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The Importance of Domain Names

What is a domain name?

Your domain name is your address or location on the internet, it is also your name and identity. Domain names are like fingerprints, no two are the same so there’s no one out there that has the same name as you anywhere in the world. It is impossible for two or more people to have the same domain name. Having your own Domain Name means that you have a home, a place where people that want to find you can, quickly and easily. It helps to get a name that reflects your business, it gives you creditability that people tend to take more seriously and trust; people tend not to trust subdomains when it comes to a business or online store.

Which of these would you trust more?

http://www.subdomain.businessname.co.uk

or

http://www.businessname.co.uk

Choosing and registering a domain name

Choose your perfect name, think of a name that’s short, catchy, and easy to remember. This could be your brand or business name or a term people will use to search for your site. For example, if your company is called “Bob’s Accountancy Services” an ideal domain name would be bobsaccountancy.co.uk. It is also possible to add hyphens to make it easier to read like bobs-accountancy-services.co.uk but remember the shorter the name the easier it is to remember. This will be the web address everyone types into their browser to go to your website. Your domain name can also be used to provide a personalised email address for your business.
Once you have decided on your preferred domain name check on its availability, you can do this by visiting an online domain registration company such as 123-reg or GoDaddy, just type the name you want into the search box and you will find out if it is available to register. Once you hit the search button, you will see a list of available names with different extensions, now all you need to do is to choose which one(s) you want to buy. If you are selling products or services in the UK a .co.uk domain extension will be perfect as it is recognised as the UK extension. If you are selling internationally a .com would be more suitable as it is the internationally recognised domain for commerce.

How much will it cost and how long will we own it?

As a guide it is possible to buy a .co.uk domain for relatively low cost whereas .com domains generally cost a little more but can also cost many thousands of pounds depending on your choice of name and how much competition there is for it. Registration of your domain name will normally be for one or two years as standard but can be extended to around ten years, it should be remembered that it is your responsibility to renew the registration at the end of each contracted period, failure to do so could result in your website being taken offline, and/or your emails not being sent or delivered, which will have serious consequences for your business. Registration sites often give you the option of an automated renewal which can be cancelled at any time prior to the renewal date, most offer a grace period of around 2 weeks when your domain registration expires but there is likely to be additional charges for renewal after this period. Your domain name will be offered for sale in the open market after the grace period if it has not been renewed so could be lost to you forever.

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