How do I choose the best photography domain name?
Good question! Choosing the best photography domain name will be different depending on the type of photography you do, what your brand is, and even where you are located. You will need to know a little background on what a domain name is, then think about the logistics of how it will be used. If your domain is available, you can reserve it for your own website. Picking a photography domain is super fun and can be addicting. I am a bit of a domain hoarder myself…enough about me though…let’s get you started 🙂
Excuse my poor mouse writing with the snippet tool, but I hope that picture helps explain what part is the domain name when you are on a website. A lot of people get it confused with the search bar. The domain name will show the website when you type it in the URL bar no matter what. If you type it in the search bar it will show several Google listings for relevant keywords.
Before we get started in picking a good photography domain name, here are some good to know definitions:
1) What is a domain name?
The domain name is the main part of the web address that all the links on your site are based on. For example, the page you are viewing right now, the domain name is potraitphotographerswebsite.com
2) What is a subdomain?
A subdomain is what comes before the main domain preceded by a period. These are used to create separate websites that represent the same brand. The most common use is for blog.yourdomain.com to have a blog site separate from the main website. A lot of photographers have a client., proofing., store. or gallery. subdomain to deliver photos to their clients that is separate from their main site.
www.potraitphotographerswebsite.com is actually a subdomain, it automatically redirects to the main site (mind blowing huh!) subdomains are free with your main domain so you don’t need to purchase that.
4) What is a TLD?
TLD stands for “top level domain” which is the domain ending/extensions; .com is by far the most common and popular. Photographers also use .photography, .gallery, .photos, .pics, .camera. When you search the domain name you would like several options will show up that will fit you. We do not offer any domains extensions that don’t make sense for photographers.
5) what is a ccTLD?
ccTLD stands for “country code top level domain” like .us for United States and .ca for Canada. Right now we only server North America, but you can purchase other country codes at other registrars and still build your website with us. They usually have special residency or citizenship requirements.
3) What is a URL?
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator, that is the full web address of the page you are viewing http://portraitphotographerswebsite.com/choosing-best-photography-domain-name/ URLS will begin with https:// or http://, the s is for a secure site that is encrypted with an SSL certificate. That means no one can steal your information from the site. You will notice trusted sites have this, especially banks and they have a green bar and lock too.
How do I get the perfect photography domain name for my business?
A great place to start is with your business name. Click here to read more on what you should name your photography business.
A great domain name will be as close to your official business name as possible, but follows these guidelines:
- Easy to spell-my last name is not easy to spell so I don’t use it in my domain name. Watch out for things like silent letters, common misspelled words, how other people would spell your name, etc. Example: tomorrowphotography.com, most people misspell tomorrow with tommorow
- Short: This helps people with spelling too. Shortness helps it appear prettier on your business card and when sharing in any media. Would you rather have themostspectacularweddingphotographerinmesaarizona.com or mesaweddings.com? Shorter is easier for your clients to remember you too.
- Easy to say: You want your clients to be able to share your work with other people, will they be able to pronounce your name? Could you run a radio ad or share it if you do a webinar? This is also hard for people with unique last names they want to use for their business name.
- Easy on the eyes: By this I mean, does your domain spell something else when you look at it. For example morgansexamplephotos.com, did you see it? Run your domain name by friends and family too just to be safe
- Not copyrighted or trademarked-don’t get “iphoneweddingphotography.com” apple is gonna take that from you asap. You can search filed trademarks here and copyrights here. Pro tip: if your name is unique enough get it trademarked, or at least copyright your images as you put them on your website to protect your work and brand.
- No numbers-People don’t know weather to type it as “fivehundred” or “500” so just don’t do it
- No hyphens-Some people don’t even know where this is on the keyboard, let alone how to put in the domain name. People will confuse you with the non-hyphenated version. They also register as “spammy” for search engines so it can end up hurting your marketing efforts. Avoid these at all costs.
Investing in Domains to protect and build your brand
Most photography business owners do not own just one domain. They have a main domain then several other domains that forward to the main one. It is free to forward the domains and you only have to build one website. You can buy the common extensions like .info, .org, and .net bundled with the .com that way your competitor or angry customer cannot buy them and pretend to be you.
A lot of photographers go with their own name, since you are the service, the brand of your business. My name is hard to spell Kaci VanderHoek and say…most spell it Casey and misspell my last name Banderhoek or Vanderhook. I can still use my name as my brand, I just bought up several other spellings of it.
If you have been looking at domain names you may have come across a premium domain name. The price comes from the value of the domain’s keywords, age, traffic going to it, shortness, and brandability. 3-4 letter domains could cost 6 figures, but guess what they are going to win at branding because it is easy to remember so few letters. Companies with better domain names are investing in their brand, they will get the return on loyal clients and ease to onboard new ones. Some premium domains are owned by an individual so you can negotiate the price then pay the normal renewal fee (.coms). For some new extensions, they will be that rate every year.
Domains to help your SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. A search engine like Google or Bing will list results for websites when someone types in a search query on their sites. You can possibly improve your search engine rankings by purchasing domains that have your keywords. What would someone search to find you? Usually their city and what type of photography. Like “mesaseniorphotographer.com” or “arizonaweddingphotographer.com” These are called “exact match domains”. These links really only help if they are the main domain of your website, then if any other websites or social media sites share your link that your domain gets anchored as “arizonaweddingphotographer.com”. The effect is minimal, but search engines don’t release the exactness of their algorithms that determine rankings so we do what we can! Plus these can help if someone just types in the domain in the URL thinking they are doing a search.
It is also theorized that the domain name registration length is taken into account, as in a 10 year (full term)registered domain will rank better than 1 year (shortest term). This is due to the fact that legitimate business will want to protect their domain and plan to be in business in 10 years, whereas most scam sites do the short term.
Bonus Candy! Did you know you can get an emoji domain?!
How hip would it be to get ???.ws for your photography domain?
This is where you can search available emoji domains. They are only compatible with the .ws ending for now. https://❤❤❤.ws/ (https://xn--qeiaa.ws/)
Please comment below your ideas for a good photography domain name and what you ended up getting yourself, we would love to hear from you!