How to Choose the Membership Site Domain Name: The A to Z Guide

by | Oct 16, 2022 | Business

Choosing the right membership site domain name is very important from many points of view. No pressure, though: in this article, we will take a closer look why your membership site domain name is important, as well as how to make sure you make the right decision from this point of view.

Read on to find out more.

What Is a Membership Site Domain Name?

In short, a membership site domain name is the address of your website on the internet. It’s the “name” people will type in their browser’s address bar in order to visit your site.

For example, the domain name of our website is, the domain name of Facebook is, and the domain name of the American Heart Association is

So, why is your membership site domain name so important?

Your membership site domain name is important from many points of view:

It’s Part of Your Brand

The brand you build around your membership site and community is not related to one particular element, but to many. The colors you choose for your site design, your logo, the way you choose to communicate with your members, and even how you name the different membership levels can all have an influence on how your website is perceived, as a brand.

It Might Have an Influence on Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

There is a lot of debate on this matter, most SEO specialists agree: your membership site domain name isn’t a ranking factor on Google, not per se. While it might be tempting to name your membership site “themembershipsiteforbookreaders” or something very close to your core keywords, this will most likely not influence how well your website ranks on the search engines.

What will have an influence, however, is your domain site extension, a topic which we will discuss in more detail a bit later in this article.

It’s the First Impression People Have of Your Site

Your membership site domain name is like your business name: it will give people an idea on what your site is all about, what membership on your site offers, as well as on your overall style.

For example, a website called “booksaremything” will probably be about books (surprise!), while a website called “ilovetocook” is likely to be about food, recipes, and cooking.

Your domain name will also give people an idea of your style: are you more traditional, more on the creative side, or maybe more on the fun and quirky side?

It Can Help You Gain (or Lose) Customers

Your ability to generate revenue from your membership site lies in your ability to attract the right kind of people to your site, people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer and convert into paying members. Therefore, your membership site domain name is important when it comes to your ability to convert visitors and generate revenue on your site.

Domain Name vs. Hosting vs Content Management System

Before we dive deeper into how to choose your membership site domain name, it’s important to make a clear distinction between your domain name and your web hosting.

Your domain name is the address of your website, while your web hosting is where your site lives. To make a parallel, imagine your domain name is your home address, while your web hosting is the piece of land on which your home is built.

You can have multiple domain names (just like you can own multiple homes), all of which lead to the same website, but you can only have one hosting account (one piece of land).

Likewise, we also have to make a distinction between domain names and content management systems. As mentioned before, your domain name is your website address. However, your content management systems is where you actually build and design your site.

For example, if you choose to use WordPress as the content management system for your membership website, you will still need to purchase a domain name and host your site on a web server. The WordPress software is just the foundation on which you will build your site, but it will still need a domain name.

It is important to note that you can just name your website as you wish and allow it to “live” on WordPress (e.g. “”). However, this is not recommended, because it doesn’t look very professional and it’s not great for SEO.

membership site domain name tips

Understanding Domain Name Extensions

Domain site extensions (or Top-Level Domains, TLD’s) are the letters that come after the dot in your domain name (e.g. “.com”, “.net”, “.org”). There are over 1,500 TLDs available out there, but not all of them will be useful, usable, or recommended in your specific case. Some of the most popular domain site extensions include:

  • .com – The most popular and most used domain name extension in the world. If you’re starting a membership website, chances are you want a “.com” extension.
  • .net – A popular alternative to “.com”, mostly used by tech-related websites or companies.
  • .org – Primarily used by non-profit organizations, but it can be used for any type of website.
  • .co – Short for “company” or “corporation”, this domain name extension is becoming more and more popular.
  • .io – Originally used by websites belonging to the British Indian Ocean Territory, it has become a trendy domain name extension, mostly used by tech startups and companies.
  • .club – A great option if your membership website is based around a club, community, or group of people with similar interests.

Local TLDs are very important for SEO, particularly if your membership site is based on a specific location. For instance, if you are building a membership site for book readers in Italy, you might want to consider using a “.it” extension — and this might have an influence on your SEO.

Top 7 Tips on How to Choose the Right Membership Site Domain Name

Alright, now that we’ve cleared it all up, it’s time to focus on how to choose the best domain name for your membership website. Here are our top 7 tips:

Choose a Short and Memorable Domain Name

The best domain names are short, sweet, and to the point. They’re easy to remember and easy to type in. They roll off the tongue and some of them are even catchy.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Your Business Name

Your domain name doesn’t have to be one and the same with your business or organization’s name. As in one of the examples given above, the American Heart Association could have just picked the “” domain name. Instead, they went for something shorter, more memorable, and more brandable: “”.

Don’t Use Hyphens or Numbers

While numbers and hyphens can help you create a shorter domain name, they’re not always the best idea. First of all, they can make it harder for people to remember your domain name. Secondly, they can give off an unprofessional vibe. Finally, they’re often associated with spammy websites.

Avoid Copyright Infringement

When choosing a domain name for your membership website, it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t infringe on any copyrighted material. This can be a difficult task, especially if you’re not familiar with copyright infringement legislation, but it’s important to do your research to avoid any legal issues down the road.

Avoid Playing with Local TLDs

While it might be tempting to pick a localized TLD for your website to make a pun (e.g. “” or “”), it is worth noting that this might not be the best strategy for SEO. In fact, it could even do more harm than good.

Buy Your Domain Name from a Trustworthy Vendor

There are a lot of domain name vendors out there, but not all of them are created equal. When you’re ready to buy your domain, make sure you do it from a trustworthy vendor. Some of the most popular ones include GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Hover. Be mindful of the fact that some of these vendors will sell domains for very low prices in the first year, but they will bump up the pricing above market value in the following years.

Think Long-Term

Your membership site domain name will be with you for a long time, so think of it as a long-term investment. The domain name, in itself, can be an investment that will grow in value over time. But more importantly, it’s a reflection of your brand — and you want your brand to stand the test of time.

How to Choose Your Membership Site Domain Name: Conclusion

Starting a membership site can be confusing at first, and choosing the right domain name for your members only website is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Just remember to keep it short, memorable, and brandable; to avoid any copyright infringement; and to think long-term. Membership site names don’t guarantee your success, that’s for sure — but they can definitely help you reach your membership site goals sooner.

You Might Also Like

MemberPress vs Restrict Content Pro: Choose the Best WordPress Plugin to Skyrocket Your Membership Site Business

How to Use a WordPress Membership Plugin to Earn Money in Just 5 Steps

How to Price Your Corporate Membership Site

Tips for Creating Great Paywall Content

Top 9 Reasons to Own a Membership Site in 2022

How to Use a WordPress Membership Plugin to Earn Money in Just 5 Steps