We click or type them into our browser every day: domain names.
Thousands of new domains are registered every day, but for every domain owner, it’s important to understand that there are certain domain name rules, such as the domain name character limit of 63.
You can’t just use any random name or characters for your domain. We find out how many characters a domain name can have, and what characters are allowed.
We also put together a guide on how to choose the right domain name, so you don’t exceed the character limit.
How Many Characters Can A Domain Name Have?
A domain name can have up to 63 characters. The 63 character limit does not include the protocol identifier, also commonly known as https:// or http://.
Also the domain extension, such as .org or .com, is not included in the character limit.
The 63 character limit for domain names only applies to what is known as the label, which is usually the name of your business or brand.
It’s a good idea however to keep your domain name as short as possible and don’t near the maximum length of characters.
This is to ensure that users can easily remember your domain name and they can then quickly type it into the browser.
What Characters Are Allowed In A Domain Name?
When it comes to choosing a domain name for your site, there are a few rules that you need to bear in mind.
You can only use certain types of characters in your domain name. Here are some of the characters that are allowed in a domain.
You can use any standard Latin letters for a domain name as long as they do not exceed the 63 character limit.
It’s a good idea to go with a domain name that is a word, a business name or a brand name. This is memorable and your users can associate the domain name with you.
Also remember that domain names are commonly written in lowercase letters.
Using upper case letters is not very intuitive for users, and the majority of domains on the internet are in lowercase.
You can include numbers in your domain name. Saying this, many domain name owners tend to avoid numbers because they are not intuitive enough in a domain name.
Many people find that adding a number in a domain name creates a barrier for users who want to access a website.
This applies to domain names which use the number as a written word or a digit character.
There are some exceptions where you may want to consider using a number character. Some of these are commonly used terms, such as MP4 or B2B.
They are commonly used phrases and you can add them to your domain with a number. Again, it’s best to keep the letters in lowercase however to ensure that users can just type in the URL easily.
If you are unsure whether to register a domain name with a numerical digit or with the written word, then it can be a good idea to simply register both domain names.
You can then redirect one domain to the other to ensure your users get to see the right website.
Domain names can also contain hyphens. However, they are very rarely included in a number because they add complexity to the name.
This can put users off from using your domain name and you may not see as many visitors coming to your website as with a web domain name without hyphens.
Domain experts recommend not to use hyphens and numbers. Although they are officially allowed, it’s best to consider how your audience can find you as easily as possible.
What Characters Are Not Allowed In A Domain Name?
While hyphens and numbers are allowed to be used in a domain name, there are quite a few different characters that you cannot use.
Here are the main characters that aren’t allowed in domain names.
When you register a domain name, then you cannot include periods in the name. This is because periods are used for subdomains, such as subdomain.domainname.com.
So, only domain names with a subdomain use a period but this is not included in the domain name.
A subdomain is essentially content that sits still under the same website but needs to stay separate from the main site.
This could be an ecommerce shop or even a blog.
Symbols, Underscores And Spaces
You are only allowed to use hyphens and numbers in your domain name but other symbols, such as spaces and underscores, are not allowed.
Some other symbols that aren’t permitted in a domain name are < > / \ = + & * ( ) ; : , ? @ # $ % ^ !
Domain names don’t respond to capital letters. This means that when a user types a domain name in upper case characters, then it redirects him to the same domain name with lower case letters.
As a rule of thumb, you aren’t allowed to register a domain name that contains capital letters as they are the same characters as lowercase letters.
Choosing The Right Domain Name
Now that you know that your domain name can only be 63 characters long and you can include only certain characters, here are some tips on choosing the right name for your domain.
Keep Your Domain Name Short
A good domain name is short and easy to remember. Even though you can use up to 63 characters, it’s best not to use the maximum length.
Plus, the shorter your domain name, the lower the risk that a user misspells the name.
The average domain name on the internet is around 8 characters long, and the majority of websites have a domain name that is maximum 10 characters in length.
Saying this, the domain name should fit your brand and business, so character count isn’t everything.
Make Your Domain Name Memorable
Your domain name should leave a lasting impression so make sure that you use a name that reflects your branding and business name.
Try to avoid names that are too generic or too complex. A balanced middle is the best way to go.
Domain Names Should Be Easy To Spell
When you are looking for a good domain name make sure that it is easy to pronounce and easy to spell.
It should be a name that’s also easy to share with friends, family and other businesses.
After all, you want your site to be found quickly and easily.
Use The Right Extension
Extensions such as .com or .org may not be exactly part of your domain name but they can also contribute to how memorable your domain is.
It’s best to stick with a .com extension as this is most widely used across the internet.
This being said, you may also want to consider an industry specific extension, such as .biz or .film.
Match Your Domain Name With Your Brand
Many businesses use a website as a shop window to their brand. Even if you don’t have an ecommerce store online, you should still choose your domain based on your business name or your brand name.
Domain names may be limited to 63 characters but when you choose your domain wisely, you don’t even need to get near this character limit.