What can a short domain name do for your business? Are there even any left to choose from? Find out more.

Short domain names can pack a punch, so it’s no wonder they’re so popular. Some of the biggest companies in the world use them and with good reason.

In this article, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of short domain names and why they can be such a huge asset to your marketing strategy. We’ll also look at how you can find the ideal short domain name for your business.

What Is a Short Domain Name? The Long and Short of It

There’s no single, strict definition of what counts as a short domain name or a long one. It’s more a matter of ‘you’ll know it when you see it.’ Obviously, domains like fb.com or gm.com are short, and ones like ohlookherethisisareallylongdomainname.com (yes, we just made that up) are pretty long.

Where’s the cut-off point, though? Well, for it to count as short, you’d generally be looking at single-word domains up to about eight letters, not including the extension like .com (also known as a top-level domain or TLD).

Why Should I Even Think About a Short Domain Name Anyway?

When you’re looking to secure a domain name, length is definitely something to think about. A short and snappy domain draws the eye and is easy to take in at a glance. On the other hand, a long one can be difficult to remember.

That’s important when it comes to your branding. Your business will be vying for attention online in a competitive market, so using one of the shortest available domain names can give you an edge.

Long Domain Names vs Short Domain Names: Is Short Sweet?

Hold your horses, though. It’s not quite as straightforward as short = good and long = bad.

To see why, let’s take a moment to think about what happens when you create a password. Most of us are digitally smart enough to know that using something like ‘password1’ as a password is not the best of ideas. That’s because although it’s easy to remember, it’s also simple to hack.

The big problem when it comes to security has always been how you manage the trade-off between security and easy access. We’ve now got to a point where password managers are very common. Many of us will get the computer to generate a password and store it in the password manager for automatic login next time.

These computer-generated passwords always look something like this:


There’s no way you’re memorising that, are you?

The thing is that some security experts have pointed out that we might have taken a bit of a wrong turn here. Using a password made up of three random words (like oceanjumpinghorse) is a good enough level of security and much easier to remember.

So what does all this have to do with domain names?

The answer is the same thing applies. No one wins if you have a domain name that’s relatively short but difficult to remember for another reason.

The domain name gplzet.com is short but nowhere near as memorable as webuyanycar.com, which is nearly twice as long. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to go for a slightly longer domain that’s a better fit for your brand.

3 Benefits of a Short Domain Name: Why They’re Worth It

Even so, the importance of domain name strategy when you’re setting up your site means that you shouldn’t overlook opportunities to bag a short one. Here are three pluses when it comes to using short domains.

Easy to remember

Yep, we’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth repeating. Shorter domains are easier to remember as long as they’re not just a random mix of letters with nothing to do with your brand.

When a potential customer is looking for your site, a short domain means they’ll be much more likely to remember what to search for. Also, it’ll stick in their heads for next time.

Looks good on branding materials

Your graphic designer will love you if you give them a brief that includes a short domain name. It simply gives them many more options when it comes to creating impactful designs.

And, a short domain name is ideal for adding to social media posts or email addresses. This means your brand gets a boost every time a potential customer interacts with your marketing stuff.

Faster to type into a mobile browser

As of December 2023, around 59% of all visits to websites were by mobile device. That’s one reason why every web developer worth their salt advises clients to adopt a mobile-first strategy (also, Google prioritises sites that are mobile-optimised for ranking purposes).

Typing a domain name into a browser on a mobile device can be a tiny bit fiddly. Most mobile users would prefer to spend less time typing in characters and more time interacting with apps. But they’ll type a URL in if it’s quick enough to do. But, a long and complicated domain name? Forget it. They’ll just visit one of your competitors instead.

What Are the Disadvantages of Short Domain Names?

There’s only one downside, to be honest. We’ve listed a couple here, but really they’re two sides of the same problem coin.

Low availability

Here’s the thing. The World Wide Web was invented all the way back in 1989. That’s over 30 years ago.

Because the web’s now been around for decades, many of the really short domain names just aren’t available anymore. Most good ones were snapped up in the heady days of the 1990s and early 2000s.

That means there’s a chance that even if you think of the perfect short domain name, someone else will already have nabbed it. If they do, though, that’s not the end of the road. You can always try to buy it from them, but…

Can be expensive to buy

Be prepared to pay a pretty penny. Realistically, you’ll only be able to buy it if it’s not already in active use. And even if you could buy a domain name in active use, it wouldn’t be a great idea. That’s because you’d be taking on the other organisation’s user base, which could lead to a load of brand confusion.

That said, if there’s a short domain name that you’ve got your heart set on, it’s often possible to find it.

How to Find Short Domain Names For Sale: They’re Everywhere 

And how do you find these elusive domain names? With a helping hand and some cunning strategy, that’s how. A service like OnlyDomains can help guide you through the process of searching for available short domain names that might work for your business.

What is the shortest domain name available?

When it comes to domains with the .com extension, it won’t surprise you to learn that all of the two-letter domains have already been taken. Bad news is that the same is true of all the three-letter and four-letter combinations too. Some five-letter ones are still available, but they are normally random groups of letters rather than actual words.

Don’t forget, though, that it’s not 100% necessary to have a .com domain. There are plenty of other options. Short TLDs like .io and .me are more popular now, and one of the reasons why is that it’s much easier to find great short domain names if they don’t have to end with .com.

How do I shorten my domain name? I’m convinced

Glad to hear it. Well, using an alternative TLD like .tv or a geographic TLD like .au or .uk is definitely one way to grab the domain you want.

The other main approach if you want to shorten domain names is to put your thinking cap on and get creative. Draw up a list of potential domain names instead of just focusing on your number one favourite. If you’re stuck for ideas, why not get ChatGPT to generate a few for you? It might come up with some cracking suggestions you wouldn’t have thought of.

Then, run the list past colleagues and friends and see which are the most popular and memorable. Those are the ones you should go ahead and explore.

Is it Expensive to Buy Short Domain Names? Are We Talking Big Bucks?

As ever, the ‘clear as mud’ (but completely truthful) answer is: it depends.

To buy domain names that have already been registered, you’ll usually have to go through a broker or specialist auction. Depending on how attractive the target domain name is to all and sundry, that could mean spending anywhere between a few hundred bucks all the way up to a five-figure sum.

Of course, you could strike it lucky and hit upon a domain name that’s unregistered. If that happens, congratulations. You just saved yourself some cash.

Will my short domain name stay cheap over time? Eye on the future

This is a great question. Spot who’s been doing their homework. It’s true that some people have been caught out by discount deals that looked like top value in the beginning but not so much later on.

The point to bear in mind is that there are two things you pay for when you register as the owner of a domain: the purchase price and the annual registration fee.

It’s a bit like buying a property but not the land it’s built on. You’d have to pay some kind of ground rent even though you own the building. If you pay, say, $5,000 to buy your dream domain, it is yours until you let it expire by not renewing. Every now and then, you’ll have to pay to renew it.

Meanwhile, the value of your domain can go up and down, which could affect how much it costs to renew. A lot depends on the TLD. Older TLDs like .com and .net have stricter rules on renewal fees compared to newer TLDs.

That’s why it’s a big deal to find a service provider you can trust. Like many things in business, it’s best to get expert advice to avoid unexpected surprises later on.

Find the Perfect Short Domain Names For Your Business With OnlyDomains

OnlyDomains has years of experience in helping clients find some of the shortest domain names available. We get that snagging the ideal domain for your business can give it a big boost during those early growth phases.

Luckily, we know our stuff. So, feel free to reach out and pick our brains. We also provide other business-critical services like web hosting and professional email, so why not contact us and get started today?

FAQs About Short Domain Names

Can I combine words to create a short domain name?

Absolutely. Ideally, you want to find something that’s short, snappy, and memorable. Just make sure you avoid any unintended confusion. (e.g. choosespain.com wouldn’t make a great Spanish tourist information site domain).

What if the short name I want is already taken as a domain?

That does happen sometimes. So, you have three options: find out whether the domain you want is available for sale, try again with a different extension (e.g. .us instead of .com), or have a rethink and come up with something else.

Can short domain names work for any industry?

Sure they can. The basics of choosing a domain that’s easy to remember and fits your branding are the same whether your business is in ecommerce, heavy manufacturing, or training trapeze artists to work in a circus.

Do short domain names work well internationally?

Again, yes. Shorter names often work better because they’re language-neutral, which gives them universal appeal.

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