How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Band

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Band
One of the first steps in getting started with your band’s website is to choose a domain name. It may seem like an easy task, but there are a few best practices to follow in order to make sure you’re making the best possible choice. In this post, we’re going to cover how to choose a domain name for your band.

Why You Should Give Your Domain Name Some Thought

When you were naming your band, did you just choose the first thing that came to mind? Or did you give it some thought? Did you try to land on a name that fit well with your music and the image you wanted to portray? Your band’s domain name is equally important. On top of that, there are a few other points to consider when selecting a domain name.

Your Band’s Domain Name Should Be Easy to Hear and Spell

If you have gig cards, the ability to hear your domain name may not seem like a big priority. But consider for a moment how often you will be trying to give that information out verbally. You may be telling your audience to check you out online directly over the microphone. You may be trying to give your URL to a promoter or venue owner over the phone. If the domain name is hard to spell or too long to remember, you may lose some site traffic before it even lands on your site.

What if your name is hard to spell? Say, what if your last name is DiTommaso or something similar? You can always set up multiple domain names and have them forward to the same website. For example, my primary domain is:

annaditommaso.com

However, when I’m trying to give that URL out over the phone or in person, I direct people to:

annadito.com

Both URLs end up at the same place, but one is much easier for people to hear and understand.

Your Band’s Domain Name Should Have a Clean and Clear History

You may be thrilled to learn that your ideal domain name is available for a reasonable price. But, before you snag it, do a quick search of the domain name directly in Google. You can also take a look at the Wayback Machine. Just make sure the domain name was never used for anything you wouldn’t want your band associated with.

Your band’s domain name should have a popular extension

Did you know that you can now purchase domain names that end in .band? You didn’t, did you? Odds are no one else will know that either. And even when you instruct them to visit your .band website, they’ll probably try to visit a .com or .net site. Your best bet is to stick with the basic domain extensions, since those are most common. Don’t worry, we’ll cover some options for what to do if your preferred .com or .net domain names aren’t available.

Match Your Social Media Channels If You Can

If your band’s social media platforms are already set up, try to get a domain name that matches those. If you have yet to configure social accounts for your band, spend a little time researching the available social media handles prior to purchasing your band’s domain name. Making it easy for people to remember how to find you across all of the different channels will give you a greater chance of driving traffic.

What If the Domain Name I Want Isn’t Available?

If your band name or your actual name are pretty common, you may run into the issue of your preferred domain not being available. Don’t worry though, you still have some options. The most obvious solution is to add “music” or “band” to the end of your preferred domain. For example, if the following domain is taken:

example.com

Try:

examplemusic.com

Or:

exampleband.com

If the .com versions are taken, move on to .net. Again, as mentioned above, I’d recommend thinking hard about choosing any other kind of domain extension. You can also consider adding things like your genre or your city if you are primarily a local musician.

How to Register Your Domain Name

If you haven’t already set up a website hosting account, you’ll most likely get a domain name included with your new account. If you need to pick up a new domain name for your band’s website and tack it on to an already existing hosting account, you can purchase the domain directly from your host. Or, you can use a third party discount domain provider such as Name Cheap to purchase your new domain name. Once you’ve secured the domain name, your host should be able to explain how to point the DNS records to their server. This is what will tell the domain name to show your website.

Keep in mind that when registering for a domain name, your personal details will be available via WhoIs records. Some providers offer a free or paid service to keep those details private, which may be something you wish to look into.

Be Sure to Renew

When you purchase your domain name, either set the account up to auto-renew, or put the date on your calendar. You certainly don’t want to let the domain expire and let someone else snag it. You’ll lose all of your hard work, and confuse your site visitors. You’d hate for them to realize your website is gone and assume you’re no longer playing music, right?

Wrapping Up

Selecting your band’s domain name is an important task. Ideally you’ll choose something that is easy to hear, spell, and remember. Whatever you pick will be your home on the internet for many years to come, so be sure to give it some thought.

Do you have any thoughts or tips for bands who are trying to chose the best domain name? Let us know in the comments.

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