Choosing your domain name
Choosing the right domain name is one of the most important things you will do when getting online. Your domain represents your brand, whether you’re selling, promoting, raising money or just telling people about yourself.
It can be a difficult decision when you have to choose just one domain name to represent your piece of real estate online. So, here are our top tips for making the process just that little bit easier.
Make sure your domain name shows off your business
Your domain name should represent what you’re trying to do with your website. So make sure it’s memorable and reflects what you want to do – whether you’re selling sweets or want to show off your portfolio.
Get a second opinion
When you’ve got your ideal available domain name (or have a few suitable options) see what your friends have to say. A name which makes perfect sense to you may be difficult for others to remember. Ask yourself:
- Is it easy to say?
- Is it easy to spell?
- Do you have to explain why you chose it?
Keep it short and sweet
A domain name with a maximum of two or three words makes it more likely that people will spell it correctly, remember it and most importantly pass it on.
Characters are important
When putting together your domain name, remember:
- You can only use letters, numbers and hyphens
- You can’t use spaces and symbols
- Domain names always appear in lower case, for example: www.theukdomain.uk, not WWW.THEUKDOMAIN.UK
Protect your name
If you can, register several similar domain names. For example, if you have ‘yourname.me.uk’ you could register ‘yourname.co.uk’ and ‘yourname.org.uk’ so no-one else can come in later and capitalise on your success. There is more information on which .uk domain is right for you here.
To hyphen or not to hyphen
If your first choice of name isn’t available, you could consider using a hyphenated version. Hyphens can sometimes identify keywords to search engines more clearly, but they can also make your domain name harder to remember and communicate.
Watch your spelling
Try not to use words that are difficult to spell – it could mean people are unable to find your website. You could also consider registering other domain names with likely misspellings of your name and link these to your actual site.
Make it a long-term relationship
If you’re sure you want to keep it, registering your domain name for a longer period will save you money. You can now register a .uk domain name for up to 10 years. Also make sure your Internet Service Provider or Hosting company will remind you when it’s time to renew.
If your first choice is already taken
You can use the WHOIS search tool to check the availability of all .uk domain names If someone has already registered the name you want, they might be willing to sell it to you. The WHOIS tool is located on the Nominet website.
What are you waiting for?
Start your search for the perfect domain name