How To Choose the Best Domain Name in 2023 (7 Tips & Tools)

Illustration of someone standing outside a shop window browsing over available domain names which they're considering purchasing for their website

A domain name is more than a URL where people can find you online. It’s how you express your identity and build a brand.

Of course, when choosing the right domain name, there are many things to consider. Such as:

  • What should a customer feel when they hear your domain name?
  • Does your domain name cover all the products and services you sell
  • Should you include keywords for SEO or go with a brandable domain? 

Fortunately, while domains are affordable and easy to register, it takes some effort to find the perfect domain name—which is why we put together this guide. 

With domain name examples from the best ecommerce websites and tools to generate business name ideas you can start an online store right away and get selling fast.

How to choose the best domain name

  1. Keep your domain name short, brandable, and memorable
  2. Avoid hyphens and numbers
  3. Choose a .com domain name
  4. Check for other top level domains like ccTLD's or .shop
  5. Include SEO keywords in your domain name, if possible
  6. Use a domain name generator for inspiration
  7. Research your desired domain name

Learn more: Check out our quickstart guide on how to find the best domain name registrars.

1. Keep your domain name short, brandable, and memorable

If you’re fortunate to already have a brand name, you’ll definitely want to try and register it as your domain. This makes it easier for people to find you online and connect your business to your website. If possible, you’ll want to have the .com, but .co and .net maybe suitable alternatives.

Regardless of the name you choose, it’s incredibly important to keep it short, concise, and easy to remember.

Aim to:

  • Keep your domain name under 15 characters
  • Avoid slang (ie, don’t use “U” instead of “you”)
  • Avoid words with complex spelling and meanings

For example, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s online store could have used Do you see something off here? Beside the domain being too long, what stands out are the words “fart store”—not the best look for a brand selling stuff online. 

Instead, the brand chose—a short, sweet, pronounceable domain name people will remember.

LACMA store domain name

Some brands, like Biko, also get creative with their domain name by making it relatable, yet clear. The domain name puts shoppers in the right mindset once they land on the page. 

Biko domain name

You get the idea. Above all, make your domain name simple and brandable so people can find you online.

2. Avoid hyphens and numbers

People mistype stuff all the time—you can’t control it. But you can lower the chances of people mistyping your domain name by omitting hyphens and numbers. For example, using “4” in place of “for” could confuse people on what to type when looking for your site. 

Avoiding numbers and hyphens also makes your domain name mobile friendly. When you type out a URL on a phone, you have to switch between alphabet and numeric keyboards—which leaves more room for typos, misspellings, and confusion.

You’ll want to avoid:

  • Combining numbers and words:
    • Hyphens:
    • Abbreviations:
      • Doubled letters:

          One exception to these guidelines is if your brand name includes a number. Clothing retailer 3sixteen, for example, uses the domain name It’s consistent across its branding, social media handles, and merchandise. So in this case, the domain name is identifiable and brandable, making it less likely shoppers will get confused by the number. 

          There are always exceptions to the rule of course, but don’t put yourself at a disadvantage from the start if you can avoid it.

          3sixteen homepage

          3. Choose a .com domain name (but don’t worry if you can’t get one) 

          When it comes to choosing your domain extension, there’s debate on which one gets you more traffic. The .com extension is the most established and most credible, with over 78% of businesses using it. Many smartphones also have a “.com” key, which makes it easier to type your domain name. 

          That said, it’s not the end of the world if you have to “settle” for .co or .net. If for example, you can purchase the .net but the .com is selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, it may make sense to go with the latter. Of course, you do want to ensure you’re not infringing on any copyright laws where applicable—it’s better safe than sorry!

          4. Check for other top level domains, like ccTLD's or .shop

          Sometimes you may find a desired name unavailable with the .com extension. If that’s the case, don’t stress. Here are a few other top level domain (TLD) suffixes to consider:

          A good option for brick-n-mortar businesses in a specific city, for example, .london or .boston.

          • .country

          A solid choice for retailers who want to reach international markets.

          • .co 

          This is a global alternative to .com for all languages and cultures.

          If you have a non-profit business, .org will help you stand out. 

          • .shop 

          This is a good alternative for ecommerce websites, because it’s clear and concise.

          A good option for small business owners and online retailers.

          A good choice for wholesalers or B2B ecommerce stores.

          If you’re selling in another country, like the UK or India, try to search for country code TLDs. For example, Suta, a Shopify merchant from Mumbai, uses the .in extension rather than .com. The domain name is still clean and memorable and can be found without thinking about it. 

          We cover the pros and cons of various extensions in our ultimate guide to domains.

           Suta domain name

          5. Include SEO keywords in your domain name, if possible

          Try to use keywords in your domain name search, but only if it makes sense. A keyword in your domain tells search engines what your website is about. If you have a good user experience and quality content, you could rank higher in Google search results. 

          You’ll need to get creative and mix keywords with your brand name to make it stand out. Start with a few broad keywords that represent your products, then add your company name. 

          If you sell apparel, for example, the term “apparel” could work well in your domain name. Try the formula [brand name] + [broad keyword] = [domain name]:

          • Sunday + apparel =
          • Diane’s + candles = or
          • Cosmik + masks =

          Stick to one or two keywords. More can feel spammy and drive people away from your site. 

          A great example of this comes from Verve Coffee Roasters, a coffee brand from Santa Cruz, California. It chose the domain name, which covers both brand and broad keyword and is memorable and relatable for site visitors. 

          Verve coffee

          6. Use a domain name generator for inspiration

          Feeling stuck on choosing a domain name? You can pull ideas from Shopify’s free domain name generator. Load the tool, plug in a keyword, and we’ll return popular and alternative domain names you can use for your business. 

          Sneak peek: Say you want to sell hats, here are a few options available right now:

          Shopify domain name generator

          Not the right domain name for you? The domain name generator also shows alternative options. 

          Shopify domain name generator 2

          Free Video Series: Ecommerce Inspiration

          Feeling uninspired? Watch some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs share their best advice for new business owners.

          7. Research your desired domain name

          Once you pick a good domain name, you’ll want to check if the domain is already registered. You can use Shopify’s Domain Search tool to see a custom domain’s availability. Another common way to do this research is through a WHOIS lookup.

          Before committing to a domain name, you’ll want to make sure that no other business is using the same one. There are three ways to check:

          • Run a trademark search. Head to and search the trademark database to see if anyone registered a similar name.
          • Check social media. Search Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and other relevant social media channels to check your name’s availability. This will come in handy when you go to create your accounts, too. 
          • Do a Google search. Last but not least, type your desired name into Google to see if anyone is closely tied to your brand.

          What to do if your domain name is taken

          Sometimes that great domain name you’re after will be registered already. In that case, there are a few options: 

          Try to buy it from the owner 

          Sometimes people buy domain names to sell to companies like yours in the future. If someone already owns the exact domain you want, try getting in touch with the owner and make an attractive offer. Find their details on the WHOIS database and contact them to discuss buying the domain. 

          You can also do additional research by looking up the brand on social media, and noting how often the site is updated. If a domain hasn’t been updated in years, there’s a chance the owner might be willing to strike a deal.

          Opt for a variation 

          While in an ideal world, you’d be able to snag your perfect domain name, sometimes a little variation doesn’t hurt.

          Brainstorm new domain names with variations of your original one. You could switch things around and create a different version of your brand name. For example, if is taken by an IT consultant, try or instead for your illustration business. 

          You could also register a ccTLD based on where your business is located — whether it’s city-specific (.nyc, .cdmx) or country-based (.mx, .de). This could help you target customers in specific countries and boost your search ranking in international markets.

          If you’re an online retailer, an easy variant you can use is [shop] + [brandname].com. For example, Horne, a Shopify merchant selling modern decor, uses 

          You can also discover variations using a business name generator to uncover new names you haven’t thought of. When you're ready, you can search for a new domain and instantly check availability with our Domain Name Generator

          Try for a different top level domain

          If your domain name is not available in the .com extension, try to get a different TLD instead. As long as the current .com domain isn’t trademarked or in a similar niche, you could register using .co, .shop, .biz, or other trustworthy TLDs.

          To check for trending TLDs, head to NameStat. You can check the biggest selling and fastest growing TLDs to help decide your domain extension. 

          Namestat homepage

          To see which TLDs to avoid, check Spamhaus, a tool that analyzes the TLDs with the worst reputations, so you can create a trustworthy domain.


          Once you find some great ideas, you’ll want to take the final step in choosing a domain. 

          How to register your domain name 

          With over 370 million domain registrations, and a 3% year-over-year growth rate, you want to lock in your domain fast. 

          If you’re starting an ecommerce business, you can buy a domain name when registering your Shopify store rather than searching another domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap.

          By using the Domain Name Generator, you can find and register a domain name in just a few clicks. This will save you time getting your store live, so you can start selling faster.

          If you’re not ready to register your domain name yet, that’s OK. You can use an auto-generated free domain name: That way, you can design your Shopify store and buy the best domain name for you when you’re ready.

          Buying a domain name with Shopify

          If you’re not ready to register your domain name yet, that’s OK. You can use an auto-generated free domain name: That way, you can design your Shopify store and buy the best domain name for you when you’re ready.

          Using your domain name as a competitive advantage

          A domain name isn’t just a web address in someone’s browser. It’s an extension of your company and brand. Domain’s play a critical role in how you position your brand and present yourself to the digital world, whether you’re blogging or selling products online. 

          Your domain name doesn’t need to be overly clever for it to be perfect. Instead, choose one that is simple, memorable, and has a nice ring to it.

          You’ll look more professional and gain instant credibility with your shoppers, which will likely lead to more awareness and sales for your business. You might not be the next Google, but with a little bit of luck, your domain can be a household name.

          Domain names FAQ

          Which domain name extension is best?

          According to research from GrowthBadger, .com domains are over 33% more memorable than URLs with other top-level domains. It’s also the #1 most trusted domain name extension. When people can’t remember a URL, they’re 3.8 times more likely to assume it ends in .com.

          How do I choose a good domain name?

          1. Keep your domain name short and memorable
          2. Avoid hyphens and numbers
          3. Choose a .com domain name
          4. Include keywords for search engine optimization
          5. Research your domain name
          6. Use a domain name generator for inspiration

          Is a long domain name bad?

          Long domain names aren’t bad, per se, but they can be difficult for people to remember and type. If a domain name is too difficult to spell, it can create a bad user experience. Avoid complicated, long domain names if possible. 

          How do you permanently buy a domain name?

          No one can buy a domain name permanently. Domain name registration happens on a recurring basis—sometimes it can be one year, or you can prepay for a domain name for a longer period of time.

          Illustration by Rachel Tunstall