Your portfolio website is all about making a strong first impression. Before anyone gets there though, they’ll first have to click a domain name or type one into their address bar. A domain name is one of the first introductions people have to you and your work. Luckily for you, Hover sells tons of great domains and we’re here to help you choose the best domain name possible right from the start.
Use our tips below to get the perfect domain name for your professional portfolio website.
Choosing the Best Domain Name for Your Portfolio
- Make it easy to spell
- Create a brand/company name
- Keep it short
- Avoid dashes and numbers
- Choose a relevant top-level domain
- Check for unexpected words
- How will it look as an email address?
- Pick a good domain name registrar
1. Make it Easy to Spell
If your name is easy to spell then, by all means, use it as a domain name—but what do you do if your personal name is hard to remember or is complicated to spell? You shouldn’t change the spelling of your name for your domain, but you can consider other options that work for you, like using your initials or just part of your name if your full name is super tricky. However, if you have a really popular name, you might need to take things a step further (see next point).
2. Create a Brand/Company Name
Many professionals (especially consultants and freelancers) create a brand name for their work to live under. A brand name will typically do a better job of communicating what type of work you do than just your given name. Others may also take your work more seriously if it appears like you operate as a company rather than an individual—even if you’re the company’s sole employee! Branding is everything sometimes and in the case of brand names and domains, you’ll do well if you keep it simple but memorable.
3. Keep it Short
Technically your domain name can be up to 63 characters, but that doesn’t mean it should be! On the Internet, an extra three to four seconds spent typing a URL can seem like an eternity. A shorter domain name is easier to read and remember, both of which are crucial factors towards driving people to your website.
4. Avoid Dashes and Numbers
Numbers can make spelling your domain name confusing. Using a 4 instead of for or 2 instead of to might cause people to misspell your domain and give up looking for you when they can’t figure it out. And though dashes seem more straightforward than numbers, they too create an additional element that people have to remember when typing in your domain. Any time your domain name is said out loud, people will hear Your Dash Name instead of Your Name, which isn’t ideal and looks a bit amateur.
5. Choose a Relevant Top-Level Domain
Depending on what your business name is, it might not be obvious what kind of work you do. Although .COM is the obvious top-level domain to try first, consider one of the other 400+ top-level domains that might be more suitable to your work. For example, Hover sells .DESIGN and .IO extensions that can help you create a unique and custom domain like yourname.design or yournameportfol.io to amplify your line of work! With choices ranging from .DESIGN, .PHOTOGRAPHY and .CONSULTING to .WTF, .HORSE and .PIZZA, there’s bound to be a TLD that works for your website. As an added bonus, you have a better chance of getting the domain name you actually want by using a newer domain extension. Picking a cool TLD can make your website domain name appear memorable and unique so play around and see what works for you and your brand.
6. Check for Unexpected Words
Placing two or more words together without spaces can sometimes result in the formation of unforeseen words! For example, IT Scrap is a perfectly fine name for a technology recycling company, but itscrap.com spells something entirely different. Remember, your domain name lives on the Internet, which is notorious for pointing out inappropriate mistakes like these. You want people to remember you for your work, not a silly error or oversight.
7. How Will it Look as an Email Address?
A portfolio website is your online business card so think about how your domain will look as an email address. For instance, an events planner named Heidi Saunders could set up a firstname.lastname@example.org email address which would work well professionally, align with her brand and immediately tell visitors who or what kind of business they’ll be reaching. A simple but clear you@yourdomain email will help people get in touch.
8. Pick Hover as Your Domain Name Registrar
We’re naturally a little biased here, but whether you choose Hover or another domain name registration service, make sure you pick a service that will allow you the freedom to do whatever you need to with your domain. Some important things look for:
- Inexpensive or free WHOIS privacy.
- A great support team to help if things go wrong.
- A domain that is not tied to a hosting package or website builder, so you can point your domain to whichever service you prefer and change services in the future if you so choose.
Online Portfolio Perfection
Getting a great domain name for your portfolio gets you a piece of your own online real estate, which can feel pretty empowering. That feeling is made even better by having a domain that reflects your personality, ticks all the right boxes and actually brings people to your site. Make sure you check out our monthly domain sales and snag a domain that speaks to you. We hope this list brought you one step closer to bringing your online presence to life and we wish you great success in carving out your own slice of the Internet.