domain name for doctor

Read this first before you choose a web domain as a doctor

In this article, I will share a few key insights you can use to reflect on your domain name choice. This is one of those areas where we have helped doctors make smart choices at the start, manage their digital assets wisely. 

domain name for doctor

Read this first before you choose a web domain as a doctor

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

December 7, 2021

What is the best domain name for a starting practice?

Getting started with a domain name for doctor

If you are about to start your own independent practice, there are two different ways to look at your domain choice.

A personal domain name, containing your name

Many doctors will first focus on building their personal profile instead of a group brand. If you are only just starting out in private practice and your main goal is to attract patients that you will serve yourself…then a domain that holds your name is very effective.

You would choose this approach if your intention was to turn your personal name into a brand. You have no intentions to involve partners at the same level where you are.

A personal domain name also does a better job at supporting your academic career, gives you visibility to support activities in professional organisations and more status attached to your personal name as opposed to a team.

A private practice under a personal name could have a team of 20 people in supporting staff, but as soon as you take on other specialist doctors, you will want to consider creating a group brand.

A brand name that does not contain your name

The group brand domain (theshoulderteam[dot]com for example) allows you to disconnect the practice from just your own personal work with patients. It opens up your business for partnerships, and it allows you to be less dependent on the specific treatments or surgeries you perform in person. A brand name as a domain can give team members a stronger feeling of belonging to the team. If you ever want to sell your practice, a group or brand name as a domain is always best. After all, who would want to take over my obesity surgery clinic if it was called drkrisborgraeve and so on?

Both choices can be the foundation for a strong, successful private practice. It depends on your long-term strategy what will work better for you. The first step is to strategically inspect where you are at, where you want to be in 2-3 years, and if there is an exit strategy on the horizon. Online visibility is often compared to quality wine. The longer it exists, the better it gets. 

**Disclaimer: Just like this does not apply to poor-quality wine, it also does not apply to poorly built web content or the results of low-standard homemade web development. 

If I choose a brand, where do I start?

domain name for doctor tips

So maybe you have decided that it’s not just going to be your name you use as the foundation for your domain. The process to create a brand is always intertwined with your web domain choice. Domains for medical websites are linked to trade names or brands, and if you take someone else’s brand that is protected by intellectual property, you may be committing a copyright infringement.

Let’s look at the syntax of a few typical domain names for doctors.

A few examples of brand-based domain names:

  • richwoodobstetrics(
    • Pro: If this is the name of your practice and your location is in the town of Richwood Australia then this domain clearly outlines what you offer and where.
    • Con: If you decide to move suburbs or you want to serve a wider catchment area, the domain might be restricting you.
  • newyorkhipkneeandshouldersurgery(.com)
    • Pro: The domain does a reasonably good job in telling me that you are doing a variety of orthopaedic procedures.
    • Con: It’s almost like a riddle only those with a fit memory can remember. Not to mention that it will require you to print business cards at double width.
  • avantielavie(
    • Pro: You feel very inspired and the brand name represents exactly how you felt when you did this amazing workshop to visualise your future.
    • Con: Nobody knows what you mean and it does not refer in any way to obstetrics. Some think you are selling pet food.

All of the above ties in with the level of brand position you want to add to your practice. A rich brand has a colour palette, a visually attractive logo, a style guide for the use of images and a tone of voice that expresses who you are as a team, a surgeon or as a collective of specialist doctors.

    • Pro: It clearly demonstrates what is on offer and where. The visual logo connects to sports orthopaedics, the main focus of the practice.
    • Con: The focus is no longer on the individual surgeon so if you are one of the surgeons your profile does not really stand out of the group, unless you have your own personal profile on the side.
    • Pro: The wordplay around the womb and women’s health gives a quirky touch, and the brand is futureproof allowing the owners to develop clinics nationwide. The Woom is a brand and strategy created by the team here at Digital Practice and we are very proud of it!
    • Con: Unlike the typical elbowskneesshoulders-dot-com domains it does not tell Google exactly what it is that is on offer. Luckily, this is where strong content marketing techniques come in to make sure Google knows exactly what The Woom is.

If you are unsure what applies to the vision for your practice, book a meeting so we can explore your options.

How do domains actually work? What do I need to know?

best domain name for doctor in private practice

To make a smart choice for your domain, you have some strategic work to do as we have established. And then there’s the technology behind domains. You can delegate this to the IT crew and enter the cycle of miscommunications. If you don’t really understand what you asking, things will go wrong. So let’s summarise how domains actually work and what you have to know as a doctor, to make the most of your digital assets over time.

The other thing to bear in mind about your website and your domain is that it is the only online content that is actually yours. Everything you ever post on Instagram or Facebook is owned by Meta. Everything you post on LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. So if you want to protect yourself from future changes to the big platforms… nurture your own small platform because that is where you have total control. 

Confused about domain hosting and web hosting?

domain hosting for doctors

Domain hosting and website hosting are often confused. By assuming it is all one and the same you are at risk of losing your domain or losing track of your hosting arrangements. So let’s clarify.

  • Website hosting: The physical reality of your software (your website) running on a computer server in a data centre. Website hosting typically needs supporting services. If you leave software running without ever checking the necessary updates, or you don’t monitor the safety of the environment, you may lose your website or at least be offline from time to time.
  • Domain hosting: The account that keeps all information about your domain, in your name and pointed at your website or other services such as your email. Domain hosting is also called domain registration and it is a funny beast. You become the owner of a domain and in most instances what you are actually paying for is some sort of rent. Renewing your domain means that you remain the owner of the domain for another year or for a longer period. Should you not renew your domain, then it becomes available again on the market as an available domain.

So you can see now that website hosting and domain hosting are two different things and you could have them with different providers. The main thing is to really understand that they work together to keep your online presence going.

domain name for doctor

Smart domain choices for ambitious doctors

smart domain name choices

The choice of your domain extension is another important decision you make when you change your website or when you are starting out.

  • [dot]com: The obvious choice if you work in the United States, and a choice you may want to consider if you have an international profile even as you work in another country.
  • [dot]com[dot]au: The obvious choice if you work in Australia. You can have two domains pointing at the same website and communicate your international domain to anyone outside Australia.
  • [dot]doctor: The new top-level domain allows you to have a domain similar to It’s more a fancy gadget than a real strategic domain at this stage, but in a few years’ time, it might be the new thing so it’s worth looking into.

We would typically recommend an extra domain ([dot]doctor) for a small web page that lists your research work and publications. This is not directly meant for the patient but more for your international contacts, supporting your activities in committees or associations. An additional profile is often useful to apply for grant funding or to support new research collaboration projects.

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Need some more clarity? Let’s Zoom

questions about domain name for doctor?

Getting your domain right, building a brand as a doctor, and creating an online presence that generates patient leads… That’s what we do and if you are keen to get the ball rolling, book a complementary Zoom strategy session so we can start building your failproof online presence as a leading doctor.

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