Choosing a domain name for your ecommerce store is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your business. Your name is the first piece of your brand users will experience, and serves as a symbolic placeholder for your business in the minds of users. And while it doesn’t directly affect the SEO of your shop, it can and will influence your results. So here are some useful tips & tricks from the Shopify community on the (very) vast topic of choosing your shop domain name.
Should I buy a domain from Shopify?
The short answer is no, you should not get your domain name through Shopify if you’re willing to learn how to setup a domain name with a domain name registrar. It’s not too complicated but it does involve a few steps. Yes you should get your domain name if you’re looking for ease of use and no configuration.
Also yes, you can use your own domain name with Shopify. If you have an existing domain name, you can connect it to Shopify from your store’s admin.
If you decide to buy a domain from Shopify, follow these steps:
- From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Domains;
- Click Buy new domain;
- Enter the domain name that you want to buy;
- Available extensions and their prices will be listed;
- Click Buy next to the domain that you want to buy;
- Review the purchase summary.
Top Level Domains (TLD) in eCommerce – what to choose? Is .com the “go to”?
Google has (repeatedly) stated that TLDs don’t directly affect a website’s search rankings. But some suggest they might influence users in search, leading them to not click on your eCommerce site, which would indicate to Google your site isn’t as relevant as others for any given search query.
It’s best to stick with .com if you can, returning customers might end up forgetting that your domain ends in, for example, .shop and try get there with .com – if you use a prefix of suffix around your domain, it’s often available, eg: instead of example.com try; ShopExample.com MyExample.com Exampleify.com.
Another tip is that for your username always start with your brand name – so try to avoid @wearexxx or @getxxx.
You should always check to see if the .com is available before you commit to a name.
Does that also mean you won’t be able to register your name properly should the business go well? That could be a big problem down the road and cost you money time and customers. Find an original name in the beginning, while it’s easy to do so.
Currently hosting the domain with a 3rd party. Is it worth transferring the domain hosting to Shopify?
The general consensus on this question is that one should keep the domain hosting separate from Shopify; if the account gets, for some reason, banned, it’s not so easy to recover that domain.
Should I use .shopify subdomain until I make at least a few sales, and then switch to a .com?
People generally feel a lot more trust towards a .com, .io, .co.uk and such, rather then a .myshopify subdomain. It looks far less credible.
“It seems more like a test store or something similar. Buy your own domain for several dollars!”, says one Shopify user.
What if I sell in a specific country, like France? Should I grab only .fr?
First of all, if you do eCommerce, you should think from the start globally – especially if you do dropshipping.
Better yet, buy BOTH Domain.fr and Domain.com and at the very least you could auto-forward all visitors from .fr to .com.
How do you direct a domain to a SPECIFIC page in your e-shop?
Let’s say that you’ve bought one of your competitors domains and you want to redirect that traffic in your site, NOT on the homepage but to another specific page. How is that done?
With Godaddy you just have to go into the backend of the “manage domain” and click “forward domain” – click that and type in the Web address you want it to redirect.
Should I use hyphen in my domain?
Some people are wondering if they should use domains like “Shop-Name.com” rather then “ShopName.com”. The general consensus is that NO, you shouldn’t; there are several reasons not to do it.
First of all, some potential customers who may be visiting your URL from memory and may forget the hyphen. When they don’t get to the site they’re seeking, they may give up or think you went out of business or something.
Secondly, perhaps you will someday down the road have a competitor with similar or identical domains but without the hyphen, and they’ll gain traction from you.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a video of some of the best registrars for your future domain.