Domain Names - the key to finding your website...

Domain Names - the key to finding your website...

Every website on the Internet has a domain name which most people will recognise as the www address. For example: google.com and google.co.uk are both domain names.

When you purchase a domain name it will not only be used to find your website but also for your email address. For example if you chose trendyteddys.co.uk as your domain name the website could be www.trendyteddys.co.uk and the email addresses fred@trendyteddys.co.uk, enquiries@trendyteddys.co.uk and sales@trendyteddys.co.uk.

Multiple Domain Names

Domain names are relatively cheap (we charge £13+VAT every two years for .co.uk domains) and as such many people buy more than one and point them at the same website to avoid confusion. For example you might wish purchase trendy-teddys.co.uk and trendyteddys.co.uk. You may even choose to purchase trendyteddys.com. The choice is entirely yours and as long as nobody else has already purchased the domain we can obtain it for you almost instantly.

.co.uk, .com, what do they all mean?

.co.uk and .com are both what are known as TLD's or Top Level Domains and are used to categorise what type of website you have. There are two types of TLD's, generic and country code top level domains. The generic top level domains, such as .com - short for commercial, .edu - education, .gov - government, .mil - military, .net - network providers, .org - other organisations, etc are for websites which provide global interest, whereas the country code top level domains such as .co.uk - UK commercial, .gov.uk - UK government, .ac.uk - UK academic, .org.uk - non profit UK organisation, .com.au - Australian companies, .de - German websites, etc are for sites targeted more at a specific area.

Depending on who owns the top level domain there may be restrictions in place on who can register with them. For example to register a .com.au address you would need to prove that you were a genuine Australian company. For others such .co.uk and .com there are currently no restrictions and whilst there is no legal requirement for you to use the correct top level domain, at NeonHorizon we recommend you do and in some cases it may even give you an advantage in search engines.

Its all in the name!

Matching your existing company name...

If you already have an established company name, provided its not already registered it's usually a good idea to keep the domain the same as your company name so people can find you. However often you may find that the name is already in use and this can make things quite complicated. You could offer to try and purchase the domain from the existing owner, however if they have an established site they may not wish to give it up. At this point depending on your legal standpoint you may or may not be able to obtain it.

If you don't already have a company name you should strongly consider checking the availability of a domain name before choosing the name of your company, especially if your website will be important to your company's future. Many people make the mistake of setting up a company only to find there is no way of having a domain name which is anything like their company name, this results in them having to purchase something inappropriate and worse still having their customers arrive at a competitors site. This could harm your business considerably and as such you should always check first if you can.

Choosing a domain name...

Domain names like email addresses are not case sensitive and are usually written all in lower case. They are also restricted to the letters a to z, the numbers 0 to 9 and the hyphen. Due to the low costs of domain names, the most words, acronyms and pairs of words are already registered. In fact almost all three letter combinations are registered and most four letter ones as well. This can make finding a free domain name incredibly difficult.

To find out if a domain is already registered you need to use a 'whois' facility. The easiest way to do this is via a website which offers a whois service. Caution should be used however because some websites perform the unscrupulous practice of reserving the domain name when all you have done is look it up. This means that if you go to purchase it from elsewhere it appears to already be in use even though the site you looked it up on has it available! To find out if a .co.uk domain name is already registered we recommend using the whois facility on Nominets website and to find out if a .com is already registered I recommend using the whois facility on Internics website. Remember when using these sites its important not to include the www as that is not part of the domain name itself (for example: you should enter trendyteddys.co.uk not www.trendyteddys.co.uk into the whois box).

The name itself is quite important. If possible you should choose something which is catchy and imaginative, not too long and yet representative of what your company does. For example, if you sold teddy bears having a domain which was something like trendyteddys.co.uk would be a good idea because not only are people likely to remember it but also because it has the word teddy in the domain which means its more likely to be picked up by the search engines for this term (although on its own it wont guarantee you a position). At the end of the day finding a domain name is tricky as many of the ideal candidates are already registered. A good imagination and a little patience is what is required.

Domain Name Prices

UK Domains

.co.uk £6.50
.org.uk £6.50

(.co.uk, .org.uk domains must be purchased in 2 year chunks)

Generic Domains

.com £16.00
.org £21.00
.info £22.00
.biz £21.00
.net £21.00

Already Purchased a Domain?

Because of the importance in obtaining a good domain name some of our customers have already purchased one before they came to us. Don't worry this is not a problem and as long as you have the passwords to access the settings for your domain we can point to the websites we design for you. If you find our prices cheaper than those of the company you originally purchased from you could additionally transfer the domain over to us but this isn't a requirement.

Further Information:

SitemapExisting Customers

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