10 Tips for Creating a Great Company Name

What’s in a company name?

A marketable company name is a powerful asset that helps drive growth for any company. Few people notice its importance until the company grows to a certain point. With 100 customers a day looking for your website, it’s hardly noticeable when 20% cannot find you since it’s only 20 customers.

However, when you become more established, 20% may convert to 200 or 2000 customers who are not able to find your website, and that means a huge loss in potential income. By then, many small business owners discover that it is too difficult to rename the business. Changing names means losing and confusing even more customers. Still, change is sometimes necessary for the company to thrive. Before you run into naming issues, follow these tips to come up with a marketable company name.

1. Choose a company name that is as short as possible

After helping many companies work on branding, there is one thing we realized. The shorter the name, the easier it is for customers to remember. Not all businesses are website-focused, but we can say with certainty that if you can drive customers to your site, then you have a slight advantage over the businesses that can’t. Everyone’s main access to the web is on smartphones, and we can all agree that typing on the small keyboard is not as easy as it should be. The longer your business and domain name (website name), the harder it is for your customers to get to your website without getting the spelling wrong. If they cannot get to your website, then they will give up and go somewhere else.

2. Choose a company name that has the fewest syllables possible

Fewer syllables mean names will be easier for customers to remember and type. Many top online retailers have few syllables in their name. Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Macy’s, and Best Buy all have two or three syllables. Not only is it easier to remember the name, but it is also easier to tell other people about it.

3. Choose a company name that has the fewest words possible

Having fewer words is fairly obvious since we just discussed number 2, but fewer words will also mean the name will be easier to remember for customers. While it is usually difficult to find a one-word name, two-word names are a lot more available.

4. Choose a company name with an available domain

While you can choose any business name, you won’t have as many customers if they can’t find your website. The best names are those that the customer can easily understand and type to get to the website. Having the same business name and domain is a big advantage. Remember, they won’t always remember your domain, but if they can type your name into Google and see the same company name as the domain, they will be less confused.

5. Use a trademark-able domain name

Your company name should be easily trademark-able. That means you shouldn’t use big words, and it means coming up with a name that is not already taken by another company. See tip #6 for a more information. A trademark-able name will also help you avoid having similar names to other companies. If your business name is trademark-able, then it is probably unique and will give you a presence on the web.

6. Use pronounceable made up words

Flickr, Tumblr, Reddit are some of the names that companies have found with great success. These are not quite proper words, but they’re easily pronounceable. These easy-to-say words make the names stick in customers’ minds, and they will recall it easier when they search for the name on the internet.

7. When possible use a .com domain name

.com is king. With a vast variety of top-level domain names available, you have a lot of choices. The .com domain has been with us since the beginning of the internet, so people automatically assume that your website is a .com. Another case for the .com domain is that sites that are not .com tend to be spammy. First impressions are important, and in business, you want all the advantage you can get.

8. When possible, avoid international domain names

It’s very tempting to try to use an international domain name for your business. There are some clever domain names you can make with the countries that are available. However, clever is not always a good thing. If you have to end up explaining to your customers how to get to your website, then you’ve made your business less accessible. So you want to avoid the many available international top-level domain names unless you’re doing business in those countries.

9. When possible, avoid dashes or hyphens in the name

Dashes and hyphens are sometimes used in company names, but they make it difficult for people to search for domain names. Whether the company name has a hyphen or not will confuse customers. Some businesses, like law firms, may do well with hyphens. But for businesses that serve the general audience, it’s best just to avoid potentially confusing your customers. Most customers won’t even realize that the hyphen and the dash are two separate punctuation marks, and those who do recognize the difference may be confused as well.

10. When possible, avoid numbers in the name

Although integrating a number with your name can be used to increase the number of available domain names, sometimes numbers confuse customers. Avoid this if possible. Spell out the number in your domain name if you must have one, but you can quickly see how this can get confusing for your customers. For example, when customers tell others about your brand, 99Toys, most people will type the number into the search engine. If your domain spells out the number, then you’re asking your customers to spell correctly and possibly include the hyphen.

Read our article for some websites that will help you come up with a great company name and don’t forget about your logo!

Introduction to Domain Registration and Web Hosting

People new to the field of ecommerce need a website to establish credibility and legitimacy. Getting a website can be a confusing experience for people who are not good with technology, but the process doesn’t have to be frustrating.

Many website creation tools exist today, and one of the first steps is to decide whether you want to learn how to create, design, and control your website or if you want to pay a professional do the work. One increasingly popular tool is WordPress. Other website creation tools include Joomla and Drupal. These platforms are open source and versatile.

However, if you want a ready-to-go ecommerce suite, then Shopify or BigCommerce may be better since such services offer a turn-key model.

While we recommend that you learn how to manage your website, we understand that you are busy doing a hundred other things. Many ecommerce businesses will opt to pay professionals, but you’ll also have to rely on them for updates.

This article will focus on domain registration and the various web hosting options available. If you’ve decided to use WordPress, then choosing a domain and web hosting service may be more simplified. Any graphics used are purely for informational purposes only.

Domain registration

Our earlier blog post has some great tips for choosing a name, but if you already have a business name, then you can head to any number of domain registrars for registration. Some popular ones are NameCheap, DreamHost, and Bluehost. You can find a complete list of domain registrars on ICANN’s website–make sure that the company you use is an accredited registrar.

Registering a domain name is cheap, ranging from $10 to $15 a year for a .com domain.

Google’s domain registration starts at $12 for a .com domain:

Google domain registration home

Once you have registered a domain name, you need to determine what kind of web hosting service you’ll use.

Most domain name registrars also offer web hosting that includes at least one free domain name registration. If you decide to change hosting providers, you will be able to transfer your domain name for a small fee. If you’re starting out, then buying web hosting that comes with a free domain name may be a simpler solution.

You should also think about getting privacy protection, also known as WHOIS protection or WHOIS guard. Your information is public when you register a domain name. Domain privacy or WHOIS protection mask your personal information when other people look up your domain.

Web hosting

There are hundreds of web hosting providers. You may want to shop around for price and features. Many of the low prices quoted by domain registrars and web hosting providers are introductory rates for the first year, after which you will pay the regular price.

One of the cheapest web hosting services is shared hosting. Shared hosting is a service where the resources of one physical server are shared across hundreds or thousands of other websites. Because one server handles numerous sites, this can lead to a problem where one website on the server uses significant resources, slowing down websites for everyone else. An increase or spike in traffic for a few sites may mean a slowdown for your website.

VPS, or virtual private server, is another standard hosting service. VPS differs from shared hosting in that you receive dedicated resources on a server. This option gets around the issue of having one website take up too many resources and slowing down your site. This service provides some of the benefits of both a dedicated server and a shared server. VPS hosting is a bit more expensive than shared hosting, but it’s a better option if you need consistency.

Here’s an example of different prices from Bluehost:

bluehost web hosting prices

If you anticipate having hundreds of thousands of visitors and you want to have complete control over your server, then you may want to lease a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are the most expensive option since you are allowed full customization and control.

One popular choice now is WordPress hosting. Services optimize their servers for WordPress, often claiming to reduce load times by 1 second. While this may not seem like a lot, even one second can stop customers from visiting your website. WordPress hosting also includes features like security, backup, and technical support. WordPress hosting is a good option if you are considering WordPress for your site.

SiteGround also offers WordPress hosting. These services tend to be a little higher than shared hosting. For many web hosting providers, WordPress hosting is about the same price as VPS hosting. One drawback to WordPress hosting is that the features and server options are minimal.

SiteGround WordPress prices

Many web hosting providers also offer scalability, automatically increasing resources whenever there is a high amount of traffic to your website. This feature will cost more, but it will allow you to handle increased traffic in the event your product becomes viral. Scalability is a feature worth considering if you do a lot of social media marketing.

Another solution is using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host your website. Amazon Web Services provides a lot of scalabilities, and many of their features charge based on usage. The fees you pay per month can be low if you’re not getting many visitors. But if you get a spike in visitors, the service will automatically scale to handle the visitors. However, using AWS requires more a little more technical expertise. AWS also offers a host of other features like analytical tools that web hosting providers may not provide.

Having a website adds a lot of credibility and authenticity to your ecommerce business. Doing a little research now will mean a lot less frustration later. The last thing you want is for your product to go viral only for your website to slow to a crawl because of shared hosting. Once you’ve settled on a website, read our article for tips on how you can improve your website load speed.