The Anatomy of a Domain
Top Level Domain (TLD)
Any discussion about domain names ought to begin with the Top Level Domain. The top level domain is the extension that appears at the end of all domains names. The most common TLDs are:
A .com is the TLD of choice for most businesses. However, as the web evolves, and with ICANN’s lifting restrictions on hundreds of new TLDs, it’s becoming more common to see businesses look beyond the .com for their domain name.
The root domain is the part of the domain that is unique to your business. It’s what you will spend the most time thinking about when choosing a domain name for your law firm. The root domain is typically composed of words that represent the business in some way.
Some law firms choose to use a branded domain name (eg. cochranfirm.com), while other use words that describe their area of focus (eg. accidentlaw.com).
Typically, the root domain is the aspect of your law firm domain name that will have the greatest impact on your overall marketing and branding efforts.
All domain names are able to have subdomains added to them. Subdomains are a great solution for creating a separate website without having to buy a new domain. An example of a major website that is hosted on a subdomain is ESPN’s website:
The most common subdomain is technically -www. The subdomain is not something that really needs to be considered when choosing your firm’s root domain name.
It’s important to carefully consider the registrar that you purchase your domain name through. Here’s a list of registrars that tend to have solid reputations:
- Google Domains (Beta)
- Network Solutions
I register my domains names through GoDaddy. Honestly, it’s for no other reason than theirs is the service and interface I am most comfortable and familiar with. That, plus the fact that I like to keep all my domains in a single location for easier management, and GoDaddy happened to be the first place where I registered a domain.
My suggestion is simply to go with a company you are comfortable with.
Assuming that you’re not going after a “premium” domain name (eg. injurylawyers.com) it’s going to cost you $10 to $20 per year to register your domain name with most of the popular registrars.
Now, if you’re looking at purchasing a domain that is already registered, or you’re looking at bidding on a domain that is up for auction, you’re going to face a greater up-front cost.