Thinking of a great domain name for your next website or blog? Before deciding on a name, there are several things you should check to prevent an embarrassing situation later on.
The history of the domain
Before buying that perfect domain name, make sure you know about its past. The last thing you want is to build a business on a name that was previously used by scammers. Searching for references to the domain on malware blacklists (URLVoid is an excellent domain checking tool) or popular search engines will reveal everything you need to know.
Possible trademark infringements
If your domain violates the trademark of an established business, you could run into a number of problems. Not only will you be unable to trademark the name yourself, you might be hit with a nasty lawsuit.
Most governments provide an online service to check whether a name has been trademarked. The United States Patent & Trademark Office offer a simple search engine.
Social media profile availability
Social media websites are all the rage right now, meaning your domain name isn’t overly valuable unless you can get the Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest handles to go with it.
NameChk provides a great service that quickly checks the availability of a name on 157 different services.
Crude double entendre
Don’t choose a domain that’s rude, crude or offensive. Domain names can’t have spaces, which means penisland.com could easily be read penisland.com. Always get a friend to check over your domain name just in case you missed something.
Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, choose a domain name that’s humanly possible to spell. Making it impossible to spell probably means it’s hard to remember too, which will cost you valuable direct traffic.
Similarly, make sure your visitors don’t end up on an inappropriate website if they accidentally mistype a single character in your domain name.