How to Choose a SaaS Domain Name and 10 Best Domain Registrars
There are a plethora of domain names out there that you could choose from. You can venture out into the rabbit hole of domain names and Top-Level Domains(TLD) for days. In this blog, we’ll go through some basic tips that you should keep in mind to get the best SaaS domain name.
A good domain name is integral in playing a part in your website's success. Your domain name is your website's identity and its what users recall when they want to visit your website. It doesn't have to be a perfect name as long as the content on your website is optimized. you still have a little bit of wiggle room.
Why does my SaaS website need a good domain name?
Having a good domain name can either make or break your website. Choose a name too simple and you get lost in the crowd. Choose a name too specific and it gets harder to remember and recall. Choose the wrong TLD and it impacts your website’s ranking. There are chances of you making mistakes at every step of the way which would adversely affect your website.
Top Level Domains are the .com or .net after a website's name.
There are companies who’ve made the most of this opportunity and have smartly chosen their website name. Snapchat, for example, has a domain that is an apt snap.com, or the post-pandemic super hit, Zoom Video Communication, or Zoom as we know it. SaaS companies such as Height or Slack, both apps used in a professional setting to facilitate intra-company communication for example. Both these web apps use the .app TLD cleverly while on a browser.
A clever domain name that I encountered while writing this article was shadow.tech (just the name sounds so badass). Shadow is a subscription based service offered by the French gaming company Blade, that enables you to run video games remotely. They also offer a completely remote supercomputer infrastructure. Meaning you can have all the benefits of a supercomputer from your potato PC. Coolest. Idea. Ever.
Choosing the right domain name can benefit your SaaS further. Here are a few things to remember while picking a domain name:
Subdomains are the short names that are usually present before a domain name. example: <subdomain.domain.tld>
Subdomains allow you to host multiple websites with the same domain. And the best part is, better search engine ranking as the engine recognizes each subdomain as its own website. Say for instance, you have an e-commerce website pcparts.com but also a separate domain for blogs about the products you list, blog.pcparts.com. Since the blog site is regarded as its own page, you can setup backlinks to your primary site and therefore increase its authority.
Keep SEO in mind
A simple and unique domain name also helps with Search Engine Optimization. A well-optimized domain name can provide higher click-through rates and better conversion rates in proportion. This also gives off higher trustworthiness for your site, therefore helping it rank higher on Google’s search page. Look for ways to include keywords in your website. If your company is focused on Car Part sales, consider naming your domain carparts.com over cheapcarparts.com or carpartsales.com
Don’t kiss your users through the website, that might not always work. KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. This was a principle introduced by the U.S. Navy in the 1960s to better streamline communication and radio commands. Avoid long words, numbers, hyphens, and complicated acronyms. While americanbroadcastingcompany.com gets the message across clearly, it’s a mouthful. abc.com is just right and no way you’ll ever forget that.
Avoid Generic Names
Your domain name needs to be unique and not represent any pre-existing product or company. Avoid names of everyday objects, products, locations, or anything else that could have endless results on a search page. Your company name might be easier to remember but also easy to get confused. While writing this article, I came across a company named Glass and when I went back to visit their site, I couldn’t find it no matter how many Google pages I was deep in.
Try it for yourself, look for a SaaS company named Glass, and see how long it takes you to find the company from the shoes of a customer trying to look for your website.
Country Code Top-Level Domain
If you plan on targeting your website for a geo-specific audience, consider looking into Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD). These are the sites with .uk, .fr, .in, .us for the UK, France, India, and United States respectively for example. Having a ccTLD alongside your domain name can drastically increase the CTR, as the website would be aimed at the people of that country so it gives off an impression of relevance.
This has a downside as well, if one domain is SEO optimized, it doesn’t guarantee the optimization of all the other sites as each TLD will be treated as its own domain. so apple.com has a better SEO authority and gets an average of 192 million unique users each month, as compared to apple.in which, in comparison averages on an insignificant 2.7k unique users.
Creative Top-Level Domain and Domain Name Integration
A domain name trend that’s taking the internet by storm is choosing a TLD such that it complements your company’s and domain name as well. Take Google’s child company Alphabet which has one of the smartest implementations of integration, abc.xyz. Or how about Whiskey Auction, a site that lets you auction off your expensive bottle of exquisite whiskeys, or Apple News, Apple’s subscription-based news aggregator.
If your company is based around a web-based application, it would make more sense to get a .app TLD over a .org or .tech. A notable mention would be the .tv TLD, which is the domain name of the country Tuvalu. Tuvalu found a smart way to incentivize this as numerous streaming sites eyed the clear reference to television on the domain name. One of such companies to have used the .tv TLD is GreenTV, a website dedicated to podcasts and video blogs focusing on cleantech, sustainability, and conservation.
How to Pick a Domain Registrar
If you have your domain name picked out, great. Now comes the next step, choosing a Domain Registrar.
A domain registrar is a company that manages the reservation of domain names and TLDs. To put it simply, it’s a company that registers your domain name on your behalf. Most domain registrars offer an option to check domain name availability through their site, alongside prices for available alternative domains. Sometimes this isn’t always enough to choose a domain registrar. Here are some good practices to follow while looking for a domain registrar:
- Variety: Do they offer a variety of domain names? Look for the common TLDs such as .com, .org, .net, and so on. This is a sign of trustworthiness and security, and at the end of the day, reliability.
- Pricing: Each domain extension will have a different pricing policy, .com usually being the most expensive. Many registrars charge additional fees for security and privacy. Explore so you find the best registrar offering the best prices for the best features.
- Transfer: Unless you plan on sticking with the same registrar for the entirety of the website's life, you’re going to want to transfer over to a better registrar as your business upscales. Examine their domain transfer policy before you commit.
- Customer Support: Technology might be sophisticated, but it’s still run by code and codes are susceptible to bugs. Research customer reviews to get the full picture about the domain registrars in the race to compare the best ones.
- Renewal: Your website will have to be renewed under the plans provided by your registrar. Read the fine print to understand their renewal policy and if their entry prices are just promotional prices to attract customers.
Domain Name Generators
If you’re having a hard time brainstorming domain name, you can always fall back on domain name generators. They’re not flashy but they do what they’re supposed to. With the help of a few keywords from the user, the generator automatically recommends domain name ideas. Here are a few domain name generators to check out:
- Nameboy is first domain name generator in the world is also the first on our list. Nameboy is a simple tool that dates back to 1999 and it lists out domain names and its various extensions with an option to buy them at the click of a button.
- isitwp is a domain name generator that is powered by Nameboy, and have worked out a deal with Bluehost where you get a free .com or a .net if you choose to host your website with them.
- Shopify’s business name generator is a quick tool to use to fetch domain name suggestions.
- 3sName is intended to provide a domain name for your startup. With your keyword input, the website generates a list of domain names under different filters such as animals, physics terms, special extensions and TLDs.
- Business Name Generator has a variety of filters that you can meddle around with to find a domain name and TLD that satisfies you. It presents a list of available domain names with your keyword and provides a link to register them.
Top 10 Domain Registrars for 2022
It seems like there are thousands of options for domain registrars to choose from. Here’s some of the most popular
- Godaddy: Largest domain registrar in the world with over 75 million domains globally. They offer a load of hosting add-ons alongside customer support, although they are considered to be a bit on the pricey side.
- NetworkSolutions: Easy to adapt beginner-friendly approach with affordable hosting and flexible billing. Hosting options are limited and there is no support for Windows servers.
- Domain: Offers a variety of TLDs and ccTLDs alongside private registration, privacy protection, and easy transfers.
- Hover: Free Whois privacy for fair pricing, but customer support isn’t stable.
- BlueHost: Provides a free domain with an easy user interface, although their customer support could improve.
- NameCheap: Free Whois privacy with VPN services for additional privacy.
- DomainsGoogle: Easy-to-use with excellent customer support for above-average prices.
- SiteGround: Primarily a web host but also offer domain name registration with 24/7 customer support.
- Porkbun: Free Whois privacy, SSL certificate, URL forwarding, and web hosting.
- Namesilo: One of the most affordable, with bulk-buy options and free Whois privacy.
To wrap it up...
Narrowing down on a domain name can seem like an overwhelming task when you think about all the things that could go wrong. All the domain name registrars offer a discounted rate on your first year plans with them. If you’re not satisfied with your domain name, you can always change it but it’s not recommended as this seriously affects your search engine ranking as your website is already indexed and changing the name can cut down your authority and rankings. So it is essential to make sure you get your domain name right on the first go.