When getting your business online, the first thing you will usually think about is your website. It’s easy to get caught up in how you want your website to look and function, which is very important, but first, you need to consider the domain.
So, what is a domain?
Your domain is also known as the URL (Universal Resource Locator) or sometimes ‘web address’. This is what you type into the address bar of your web browsers such as Chrome or Internet Explorer. This is the ‘www.—-.com’ that you may be very familiar with. In order to have a website that your customers can easily find, you will need to buy a domain that you can attach to your website.
Coming up with ideas
The first step is to think about what you would like in your domain name. Perhaps you want it to be the business name or what the business does. Whatever you choose you should keep it simple, easy to remember and unique. Try to avoid using unusual spellings of existing words or phrases as they could be typed incorrectly by your customers.
A domain is much like a phone number, no two people can have the same one as it would cause a lot of confusion! As there are so many websites in the world, there is a good chance your first choice of web address is already in use. So it is a good idea to write down a few variations of your first choice. Got some ideas? Great!
An extra little step you might want to take here is to check that that there are no other websites that have a URL that could be mistaken as yours. A quick Google of your chosen domain to see what comes up in the results will help.
Selecting an available domain
The next step you will need to take is to see if your URL is available and to decide where to buy it from. You can either Google ‘Domain Registration’ or go to a well know domain registration site such as Godaddy or 123-Reg to do this. On their homepage, you can input the domain you want to buy and it will tell you if someone else already owns it or if its available to buy. If your first choice is not available, it may give you some suggestions or you can continue to check the variations.
You may notice that some URLs have ‘.com’ ‘. co.uk’ or even ‘.co’. These tell people what kind of website they are visiting. .Com stands for commercial, as in a website that is also a business. You may have seen ones that say .co or .biz, these are variations of .com. Whichever you choose, it shouldn’t have an impact on how you appear on search engines.
We recommend choosing one that you think your customers would remember. .com is the most common domain in the world for businesses and is good if you have a global audience. A .co.uk identifies a UK based business, domain and very familiar for customers here in the United Kingdom but if you are providing a service around the world, your international customers might not know to type .co.uk in their web browsers.
Buying your domain
Once you have chosen your URL, you will need to add it to your shopping basket. Often domain sellers will give you an offer on purchasing your first web address or half price on buying your second domain. This can be useful if you want to buy both the .com and the .co.uk domains. Once you have added all the web addresses you want to your basket, you can take through to the checkout. Just as you would when buying anything online.
That’s it! You now own a domain for your website. Now you are able to add your domain to your website.