Before you start thinking about building a website, you need to decide on which domain name is best for you and your business. For many, it can be a frustrating task trying to find the right domain name that is not already registered by someone else.
What if your preferred name has been taken
If you are looking to register your name but find that your preferred name has already been taken. Depending on the circumstances, there are several options you have, including:
- Using your registered company name within the domain
- Registering an alternative extension .com, co, .co or .uk
- An alternative relevant & easy to remember
- Use a Domain Broker Server to try and acquire the domain for you
In my personal opinion, if you run a UK company targeted to a UK audience, then you should always try to register your business domain name as a .co.uk and if your lucky, the .com extension of your desired domain name.
Again, if the .com is available, then I believe it’s always worth registering the .com version even if you plan to use and promote the .co.uk or .uk version. The .com is still the most recognised domain extension in the world, even with the explosion of other domain extensions.
Not sure whether to choose a .co.uk or .uk? Why not read our guide on what the difference between .co.uk and .uk.
The most critical aspect of choosing the right domain is registering something easy to remember. If a visitor lands on your website and gets distracted, would your domain name be easy enough for that visitor to remember, so the visitor can type it in the address bar and return to your website. If you register a domain name which includes a hyphen (-) or words that are hard to pronounce or spell, then you are making it harder for people to remember your domain.
If you entirely run out of ideas & no reasonable domain is available to register, then you may find it useful to view domain auctions. You should expect to pay a little extra for domains at auction, and you should expect to spend a lot more for domains that have an established online presence. This is a great way to find domain names that are relevant to your products & services. You may also find several domains that have existing traffic allowing you to take advantage of a previously established website.
You can find existing domain names to buy at auction on websites such as GoDaddy. GoDaddy is the internets largest provider of domain registrations, and millions of domains are due to expire, or premium domain names are available to purchase. You must become a member of GoDaddy and pay a small fee to access the auctions. You can then bid on domain names relevant to your products/services and try to outbid all other bidders.
Expired Domain Names
Alternatively, you can also find expired domain names or domains that are due to expire using tools available on the internet. Although you may pay to access the lists of expired domains, it can be a very valuable way to claim an established domain that has existing traffic or even authority within the search engines which provides you with a better search engine ranking.
Where To Register Your Domain
If you haven’t already chosen a web hosting provider, then your best option is to register the domain with a domain name registration service. Whilst it may initially be cheaper to register your domain name as part of a hosting package depending on the hosting provider you choose, it can cost more at time of renewal. Check the prices the company charges for renewal. However, if you want to take advantage of promotional offers such as free domain registration with your web hosting, there it is perfectly acceptable to have the two with the same company. One advantage of this is you can also then manage both aspects (domain & hosting) of your website from the same control panel.
Many of the web hosting providers will provide you with a free domain name registration with hosting as part of the package, which is something worth taking advantage of if you are looking to commit to more than a monthly period. These packages that include the free domain are usually provided on the yearly paid packages. As long as you continue to renew your annual hosting package, your hosting provider will renew the domain for free.
Domain Registration Providers
One thing to note that if you register your domain name from one company and sign up for web hosting through another company, you will need to change the nameservers on your domain name, so that it points to the servers of the hosting company. You can do this by navigating through the domain management facility and clicking on the “change nameservers” or “update DNS” links to perform this task. If you have trouble completing this, open a support ticket on the website where your domain name is registered, and I’m sure they will be willing to help you.
Claiming A Free Domain Name
As we mentioned above, most of our recommended web hosting providers will provide you with a free domain name registration when you sign up to a yearly paid web hosting package. Please choose from our list of web hosting providers that offer free domain registration as part of their package to claim your domain and many more free bonuses such as advertising credits and free website builders.
We hope this article has proven useful in helping you find that perfect domain name for your business. I’ve tried to cover all apects to help you find the right domain name but welcome your comments and feedback!