Training Video "6-Step Guide to Start Membership Websites" Join Free Webcast
How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Membership Website

Let’s set the scene… You’re planning on launching a new membership website for your industry. You know what the business model is going to be, you have prepared well for its monetization, and you have a great membership website template in mind. The only thing you lack is a great sounding domain name.

If that’s the situation you find yourself in, we have a couple of tips on choosing a good domain name for a membership website.

Be Unique

You may be tempted to copy somebody else’s success and take a domain name that sounds like another brand. Sure, this can make your membership directory have more authority in the eyes of some people. But in the eyes of others, you’re not being an interesting and unique brand. If you copy some other brand name, many people will enter your site thinking you’re the brand you’re copying and will leave it.

It’s only natural that people who were looking for the specific brand leave your website once they understand it’s not them. The bounce rate this will generate will keep your website far from Google’s list of favorite websites.

Do your research to make sure that you don’t copy another brand by mistake. But you don’t need to be completely unique. That may not be even possible considering the number of businesses that exist today. If you find a similarly named local brand in another country, that’s perfectly okay.

Keep it Short

How do you like this domain name: It can be a good phrase on its own, and it can become a great headline for your blog. The problem, however, is that it doesn’t work well when you put it in the address line. Now, take a look at this domain name:

It conveys the same meaning, but it’s so simple even a five-year-old will remember it. Make your domain name as short as you can. This will make it harder to mess up when typing in a browser’s address line.

No Hyphens

Here’s a quick tip that will make your domain name look better. Don’t use the hyphen, even though all registrars allow that. It makes the domain name of your membership website harder to remember and harder to pronounce.

What if you name your website Your users won’t say “a hyphen lexa dot com,” they’ll say “alexa dot com” when telling their friends about you. A significant part of them will end up on another website and will leave confused.

Use a Keyword

There are several ways to get recognized by Google’s algorithms. You can build links, have good hosting to improve website speed (read here to learn more nuances about hosting), and do your keyword research. Even though using keywords in text is common practice, using keywords in domain names is a controversial topic.

On one hand, a domain name like may have a better SEO potential than one named Even though Google claims keyword domains don’t work anymore, they can still be effective outside of the US.

But there’s a downside. is not a great brand name. It would be like Oxford Dictionary trying to patent the English language.

Go for the golden middle. Use one keyword in your domain name, not for the search engines, but for users. They will see a new brand name in their search and will instantly know what your website is about by the keyword in the domain name.

Be Local

Is your membership website focused only on a specific area? If you’re sure you won’t have to scale your business outside of that one area, you can use a local name to make it stand out. Get a name like or, and your audience will immediately know which market your website caters to.

Choose the Right Extension

You can show your local position by choosing the right domain extension. If you’re launching a membership website for a country other than the US, this is a great choice. .de, .fr, or are all popular and widely used domains, so you will have no problem with people recognizing it as a local website.

Make sure not to use .ca and .la for US-based websites. These domain names are for Canada and Laos, not California and LA, as some people think.

You’d be better off using a .com domain instead of .info or .org because it looks more authoritative. Even though .org is technically for non-profits, no one will stop you from profiting from a .org website. Made simple, users think .com’s are more reliable, and it’s what many of us expect.

This doesn’t mean there is nothing to gain by choosing an odd domain extension. For instance, if you’re selling HR Software, the obvious choice is to include the keyword “hr” in the domain name. But you don’t have to do that since .hr is also an extension. This is how got its name. It’s brandable, and it tells you straight away what their business focus is.

The Bottom Line

Choosing a great domain name for a membership website is just the start. The bulk of the work on making it a brand is on you. There’s a reason and are not called and These companies took a random name and made it a legend. You can do it too!

Author: Connie Benton

Connie is a professional blogger and writer. She writes about work, millennial culture, and creativity.

View All Articles

The Elevator Pitch:
Why Choose Brilliant Directories

We'll make it short and sweet:

  • We Know Membership Sites — We've taken care of all the heavy lifting so you can focus on growing your membership community and getting users signed up.
  • Access to Expert Support — We know you have questions... Our dedicated support team works 'round the clock to quickly resolve any technical issues.
  • Trusted by 20,000+ Websites — With over 10 years of experience, we understand the unique needs of online membership communities.
Membership Website Facebook Group

Do You Run a Membership Site?

Join our exclusive Facebook group – FREE – to access proven strategies for growing your membership community. Space is limited, so join today!

Join the FACEBOOK Group

It's easy to get a directory business up running

If you're looking for an out of the box directory business solution, then Brilliant Directories is for you. Once you've gone through the main settings which should take you a day you'd be ready to showcase your site. There are tons of video tutorials on YouTube and inside the customer dashboard. There are so many ways you can customize your site and it's very SEO friendly. Brilliant Directories is built on Bootstrap which makes it easy to customize however you want. Looks very professional!

Faruk B. — England Read More Reviews

Questions Before Getting Started?

We're always happy to chat about your goals and explain what comes with your Brilliant Directories website. Contact us or call to speak with a friendly team member now: 1 (800) 771-9332

Send a Message

Fill in the Form to Launch Your Free Website

  • Learn how to setup membership plans, connect your payment gateway and generate revenue
  • Tour the features that will help you manage your community and maximize productivity
  • Experience how members will view, edit and self-manage their personal accounts
  • Customize your demo site to match your brand
Safe & Secure. Try it free for as long as you like.

Start Your Free Website Now

Create a free account for instant access to launch your website

Safe & Secure. Try it free for as long as you need.

Fill in The Form to Send a Message



Register FREE for instant access to start your website

Safe & Secure.

You’re Almost There!

Enter your email below to watch the webcast
“6-Step Guide to Start Membership Websites”

75% Complete

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your information safe.