Your church serves an important community of people seeking hope and belonging, and you’d want your church to be easily found and identified when people are searching online for what you have to offer. And a lot of people are searching, to the tune of 823,000 monthly searches for “churches near me.” What difference could a web address make?
Very simply, a domain name is your church’s digital front door that people have to enter through with a tap, or a click. When someone sees your church’s website, that will be their first experience with your church. Then if that’s a great experience, they will engage more deeply online or in-person, hear the Good News, and experience hope, belonging, and purpose. But, if there’s any friction or confusion in your church’s digital identity, they might not even click on your church’s web address.
3 Features of a Great 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 web address?
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. A recent survey shows that 97% of consumers search for local organizations online. People are looking for churches where they live. Your church’s website needs to be SEO optimized and geo-tagged with your location(s) to be more discoverable.
The best domain name exactly matches your 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!
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.
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 you want 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 your .church domain name today at name.church or your favorite registrar. Make sure to include “church” in your search.