What difference could a domain name make? It can lead a person to your church website, to your church, hear the Good News, and experience the transforming message of hope, belonging, and purpose.
But any friction or confusion in your church’s digital identity could lead someone to an undesirable destination, to being lost in cyberspace, or worse, landing on a phishing site or even something obscene. Oh how terrible!
What is the Best Web Address
Location is everything! Your church’s domain name is even more important than its physical address, and it will reach more people than your physical location ever will. So what is the best domain name to use for your church’s website?
The best domain name is most searchable.
If someone is looking for a church, they’re much more likely to use the Internet than they are to look up a phone number to call. Research shows that 97% of consumers search for local organizations online. People are looking for churches where they live—there’s around 823,000 monthly searches for “churches near me.” Your church’s web presence needs to be SEO optimized and geo-tagged with your location(s) to be more discoverable.
The best domain name exactly matches your church’s name.
When someone is searching for a church online, they are more likely to click on a web address that contains “church” than one that doesn’t contain the keyword they are looking for. In fact, according to research from Microsoft, 25% are more likely to click on exact match domains. Having a domain name that exactly matches your church name and contains the keyword “church” can mean getting 25% more traffic to your website!
The best domain name is clear.
A strong domain name should reflect your church’s brand name, avoid unnecessary clutter like hyphens or numbers, and is short (1-2 words) so it’s easy to type, remember, and trust so it’s easy to type, remember, and trust.
While many churches and nonprofits use an acronym to describe itself, or to obtain a shorter domain name, the drawback is acronyms make the web address unclear and non-descriptive. That’s where descriptive domains like .church can be useful. With a .church domain name, people have instant recognition that you are a church, even if you abbreviate your church’s name.
Let’s take a little quiz. Can you guess what organizations these web addresses belong to?
cc.com is the homepage to Comedy Central. .com extensions initially stood for commercial companies, but because the shortened form is not widely recognized, it has been generically used for any purpose.
cc.org is the homepage of Christian Coalition of America. An .org extension stands for a nonprofit organization; however, anyone can register an .org domain.
cc.church is Champion Centre, a large church in Washington state with multiple locations. A .church extension makes it clear that it’s a church, even with an abbreviated church name.
How to Get a Domain Name for Your Church
.Church domains are widely available and used by tens of thousands of churches of all types, sizes, and denominations. You can get your .church domain name today at name.church or your favorite registrar. Make sure to include “church” in your search.
What If the Domain Name You Want is Taken?
Domain names are available on a first-come first-serve basis. When a domain name is already registered by someone else, there is still a way to get that domain name.
- The domain may be available for sale on the aftermarket. (That’s the industry term for where domains that are already registered are listed for sale.) Two of the most popular domain aftermarkets are sedo.com and afternic.com.
- The domain may be purchased from the current owner. Sometimes a domain name goes to a website with a “parked page” that has info for contacting the owner. But, this only happens when the owner is a motivated seller.
- The domain may be purchased with the help of a domain broker. You could hire someone to do the research and negotiate the domain sale. Some registrars, like GoDaddy, also offer domain broker services.
What Else Can You Do?
Choose an alternative domain name on .church, if the exact match domain isn’t available. It takes just a little creativity, but do avoid hyphens and unnecessary extraneous characters.
Using a city name, geographical marker, descriptors, or acronyms can open up availability for a common name like Calvary Church. Here are 3 examples of great church domain names: Calvarynm.church, Calvarystockton.church, and Springfieldcalvary.church.
We hope you are inspired by what you see. Open a more welcoming digital front door with your .church domain name. Get .church today at name.church or your favorite registrar. Make sure to include “church” in your search.
DJ Chuang is an ambassador for .church domain names, a part of Identity Digital powering the most relevant domain names on the Internet. DJ also works as the Technical Registry Manager for the .BIBLE top-level domain (operated by American Bible Society). DJ is known as a thought leader who helps churches and nonprofits learn how to use the latest digital technologies.
This post is sponsored by Identity Digital
More in-depth articles coming soon