How To Choose A Domain name
The most important part of your website is it's Domain name, choose wisely.
What is a Domain name?
Your website needs an address called a URL (Universal Resource Locator) people will type it to visit your website so it's the first thing they see.
It consists of the prefix www. followed by the name of your choice then followed by a suffix such as .com / .org / .net etc...
Our Domain name is mekatrig.com - Our web address (URL) is https://www.mekatrig.com
A domain ending with one group of letters after the dot is called a top-level domain (TLD).
Some of these can be used by anyone Eg:- .com / .net /.biz / .info.
Some are limited to specific groups or organisations Eg:- .gov / . edu.
There are TLDs which indicate your country Eg:- .uk (UK) .us (USA) .au (Australia). Some country domain extensions can only be used if your can prove you are resident in that country.
After Brexit The .eu (Europe) TLD can no longer be used by UK registrants.
There are TLDs which are relevant to your business Eg:- .dance / .expert. / graphics. / .lawyer
There are over 1000 TLDs, however the one which still carries the most kudos is the original .com.
There are also thousands of second level domains such as .co.uk which have a mid-level domain (.co) followed by the top-level domain (.uk) You can find a full explanation of second level domains here
A Domain name is not a website, it is an address to where your website is. Once you have a name you will need somewhere to store it so people can use it. See our Hosting a Website article
How To Choose a Domain Name
Millions of Domain names have already been registered, finding an unregistered one relevant to what you do may be difficult and if available may be extremely expensive.
ToysRUs (remember them?) bought toys.com for $5.1 million in 2010, toys.shop is currently on sale for £15000 and toys.cz will cost £10.99
If your website is a personal extension of you, your craft or profession then a tailored extension (.me, .blog, .art, .lawyer) is fine otherwise it is always best to try to get a .com extension .
If you are in the UK then we advise getting the .co.uk domain as well, this stops competitors getting it and poaching your business or 'cybersquatting', you can redirect it to your .com domain.
The Golden rules are:-
- Get a .com if possible
- Make it relevent to what your site does
- Make it as short as you can
- Make it memorable
- Make it easy to spell
- Never use hyphens and avoid double letters in the middle
How To Get A Domain Name
You cannot buy a Domain name outright, they have to be periodically renewed, fail to renew and your domain name can be sold.
Have a good think about what name you would like and make a list as the first few will either be already taken or held by someone for resale at a high (premium) price, you're looking for something under £20 a year, unless there is a 'must have' name your willing to spend big money on.
If your name is taken we will show you a list of suggested names similar to what you've selected.
In the test case below we are looking for a name for a Cafe / Bar in Edinburgh owned by Mike.
Mikes business is being promoted as somewhere where friends can meet up for a drink and food, in a relaxed atmosphere and live music is often provided.
He was looking for mikesbar.com, that was taken, his next choice was mikesplace.com, also taken. Then a bit of lateral thinking and he came up with mikesgaff.com for £10.11. Gaff is slang in Scotland for a house so anyone seeing mikesgaff automatically thinks of it as a gathering place which is the message he wants to convey.
He named his Cafe / Bar Mikesgaff, giving it and the website the same name. He could have had mikesbar.co.uk or mikesbar.pub for £7.99 each or mikes.bar, but at £738 that is way above his budget and .com carries far more prestige anyway
This is the kind of process you may have to go through to get a .com domain relevant to your business at a decent price.
Click shopping cart, you may be offered other products (such as hosting). You are given the choice of listing privately, we recommend doing this but if you don't want to then click no.
If other services you don't want appear at the check out stage delete them until just your domain name is left.We will ask you to open an account, you need this as you will have to renew your domain name & may want other services later on, follow the procedure and complete the purchase, making sure you write down your user number.
Congratulations you are now the proud owner of your own domain.
Now you need to get your Domain hosted so you can start building your website, see our article on Hosting Your Website.