Should You Get Creative With Your Domain Name?

These days, you have a lot of options when it comes to registering a new domain name. There are dozens of Top-Level Domains (TLD) you can choose from for your URLs, and this enables people to pull off some creative combinations. The real question is whether it’s a good idea to use those combinations or not.

You can, for example, use TLDs such as .blog or .wiki to let people know upfront what your website is about. Or you can try to work in a TLD as part of the site’s name – like does. The range of potential combinations is nearly endless, and so are the branding opportunities that are open to you.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of getting creative with your domain name. Then we’ll go over three simple tips to make sure your next domain hits the mark. Let’s get started!

The Pros and Cons of Using Creative Domain Names

An example of a creative domain name.
Creative domain names aren’t just about fun; they can also be functional.

When we talk about getting creative, we don’t mean incorporating overly long names or random strings of letters into your domains. Instead, we’re going to focus on how using different TLDs can enable you to come up with unique combinations, such as

Most people believe that a .com domain is the only viable option, but that hasn’t been true for a long time. In fact, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is constantly approving new TLDs. Aside from looking cool, these alternatives can offer you many benefits, such as:

  • Allowing for cheaper domain registration and renewals. Taking advantage of a unique TLD can save you plenty of money when it comes to registering your domain.
  • Telling people what your site is all about. A TLD such as .shop or .wiki tells visitors exactly what to expect from your site.
  • Providing a novelty factor. A lot of popular websites use lesser-known TLDs these days, but they’re still not a common sight in some circles. That means they can provide your site with a bit of a novelty factor and make its domain easier to recall.

Bear in mind, though, that using a creative TLD has its downsides. In some cases, people might take you less seriously based on your domain name, or they might forget that you’re using .blog and try reaching your site using .com. However, as long as you put some thought into choosing your domain you should be alright, even if you don’t stick to traditional naming conventions.

3 Tips to Ensure You Get the Most Out of a Creative Domain Name

Opting for an unusual domain name doesn’t mean that you should choose yours recklessly. Here are three simple tips to make the best possible decision.

1. Consider Combining Your Name With Your TLD

An example of using a TLD combined with your domain name.
Integrating your TLD into your domain name makes for a great branding opportunity.

The easiest and most popular branding trick is to incorporate your TLD as part of your site’s name. Take, for example. It’s a short, simple name that’s made even more memorable thanks to its TLD.

The novelty factor also comes into play here, because a lot of people don’t expect .coffee domains to exist. Therefore, the choice makes your site both memorable and interesting. Plus, you can often snag these types of TLDs for cheap, as we mentioned earlier.

If you decide to go this route, here are three tips to ensure that you choose well:

  1. Stick to TLDs that have something to do with your website’s niche.
  2. Don’t try to force a combination if a natural one isn’t available.
  3. Incorporate your TLD as part of your branding, so people won’t confuse your site with a .com alternative. For example, Driftaway Coffee uses its full domain name on its branding, instead of just Driftaway.

There are thousands of TLDs available, so chances are you’ll be able to come up with a combination that suits you if you give it a little thought. Just visit your favorite registrar and see what options they have.

2. Keep Your Domain Names Simple

An example of a short domain name.
Short domain names are easy to remember and incorporate into your branding.

When it comes to domain names, shorter is almost always better. The reason for this is simple – it makes your website’s name easier to remember. Imagine for a second that Wikipedia’s primary domain was Would you think (or even want) to type that into your browser? Plus, using a short name makes your life simpler when it comes to designing your branding and all of your marketing elements.

If you’re still not sure what your next domain name should be, here are a few tips to help you out:

  1. Come up with multiple options. You can always discard those you don’t like or that aren’t available for registration.
  2. Stick to names that are easy to type and spell out, to keep things simple.
  3. If you want to get creative, use your TLD as part of your website’s name to save even more characters.

Naturally, not all domain names need to be the exact same length. If you find a name that you feel is perfect, go with your gut unless it’s outrageously long.

3. Use Creative TLDs to Secure Variations of Your Primary Domain

An example of a simple domain variation.
Google often registers domain names similar to its primary one, to catch mistypes.

One of the main upsides to using innovative TLDs is that you can purchase variations of your primary domain name. Take Amazon, for example – they have their .com domain, but they also own several others, such as This enables them to secure domains that other people might try to use to impersonate them, and catch users who mistype their primary domain.

Some people will even sit on domains just to try and sell them to you at a later date, so it makes sense to pick up any alternatives that you think could benefit you before that happens. The only downside is that you will need to factor in the cost of owning and redirecting an alternative TLD (which is usually quite low).


Some people think that when it comes to registering a domain, it’s best to find a .com option and call it a day. While traditional domains have few downsides, you have many more options available to you these days in the form of non-traditional TLDs.

Let’s go over our three simple tips to ensure you get the most out of your creative domain names:

  1. Consider combining your domain name with your TLD.
  2. Keep your domain name simple.
  3. Use creative TLDs to secure variations of your primary domain.

Do you have any questions about when and how to use creative domain names? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pixabay.

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The Anatomy of a Stellar Domain Name – The A2 Posting

Multiple wooden models in different positions.

A captivating and memorable URL is made up of several parts, even if it doesn’t look that way on the surface. Unless you understand what those elements are and how they work, you’ll have a hard time with domain management, which is an essential part of running your website.

For example, some URLs require you to use ‘www’ to access a website, whereas others don’t. Knowing how to configure this setting can help you make your site more accessible. Similarly, there are other parts of your domain that you may need to change or optimize.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the four elements that make up every domain name and URL. We’ll explain what they are and how they work, and help you choose between the options available. Let’s get to it!

An Introduction to Domains

If you want to access a website, you’ll need to know its domain name. For example, if you want to visit the A2 Hosting home page, you have to type into your browser. That entire address is what’s called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), and the portion is our domain name.

As you might know, you can also connect to a website using its IP address. This is a series of numbers that identifies a unique server over the web. However, it’s far easier to type in and remember a short name. When you register a domain, you’re basically paying to associate it with your website’s IP, so people have an easier time finding your site.

The Anatomy of a Domain Name (4 Key Elements)

In this section, we’re going to break down a full URL and teach you what each element does. That way, you won’t be caught off guard if you ever have to perform any domain management tasks.

1. The HTTP Protocol

The HTTP protocol.

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) governs the way that servers and browsers behave and communicate with each other. For example, each time you try to access a normal website through your browser, it sends an HTTP request to the server at the other end. If the server replies, the website will load. Sometimes, things go wrong during this process, which is why you’ll run into HTTP errors occasionally.

HTTPS, on the other hand, is a more secure version of the original protocol. It works in basically the same way, except that it encrypts all the data between the server and browser, for added safety. Using HTTPS can also have a positive impact on a site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This means it’s well worth making the switch on your own site, if you haven’t already.

However, you can’t just replace the HTTP portion of your URL with HTTPS out of the blue – you need to get a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate first. This certificate shows you went through a process of verification before enabling HTTPS. You can even get an SSL certificate for free. Once it’s all set up, your site will be more secure.

2. The www Prefix

The www prefix.

As you may know, the www that’s in most URLs stands for “world wide web”. You don’t need to use this prefix in your URLs, but a lot of websites do so anyway. The reason is that search engines recognize different URLs as unique pages. For example, take these two URLs:


Search engines think those are two different websites, so for consistency’s sake you should stick to a single structure throughout your site. In other words, you need to choose a master or ‘canonical’ URL, and use it for both your internal and external links.

From a technical standpoint, www URLs are usually a better choice, since they enable you to use CNAME records and are better for caching purposes. You’ll want to read more about what those terms mean at some point, but for now, all you need to know is that unless you have a strong reason not to, you’re better off using www for your website’s URL. Plus, you can always set things up so that when people type your domain without the www prefix, they’ll get redirected.

3. Your Domain Name

Your domain name.

This is the most straightforward element of any URL – it’s the name you pick to identify your website. We already talked about how domains work earlier, so for now let’s focus on how to choose the right one.

Your domain name needs to be both functional and memorable, so here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind:

  1. Select a name that’s related to your site’s niche or topic.
  2. Keep the domain short, so it’s easier to type and remember.
  3. Avoid names that sound too similar to your competitors.
  4. Compare multiple options, and check to see if they’re available using a domain registrar.

Registering a new domain isn’t that expensive, but you want to get it right the first time. After all, changing a domain name can be a bit complicated, depending on how popular your website is. If you’re not sure where you can register a one, or how to do it, check out our domains section to get started:

A2 Hosting Domain Registration

Likewise, you may need some help brainstorming domain name options. If that’s the case, there are services known as ‘domain spinners’ that can help you come up with ideas if you provide them with a few keywords.

4. Your Top-Level Domain (TLD)

Your top level domain.

TLDs are the suffixes that come right after your domain name. For example, uses the .com suffix. Most people only know about popular TLDs such as, and .org. However, there are hundreds of TLD options available, and you can pick basically any of them for your domain.

The reason why most people stick to .com TLDs and other popular options is that they make websites seem more professional, and they’re easier for visitors to remember. Plus, some TLDs cost more to register than others. For example, you can usually find .com domains for under $15, but specialty TLDs are often more expensive.

However, people are becoming a lot more open to using unusual TLDs. Take .io for example, which is incredibly popular among startups, or .blog which is excellent for personal websites. Likewise, there are other TLDs for particular types of sites, such as .wiki and .realty. In most cases, however, we recommend sticking with .com unless it isn’t available for your domain name. In that case, feel free to look for TLDs that are relevant to your website’s field.


Your domain name is an integral part of your website. If it’s memorable, people may visit more often. However, it’s also important for you to know what the other elements in your URL are, aside from the name you chose. For example, knowing that you have multiple TLD options available can help you choose the one that’s best suited to your niche.

Before we wrap up, let’s recap the four elements that make up every URL:

  1. The HTTP or HTTPS protocol.
  2. The www prefix.
  3. Your domain name.
  4. Your choice of TLD.

Do you have any questions about the elements of your domain name? Ask away in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pixabay.

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123 Reg embraces Domain Connect

If you’re setting up a new website you want it to be as quick and easy as possible.

Whether you’re launching a new blog or a new business, you don’t want to spend time worrying about technical details if you don’t have to.

That’s why 123 Reg has embraced Domain Connect.

Domain Connect makes it easier than ever before to use your 123 Reg domain name with a range of service providers. If you decide to use a 123 Reg domain name when building a website with Wix, Shopify or Squarespace, then Domain Connect will make the process easier. It will even help if you want to run your email through Office 365. Click here to view a full list of Domain Connect service providers.

If you’ve ever used a third-party service provider with your 123 Reg domain name, you’ll remember that you had to change the DNS settings in your 123 Reg control panel. Domain Connect removes the need for you to  make those DNS settings changes manually. Now whenever you set up your 123 Reg domain with a Domain Connect service provider, all it will take is just a few clicks on the service provider’s settings page.

This applies whether you’re setting up a newly registered 123 Reg domain name with a third-party service that uses Domain Connect, or you’re planning to use an existing 123 Reg domain name with a third-party service that uses Domain Connect.

How does Domain Connect work?

The beauty of Domain Connect is that it just works – if you’re not technically minded, you don’t need to get to grips with the ins and out of the system to use it. But if you do want to learn more, visit the Domain Connect website.

Will this change affect any existing DNS configurations?

No. If you have a 123 Reg domain name set up with a third-party service provider, then this change won’t make a different to those settings – regardless of whether they use the Domain Connect system or not.

If in the future you decide to a) set up a new 123 Reg domain name with a third-party service that uses Domain Connect, or b) switch to a third-party service that uses Domain Connect on an existing 123 Reg domain name, then the Domain Connect system will mean you don’t have to make any manual DNS changes.

What if I want to use my 123 Reg domain with a non-Domain Connect service provider?

You’ll still be able to use your 123 Reg domain with any third-party service provider of your choosing, but if they’re not part of the Domain Connect service, then you’ll have to manually configure the DNS settings.

For that reason, you may find it easier to opt for a service provider that does use Domain Connect.

Will more service providers be added to Domain Connect in the future?

Domain Connect is an open standard, which means that anyone can implement it. It is hoped that more service providers will make use of the standard in future, but it is not something that 123 Reg has control over.


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