Choosing the best domain name for your website is important and sometimes hard to get right. Your website name is how visitors will recognise you and your business. I have many conversations with clients about choosing website names, so I hope you enjoy my top tips.
What’s a Domain Name?
The actual name of a website is called a Domain name. It is the address that users type in to access a website and is unique only to that site; just like a telephone number or house address.
Getting it right
Choosing the best domain name for your magazine website does take some thought. Depending on availability, you can be called anything you like. Using the name of your business is a logical step but you could use an abbreviation or may have future expansion ideas. I used the name of my actual magazine www.photoshootmagazine.co.uk (I also have the .com version) and since created sub-domains for my shop and workshops.
#Top Tip Try to keep your name short and easy to remember but most importantly easy to spell. Just think about when you’re on the phone, having to spell it! Most importantly, avoid at all costs, ending up on someones ‘Top 50 most embarrassing web domains list’ with your name choice. I guess these guys didn’t… ihavegas.com (IHA Vegas Holiday Rentals), teacherstalk.com (Teachers Talk) and childrenswear.co.uk (Children’s Wear).
What’s an Extension?
Domain name extensions are the letters that follow the full stop. They indicate which type of company they are and where they are located. A .co.uk, for example, would be a United Kingdom-based enterprise, whereas a .com would be the United States. However, many people and companies now use .com and purchase both types, to prevent others from using one or the other.
Other countries also have their own related extensions, such as .fr (France), .nz (New Zealand) and so on.
There are also .org (organisation) .gov (government) .biz (business related) and .info (information) domains which are industry related.
However, because people were struggling to find a name for their new business or venture, a whole new bunch of domain extensions have been released. This was done in order to help Some examples are these are… .photography, .training, .company, .solutions and even .coffee!
#Top Tip If you intend to trade in the UK, try and find an available domain name for both .co.uk and .com.
How do I get a Domain name?
Buying a domain name is a fairly easy process. You don’t actually ever own it as you only ever lease it. However, as long as you pay the annual renewal, it will always be available for your sole use. There are many companies out there who sell domain names and offer some great introductory deals. I personally use Siteground for all my clients’ domain name registrations. They offer a fantastic deal for the first year for their WordPress hosting plans.
#Top Tip Always make sure that you double-check the small print. Many great offers are not that great two to three years down the line
How much does a Domain Name cost?
Domain names vary in prices with an average .co.uk/.com starting from as little as £14/€15 per year. Some domain names can be very expensive.
#Top Tip Really think about what type of domain you need, so you don’t pay over-the-top.
My Domain Name is not available?
Sometimes, only ‘the one’ name will do. If this is the case, you may be able to approach the owner by looking up the name on http://whois.domaintools.com/ and ask if the domain name is for sale. Sometimes, the owners are using it or it may come at a price, as people buy and sell domain names as their business. Always worth researching as you never know.
#Top Tip Don’t get ripped off! You can check which names are available with our provider Siteground
I already have a Domain Name?
Great. Join lots of people who have already secured their preferred name, ready to use. When you are ready you will need Hosting and have two options available to you:
- You can point your name to a hosting provider (free)
- You can buy a hosting package from the company who registered your domain name. I use SiteGround for all my business and personal website hosting, along with all my customers. You can read my review here.
* I only promote and recommend programs that I use myself and, as such, I am an affiliate and/or reseller for them. If you purchase the program via my links, I make a small amount of commission. I use any commission earned towards the upkeep of my website, to carry on helping and informing others