not only will this increase your customers’ trust and conversions, it will also make it easier for other companies to work with you. Plus, media can write about you so much better.
5 rules for choosing an unforgettable domain name
1. The essentials : Be short, concise and unforgettable! Your name should also be easy to pronounce and well spellable.
2. The Unspoken Rules : When choosing a domain name, avoid selecting one that resembles a competing domain name and make sure that you do not violate any trademark rights of others.
3. “.COM” – “.com” is the most popular top-level domain and it can be difficult to find an available one. In most cases you should prefer “.com”. However, if you only want to sell in a specific country, you should consider a country-specific domain such as “.de” for Germany or “.at” for Austria.
4. Strong Branding: Having a strong brand is important. Even if you only sell one product at a time, you may be adding more products in the future. Choose a name to grow into, even if your website or business strategy changes.
Further tips on branding are given by an expert in this post!
5. Be Creative: Most one-word domains are no longer available and you may need to invent your own word. Try to merge two complete words (YouTube), use a phrase (Six Apart), merge parts of two words together (Microsoft), modify a word (Flickr), put together a word from a prefix and a suffix ( Shopify) or to invent a completely new word (Odeo).
Read here how a Shopify dealer from Munich has built a strong brand – of course, with matching, distinctive domain!
Tools to help you brainstorm
- Company Name Generator – Shopify’s free tool for generating business name ideas.
- GoSpaces – Free tool that allows you to generate a company name. Fast and easy!
- NameStation – Creates a list of available domains based on an entered word.
- Domaintyper – Instantly checks for domain name availability.
- Domain Pigeon – See what others want to register, and get your inspiration.
- Domainr – Enter a word and the system finds “Domain Hacks”.
Most likely, you will not get your first choice. Do not be discouraged. You will find a great domain name that perfectly represents your store.
Have a look around on this page. There are many free tools for generating company names and many other useful things. These help you to find your perfect brand name.
How to buy a domain name
After choosing a domain name, the purchase and registration process can be done in a few easy steps.
Step 1: Select a domain registrar
There are many registrars (service providers) who can register your domain name for you. Ask friends or colleagues for recommendations and always choose a company that has been in business for a while.
Step 2: Whois
When registering a domain name, you will need to provide some details such as your name, phone number, and address. This information becomes public by default, but you can pay to hide it. Some registrars let you hide this information for free, but this reduces the reliability of your website for search engines and website visitors.
If you are concerned about privacy, you should use a business name and contact details rather than your personal information.
Step 3: Hosting
Once you’ve registered a domain name, you’ve reserved your URL, but you still do not have a website. This must be created and hosted separately.
How to register a domain name with Shopify
When you set up a Shopify store, you can register a domain name and create your online store at the same time.
If you already have a Shopify store, log in and navigate to Onlineshop → Domains.
If you already have a domain name, follow the steps outlined here to learn how to work with your Shopify store.
Then click on Buy Domain and follow the instructions on the screen.