Domain Names

Choosing a Domain Name

Before you dive in and purchase a Domain Name for your business, there are some things you need to think about, and in this post we will talk you through them.

It is worth saying that there are no hard and fast rules, but taking these points into account will help you to choose a domain name that reflects you and your business.

What is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name is a unique address on the internet for your website.  No two websites can have exactly the same domain name.

To use a Domain Name as your website address you must register it with a registrar for a period of time from 1 to 10 years.  Mostly you will register for one or two years and renew annually.  We will talk more later about which registrar to use.

Your Domain Name doesn’t have to be the same as your Business Name, and if when deciding on your business name you got creative with word play, then it shouldn’t be.

Things for you to consider:

Clear and Intuitive
Ideally your domain name should give your website visitors a good idea of what your business is all about

Keep it short and simple
Long domain names are more difficult to remember, and easier to mistype – we don’t want your web visitors to end up in the wrong place on the internet

Avoid Quirky
Numbers, special characters, hyphens, abbreviations (u instead of you) or deliberate mis-spelling will only make your domain harder to type.
They also raise a red flag and make people think the site may be suspicious

Google Friendly
If possible, include in your domain name a keyword that your potential clients might be using, to search for someone who does what you do on Google
You will need to spend some time researching what your clients might be searching for and the words they would use.

Pick Your Extension
The extension is simply the bit at the end of your domain name ie .com or or .net or .org
It is part of what makes the domain name unique, so it is quite possible to have 2 or more entirely separate domains and websites with the same pre-extension but with different extensions.  So, and could be 2 completely unrelated websites.

Once upon a time there were only a few extensions to choose from eg .com – considered the best to have, – for UK websites, .gov – used by government.
As internet use has expanded over the years and more and more websites have been created, so have the number of available extensions.
As well as extensions for most countries across the globe, there are also extensions to signify different kinds of websites such as .tv

Why do extensions matter to you?

Firstly you will want to choose an extension that is “mainstream” such as .com or as these are easier to remember and people have a higher degree of trust in them.

Secondly if you decide on your pre-extension name and then find that the extension version you want is already owned by someone else, you could opt for a different extension instead.

We would strongly recommend that if your first choice is taken, you go and have a look at what is on the website using it.  If it is an active website being used by someone in a similar field to you, then you may want to have a re-think.

If it just displays a list of domains or an offer to buy the domain, you can assume someone has bought it either to use in the future or to sell on.  Either way a different extension is not so much of an issue.

Where to buy your domain?

There are numerous providers of Domain Names (a quick Google search will give you many options) and you can buy your domain from one provider while having your hosting with another.

We often find that it is simpler to buy your domain from the same provider as you choose for your hosting, and often when you set up a new hosting account you will get your first year domain for free.

Finally …

Your Domain Name for your website is important, but not so important that you should put off creating a website to connect with your ideal clients for days, weeks or even months.

Do a little research and brainstorming, and then make a decision!!

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