Choosing a good domain name is one of the most important things you will need to do for your ministry website.
Your domain name is your website’s online address, such as MyCoolMinistry.org. That’s how people will find your church or ministry on the web so your domain name can make the difference between your website being easy for people to find or being frustratingly difficult to get to.
When It’s Easy
Sometimes the choice for your domain name is easy. You got to a service like our parent company’s domain registration service, type in the name of your ministry or church, hit “Find” and it comes up available so you can get it.
But even though it might be available, there are times when the full name of the ministry might not be the best choice for your domain name.
Here are some pointers on how to choose a good domain name for your ministry.
.com, .org or .net?
The .org domain extension is a natural choice for non-profits, which includes most churches and ministries.
However, generally speaking people naturally assume websites end in .com because .com domains are generally seen as more desirable followed by .org and .net. This confusion can come into play even when you tell folks it’s .org.
It can be especially confusing if some other organization already is using one of the other versions of your domain.
Ideally there will be no one else using variations of your domain name. One way to prevent that confusion down the road is to purchase all 3 domains. For example, you might get MyCoolMinistry.org, MyCoolMinistry.com and MyCoolMinistry.net.
That way you don’t have to worry about confusion down the road.
You can choose to use the .org domain for your website and then just point the others to your main domain. Then if someone accidentally types in the wrong one they still get to your website.
Shorter is Better
Generally speaking, having a shorter domain is better than having a huge long one. This is especially true if you will be using that domain for email addresses.
You aren’t going to want to have to say a big long mouthful every time you share your website with people.
If the name of your ministry has several words in it, consider using an acronym to make the domain shorter.
Easy to Share
You will want your domain name to be easy to share.
Think about offline as well as online. When you say it out loud is it obvious where people should go?
How will it look in print on your church bulletin and ministry business cards?
It is a good idea to avoid hyphens in your domain name because they make it harder to share, especially verbally.
Think about how you will say the domain out loud. MyCoolMinistry.org is easier than having to explain how someone will get to My-Cool-Ministry.org.
Besides, hyphens make your domain longer. And we don’t want that.
Misspellings can add confusion. Our parent company’s domain is SuccessCREEations.com, which has an intentional misspelling in it. Our founder, Chris Cree put his last name in the company name and created a misspelling in the process.
However it adds a layer of confusion because there is another company located SuccessCreations.com. Fortunately they sell party masks so there isn’t anything rude on that domain.
But it is something to think about. What else is out there that might be confused with your ministry?
If possible, it is a good idea to buy obvious potential misspellings to avoid potential confusion.
That way if someone just types the other one in they will still get to our website.
Sometimes adding the city where you are located can be a good idea for your domain name. This is especially true if your church has a name similar to churches elsewhere.
Adding your city has the added benefit in the search engines when people are looking for a local church.
If your ministry is not local in scope then it might not be a good idea to include your city though, because people may assume that you only serve that city.
Goal: Be Easy to Find
The ultimate goal of a good domain name is to make your website easy for people to find. It should make sense and not be too obscure.
Ideally it will be easy to remember too.
It is a good idea to brainstorm domain name ideas. Use a service like ours and search for as many variations as you can think of. Don’t just take the first one that you see is available.
Along the way, write down all the ones that are available. Then pray over the list that you come up with.
Let God confirm which one will be the best one for your ministry.
Then you will be giving your website the best chance of aiding the success of your ministry.