Domain Names

In laymans terms a domain name is the web address of a site. The domain name of The BBC website is www.bbc.co.uk. There are an unlimited number of options available for domain names. Getting it right is important. This article will help you do just that.

Choosing the right name

Choosing the right domain name can be daunting. There are some ways to make it easier.

Use your name

Whether a business or an individual it makes sense to use the name you trade under.

Keep it short

Nobody wants to type in www.thebestdamninternetcompanysincetimebegan.com everytime they visit your site. You don’t need to include words like ‘ltd’, ‘the’ or ‘company’.

Make it easy to pronounce

If it’s easy to pronounce, it’ll be easier to say over the phone and easier to remember.

Use real words

This will help search engines find you, make it easy to remember and easy to type.

Choose the right extension

.com? .co.uk? .net? .org? There are lots of extensions to choose from. There are two main considerations here:

  1. what does your company do and
  2. where does it do it?

If you are a company based in the UK, and that is also your target market, go for a ‘.co.uk’ extension. If you want to sell in france go for ‘.fr’. ‘.com’ is ideally suited to international companies. Not for profit organisations typically work under ‘.org’ or ‘.org.uk’.

Specifying a geographical area could help with your search rankings in that country. If you want a high search ranking on Google.co.uk then use ‘.co.uk’. (Remeber this will not guarantee a high rank, there are many other factors involved.)

Read it again

Sometimes combining words creates new unwanted names. A famous example was the ill-fated Pen Island.

Registration

Domain name registration involves buying a name from a domain name registrar. Once you have chosen the domain (see above) you need to check it’s availability. To do this go to a domain name registrar (I use GoDaddy.com) and use the domain search. If the domain is available you will be able to purchase it. If not, you will probably be offered alternatives.

The cost of domain registration is fairly consistent but as always there are people who will try to rip you off. Check a few different sites. Be wary of very low prices, they will probably be massively increased after the first year. Make sure you read the small print.

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