Choosing the right domain name is without a doubt one of the most important concerns a business owner is going to have when it comes to building a website. That said, most people pour a lot of time and consideration into the process of choosing one before they make a final decision and with good reason. Your domain name is going to be associated with your website throughout its lifetime. It will also have a considerable impact on how well your site will do in the long run.
That said, it’s important to understand that the world of domain names is honestly very competitive. Everyone wants the short, catchy ones that will be easy for their visitors to remember. However, the large number of existing names that have already been claimed make finding a great option harder and harder every day. For that reason, many people wonder which constitutes the better option – making up a brand new domain name from scratch or purchasing one that already exists from someone else. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each.
It’s important to realize that when you purchase an existing domain name – even a really desirable one – you’re also signing up for the reputation that the previous domain owner built around it. In some cases, this can actually be beneficial, as you’ll get to take advantage of at least some traffic and interest in your website as a carryover from its previous incarnation. However, a bad reputation could negatively affect your new site in the same way and convincing your customers to look past that may be more trouble than it’s worth.
A brand new domain name that was created from scratch starts with a clean slate. There won’t be any nasty surprises and you’re 100% free to make it into whatever you’d like it to be. However, it’s also up to you to do all of the hard work that comes with building a brand yourself. There won’t be any carryover traffic or business coming from people who don’t realize an existing domain changed hands.
Generally speaking, creating and purchasing an original domain name of your own is going to be the most cost-effective option available to you, so that’s something to consider if you’re working within a tight budget. However, people who are worried about expenses can also browse through listings of dropped domain names as well. Although there are certainly exceptions, picking up a domain name this way often costs only a little bit more than buying a brand new one does.
You should probably expect to pay a pretty penny if you want to get your hands on a highly coveted one-word or two-word domain name related to your industry though. People who own such names usually know their value and will charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars for them… if they’re interested in selling at all, that is.
Anyone who’s been in the web business for long already knows that SEO is major concern for web builders. Purchasing an existing domain with a decent reputation behind it already will give you a really big boost in this arena. The site will have already been indexed, so you won’t have to wait out the customary 6-12 months it normally takes for a new site to gain a solid foothold.
However, as with the reputation concerns, it’s important to make sure you’re not purchasing a domain that’s been banned or blacklisted by the search engines for using black hat SEO tactics in the past. Fighting your way back from a situation like that is incredibly difficult to do, so be sure you have a full understanding of what you’re buying into from the get-go.
Which Is Best for You?
At the end of the day, whether or not to go with an existing domain name or start from scratch with something completely new depends on how much work you’re willing to do yourself and whether or not you actually want to inherit another business’s reputation, residual client base, and so forth. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, so be sure to give it some thought before deciding once and for all.